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The Best Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Destinations
By Sharon
Pushed April 12, 2017
The Best Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Destinations
The Best Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Destinations

An Eastern Mediterranean cruise holiday takes you to a paradise that anybody will enjoy. The cruise will combine beaches, history and some of the best scenery in the world. Along the coast of Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt an Eastern Mediterranean cruise will entertain travelers from any walk of life. Cruising to this end of the Mediterranean also leads to where Europe meets Asia: right in the middle of the mosques and minarets of Istanbul.
Venice is well known for its canals and their gondola. Venice has to be seen to be believed, it is a photographers dream with sights and spectacular scenes around every corner. Venice boasts over 1400 years of historic architecture and culture. A top tip is to buy the 12-hour Vaporetto ticket that will enable you to take in 50 places, six churches, four bridges and two open-air markets of the Grand Canal. Venice by night is a particularly romantic experience.
When you are cruising the eastern Mediterranean, your itinerary will certainly involve stopping in Athens (Piraeus), where you might know that shore excursion in Acropolis is really popular, which offers you heap loads to do and see. If you look at the other European cruise itineraries in Greece, they involve stops such as in Corfu.
Corfu is one of the beautiful Greek islands and one of the most popular due to its stunning scenery and great beaches. Located just off the West coast of Greece, Corfu enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate along with its excellent beaches and surprisingly lush greenery. Corfu is littered with luxurious resorts but arriving by cruise ship gives you the advantage that you will land right in the heart of the action. Corfu has many sandy beaches but two of the best are the Agios Georgios...There are two of them, one north and one south.
Athens is a great location for a shore excursion. The area has some of the oldest architecture in the world and in fact, the whole area is steeped in history and culture. It is a fascinating place to wander round with art and monuments around every corner. The Agora-Athens central market is a must visit and many a bargain can be had.
Istanbul is a unique location on an Eastern Mediterranean cruise. Istanbul is on the Turkish coast and is a popular stop for cruises. Istanbul and its bustling markets are famous throughout the world for bargain shopping. Get your haggling hat on because the locals expect you to haggle for everything. For many, it's one of the major highlights of an Eastern Mediterranean cruise.
When it comes to beautiful architecture and ancient history Istanbul is hard to beat. With its blend of Western culture and modernity and ancient Turkish history, the city is a fascinating place to visit. The city is packed full of little bazaars selling all sorts of goods, great for anyone who likes a little shopping. Highlights include the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, and the Blue Mosque, all of which are well worth a visit. It's not just the major sites though; a walk around the city will allow you to enjoy some of Istanbul's famous architecture
Best Time for Eastern Mediterranean Cruises
Generally speaking, most Eastern Mediterranean cruises set sail from spring through fall, with the summer high season hosting the largest number of sailings and people. (Prices are also generally higher, due to demand.) Summer's the time, as well, when the region gets hot, hot, hot. Spring and fall offer lower temperatures, better prices, and fewer crowds.
Winter cruising in the Mediterranean has become more popular, particularly on European lines like MSC and Costa, because sunny skies predominate, and temperatures are moderate, ranging from the 50s to 70s instead of the 80s and higher. You won't have to jostle with peak-season crowds, cruise lines feature longer itineraries with more leisurely schedules, and prices offer more value for your money.
An Eastern European cruise is something you won't forget in a hurry. The cruise offers such a variety of destinations that each port will seem like a different world.
Not sure what company to cruise with? If you just are interested in seeing the 'biggest hits' of the Mediterranean, that visit ports like Rome, Barcelona & Florence then consider cruising with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Princess.
Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Lines

When sailing the Eastern Mediterranean, cruisers are spoiled for choice. Big ships tend to visit big ports -- the "greatest hits" of the Eastern Mediterranean destinations, such as Venice, Athens, and Istanbul. 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. Based in Athens, Celestyal Cruises offers both short and long cruises around the Med and Variety has yacht-style sailings to small Greek islands that aren't served by larger ships, and Noble Caledonia bases its expedition-style Island Sky in the region.

Luxury vessels also ply this region of the Med, including Regent Seven Seas, Azamara, Crystal, Silversea, Oceania, and Seabourn. Often, these voyages not only visit smaller ports like Hvar, Split, Mykonos, Santorini, and Cyprus, but they're longer in duration, also traveling to the Western Mediterranean.


The expedition ships that visit this well-trafficked region tend to be those that are heavy on culture, such as Travel DynamicsVoyages of Discovery and Voyages to Antiquity. Those in search of something different can opt for a yacht-style experience (SeaDream Yacht ClubWindstar and Paul Gauguin) or all-masted ships like Lindblad's Sea Cloud or the ships found in Star Clippers' fleet. Primarily known for its river offerings, Grand Circle also has small ships that it uses on the Dalmatian Coast, as well as in Greece and Turkey.

Many Popular destinations including Turkey, Egypt, and France examined as ISIS threaten UK and USA flag ships. Holland America, Cunard and P&O Cruises to the list of cruise lines that have canceled calls in Turkey through at least the end of 2017. Our top pick for best ports oriented  in  Eastern Mediterranean NCL's cruise ship  Norwegian Spirit for Eastern-Mediterranean Cruise.


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