Cruise Holidays: Navigating the Mediterranean Sea

By Kate

Tackling a cruise across the mighty Mediterranean can indeed feel like quite the endeavour, with its myriad potential destinations unfurling before you. We completely empathise with how daunting this could be – after all, the Mediterranean isn’t just any sea; it’s the largest in existence and laps against three distinct continents! But fear not, for we’ve got your back.

Our comprehensive guide will see you safely navigate these azure waters while also pointing out top attractions to watch out for along your voyage. So, are you ready for a jolly good adventure of a lifetime? Then let’s get cracking!

Key Takeaways

  • Viking Ocean Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Azamara are great choices for a Mediterranean cruise.
  • Rome, Barcelona, Santorini and Lisbon are must – see spots during the journey.
  • Before you set sail on your holiday, learn about local money. This will make shopping easier.
  • To enjoy short port visits to the full, plan ahead. Choose your tours carefully and try local food.
  • Shuttle services or sailing are good ways to travel when visiting ports.

Why Choose a Mediterranean Cruise?

Why Choose a Mediterranean Cruise

Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty and rich culture of the Mediterranean, where each port offers a new adventure. Whether you’re exploring ancient monuments in Italy and Greece or savouring delicious food at bustling markets in Barcelona, a Mediterranean cruise holiday is perfect for those who love to explore.

Numerous destinations with crystal clear waters, sandy beaches and buzzing cities make cruising around this region an unforgettable experience. This makes it one of the most popular choices among worldwide cruise destinations!

Timeless beauty & culture

We love the Mediterranean for its timeless beauty and rich culture. Each place shows a mix of people, tongues, and past times. In one trip, you can walk on old streets, see grand buildings and meet kind locals.

The food is tasty with fresh fish, vegetables and fine wine topped with olive oil. You get lost in the scenic beauty which takes your breath away at every turn. Going by luxury cruise makes it even more special!

Featured cruise destinations

We love the many different places we can visit on a Mediterranean cruise. We get to see France, Israel & Egypt, Malta, Montenegro, Greece, Italy and Spain. Each one is special in its own way.

Some cruises let us focus on French and Italian areas for food and wine. Others take us to ancient ruins or sunny beaches.

Mediterranean cruises also have neat stops along the way. Many like TUI highlight different parts of the sea with their trips. For example, Marella Voyager shows off the best parts of this part of the world with their Highlights of the Mediterranean cruise.

Perfect vacation for exploring

We cruise the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a great trip for anyone who loves to explore. We don’t have to pack and unpack many times, which makes traveling easy. We stop at different ports in cities like Rome, Athens, Barcelona, and Dubrovnik.

Each city offers its own fun things to see and do. Kids can stay busy with the Kids Clubs on board while adults can enjoy sightseeing or soak up local cultures. The diverse beauty of these Mediterranean cities often leaves us amazed.

Featured Mediterranean Destinations

Featured Mediterranean Destinations

From the timeless ruins of Rome, the buzzing streets of Barcelona to the picturesque landscapes of Santorini and Lisbon’s ancient charm, we’ll guide you through some key Mediterranean destinations that are sure to leave a lasting impression on your cruise journey.


Rome is a gem in the heart of Italy. It is one of the must-see places on any Mediterranean cruise. We begin our journey at Rome’s cruise port called Civitavecchia. This port is very busy and links people to many other beautiful spots.

Many cruise lines, like Marella Cruises and Royal Caribbean, start their trips from here. These cruises take us not only across the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea but also through time itself! We get to see amazing sites like ancient ruins and Vatican City.

The city welcomes us with tasty Italian food and drink which we can’t get enough of! Plus, there are special events like Grand Mediterranean Cruise that let us explore more wonders such as Isle of Capri and Pompeii’s old Roman remains.


Barcelona sits neatly between the Mediterranean Sea and Serra de Collserola hills. This spot in Spain is a must-see on any cruise holiday. Our tour takes us to sandy beaches that glow under the sun.

It’s no wonder Marella Cruises and Princess Cruises choose this place as one of their stops! We can’t wait to share Barcelona with you.

But there’s more than just beaches here. The city buzzes with things for us to do and see. Take your pick from cool shops, tasty food spots, and sights full of culture. Barcelona will keep us busy all day long! Cities like Cannes, Genova, La Spezia, Rome, Mallorca and Seville also crave our attention on this Mediterranean cruise vacation.


Santorini stuns and woos all hearts. Tucked 200 km southeast of Greece, this island stands proud in the Aegean Sea. A shock from a volcano brought Santorini to life. The wild act also gave it beaches with rare hues – black, white, red! A walk through Oia village is like stepping into a dream.

Whitewashed homes kiss the sky with their blue-domed roofs here. Indeed, no other sight screams “Greece” louder than our beloved Santorini does! Many hold that its view tops any other on cruise vacations around these parts.


Lisbon, a bright gem in our cruise holiday, is an ancient city full of wonders. As one of the oldest European capitals, it draws us into its rich history. We get to visit top tourist spots as Lisbon houses many international cruise terminals.

Not just that, but it opens doors for us to explore other parts of the Mediterranean too! From this port city we can sail on to beautiful Tuscany and let the charm of Florence and Pisa wash over us.

Our favourite part? Coming across MSC Mediterranean cruises often passing by while navigating these waters! So pack up your bags, Global Explorers, because exciting times await in Lisbon!

Tips for Navigating the Mediterranean Sea

When venturing on a Mediterranean cruise, keep in mind the various currencies used across different countries. Respect local customs and traditions to enrich your travel experience.

Optimize your short port visits by planning ahead and prioritising attractions. Finally, familiarise yourself with available transportation options at each stop along your journey.

Currency considerations

On our trip, money matters. Different places use different cash. Spain, Monaco, Slovenia and Montenegro use the Euro. But in Croatia, people pay with Croatian Kuna. Albania likes to keep things easy; they also use the Euro.

Before we set sail, it is smart to get the right kind of money for each place we visit. Sometimes cruise ships let you swap your money on board. Yet, it’s often simpler to do this before we leave home.

This way, when we reach exciting new places like Rome or Barcelona, we can buy fun gifts without worry!

Customs & traditions

In the Mediterranean, customs and traditions are a big part of local life. Each place has its own set of cultural norms that make it unique. These can be seen in the way people greet each othercelebrate festivals and behave in public places.

As global explorers, we want to show respect for this rich cultural heritage. Always take time to learn some local etiquette before visiting a new destination. This will help you blend in with the locals and get an authentic experience during your cruise holiday.

Enjoying regional traditions is one of the joys of navigating the Mediterranean Sea!

Making the most of short port visits

We’ve got some top tips for you to enjoy your short port visits. Short port visits are a key part of any Mediterranean cruise journey, but they can be tricky if you’re not prepared. Here’s how we like to make the most out of them:

  1. Plan ahead: Look at maps and research about the place before reaching there.
  2. Pack smart: Carry a small bag with essentials like water, sunscreen, and local currency.
  3. Choose the right excursions: Pick tours that give you time to explore on your own as well.
  4. Stay alert: Keep track of when you need to return back to the ship.
  5. Be ready to adapt: If something unexpected happens, stay calm and find another way.
  6. Enjoy local food: Try the local cuisine at each port.

Transportation options

We love to share about transportation options for your cruise holiday. There’s a lot of ways for you to get around when you are exploring the Mediterranean ports.

  1. Shuttle services are one way to go. Most ports offer these services. You can use them to see many different places.
  2. Each shuttle ride normally costs about $12 for a round trip per person. So, you know what you will be spending ahead of time.
  1. Sailing is an exciting alternative transportation option. You can sail from port to port and feel the sea breeze on your face!
  2. Costs and times for each option vary. Our map and links provide all this info as well as tips on finding a crew if needed.

Recommended Cruise Lines and Destinations

Immerse in a unique experience on the top Mediterranean cruise lines, explore must-visit ports with stunning attractions, delight your palate with food and beverage options onboard, and plan your journey at the best time for Mediterranean cruising.

Want to know more? Continue reading!

Top Mediterranean cruise lines

We are here to guide you through the top Mediterranean cruise lines. Our list is sure to help all of you global explorers out there.

  1. Topping our list is Viking Ocean Cruises, hailed as the best cruise line in the Mediterranean.
  2. Seabourn Cruise Line takes a proud second place.
  3. Azamara sits snugly in third position, revered for their outstanding Mediterranean travel experiences.

Must-visit ports and attractions

We can’t wait to share our top must-visit ports and attractions with you. These spots are gems of the Mediterranean Sea, each one a vibrant real-life postcard.

  1. Dive into Greek mythology in Athens. This ancient city is home to the famous Acropolis.
  2. Explore Italian art in Rome. Don’t miss the Coliseum and Vatican City.
  3. Discover the Croatian heritage in Dubrovnik. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  4. Step back in time in Istanbul’s historic harbors filled with rich culture and tasty foods.
  5. Savour Santorini’s stunning views and blue-domed churches that make for picture-perfect moments.
  6. Enjoy Barcelona’s blend of modern design and Gothic architecture along with delicious food.

Best time for a Mediterranean cruise

Spring and fall are top times for a Mediterranean cruise. We find May to October have warm days, less crowds and nice weatherThese months also offer good prices. For people who want quiet cruises, winter is a good pick except during the end-year festive period.

The season of April to November is full of fun but June to September can be busy as it’s peak time for these trips. So if we avoid school holidays, late spring or early summer could be perfect!

Food and drink options on board

We love the many food and drink options on board a Mediterranean Cruise. There’s so much to enjoy!

  • Free water, tea, and coffee at the buffet all day.
  • Fruit juice during breakfast. It’s tasty and fresh.
  • Tea and coffee in the Freedom and Club restaurants. A great way to start the day!
  • More than 20 onboard restaurants. They offer gourmet dishes and unique plates.
  • Food from Virgin Voyages is top – notch. We think it’s the best cruise food.
  • Lots of dining options for every meal. You can try something new each time.
  • Different beverage choices to suit your taste. Enjoy a wide range of drinks whenever you want.
  • Complimentary drinks are available too! Enjoy free sips now and then.
  • Buffet selections that change daily. Always a surprise waiting for you!
  • Breakfast offerings for early risers. Get your day started right with a hearty meal.
  • Variety of restaurants to choose from. Each one has its special charm.
  • Gourmet cuisine for fancy nights out. Fine dining at sea is an experience not to miss.
  • Unique dishes that mix flavours in interesting ways. Try something different on your holiday!
  • Culinary experiences that will blow your mind. It’s not just about eating; it’s about tasting amazing new things!


Our journey on the Mediterranean Sea comes to an end here. We have seen amazing places, tasted delicious food and learned about different cultures. Cruising the Mediterranean is a special holiday that lets us make fantastic memories.

So pack your bags, it’s time to set sail!

What is a cruise holiday in the Mediterranean Sea like?

A cruise holiday in the Mediterranean Sea lets you explore beautiful coasts, historic cities and taste delicious foods.

When is the best time for a cruise trip in the Mediterranean Sea?

The best time to go on a cruise to the Mediterranean is from April to November when weather conditions are most favourable.

Can I go on a Mediterranean cruise during winter?

Yes, some cruises do operate in winter, but expect fewer routes and cooler weather.

How long does a typical Mediterranean Sea cruise last?

A typical Mediterranean Sea Cruise lasts between seven to fourteen days depending on the itinerary chosen.

What should I pack for my Mediterranean sea voyage?

Pack light clothes for warm weather, swimwear for beaches, good walking shoes for city tours and formal wear if your ship has dress codes.

About the author

Hello there, fellow travellers! I'm Kate, one half of the Chandler's Travel duo, and my love for travel is matched only by my love for sharing it with others. For me, every journey is an opportunity to learn something new, be it a local tradition, a tasty dish, or simply a new way to see the world.

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