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European Cruise Routes

Taking a Mediterranean cruise is the realization of a long held dream by many travelers. The fabled Med! The wine dark seas of Homer, of Jason and the Argonauts and of Odysseus.

One of the most popular cruise destinations today, you can sail the Mediterranean 12 months a year. The most popular months are June, July and August but savvy travelers cruise the Med in April, May and in late September and early October as the seas are calm, the huge crowds have not yet arrived or have gone home after Labor Day and the weather is extremely pleasant. Sunny and warm with clear blue skies and with temperatures in the mid 70’s, this is an ideal time to cruise the Mediterranean. For those who prefer to cruise off season, there are Mediterranean itineraries that sail to Egypt and Israel and also to North Africa and the Canary Islands during the winter months. This is an ideal getaway for those who live in the northern regions where winters are cold and snowy. Even during the winter months, these more southerly ports and islands of the Mediterranean and mid Atlantic provide pleasant temperate weather.

All major cruise lines and all major luxury lines have numerous ships sailing the Mediterranean. You certainly have a great choice ranging from the largest and newest megaships to small and intimate yacht–like ships offering a truly deluxe cruise experience. In between are many mid sized ships that may be less glamorous but offering affordable prices. The ships may vary in quality but the ports are the same!

The most popular Mediterranean itinerary is called the Western Mediterranean cruise. Sailing from Barcelona to Venice or Rome and vice-versa, these cruises range from 10 to 14 nights in duration. Guests will visit ports in Spain, France and Italy and sometimes in Greece and Croatia. The larger ships tend to visit the most popular A-list ports. The smaller, more luxurious ships may call at less frequently visited towns and islands that their larger sisters are unable to visit.

Greek isle cruises are also very popular. These cruises may be as short as 3 to 4 nights but to experience this area properly, a 7 or 10 night cruise is required. Many of the longer cruises will call at Kusadasi or Bodrum on the Turkish coast and may even sail up the mythical Dardanelles to call on Istanbul, the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Black Sea voyages are offered by most cruise lines for enthusiasts who have cruised the more popular routes. A cruise to the Black Sea may depart form Athens or Istanbul and sail through the Bosporus to visit the Ukrainian cities of Sevastopol, Odessa and Yalta and the Bulgarian beach resorts of Nessebur or Varna and even to Sochi in Russia, home to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

During the cooler months, there are sailings from Venice or Rome to the Holy Land. You will visit ports in Israel to explore Jerusalem and Bethlehem and Alexandria and Port Said in Egypt to visit Cairo and the Pyramids. Port calls in Cyprus and Malta are also on many itineraries. In the winter months cruise lines offer sailings to the balmy Canary Islands (Europe’s Hawaii!) and the garden isle of Madeira located off the Atlantic coast of Morocco. These are ideal winter getaway cruises!

Please continue browsing through this site for more detailed explanations of these popular Mediterranean cruises. Found one you like? Please call one of our Europe Cruise Experts who can assist you with all your questions and also reserve your cruise of a lifetime to the Mediterranean!

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