Europe’s Mediterranean Basin overflows with diverse natural beauty and an abundance of historic ports perched at the edge of sea. It’s too much to see on a single cruise, so most itineraries focus on part of this this legendary region. So, what are some options for a week-long Mediterranean cruise?
Greek Isles. The classic choice is a voyage among the Greek Isles in the Aegean portion of the Mediterranean. It has been a bucket list item for generations. A cruise is the best way to see the islands, ringed by deep blue water, edged with sunny beaches and adorned with whitewashed cottages. Favorite port calls on a cruise from Athens include the islands of Mykonos and Santorini. Some visit Crete, as well, where there’s an amazing variety of excursions to enjoy, from snorkeling to the high, windmill-studded Lasithi Plateau.
Adriatic Sea. This arm of the Mediterranean sparkles between the Italian and Balkan Peninsulas. Many cruises begin in Venice, perfect for a pre- or post-cruise stay. Where else can you see so many beautiful medieval buildings via gondola? As you sail along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, port calls may include Split and Dubrovnik. You might also call on Kotor, Montenegro, a dramatic mix of medieval city walls, Venetian-style palaces, museums and churches. Some cruises then sail west to end in Naples or Rome, and others continue east to call on Athens.
French Riviera. The southern coast of France, lined with glamorous ports, is all about the finer things in life: vineyards, golden beaches, and flavorful cuisine. Port calls may include Marseille, with its multicultural vibe (take an excursion to the Chateau d’If of The Count of Monte Cristo fame); the seaside resort of Sant-Tropez; luxurious Cannes; and Monte Carlo. Some cruises include a stop in Corsica, known as the birthplace of Napoleon and appreciated for its spectacular mountain scenery.
Western Mediterranean. Many Western Mediterranean cruises provide the chance to spend a few extra days in the city of Barcelona, where there’s so much to see in the famous Gothic Quarter and beyond. Cruises from Barcelona often call on Cannes or Marseilles on the French Riviera; Livorno, Italy, a port city that gives you a choice of excursions to Florence or Pisa; the Eternal City of Rome; and perhaps Naples, backed by brooding Mount Vesuvius. It’s a treat if your itinerary includes Palma on the lovely island of Mallorca, rich in historic sites.
Talk with your professional travel advisor about the part of the Mediterranean that you would most like to cruise.
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