Ultimate Western Mediterranean Cruise Guide – 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. For tips on cruises, visit here or visit us on Pinterest.
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. Learn more about The Best Cruise Vacation Tips here, or visit us on Pinterest.
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. Bird life 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 bird life in Turkey that migrate there each spring and fall.
Best Western Mediterranean Cruise Lines
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. Find your cruise here.
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. Find your cruise here.
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. Find your cruise here.
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. Find your cruise here.
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. Find your cruise here.
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, mini fridges and bathrooms with tubs. Guests staying in a Penthouse category room have access to extras like Jacuzzi’s, 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. Find your cruise here.
The 10 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:
Barcelona comes next on the list. This city gives a refreshing view for visitors by offering the marvelous architecture of Antoni Gaudi. Cruisers can wander local streets and markets for places to grab a delicious bite to eat. For the best sightseeing stops, make sure Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Cathedral, and Park Guell are all on your list. What to Buy: Cava, cheese, Catalan sauces, and modernist books. Visit our Barcelona Spain Travel Guide for additional planning information. Find a Barcelona Cruise Here.
Also known as the heart of Western Civilization, Athens is a perfect mix of the ancient and modern world. Many know Athens as the place where democracy was born, as well. One of the most popular places to explore here is the Plaka Quarter, which is in the Acropolis neighborhood. This place has cute little shops, restaurants, and taverns. What to Buy: Tasty natural products, leather sandals, olive oil, and blue ‘evil eye’ talisman. Find an Athens Greece Cruise here. For more travel information about Athens Greece, visit our Athens Greece Travel Guide here.
Dubrovnik is just beside the Adriatic sea and offers spectacular views of the crystal blue water. This is also the perfect location for any Game of Thrones fans, as much of the show was shot in this city. What to Buy: Lavender oil, Olive oil, coral handmade jewelry, Croatian wine, and Croatian cookbook. Find a Dubrovnik Croatia Cruise Here. For travel planning, visit our Dubrovnik Croatia Travel Guide.
Ancient ruins and exciting stories await you with every single step in this epicenter of culture and history. Rome is the most widely-recognized Mediterranean city, and with good reason. Make sure you don’t miss the Pantheon, Colosseum, Forum, Vatican City and Trevi Fountain. What to Buy: Ceramics, sweets and pastries, wine, Artisan chocolate, and religious art. Find Rome Italy cruises here. For a list of shore excursions in Madeira, visit our Madeira Travel Guide.
Marseille is the second-largest city in France, next to Paris, and is home to many historical landmarks. Take in the beauty of Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, or chat it up with the fisherman at the Old Port. What to Buy: Beautiful soaps, a bottle of Pastis, spices, and traditional biscuits. Plan a Marseille France Cruise Here. For a list of shore excursions, visit our Marseille France Travel Guide.
If you are visiting Naples, don’t forget to try some delicious pizza from one of the city’s famous eateries. Aside from delectable Italian food, you’ll want to make a stop in Pompeii, of course. Wander in the ruins of Pompeii, where you’ll find magnificent remains and broken temples. A day in Naples isn’t complete without a boat ride to Capri, where you can relax and sip on a glass of wine. Also, if you want something more adventurous, embark on a Blue Grotto Cave tour during your visit. What to Buy: Creche Pieces, Christmas ornaments, masquerade masks, good luck charms, and music boxes. Looking for a Naples Italy Cruise?… Visit here. For a list of shore excursions in Naples, visit our Naples Italy Travel Guide.
Livorno is the most famous of Tuscany’s port cities. Knows for its Renaissance-era architecture and bustling port, this 16th-century city is also duty-free, making it a great place to purchase souvenirs. While you’re here, Monumento dei Quattro Mori (Four Moors Statue) is something you won’t want to miss. This statue commemorates the victory of Ferdinand I — the perfect stop for any history buffs. What to Buy: Wine, cheese, truffles, olive oil, ceramics, and leather items. Find a Western Mediterranean Cruise to Livorno Here. To learn more about Livorno Italy and start travel planning, visit The Best of Livorno Italy here.
Santorini is probably one of the most popular Greek islands and is well-known for being the perfect getaway. The colorful cliffs, whitewashed buildings, and gorgeous sunsets and beaches are all impossible to ignore. It is a perfect place to walk around without a vehicle, as it allows you to truly soak in all the island as to offer. Besides the beautiful outdoors, another great attraction to check out is the museum of Prehistoric Thera. What to Buy: Wooden Art pieces, donkey milk products, Santorini wine, and Volcanic scrub stones. Check out Western Mediterranean cruises to include Santorini here. For additional Santorini planning, visit our Santorini Greece Travel Guide.
Visiting Venice by cruise ship is the most exciting way to travel. It’s so easy to just get lost in the beautiful streets, canals, and bridges of this romantic city. If you get tired from walking, not to worry, gondola rides through the canals are abounding. Also, feast your eyes on all the pasta and wine you can imagine while you’re here, it might be even more breathtaking than the scenery. For a perfect way to end your evening of love, head to Piazza San Marco for some gorgeous views. What to Buy: Murano Glass, masks, doorknockers, handmade shoes, Pasta, Baicoli Biscuit, and handmade paper. Find the best Western Mediterranean cruise to Venice Here. Learn more about The Best of Venice Italy here.
While you may have never heard of it before, the town of Kotor is filled to the brim with lovely sights. From magnificent trees and spectacular landscapes, you’ll fall in love with this hidden gem of the Mediterranean as soon as you arrive. What to Buy: Kapa hat and Vranac wine. Find your Western Mediterranean Cruise here. To plan your vacation to Kotor, visit The Best of Kotor Montenegro Here.
Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
The best place to visit by ship, Olympia offers a wonderful diversity of activities. The main attraction of this city is Percival Landing Park, which is situated on the Budd Bay. Another attraction is a Bigelow House Museum, which is full of Olympian history. What to Buy: Candles and candle making supplies, make-up products, and Tobacco. Looking to visit Katakolon Greece on a cruise? Check out Western Mediterranean Cruises here. You can also visit The Best of Katakolon Greece and start planning!