Passengers sailing with MSC Cruises from Venice will have an opportunity to participate in this year’s carnival, from Feb. 26 to March 8, through a series of original shore excursions. Travelling by a small boat from the cruise terminal to St. Mark’s Square, according to MSC, passengers will enjoy special access to the Grand Foyer at the heart of the square, “alive with extraordinary costumes and spectacular masks in vibrant colours, plus of course a whole host of events from 11 o’clock every morning, including masked parades, wine tastings and regional delicacies, dances and Commedia dell’arte performances.”

This year’s carnival will be exploring a less known-period in Venice's history, the 19th century, while at the same time honouring the women who have played important roles in the city, marking the fact that Mardi Gras is coinciding with International Women's Day (March 8).