The Best 50 Mediterranean Cruises

Greece And Beyond

MSC Opera Cruise Ship in Constanta’s Harbour – Romania

Not many cruise ships sail around the Black Sea at the moment but MSC Cruises’ MSC Opera dips its toe in the water to explore Burgas in Bulgaria and Constanta in Romania before returning to its Greek ports itinerary. From Burgas it is easy to visit pretty Nesebar with its 19th century wooden architecture. Constanta, meanwhile, is an elegant turn of the century seaside resort with a 1909-built casino, aquarium and dolphinarium.

French Riviera

Marseille Fos Harbour – France

Marseille is new for Norwegian Epic on its Western Mediterranean cruises, with regular sailings from France’s oldest city and a few that call there such as the short Rome to Barcelona cruise. This has a full day in Marseille, with trips to Aixen-Provence, where Cezanne was born, and the Provence countryside beloved by Vincent Van Gogh. A day in Cannes is also a stylish treat.

Turkish Delight

The Ancient City Ephesus – Turkey

Five Turkish ports make this a typical off-the-beaten-track eastern Mediterranean cruise from Voyages of Discovery. Starting with an overnight at Piraeus, the port of Athens, Voyager sails to three Greek islands before arriving for an overnight in Turkey’s Izmir. The Roman ruins of Pergamum and Asklepion are a ship’s excursion away and from the next port, Kusadasi, you can take a trip to the spectacular ancient ruins of Ephesus.

Palm Trees and Lava Fields

Lava fields in Lanzarote – Canary Islands, Spain

Norwegian Epic’s Canary Islands & Morocco from Barcelona combines a cruise from the Western Mediterranean to the Canary Islands and back. After leaving Barcelona there’s a day at sea then a call at Tangier in Morocco, where you can go souvenir shopping in the Grand Socco market or visit the palaces of the Kasbah – or just go to the beach. There are beaches galore on Gran Canaria, as well as duty-free shopping in Las Palmas. Lanzarote has beaches too but also an interesting landscape of black lava fields contrasting with the palm trees.

Mediterranean to The Red Sea

The Ancient City of Petra – Jordan

Voyages of Discovery’s Ancient Kingdoms & The Red Sea cruise starts with an overnight stop at Larnaca in Cyprus, which is less than an hour from the ancient walled city of Nicosia – the island’s capital. Split between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, it is a capital city of complete contrasts. There is another overnight stay, this time in Egypt’s Alexandria for the chance to visit Cairo and the pyramids of Giza. Then after a day in Port Said, Voyager sails through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea for opportunities to visit the temples and tombs of the River Nile, and to see the astonishing ‘lost city’ of Petra in Jordan.

Jerusalem and Galilee

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Ship

There should be a touch of welcome winter sunshine to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Eastern Mediterranean and the Holy Land from Venice cruise on Norwegian Spirit. The round trip calls at Zadar in Croatia, popular for its Roman and Venetian ruins, before sailing down to Athens. The ship spends three full days in Israel, docked at Haifa, so there is time to visit the Sea of Galilee and Nazareth, take a day trip to Jerusalem or the Dead Sea, or visit Akko.

Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco F1 Grand Prix – France

What could be more glamorous than sailing to the French Riviera to soak up the sun in Cannes and Nice with the option of buying a ticket for the most famous F1 Grand Prix on earth? It’s not cheap – £199 to stand within the confines of Le Rocher and much more for seats – but you can just soak up the atmosphere elsewhere in Monaco or explore Provence in this Fred. Olsen Cruise Line return trip from Dover.

Corsica and Sardinia

Calvi Harbour – Haute-Corse Department of France, Island of Corsica

Small is beautiful on Voyages of Discovery’s classic cruise ship Voyager, which makes its maiden call at Calvi on the gorgeous French island of Corsica. There are long sandy beaches a 20 minute walk from the old port where Christopher Columbus is said to have been born, or you can walk up to the old walled town. The equally blissful island of Sardinia is also on the Enchanted Mediterranean itinerary, with its Roman amphitheatre and medieval architecture.

Corinth Canal

There’s an overnight stop in Dubrovnik so you can take advantage of

the included tour of this medieval city where the streets are made of

marble, before Swan Hellenic’s Minerva sails off to pass through the

Corinth Canal. Not many cruise ships can get through this narrow, late

1800s feat of engineering beneath vertical cliffs. Afterwards the cruise

calls for an overnight stay at Nafplio in Greece, plus an included

excursion to the ancient ruins of Mycenae.


Luxury Guaranteed

An aerial view of Monte Carlo – Monaco

Billed as the most luxurious ship ever built, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Sea Explorer’s Monte Carlo to Athens cruise will leave late from Monaco – to give plenty of time to explore Monte Carlo – for a day moored off Italy’s sublime Cinque Terre port of La Spezia. The ship will also call at Livorno, for excursions to splendid Pisa, with its Leaning Tower, and Florence, home to the fabulous Duomo, and Civitavecchia for Rome before a day on the glittering Amalfi Coast in Sorrento or Capri then on to Greece.

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