Choosing the perfect Mediterranean cruise

The Mediterranean has long been a hit among holidaymakers but have you ever considered exploring this part of the world on a cruise? You might be thinking this sounds restrictive, but there are actually a number of itineraries on offer so that you can choose something to suit your tastes. From the shores of the Italian Riviera to the luxurious Saint Tropez, where you can float alongside celebrity yachts, here are some of the aspects to consider so that you get the most out of your trip.

St_Tropez_by_Myosotismail (creative commons)

St. Tropez by Myosotismail (creative commons)

For those who want to enjoy complete relaxation when they are on vacation, an all-inclusive cruise could be ideal. Travellers on these trips can make the most of free food, drink and entertainment, meaning they needn’t worry about setting spending limits. Instead, they can simply concentrate on having a good time. However, if you book one of these cruises, make sure you understand what “all-inclusive” really means – different companies will offer different packages and if you want drinks included, a waiter who remembers your order each evening, plus day trips, you might end up paying a bit extra in advance.

Routes in the Mediterranean are determined by the different cruise lines and, typically, they can be divided into two groups: east and west. Western Mediterranean cruises tend to stop in ports in southern France, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Italy and Morocco. It’s worth noting that larger ships on these routes often focus on the bigger ports, while smaller vessels are able to access more out-of-the-way towns. Meanwhile, eastern Mediterranean trips cover countries like Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Croatia and Cyprus.

When you are considering a cruise, you need to think carefully about the destinations you want to see. For example, cruises cannot stop at inland cities like Athens and Rome. Instead, they dock in seaside ports and these major tourist cities can be several hours away. Travellers who wish to visit inland cities should make sure they allow plenty of travel time in their itineraries.

One favourite stop-off point on Mediterranean cruises is Barcelona. This Spanish seaside city is steeped in history and culture, and it also boasts impressive architecture and a superb eating and drinking scene. From Gaudi’s famous sculptures to the beautiful concert hall – Palau de la Musica – where you can enjoy evening entertainment, there is plenty to explore.

Another hotspot for cruise passengers is Venice. Located on the north-east Italian coastline, this engineering marvel is unlike any other city in the world. Visitors can enjoy its romantic waterways, marble churches and artistic masterpieces as they ride the gondolas or catch a water taxi.

Split, Croatia at Dusk by Michael Angelkovich (Creative Commons)

Split, Croatia at Dusk by Michael Angelkovich (Creative Commons)

Another city that is perfectly located for Mediterranean cruises is Split. Croatia’s second-largest conurbation has a real buzz and offers a balance of tradition and modernity. Visitors can check out highlights like the Roman monument of Diocletian’s Palace, which is a Unesco World Heritage site, and there are plenty of bars, restaurants and shops to explore.

Seeing the Med by boat allows you to take in several stops so that you can spend each day differently. Plus with accommodation and transport sorted, your only concern will be planning what you want to see!

Author Bio: Francesca Lovell is a freelance travel writer who loves exploring European arts and culture. She generally prefers to travel alone so that she can plan an itinerary that suits her tastes and her favourite painter is Rembrandt, the Dutch genius.