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Are You Thinking About Taking a Western Mediterranean Cruise?
By Sharon
Pushed April 12, 2017
Are You Thinking About Taking a Western Mediterranean Cruise?
Are You Thinking About Taking a Western Mediterranean Cruise?

Are you thinking about taking a western Mediterranean cruise? While many of your friends back home are stuck laboring at their 9 to 5 jobs, you will be sailing the sunny sea, eating world class food and visiting some of the most incredible destinations on the planet. To be honest, there is so much that you can both see and do that coming up with an itinerary can be quite a challenging endeavor.

A cruise on the western Mediterranean Sea is what long-lasting memories are made of. You will be able to immerse yourself in the interesting and the romantic countries of Italy, France, and Spain, as well as Portugal. A lot of cruise line schedules will also modify their ports of call in order to accommodate the latest and most popular places of interest to see.

There is truly so much that you can see and do on a Mediterranean cruise vacation -- for instance, visiting some of the most exotic destinations around the Med such as St. Tropez, Monaco, Genoa, Nice or Marbella (and not to forget the Greek islands).

Early spring and late fall sailings offer the advantage of more competitive fares, fewer crowds in port and more pleasant temperatures. Plus more things are open; Europeans notoriously take the entire month of August off, and many restaurants are closed in the middle of summer. Conversely, families might want to cruise from mid-June to mid-August, when ship's children's facilities are running at full speed (though fares may be pricier and ports most definitely will be more crowded, many with Europeans taking their own holidays).

When sailing the Western Mediterranean, one of the toughest choices for cruise travelers can be ship size. Big ships tend to visit big ports -- the "greatest hits" of the Western Mediterranean destinations, such as Florence, Rome, and Barcelona. Almost all major lines offer such sailings, including Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Disney.For a more European feel, consider cruising the region with a company based on the continent. Costa and MSC Cruises, both headquartered in Italy, offer shorter and often cheaper itineraries (as well as great pasta). British lines P&O, Thomson, and Cunard have numerous sailings, while the German line Hapag-Lloyd provides the ultimate in luxury.

Other luxury vessels, including Regent Seven Seas, Azamara, Crystal, Silversea, Oceania, and Seabourn, also ply this region of the Med. Often, these voyages not only visit smaller ports like Portofino, Cannes, and Capri, but they are longer in duration and also travel to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Expedition ships that visit this well-trafficked region tend to be those that are heavy on culture, such as Voyages of Discovery. Cruisers in search of something different can opt for a yacht-style experience (SeaDream Yacht Club or Windstar) or an all-masted ship like those found in Star Clippers' fleet.

These same locations are also perfectly situated in an area that makes the most of the Mediterranean's excellent warm weather and is also home to many of the best beaches you can find anywhere on Earth.

Every country has something completely unique to offer to cruise-goers, such as Spain's popular beach culture and all of its intriguing city architecture, or even Monaco's enticing atmosphere of wealth and exclusivity.

History, culture, ancient monuments, fabulous cities, breathtaking views and romantic islands are all just a few of the things you can experience on a western Mediterranean cruise. Exploring the Mediterranean Sea allows one to see the traditional Andalucian white villages in southern Spain, or to try some world renowned Manzanilla sherry while visiting Cadiz, or to take part in the cultural center of Europe, in the form of Barcelona, before you head on to the French Riviera.

Western Mediterranean Cruise Itineraries

Less than Seven Nights: Costa has typically been one of the few lines to offer Western Med cruises that are less than a week in length, with some sailings only lasting three days. Embarkation is usually out of Genoa or Barcelona, with a stop in Marseilles, Mallorca, Corsica or Tunisia. Disney, Royal Caribbean, Azamara, and Oceania also have a few four- and five-night offerings. Expect less time in port and few, if any, sea days.

Seven to 12 Nights: The more typical Western Mediterranean cruises are between seven and 12 nights, leaving from major ports like Rome, Barcelona, and Marseilles; Costa is an exception, with departures from Genoa and Palermo. On a cruise, that long, expect to hit the highlights, plus have a day or two at sea. These itineraries can also include stops in the Canary Islands, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Western Mediterranean cruises also depart from U.K. ports, such as London's Harwich, Dover, and Southampton. Caveat: One potential disadvantage to departing for a Western Mediterranean itinerary from one of the United Kingdom's three ports is that ships have to cross the Bay of Biscay, which can be smooth as glass or, well, not. Those folks worried at all about seasickness should definitely pack their remedies of choice.

Western Mediterranean Cruise Deals in 2017

Sail DateCruise LineShipDestinationDepartsNightsPriceYou SaveDiscounts
Jun 25, 2017NorwegianStarMediterraneanVenice7$1,04918%
Jul 01, 2017CunardQueen VictoriaMediterraneanRome7$1,0191%
Sep 01, 2017CelebrityReflectionMediterraneanCivitavecchia10$1,64928%
Sep 02, 2017CunardQueen VictoriaMediterraneanAthens7$1,0896% 
Sep 03, 2017Royal CaribbeanFreedom of the SeasMediterraneanBarcelona7$889

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