Best Western Mediterranean Cruises

The Best Western Mediterranean Cruises has one of the most diverse cruise regions.  A western Mediterranean cruise covers two continents; Europe and Africa.  This region includes Italy, France and Spain, Morocco and Tunisia. This cruise is great for art and history lovers who also wish to explore the region’s landmarks, beaches, cafes and boutique shops.  The Mediterranean Europe is one of the most culturally rich and exotic destinations in the world.  You can visit places like the ancient stone villages and sunny beaches of Portugal, or the middle Turkey.  Whether you want stunning landscapes, wonderful cuisine, or you are just looking for a cultural experience, there is something for everyone on a Western Mediterranean Cruise.  Make sure to check out the best Western Mediterranean cruise ports not to miss.

When Should You Go?

The high season in the Mediterranean is the summer.  It will be hot and sunny, the water warm, and millions will head to the coast to soak up the sun. The best time to take a western Mediterranean cruise is in the spring or late fall, which 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. Families might want to cruise from mid-June to mid-August, when ship’s children’s facilities are running at full speed, but fares may be pricier and ports will be more crowded.  If you want to travel even earlier in the year, head to the southern destinations.  Sardinia, Corsica, and Malta are beautiful in April.  Late March up thru April is a perfect time to visit Morocco, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and the beautiful blue Adriatic Sea.

Wildlife in the Mediterranean

The primary reason people take a Western Mediterranean cruise is for the cultural experience, but if you are looking for wildlife, you will not be disappointed.  There is a variety of marine life including swordfish, tuna, dolphins, and a few sharks in the Mediterranean waters.  Along the coasts of Albania, Greece, and Turkey you will find Loggerhead turtles and the endangered monk seals.  Birdlife is also abundant.  Portugal, Morocco, and Spain have populations of storks, flamingos, pelicans, spoonbills, and egrets.  Golden eagles and huge black vultures can be seen in Greece and Albania.  The rare white pelican can be found in Montenegro, where the 27 mile long Lake Skadar has the largest bird sanctuary in Europe.  There are also over 250 species of birdlife in Turkey that migrate there each spring and fall.

Best Western Mediterranean Cruise Lines

Seabourn Odyssey

With a nearly 1-to-1 crew-to-passenger ratio, the Seabourn Odyssey welcomes cruisers with its top-notch customer service. The ship began is an all-suite vessel. Travelers can enjoy complimentary Champagne upon arrival, fresh fruit daily and 24-hour room service, plus everyone has access to a personal suite stewardess for additional requests. Each cabin is equipped with a separate living area and bedroom, a stocked bar, a flat-screen television, a walk-in closet and a bathroom with a tub, shower and dual sinks.  There are four dining options, nightly entertainment and onboard amenities that include two pools, six outdoor hot tubs, a fitness center, a nine-hole putting green and a spa. The ship also allows cruisers to enjoy water sports equipment like kayaks, paddle boats and Hobie Cat sailboats.  Scroll down to the best ports of call not to miss.

Viking Sky, all about cruises, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, Best Western Mediterranean cruise, cruise deals, Western Mediterranean cruiseViking Sky

The Viking Sky is one of the newest ships in Viking’s ocean cruising line.  All cabins offer 270 to 1,448 square feet of space, and include balconies, complimentary Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs and bathrooms with heated floors, among other amenities.  Viking Sky’s activities include classes at the fitness center, treatments at the spa and destination-focused lectures. The ship also offers four pools and whirlpools, including an infinity pool on the stern of the ship. In the evenings, passengers can enjoy live performances in the theater or watch destination-related movies in one of two cinemas.  With 550 crew members on board, the ship maintains a nearly 2-to-1 guest-to-crew ratio.

Viking Star, all about cruises, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, Best Western Mediterranean cruise, cruise deals, Western Mediterranean cruiseViking Star

The Viking Star stands outs for its staterooms, which all have a veranda. Cabins range from the 270-square-foot Veranda cabins to the 1,448-square-foot Owner’s Suite, which offers a dining area that can seat six, an ocean view dry sauna and a boardroom that seats 12, among other amenities.  Amenities include a spa, several shops, a theater that hosts live performances and lectures, two cinemas for screening movies and two pools, including a glass-backed infinity pool cantilevered off the stern.  Guests will have eight dining options to choose from, all with no additional charge or fee.

Seven Seas Voyager, all about cruises, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, Best Western Mediterranean cruise, cruise deals, Western Mediterranean cruiseSeven Seas Voyager

The Seven Seas Voyager has all-suite accommodations, which include flat-screen TVs, private balconies and marble bathrooms.  Passengers can lounge poolside or receive treatments at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub.  Guests can dine at one of the ship’s six venues, and all specialty dining is included in the cruise fare.  When nighttime rolls around, guests can try their luck at the casino, catch a stage production at the Constellation Theater or savor a nightcap at one of four lounges and bars.

Azamara Quest, all about cruises, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, Best Western Mediterranean cruise, cruise deals, Western Mediterranean cruiseAzamara Quest

The Quest appeals to travelers seeking an intimate, relaxed atmosphere. The ship’s staterooms include flat-screen TVs, minibars and 24-hour room service. Suites offer additional perks such as 235 complimentary Internet minutes and complimentary specialty dining. Cruisers can also spend time at the spa and fitness facilities, which previous passengers described as modern and comfortable.  Onboard entertainment includes seminars, wine tastings among other enrichment programs. At night, passengers can enjoy blackjack in Casino Luxe, take in shows at the Cabaret Lounge or sip cocktails at one of the three lounges.

Crystal Serenity, all about cruises, best cruise deals, best priced cruises, Best Western Mediterranean cruise, cruise deals, Western Mediterranean cruiseCrystal Serenity

Crystal Serenity features Crystal Penthouses and a series of renovated restaurants. A main highlight is the herb garden, which boasts olive trees and fresh lavender. And with 12 onboard restaurants, there are plenty of dining options.  85 percent of all staterooms are appointed with verandas, and all cabins come with flat-screen TVs, minifridges and bathrooms with tubs. Guests staying in a Penthouse category room have access to extras like Jacuzzis, nightly hors’ d’oeuvres and personal butler service.  The Serenity has language classes, wine and food tastings, and personalized service with 655 crew members catering to 1,070. Amenities include a feng shui-inspired spa, five bars and lounges, a casino, shopping boutiques, and a sports deck with a driving range.

Best Western Mediterranean Cruise Ports

The list of ports in the Western Mediterranean is long.  Here are the cruise ports that should not be missed:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Almeria-Spain-300x100.jpgAlmeria Spain

While the Spanish port of Almeria’s biggest draw is certainly its beaches, which are excellent for enjoying any number of water-based activities or sunning the day away, the city is a wonderful place to experience authentic Andalucian culture. Visitors will also find many galleries, shops and restaurants, as well as museums and historic landmarks. Looking for shore excursions in Almeria?  Visit Almeria Spain here for our Almeria Travel Guide.  Best Almeria Spain Hotel:  Hotel El Trebol

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Barcelona-Spain-300x157.jpgBarcelona Spain

Barcelona is also a city with distinct neighborhoods.  Ciutat Vella is the heart of everything, with museums, shopping and cafes.  Then there’s Port Vell which features bars, restaurants, shops, an IMAX theater and the largest aquarium in Europe. Barri Gotic is the center of the old city and brings together the best of Barcelona in a series of narrow streets, shops, cafes and magical corridors.   One of Barcelona’s best attributes is that  its neighborhoods are walkable and easily accessible by bus, metro or even on foot. Don’t miss a stroll along Las Ramblas, with produce and flower stands, a historic opera house and the Erotica Museum.  Visit our Barcelona Travel Guide for information on Barcelona and the best shore excursions.  Best Barcelona Spain Hotel:  Hotel Tropical Gava Mar

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Corsica-France-300x117.jpgCorsica (Ajaccio) France

No doubt about it: Ajaccio is a great cruise port — easily explored on foot; crammed with good restaurants and well-stocked, unusual shops.  You’ll find Italian influence here in some street names and in the local cuisine; though essentially French, it has a spicy undertone and features pork as a popular ingredient.  In terms of shops and restaurants, Ajaccio feels 100 percent French. Expect pretty patisseries, stylish fashion shops and pharmacy windows, packed with every beauty accessory known to woman — but at prices so high they would make a Parisien gasp. This is an island, after all; everything has to be imported, and that’s reflected in the price tags.  Visit our Corsica France Travel Guide for information on Corsica and the best shore excursions.  Best Corsica Hotel:  Casadelmar

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Ferrol-Spain-300x199.jpgFerrol Spain

A former fishing village in the northwest of Spain, Ferrol exemplifies authentic Galician culture and is packed with sights and attractions for visitors to explore throughout its various neighborhoods. Within the city, tourists can visit a castle, museums covering a variety of topics and historic churches. There are also several beaches in Ferrol, each unique and well-suited for a hot day.  For a list of shore excursions in Ferrol, visit our El Ferrol Spain Travel Guide.  Best Ferrol Spain Hotel:  Noa Boutique Hotel.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Madeira-Portugal-300x129.jpgMadeira (Funchal) Portugal

Cruisers who have Funchal as one of their stops will find cuisine that celebrates the freshest ingredients, a population that is joyous and gracious, activities that run the gamut from vigorous hiking to placid contemplation of nature, and great shopping opportunities for locally made crafts and embroidery.  Best Madeira Portugal Hotel:  Albatroz Beach & Yacht Club.  For a list of shore excursions in Madeira, visit our Madeira Travel Guide.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Marseille-France-300x200.jpgMarseille France

Most cruisers make a beeline for Le Vieux Port, a buzzing, picturesque harbor lined with boutiques, restaurants and cafes. This district attracts an eclectic crowd, from local fishermen to millionaires venturing ashore from James Bond-style mega-yachts. All gather to soak up Le Vieux Port’s charming atmosphere, browse its bustling markets and tuck into a bowl of Marseille’s classic signature dish, bouillabaisse (a rich fish stew).  For a list of shore excursions, visit our Marseille France Travel Guide.  Best Marseille France Hotel:  Le Petit Nice – Passedat


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Monaco-France-300x169.jpgMonaco (Monte Carlo) France

Arriving by ship into the Monte Carlo harbor is an amazing experience. If your docking time is before dawn, you’ll see the lights of the principality twinkling throughout the mountains that surround the harbor and the beautifully lit Grand Casino at center stage. If you arrive during daylight hours, you are faced with the sight of one magnificent yacht after another vying for space in the little harbor.  Whenever you are fortunate enough to visit Monaco and the dazzling district of Monte Carlo, you’ll find plenty to do. In fact, these 485 acres offer so much, you’ll need to come back to explore again.  For a list of shore excursions, visit our Monaco Travel Guide.  Best Monaco France Hotel:  Hotel Cap Estel

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Naples-Italy-300x107.jpgNaples Italy

Naples is home to architectural highpoints  that includes the Gallerias Principe di Napoli and Umberto II, the royal palaces, churches and former convents. This is a city of broad avenues as well as narrow alleyways. The port of Naples serves as a gateway to key destinations — Pompeii, Sorrento, Ravello, Positano, Capri and Ischia — but it is also a city to be enjoyed in its own right.  For a list of shore excursions in Naples, visit our Naples Italy Travel Guide.  Best Naples Italy Hotel:  Amodomus Luxury Suites

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Palma-de-Malorca-Spain-300x225.jpgPalma de Mallorca Spain

The architecture of this Mediterranean port mixes Gothic, Moorish and Renaissance styles. Palma’s winding streets find their way to grand churches, yacht harbors, beaches, fountains and old castles. Because there is so much history, it’s a perfect port to explore on foot. Palma de Mallorca is also an outdoors city, with much pedestrian traffic and the opportunity to eat or relax outside in a variety of settings — parks and boulevards, and museums and historical sites. For sun worshippers, the beaches are close by and the water is wonderfully clear.  For a list of shore excursions and area information about Palma de Mallorca, visit our Palma de Mallorca Spain travel guide.  Best Palma de Mallorca Spain Hotel:  Playa de Palma.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Portofino-Italy-300x148.jpgPortofino Italy

The town sits on a tiny bay within the Gulf of Tigullio; pastel-colored buildings rim the harbor while the verdant land surrounding it rises almost vertically. It’s a naturally beautiful environment, so much so that the promontory to the north of the village has been designated a national park, complete with paths and trails for all to enjoy. The sea surrounding it has also been declared a national park and a diver’s and snorkeler’s haven, where red coral grows and flourishes. A bit further out at sea is the “Cetacean Sanctuary,” where whales and dolphins congregate peacefully.  The yachts that line the harbor give one a sense of what the village has in store, along with the stunning backdrop of sapphire-colored water and bougainvilleas trailing down the mountainsides. There’s Louis Vuitton! Ferragamo! Gucci! There’s Cartier and Hermes! There’s a cafe where for a cool $10 you can buy yourself a Coke or a cup of coffee! Oh, all of these and more are within view, but it’s the natural beauty of the place that can make you breathless.  For more information about Portofino and shore excurions in Portofino, visit our Portofino Italy Travel Guide.  Best Portofino Italy Hotel:  Excelsior Palace Hotel

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Rome-Italy-300x225.jpgCivitavecchia (Rome), Italy

First-time visitors will be surprised by the scenic layout, with its famous seven hills and the Tiber River running through the city, and the senses may be shocked by the general energy, hustle and bustle. With cars, taxis and scooters roaring here and there, crossing the street can be a challenge.  The food is wonderful and the spirit of the good life abounds.  And the shopping scene serves up Prada, Gucci, Armani and more. What could be better than that?  Rome has one of the world’s most important collections of once-in-a-lifetime sights to see, including St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum and on and on and on. And for those historic monuments alone, the city is worth a visit.  Looking for Civitavecchia Shore Excursions?  Visit our Civitavecchia Cruise Port Travel Guide for everything you need.  Best Civitavecchia (Rome) Italy Hotel:  Villa Hotel Valle Del Marta Resort 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Saint-Tropez-France-300x116.jpgSaint-Tropez, France

The first things that you see when you arrive in the harbor,  are glamorous yachts.  The town itself is full of amber-colored buildings surrounding the port, narrow streets, and alleys that climb away from it to the hills above. The Citadelle is visible from the sea. Saint-Tropez is a small French town with history and a sense of place, a maritime sensibility, world-renowned sandals and the famous Tarte Tropezienne, a cream-and-sponge cake developed by a relocated Pole from a recipe he got from his grandmother.  It is perfect embodiment of the French Riviera, and the best thing about Saint-Tropez is that you can make it your own and choose the way you want to see it.  For information on the best Saint Tropez shore excursions, visit our Port of Saint Tropez Travel Guide.  Best Saint-Tropez France Hotel:  Les Terrasses du Bailli

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Salerno-Italy-300x169.jpgSalerno, Italy

From historic churches and museums to glittering coastline and a mountainous national park, visitors will find much to explore in Salerno. Though the city dates back to ancient times it has undergone many periods of revitalization and modernization and offers any amenity one can think of. Additionally, other cities along the Amalfi Coast can easily be reached from Salerno.  Visiting the port of Salerno?  Visit our Salerno Travel Guide for a great list of shore excursions and all the information you will need for your visit.  Best Salerno Italy Hotel:  Il San Pietro di Positano

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Sorrento-Italy-300x200.jpgSorrento, Italy

This clifftop town — with its alfresco cafes, 19th-century villas-turned-hotels, warrens of old city shopping streets and coastal views — is a picturesque place to spend a relaxing day ashore. Sorrento offers cruisers a delectable taste of Italy that will leave you hungrily anticipating later ports of call along the Italian coast or yearning to return to take a bigger bite out of the scenic Amalfi Coast.  For a list of the best Sorrento shore excursions, visit our Sorrento Travel Guide.  Best Sorrento Italy Hotel:  Bellevue Syrene


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Valletta-Malta-1-300x138.jpgValletta, Malta

Once you are in the protected harbor of Valletta, it feels as though modern civilization has disappeared. You’ll see a car or two driving on the winding streets amid the limestone battlements, castles and hillside structures, but they’ll seem out of place.  Malta is has 7,000 years of interesting history, yet is still fully modernized and contemporary.  When you enter the Valletta Harbor, you’ll see stone battlements of forts along the waterway, along with cream-colored buildings and ancient church steeples.  Colorful luzzo boats maneuver the waters around the cruise ships and tankers.  For the best Valletta Shore Excursions, visit our Valletta Malta Travel Guide.  Best Valletta Malta Hotel:  Rosselli


  1. Dany

    We’ve been last in such kind of cruise. The starting and ending point was Barcelona. We visit most of the cities mentioned by you.
    The Mediterranean cruises are a must. Next on my list is a cruise with a stopping in Valletta.
    Are you aware which cruise line is operating on the Greek islands?
    Thanks for the great info. Waiting for more informative articles.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      If you want to cruise to the Greek Islands, I would recommend using NCL, Azamara, or Viking cruises. All of them cruise the Greek Islands. And yes, a Mediterranean cruise is a must for any cruiser. Malta is on my bucket list. I have not been there yet, so I am wanting to go to Valletta as well! Thanks for stopping by and visiting the Best Western Mediterranean Cruises.

  2. Melissa

    Leahrae, it’s the middle of winter here and I’m sitting as close to my heater as possible with a dreadful head cold. Many of our friends have travelled to Europe to escape this winter and we’re here trying to stay warm. So obviously I headed over to your website again to escape for a little bit and see what delights you’re writing about! We’ve never been on a cruise before and it is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Your photos and descriptions give me the travel bug for sure. Your site always gives me ideas and places to look forward to. One day.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Melissa, you keep dreaming and visiting! One day soon, you will just have to do it! I am curious where you live that it is cold right now 🙁 I live in sunny and beautiful Florida. I kind of complained because our winter was not a winter at all. It was a winter of nothing but record highs! Please come back again and when you are ready, let me know. I know I can help you save some money!

  3. Donald

    Even though I have never been to this part if the world, it is very beautiful and inviting. I love the way you broke down each of the available cruises and the many ports to visit and spend time in. Once again, your post have every detail that you might need in your planning of an European cruise.

    The history is as deep as the beauty of this region of the world.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Very true Donald. The history, culture and architecture alone is wonderful. Then all all the rest, and you have yourself a perfect cruise. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Stratos

    For the last three years my wife and I were thinking to go on a cruise since we never had tried that before. Now with children it’s a bit difficult but we are planning when they grow a little to try this as it was always one of our future plans. Your article really gave me a few ideas to keep in mind. Thank you and keep informing us!!!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome, and the kids will have a blast on a cruise! They have so many programs and fun things to keep the kids busy. It would be a great family vacation. They also have cabins specifically designed for families. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Sarah

    Love all of your information and its nice to find a site that is easy to navigate around, and attractive too!
    I went on a cruise years ago, and would love to go on another one – your website is certainly helping me find which one I would like to go on – now just to convince the other half 😉

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Sarah for stopping by and leaving me comments. It shouldn’t be too hard to convince your other half 🙂 Cruises are wonderful!

  6. Jose Martinez

    I’m planning on going to France and it had never crossed my mind to go on a cruise there. I will definitely be looking into it now though. Maybe one day I will be able to go to all of these different places. This is a really informative article, thank you.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Jose, and thanks for stopping by Beach Travel Destinations. If you have any questions, just shoot me a message 🙂

  7. Mick Krug

    I really enjoyed your video. Western Mediterranean Cruises have some great ports in Spain, France and Italy. No language barrier for us as we speak four languages in my family, not counting the French we all took in school and have since forgotten. Although my wife and I would be able to understand the French spoken to us. She took it in school too and has forgotten it as well. Some great ports for one to visit with great food too! I know my wife would really like the ports in Spain since she used to work for the Embassy of Spain in DC for many years.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Wow, so cool Mick! Sounds like your family would love a Western Mediterranean cruise! I have family in Italy and in Spain, but don’t speak any other language other than German. Thanks for visiting the Best Western Mediterranean Cruises.

  8. Ronda

    such an amazing cruises and places to go, i would love to see Portofino in Italy someday and find my love there 🙂

    nice sharing dear thank you

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You and me both Ronda! Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations!

  9. Amy

    What an amazing list of ports! They are all on my list, and never thought about Western Mediterranean cruises before — I always thought that all the cruises in the Mediterranean were pretty much the same, but I see now that there are countless options! The photos are beautiful and it will be a very difficult choice to select an itinerary. Wherever I go, I would like to do it on the Seven Seas Voyager so that I can go to the Canyon Ranch SpaClub…! Thanks for some great info!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Amy! Yes, there are so many choices, options, ports to choose, and various shore excursions. You do have a lot of flexibility on a cruise. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Fred Rexroat

    Thanks for the help with vacation planning. Never been on a cruise but wow this might change my mind. So many choices to choose from one would have to choose by the price. I would love to be able to go on a cruise someday when I become successful and can afford it. I will know where to look for information now just check this site out.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I can tell you Fred, that cruises are more bang for your buck than a regular vacation. You take a week vacation with airfare, hotel, food, activities and that is going to add up to more than it would cost for a one week cruise. I believe that Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and MCL all have wonderful cruises available at really decent prices. Then if you go back to my site and click on Avoya Travel, they WILL help you find the best deal. I have used them before and their prices cannot be beat.

  11. Linsey

    Love all the info you have provided. My hubby and I have been talking about a cruise for quite sometime now. We just didn’t know much about the ships and the good times to go would be.
    We will look into this more and hopefully book something near his time off.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok Linsey, you guys are going to have a blast on a cruise. I would suggest a Western or Bahamas cruise for your first cruise. You can go to Take A Cruise on my site and go thru the various cruises, and also book with Avoya travel which really does have the best deals.

  12. Robert M Doyle

    Another great post. I think I would like the Viking Sky cruise. I am debating Spain or Madiera, Portugal. I would go during the spring or late fall. I know it is quite hot now, and rates will be lower later on. I got my DNA test and I am 4% Spain/Portugal descent. Lovely place to visit. Looks beautiful!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I can tell you Robert, that Spain is an awesome place! I consider myself half German and half Norwegian. I am considering the DNA test myself, just to see. Never know. Anyways, that was off track. A Mediterranean cruise is wonderful. I think that I could go at any time of the year, just not when it is cold. Thanks for visiting the Best Western Mediterranean Cruise.

  13. Eric

    These are the best Western Mediterranean cruises I have ever seen. Although I must admit I haven’t really typed that into a search before, I just know by now to come here and find out more so that I can add it to my list of places to see someday. Italy is one of those places that I know a cruise to will be too short for the duration I would like to stay and just eat. But the same thing goes for France, Spain, Greece, Turkey and all the others.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree Eric, I think a cruise is a great way to get a taste for these wonderful places. Then head back for a land vacation, spend a little more time and just enjoy 🙂 Thanks for reading about the best Western Mediterranean Cruises.


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