Cruises around the Mediterranean are popular in the summertime, with millions of tourists setting sail at this time of year. With the promise of glorious hot weather, amazing food and wine, and the best beaches in the world, it’s easy to see why. And whether you’re a seasoned sailor or first-time cruiser, you’ll find so many Mediterranean cruise destinations to take your fancy.
So where does a Mediterranean cruise go? Here are some of the most coveted cruise stops to inspire your next adventure with NCL.
Known as the “cradle of western civilisation”, Rome is one of the most impressive cities for cruising. It is home to important monuments, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Pantheon. If you want a great mix of sightseeing, restaurants, shopping and nightlife, the Italian capital has it all. Rome is also one of our main ports where you can board your cruise, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore.
Cruise travel tip: Get free museum entry on the first Sunday of each month.
Is glamorous Cannes on your cruise destination bucket list? If you have a penchant for luxury, this city in the French Riviera is a must. The annual international film festival makes Cannes a hotspot for celebrities, and you’ll find well-kept beaches to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Enjoy a shopping spree in the many designer boutiques, dine out in style along the oceanfront, or grab a cocktail down Boulevard de la Croisette.
Cruise travel tip: Beware of dress codes for some of the upscale bars and restaurants.
Located on the Costa Blanca, this gorgeous seaside resort city has something for everyone. Book a luxury wine excursion, have a snorkelling adventure at Tabarca, hike up Mount Benacantil, visit Alicante’s quaint old quarter, or relax and sip cocktails on the beach.
Cruise travel tip: If you’ve got time, explore the nearby towns of Villajoyosa and Altea.
Famed for its blue-domed, white-washed buildings, Santorini is one of our most coveted cruise spots in the Med. There are two principle towns, Fira and Oia, both clinging to the cliffs above an underwater crater. If you’re looking for somewhere with a bit of romance, or a picture-perfect location to practice your photography, this popular Greek island isn’t to be missed.
Cruise travel tip: Go to the west coast for sunsets or east coast for quieter beaches.
The Walls of Dubrovnik and the Old Town are the city’s biggest draw, but food and drink should be the main event. You’ll find the best seafood in the Mediterranean at great prices. GoT fans can take a tour of filming locations, beach lovers can hop on excursions to nearby islands, and history buffs can delight in endless museums and architecture.
Cruise travel tip: Pack suitable footwear for the pebble beaches.
MONTE CARLO, MONACO
Another bucket list destination on the French Riviera, as glam and prestigious as Cannes – just much smaller. This tiny independent city-state is a great port for gambling and nightlife, champagne bars and fine dining, boutique shopping, and sunbathing on calm sandy beaches. If you have a few hours to spare, visit the 9th Century village of St. Paul de Vence, renowned for its medieval charm.
Cruise travel tip: Head to Les Puce des Fontvieille flea market for souvenir bargains.
Not only is Venice one of the top Mediterranean cruise destinations, but it’s also one of our three main ports. If you’re planning a romantic getaway, you can start and finish your journey here. Its famous central square (Piazza San Marco) and the St. Mark’s Basilica are a must, and there are numerous islands to explore.
Cruise travel tip: Get around by vaporetti (water bus) – it’s the cheapest way to travel!
Along with Rome, Athens is another city that holds important historical significance. It is the gateway to the world of Ancient Greece, home to sights such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Agora, and the Erechtheion Temple – all of which are close enough to tackle in a day. Or you can visit the Temple of Poseidon, an hour up the coast at Cape Sounion.
Cruise travel tip: Buy a cheap day travel ticket to get around on all public transport.
For a taste of the exotic, get on a cruise to explore the Moroccan coastline. The city is actually facing the North Atlantic, but is closely linked to the Mediterranean Sea. The port of Casablanca is where east meets west. With Roman, French, Arab and Portuguese roots, you’ll be blown away by its history. Be sure to visit the Old Medina, Casablanca Cathedral, and El Maarif for art and shopping.
Cruise travel tip: Casablanca’s medinas have the best street food – come with an empty belly.
Is there such thing as the perfect city? Barcelona certainly comes close. It’s the ideal mix of big city amenities, great food, top nightlife and a huge beach. Tapas and pintxo bars are never ending, shops are ample, and you’ll find the most spectacular creations by Gaudi – such as the Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, and the mosaics at Park Guell.
Cruise travel tip: Eat like a local and hunt down authentic tapas bars away from the main strip.
For cruises around the Mediterranean, order your summer cruise brochure today.