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A Mediterranean cruise holiday has something for everyone, with a vast array of sun-drenched, beautiful beaches to recharge yourselves on, a huge variety of mouth-watering cuisine to savour as your journey progresses, bags of culture to feast your mind on and endless tantalising shopping to be seduced by!
Due to its proximity from the UK, no-fly cruises to the Med are popular with first time cruisers, family cruisers and seasoned sailors alike, often sailing directly from Southampton to take in all your favourite spots.
Taking a Med fly cruise offers a massive choice of itineraries from the major ports of the Western Med to the more intimate locations of the Eastern Mediterranean. One of the most popular choices is to take a cruise from Southampton with Royal Caribbean UK or P&O Cruises. Typical ports of call are Rome, Barcelona and the French Riviera. You can also take shorter cruises by taking a fly cruise departing from Barcelona, Italy or Greece, or from right in the heart of the Med on a Malta cruise.
However, don't forget that you don't have to limit your Med cruise holiday to simply staying on your cruise ship. If you fancy giving yourself some more time to enjoy what the Mediterranean has to offer, why not combine a cruise with a few nights in one of the Med's historic cities or by the sandy white beaches on a cruise and stay Mediterranean holiday?
One of the joys of a Mediterranean cruise is the variety of cuisine you can try during your holiday thanks to the different countries you'll get to visit. Famous for its healthy, flavoursome dishes made with the best local produce, your tastebuds will go on a journey of discovery during your cruise. With so much to choose from, here are a few highlights from the countries you may visit along the way:
When's best for a Mediterranean cruise depends on what you're looking for. The summer months of June, July and August are of course very popular, with high temperatures and long days meaning you can make the most out of soaking up the sun and exploring each and every destination to the maximum. However, fares at this time of year are higher and cruises will be busier, so if you're looking for a quieter cruise with better value for money, spring and autumn, such as February, offer mild weather and fewer crowds.
There's also the opportunity to cruise in the winter months, and with cruise ships going to destinations such as the Canary Islands, Malta, Crete and Cyprus, you'll still be able to enjoy a bit of winter sun.
You'll never be at a loss for something to do during your cruise around the Mediterranean , during which your ports of call will take you to some of those most iconic cities in Europe. Whether you find yourself docked in Rome, Barcelona, Split or anywhere in between, you can spend your days immersing yourself in the history and culture that each of these places has to offer. Full of quaint streets, old towns, historical monuments and modern architecture, you'll be able to lose yourself for hours in the heart of each destination.
As well as exploring the ports of call, there are plenty of activities to enjoy during your time in the Mediterranean. From diving into the ocean on scuba diving and snorkelling trips to sunbathing on the stunning coastline, you'll never want to leave.
In addition, while a Western Mediterranean cruise is the most popular choice, Eastern Mediterranean cruises can offer you a different side of the Mediterranean. With fly cruises from Venice, Rome and Athens you have a choice of 7 to 12-night cruises to the Eastern Med as well as 25-night cruises from Southampton, during which ports of call include the Greek islands, Turkey, Croatia and Egypt.
France is home to some of the most glamorous ports, including the luxurious Cannes, sophisticated Monte Carlo and the cosmopolitan town of Nice. Visit the south coast and experience the luxury of a world-class event at the Monaco F1 Grand Prix or immerse yourself in the chic French atmosphere during your summer cruise. France is rich in heritage and has an abundance of natural beauty to enjoy. From breathtaking mountainous regions and stunning open landscapes, France provides the perfect backdrop to discover this cosmopolitan country. If you are looking for a Mediterranean cruise from the UK, France is the perfect destination.
Discover Italy's fascinating history and stunning architecture with a Mediterranean cruise holiday. Enjoy the warm reception from the passionate locals as you explore their animated culture. Stop off in the popular port of Rome and enjoy the rich history, the striking town of Portofino or the enchanting city of Venice. For the most dedicated shopaholic, Milan provides some of the most fashionable shopping to be had in the world while a nearby Croatia cruise combines the best of the Adriatic with Italian ports of call and quaint islands.
Located to the west of Italy, although retaining a very French feel, Corsica has a reputation of being home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. Dock in at the Ajaccio port as part of your Mediterranean cruise and explore this picturesque island. Be sure not to miss Napoleon Bonaparte's house, which has been turned into a fascinating museum and packed full of period furniture and family portraits. You can also look forward to sampling the typical Corsican food, a delicious fusion of French and Italian cuisine.
If you are looking for lashings of culture, then Spain should definitely be at the top of your cruise itinerary. This amazing country has a culturally diverse heritage and is epitomized by its beautiful, vibrant cosmopolitan city, Barcelona. Its Art Nouveau architecture is awe inspiring, as is its Picasso Gallery. Spain has a variety of terrain, ranging from lush flourishing landscapes to the beautiful sandy beaches of towns such as Alicante. Mediterranean cruises to Spain have a special warm, earthy charm and with something for everyone, the whole family will want to come back again.
A cruise around the Med to the stunning coastlines of the beautiful Balearic Islands, where you can now begin your holiday with a cruise from Palma, will give you the best view of some of their enchanting small caves and sun-kissed beaches. However, nothing will inspire you more than a shore excursion to one of the islands to visit all of their hidden gems. Whether you visit the sophisticated, exclusive island of Mallorca, the breathtaking island of Ibiza or the historic, stunning island of Menorca, you cannot fail to be captivated by their many charms.
The Greek islands are one of the highlights along the journey of Mediterranean cruises, where a full sensory experience awaits you. Visually vibrant, lush and beach-combed landscapes abound while taking a trip inland will ignite your sense of smell and leave you intoxicated with pleasant aromatic notes of olive, pine, cypress, orange and lemon. The verdant natural beauty of Corfu, the ancient history of Athens or the traditional culture of Cephalonia are but a few of Greece’s charms. To complete your journey, don't forget to taste the local fortified ouzo and retsina - not for the fainthearted!