Greatest Mediterranean cruises in 2024 and 2025


The Mediterranean area has all of it — wonderful meals and wine, well-known historic and cultural landmarks, scenic seaside cities and beautiful island seashores.

You would be hard-pressed to pattern Spain, France, Italy and Greece on one land tour with out transportation nightmares. A Mediterranean cruise, nonetheless, is the right option to get a style of many coastal international locations with ease as you transit between locations when you sleep aboard your ship.

Whether or not they function tiny ships with just a few hundred passengers or large megaships with a number of thousand folks, most cruise strains have vessels summering within the Mediterranean. Some even sail the area year-round.

Most Mediterranean cruises give attention to one area (often the jap or western halves of the shoreline), however longer itineraries would possibly embody extra. Whereas selecting a ship is essential, so is selecting which path to take and which international locations you wish to see.

Contemplate what’s in your bucket checklist. Cruise strains provide quite a lot of choices, making it attainable for tradition vultures, seashore lovers, historical past buffs and household vacationers to prioritize totally different ports of name and onboard facilities.

Listed below are a number of the greatest Mediterranean cruises departing in 2024 and 2025 to whet your urge for food for a European journey by sea.

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Greatest cruise for romantics: Windstar Cruises within the rivieras

The coast, villages and cities of the French Riviera have impressed artists for hundreds of years. FRASER HALL/GETTY IMAGES

For love seekers, few experiences beat a cruise that lingers alongside the French and Italian rivieras. France’s Cote d’Azur, with its coastal mountains and crystal blue sea, has impressed artists and romantics for hundreds of years. The equally gorgeous Italian coast is ideal for romantic strolls round secluded harbors or an indulgent, delectable lunch at a desk for 2 overlooking the ocean.

One other in style port of name on Riviera itineraries is Monaco, the place you would possibly go to the royal palace of the Grimaldi household and cease by the glamorous Monte Carlo On line casino to faux you’re James Bond having fun with an evening in town.

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You will discover these cruises on small and luxurious ships, however our decide for love is Windstar Cruises‘ seven-night “Yachtsman’s Harbors of the Rivieras” crusing between Rome and Barcelona (or vice versa) on a number of spring, summer time and fall dates in 2024 and 2025.

The five-masted Wind Surf is as picture-perfect because the ports you will go to, and the 342-passenger ship can observe all the posh yachts into smaller harbors and off-the-beaten-track locations. Your onboard meals, with many dishes created by James Beard-affiliated cooks, would possibly even rival the recent Mediterranean delicacies you will discover in port.

Ports of name differ by crusing date however can embody Port-Vendres, Sanary-sur-Mer and Cannes, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Portofino and Portoferraio, Italy. For the final word Riviera expertise, e-book one in every of Windstar’s Prix du Monde sailings with unique entry to the Method One racing occasions.

Greatest cruise for budget-conscious vacationers: Celestyal Cruises within the Greek isles

The island of Antipaxos within the Ionian Sea. DAVID C. TOMLINSON/GETTY IMAGES

Visiting the Greek islands is a magical expertise. Classes in historic historical past and the event of Western civilization come to life surrounded by astounding pure magnificence.

Your jaw would possibly drop as your ship navigates the sunken caldera that results in Santorini, the place whitewashed villages dot the tops of steep cliffs. In Mykonos, you possibly can head to one of many island’s well-known seashores or catch a ferry to discover the traditional ruins of Delos, generally known as the birthplace of Apollo. Price range-conscious vacationers can skip the excursions and stroll the slim streets and metropolis partitions of the Previous City of Rhodes.

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For much less expensive methods to see the Greek isles, contemplate Celestyal Cruises, which sails three- and four-night mini-cruises along with reasonably priced one-week sailings. A four-night cruise packs loads into a brief crusing with visits to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Heraklion and Santorini, in addition to Kusadasi, Turkey. Do not forget to spend time in Athens, Greece, earlier than or after your cruise.

Celestyal’s two ships carry between 1,200 and 1,700 passengers, so you will take pleasure in all of the facilities of a giant cruise ship — similar to a number of swimming pools, eating places and bars, and spa and health amenities — with out feeling inundated with many hundreds of fellow cruisers.

Greatest cruise for historical past lovers: Viking within the Jap Mediterranean

Sailboats within the marina of Kusadasi, Turkey. BOB KRIST/GETTY IMAGES

Jap Mediterranean cruises of every week or extra immerse you in a number of historic civilizations and take you to the historic locations you will have traveled to see, together with a number of UNESCO World Heritage websites.

Extraordinary itineraries go to Athens for the Acropolis; Istanbul for the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace; and Kusadasi for the spectacular historic metropolis of Ephesus and websites related to the Virgin Mary. In Dubrovnik, Croatia’s medieval Previous City (a filming location for HBO’s “Recreation of Thrones”) will wow you; from Naples, Italy, you possibly can discover the traditional metropolis of Pompeii.

Cruises that begin or finish in Rome will deal with you to such sights because the Roman Colosseum and the Vatican.

Associated: Greatest Mediterranean cruise shore excursions

True historical past lovers is not going to be happy with solely every week on this wealthy panorama. Select Viking to your Jap Mediterranean cruise, and search for longer itineraries, such because the 15-day “Historical Mediterranean Antiquities” sailings all through 2024. The one-way crusing between Rome and Istanbul hits many of the historic civilization highlights: Naples and Sicily, Italy; Rhodes, Crete and Athens, Greece; and Ephesus, Troy and Istanbul, Turkey.

Viking additionally gives complimentary shore excursions in each port, so you will have entry to educated guides who can clarify the historic websites you are touring. On board, you will discover a comfy residence base on Viking’s 930-passenger similar ships, with a number of included eating venues, inviting lounges executed in Scandinavian-inspired decor and comfy cabins with considerate particulars, similar to quiet-closing drawers and heated toilet flooring.

Greatest cruise for explorers: Superstar Cruises within the Holy Land

Jordan’s historic metropolis of Petra. NICK BRUNDLE PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES

Vacationers who actually wish to double down on the traditional civilizations ought to search for longer Jap Mediterranean cruises that mix Greece, Turkey and Italy with port calls in Egypt, Jordan and Israel. Relying on the particular Holy Land itinerary, you would possibly see Cairo and the pyramids of Giza, Jordan’s historic rose-hewed rock metropolis of Petra and biblical places in and round Jerusalem.

Superstar Cruises is a terrific alternative to your Holy Land cruise, as the corporate gives 10- and 11-night Egypt and Israel sailings. For instance, a 10-night, round-trip Athens cruise visits Haifa and Ashdod, Israel (for Jerusalem) and Alexandria, Egypt, with overnights in every port besides Haifa. The additional time in port permits for in a single day excursions, so you possibly can enterprise farther into every nation to see all the important thing websites. The 11-night model provides a cease in Kusadasi, Turkey, for a go to to Ephesus.

Superstar’s ships are identified for his or her foodie tradition, with a number of specialty eating places, in addition to a taking place bar scene. (Don’t miss the martini flights.) With a spread of rooms, from windowless inside cabins to comfy suites, you possibly can tour the Holy Land at any value level.

Greatest cruise for tradition vultures: Norwegian Cruise Line within the Western Mediterranean

Lisbon, Portugal. MATTEO COLOMBO/GETTY IMAGES

For foodies, fashionistas and artwork lovers, it is arduous to prime a Western Mediterranean cruise to the famend resort cities and famed coastal cities of Italy, France, Monaco and Spain.

That is your alternative to see Antoni Gaudi’s fantastical Sagrada Familia church and different creations in Barcelona; go to Michelangelo’s David sculpture and different Renaissance treasures in Florence, Italy; hang around on the on line casino in Monte Carlo; and cease in dreamy Good, France, for its Matisse and Chagall museums.

You may store for Italian, French and Spanish designer style if you’re not eating on one of the best Italian pasta and gelato you have ever tasted — or bouillabaisse and escargot in France, or paella and tapas in Spain. All are accompanied by native wines, in fact.

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Norwegian Cruise Line gives quite a lot of Western Mediterranean cruises to key ports in Spain, Italy and France. The road’s latest ship, Norwegian Viva, sails the Med within the spring, summer time and fall of 2024 and 2025. Its nine- to 11-night cruises name on quite a lot of main ports. For instance, an 11-night cruise on choose dates in 2024 sails from Rome to Lisbon, Portugal, and visits Livorno, Italy (for Florence and Pisa); Villefranche-sur-Mer (for Good and Monaco) and Marseille, France; Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Motril and Cadiz, Spain (for Seville); and Gibraltar in the UK.

It is a disgrace that the itinerary has no sea days as a result of the ship gives loads to maintain cruisers busy on board. There is a wealth of eating choices, from the Italian cuisine-serving Onda by Scarpetta to a stylish meals corridor, plus a go-kart observe, multistory twisty slides and a bar serving sustainable craft cocktails.

Greatest cruise for households: Royal Caribbean within the Mediterranean

The seaside villages of Cinque Terre, Italy. MATTEO COLOMBO/GETTY IMAGES

When a cruise with youngsters, you will wish to combine time exploring on land with playtime on the ship, whether or not within the youngsters membership or with sights like video arcades and waterslides. Search for an itinerary that features a number of fun-filled days at sea.

Youngsters will take pleasure in such sights because the Roman Colosseum, the place they could faux that they’re gladiators; the flower market in Good, France; and the Leaning Tower of Pisa (on a shore tour from Livorno, Italy). Take them to the seashore within the Greek Isles, and eat pizza in Naples, Italy. If yow will discover a cruise that features the Italian seaside villages of Cinque Terre (accessible from Genoa, Livorno and Portofino), followers of Disney’s animated function “Luca” shall be ecstatic.

Household favourite Royal Caribbean has quite a lot of ships and itineraries crusing round Europe, however a prime possibility is a seven-night Western Mediterranean cruise aboard Oasis of the Seas. The round-trip itinerary departs from Rome. Further ports of name embody Naples and La Spezia, Italy (for Florence); Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Marseille, France. Sailings depart starting Could 2024.

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Household-friendly leisure on board is plentiful. On sea days, you will have entry to 3 most important pool areas, a kiddie splash zone, browsing simulators, a miniature golf course and even a zipper line.

Planning a cruise? Begin with these tales:

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