Cinque Terre, Italy
A Mediterranean cruise is the perfect holiday, the variety of landscapes, destinations and historic cities allow you to choose from countless itineraries, all year round, in every season. Luxury Mediterranean cruises combine art, culture, nature and fine cuisine, from Italy to Spain, to the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, from the Acropolis of Athens to the culinary delights of Southern France and the Renaissance treasures of Florence and Rome.
Spend a day exploring ancient the archaeological sites in Greece, Sicily and Spain, or simply enjoy a sherry tasting in Jerez, or be captured by the atmosphere of One Thousand and One Nights of the Alhambra.
Dive into the glitz and glamour of Monaco, the second-smallest country in the Mediterranean overlooking the French Riviera, well known for its luxury casinos, its harbor crowded with mega-yachts and the prestigious F-1 Grand Prix which takes place once a year.
Discover the picturesque seaside villages of the Cinque Terre, a destination for jetsetters and international travellers alike, through an excursion along the path that connects them or a boat ride to see them from the water as sailors did in ancient times. Go ashore for an aperitif in Portofino or Porto Venere or meet the chef at the fish market to buy the catch of the day that will be cooked on board.
Visit Rome, the Eternal City, with an overnight to admire its historical and architectural glories. St. Peter’s Basilica, with the Sistine Chapel is a must together with the famous Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and the Aventine Hill, which offers a grandiose view of the imposing remains of the Imperial Palaces and the Circus Maximus.
There is no cruise that does not call at Malta, an important port in the Mediterranean whose capital, Valletta has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, an ideal destination for summer and fall itineraries thanks to the mild and pleasant climate which stay on the island until November. Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta with its baroque buildings and its narrow streets, rich in history, is a must-see of Malta but the island offers many spots of extraordinary natural beauty such as the Dingli Cliffs with breathtaking views.
Majorca is a windswept island with steep jagged cliffs and millenary olive groves. The imposing Gothic cathedral, erected on the site of an ancient mosque, dominates the promenade of Palma. The South of the island is a tourism mecca, with hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and a hectic nightlife while the rocky valleys, small sleepy villages wrapped in bougainvillea and the breathtaking views onto the sea dominate the landscape in the Northern part of the island.
Barcelona, the homeport of many cruise lines sailing in the Western Mediterranean, is a city with a very warm atmosphere, where the medieval vestiges of the barrio gotico combine with the grace and opulence of the wide avenues that lead to Plaza de Catalunya. Do not miss a walk along the Ramblas and a visit to the famous and colourful Boqueria market, before heading to the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Park Güell and the Picasso Museum.
The wonderful summer cruises in the Greek islands always pass through Piraeus, the port of Athens, Greece’s largest capital city. The majestic monuments of the Acropolis rise above the city with the magnificent Parthenon, the ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. An aperitif on the terrace overlooking the Acropolis at sunset is the best way to end the day of visits and excursions before returning on board.
Souda Bay is a natural harbor on the North-Western coast of Crete, the largest island in Greece, known for its wealth of natural landscapes and archaeological areas. The delightful city of Chania, overlooking the sea, is the ideal destination for spending the day, walking around its narrow streets with cafes and shops, stopping at the Venetian harbor and the "Egyptian lighthouse" overlooking the sea.
Known as the "gem of the Aegean", Santorini is a volcanic island overlooking a caldera appearing as a result of an eruption that caused a large part of the island to sink into the sea. Santorini alone is worth a cruise as this port of call is the highlight of any cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean. Despite the crowds of the summer months, Santorini never loses its charm and beauty. The famous white and blue houses that line the cliffs and the sunset over the caldera are the most visited attractions in Santorini where cruise ships cannot dock but offer tenders to their guests to reach the island.
Cruise ships sail the Mediterranean all year round, although the best season is between April and November as the summer months, especially July and August, are often too hot and overcrowded. Spring and fall are perhaps the ideal time to enjoy a pleasant climate and less crowds in the ports of call.