The Best Mediterranean Cruise Itineraries
It’s not easy to choose the best in the Mediterranean, a destination of ancient cultures, stylish cities and diverse societies. Brilliant blue waters, ancient ruins, tumbling villages and hip resort towns are only the start of its pleasures. Here are some highlights.
Seabourn’s Greece and Dalmatian Delights
Settle into the luxury charms of Seabourn Odyssey for a seven-day sail in the Adriatic and Ionian seas, finishing on a high note in Venice, where you arrive to spectacular outlooks over domes. The cruise beings in Piraeus (Athens) and visits the Greek fortress town Monemvasia, Katakolon (the jumping-off point for an excursion to ancient Olympia) and the charming island of Corfu. It also calls at Dubrovnik and Primošten in Croatia, where you can tour World Heritage sites and kayak on peacock-blue seas.
Silversea’s Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome)
Luxe mid-size ship Silver Cloud takes you on an 11-day float along the coastlines of Spain, France, Monaco and Italy in what might be the most stylish corner of the Mediterranean. There are stops at the region’s expected port highlights such as Barcelona, posh Monte Carlo and utterly gorgeous Portofino, but the cruise is particularly interesting for its meander around some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful islands. Mallorca, Ibiza, Corsica and Sardinia are all on the itinerary, each strikingly different but equally interesting.
Royal Caribbean’s Greece and Turkey
Add zing to your cruise in the sedate old continent with an 11-night sail on Rhapsody of the Seas, with its live shows, rock-climbing walls and kids’ clubs. The Venice return journey still introduces you to the western Mediterranean’s classic cruise destinations, not least the famous islands of Mykonos with its whitewashed villages, plus Santorini, perhaps the world’s most spectacular place to anchor. You’ll also get a dose of history, with shore excursions to Ephesus in Turkey, Olympia in Greece and the Byzantine-Turkish old town of Chania in Crete.
Ponant’s Golf in the Mediterranean
If you’re looking for activity along with culture, you can experience a new eight-day itinerary on Le Ponant between Valletta in Malta and Nice in France. Get into the swing on five golf courses in destinations such as Sicily and Sardinia that still provide non-golfers with the requisite beauty and interest you expect of Mediterranean ports. All are 18-hole par-72 courses, each with their own attractions: laid out over an archaeological site in Pozzallo, among olive groves in Port Empedocle, and with scintillating scenic outlooks in Golfo Aranci and Bonifacio.
Cunard’s Mediterranean Highlights
Want to see and do it all? Then Queen Victoria’s 23-night wander from Southampton to Athens brings you almost across the entire Mediterranean, starting with its first port of call in Gibraltar. It introduces you to some of the region’s top cities, including Barcelona, Rome, Venice and Dubrovnik, but calls in at smaller destinations too, such as laidback Valencia in Spain, movie-town Cannes in France and Kotor in Montenegro, reached along a spectacular fjord. The Greek volcanic island of Santorini is another splendid vision that will have cameras snapping.