Cruising the Mediterranean: Europe Awaits
The Mediterranean Sea is spectacularly lined with countless different cultures, fabulous city, interesting people and memorable landscapes. This Sea has a very small inlet connecting it with the wider ocean and its coastline runs along Europe, Africa and the Middle East. This means that those cruising the Mediterranean will be able to visit a wide variety of destinations and ports. The Mediterranean is easily considered to be one of the most important crossroads in the world due to its role in supporting the development of some of the earliest powerful civilisations.
Cruise Destinations in the Mediterranean
Wondering what there is to see in the Mediterranean? Everything – that’s what! Cruises around the Mediterranean make it possible for passengers to choose from a wide variety of destinations. There are so many different countries and cultures to explore that a diverse experience is guaranteed with any cruise in these parts.
Most likely the most popular of all among experienced and first time cruisers is the northwest coastline. Countries in this area include France, Spain and western Italy. Ports are plentiful along this portion of the coast and many of them allow passengers to frequent fair-sized cities.
In Spain, Barcelona is one of the main cruise departure points. It is a fantastic place to spend a few days. With its beautiful beaches, delicious food, numerous bars and fascinating Antoni Gaudi architecture, what’s not to love?
Valencia is also along the coast of Spain and cruise ship itineraries often include Menorca and Mallorca.
The coast of the French Riviera is lined with fabulous cities like St Tropez and Marseille. These are the perfect spots to stop and enjoy a refreshing drink, some of the local cuisine, do some shopping, try to spot some celebrities or simply relax on the beach.
The western coast of Italy is bursting with history. Cruises often include stops in small cities like Livorno and Civitavecchia. From here, passengers can travel to cities like Florence and Rome to get a look at the famous ancient Roman ruins and numerous classic artworks. The Amalfi Coast and beautiful Naples are both along the western part of Italy which means that they are often frequented by cruise lines.
The Adriatic Sea is located to the east of Italy. It is bordered by Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Italy. There are a large number of beaches in this area but it is better known for its rocky and rugged coastlines that dramatically drop off into the perfectly clear water.
Only a few ports along Italy’s coast are used and Ravenna is one of them. The main sight to enjoy here is the famous Mosaic Basilica and the quaint town atmosphere is undeniably charming.
On this side of the country, you will also find the famous city of Venice where every inch is draped in history and art. The most notable feature being the network of canals that make Venice different from any other city in the world.
On the other side of the Adriatic Sea are the Balkan countries. They provide some of the most amazing destinations for cruise ships. The island of Hvar, the world heritage site of Dubrovnik’s Old Town and Montenegro’s stunning Bay of Kotor are just three of the top sights to see in this area. As passengers explore this part of the world, they will soon understand why the Adriatic is so special and unique.
Below the Adriatic and neighbouring Turkey is Greece. Like Turkey, Greece also has a long portion of its coast along the Mediterranean. Greece is a popular tourist destination for visitors from all around the world and it’s the islands that attract the most visitors of all.
Cephalonia, Corfu, Mykonos, Santorini and others are stunning beyond words and, of their many features, it’s the rocky cliff drop offs, glorious beaches, inviting turquoise waters and whitewashed buildings in the towns on the cliffs that draw in the crowds.
For travellers who seek a real paradise in the Mediterranean, the Greek Islands are the answer. Athens is one of the busiest ports in Greece and the top sights here are those of historic significance like the Acropolis and the Pantheon to name but a few.
Turkey might not be quite as popular as Greece as a cruising destination but it most certainly has lovely ports that are worth visiting. Such ports include Marmaris and the important archaeological site of Ephesus.
Occasionally cruise ships also make their way to Cyprus and even Jerusalem in Israel.
The coast of North Africa is not quite as frequently visited as the European side but there are a number of ports that are included by various lines. The capital of Tunisia is Tunis and is one of the main ports along this portion of Africa’s coast. Another popular port along the coast is Algiers in Algeria as well as Tangier on the Gibraltar Strait.
Mediterranean Cruises: Find the Perfect Mediterranean Cruise
The Mediterranean is visited by many different cruise lines including all the major ones from North America and Europe. Princess, Holland America, P&O UK, Celebrity, Cunard and Royal Caribbean all offer regular Mediterranean cruises. This makes it possible for anyone to explore these beautiful waters and diverse destinations on their cruise line of choice. For cruisers who seek luxury, Crystal Cruises have a large ship while Azamara Club, Sliversea and Regent Seven Seas cover the luxury boutique small ship market with their top class fleets.
When it comes to Mediterranean cruising, the options are wonderfully diverse. There are a number of lines that run Western and Eastern Mediterranean cruises. These trips allow passengers to explore the west or east coasts of Italy depending on which one cruiser passengers select. Cruises that take place along the Western Mediterranean normally depart from Southampton, Barcelona or Nice. Those in the East usually leave from Rome or Venice. Other cruises might enjoy exploring a more general area or stick to one country. Royal Caribbean, for example, is currently operating a Greek Isles cruise while Crystal offers cruises that focus on Italy. MSC, the Mediterranean-based line, and smaller luxury lines offer some of the best cruises for those feeling more adventurous. These cruises take in destinations like Africa, Turkey and the Middle East.
Cruises in the Mediterranean are plentiful and Go 4 Cruise Holidays makes it easy to search through all of your options and find the perfect cruise for you. The site is easy to use and offers special deals and great prices that make these trips even more appealing.