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What Cruise Lines Do Mediterranean Cruises


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Martie Furr



Mediterranean cruises have become increasingly popular for travelers seeking a unique and unforgettable experience. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and diverse cultures, the Mediterranean offers a plethora of treasures waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or simply someone looking to relax and unwind, a Mediterranean cruise offers something for everyone.


With its turquoise waters, picturesque ports of call, and charming coastal towns, a Mediterranean cruise allows you to traverse through iconic destinations such as Italy, Greece, Spain, France, and Turkey. You can visit ancient ruins, indulge in local cuisine, soak up the sun on beautiful beaches, and immerse yourself in the fascinating local cultures and traditions.


One of the main advantages of a Mediterranean cruise is the convenience and ease of travel. Instead of having to plan and organize multiple flights, hotel stays, and transfers, a cruise offers a hassle-free way to visit multiple destinations in one trip. You can unpack once and wake up each morning to a new exciting port of call, ready to explore.


Another benefit is the range of activities and amenities offered on board the cruise ships. From swimming pools, spas, and fitness centers to restaurants and entertainment options, there is never a dull moment while sailing through the Mediterranean. Whether you prefer to relax by the pool, participate in onboard activities, or enjoy live performances in the theater, cruise lines ensure that there is something for everyone.


Additionally, Mediterranean cruises provide an opportunity to connect with like-minded travelers from around the world. You can make new friends, share experiences, and create lasting memories together. The social aspect of cruising adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the journey.


Whether you are a seasoned cruiser or new to the world of cruising, a Mediterranean cruise promises an enchanting and immersive experience. It offers the perfect balance of exploration and relaxation, allowing you to discover the wonders of this captivating region in a comfortable and luxurious setting. So, embark on an unforgettable adventure and let the Mediterranean cast its spell on you.


Benefits of Mediterranean Cruises

Mediterranean cruises offer a myriad of benefits that make them a popular choice for travelers looking to explore the region. From the convenience of travel to the diverse range of destinations, here are some key advantages of embarking on a Mediterranean cruise:

  1. Convenience: One of the main perks of a Mediterranean cruise is the convenience it offers. You can visit multiple destinations without the hassle of multiple flights, hotel bookings, and transfers. Simply unpack once and wake up each morning to a new exciting port of call.
  2. Diverse Destinations: The Mediterranean is a treasure trove of stunning destinations, each with its own unique charm. From the ancient ruins of Rome, the vibrant streets of Barcelona, to the idyllic Greek islands, there is something to suit every preference.
  3. Cultural Immersion: A Mediterranean cruise allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history, art, and cultural heritage of the region. Explore ancient ruins, visit world-renowned museums, and witness centuries-old traditions and customs.
  4. Breathtaking Landscapes: The Mediterranean is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, from the shimmering azure waters to the rugged coastlines and picturesque beaches. Sailing through this enchanting region offers spectacular views and photo opportunities at every turn.
  5. Culinary Delights: Food lovers will be in paradise on a Mediterranean cruise. Indulge in fresh seafood, authentic pasta dishes, Mediterranean flavors, and world-class wines. Each port of call offers a chance to savor local specialties and culinary delights.
  6. Onboard Amenities: Cruise lines offer a wide range of amenities and activities to enhance your onboard experience. From relaxing by the pool, enjoying spa treatments, to participating in fitness classes or attending live performances, there is something for everyone.
  7. Family-Friendly: Mediterranean cruises are perfect for families, with a variety of activities and entertainment options to keep children of all ages engaged. Many cruise lines offer dedicated kids’ clubs, babysitting services, and family-friendly shore excursions.
  8. Value for Money: Opting for a cruise vacation can offer excellent value for money. The cost of accommodation, meals, and entertainment are typically included in the cruise fare, making it easier to budget for your trip.
  9. Unique Experiences: From exploring the ruins of Pompeii to sailing through the stunning Greek Isles or witnessing the iconic sights of Istanbul, a Mediterranean cruise offers a chance to create memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.

Embarking on a Mediterranean cruise allows you to experience the best of the region in a convenient and luxurious way. It offers a unique blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and relaxation, making it an enticing choice for travelers of all ages and interests.


Popular Cruise Lines in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is a popular cruise destination, attracting a multitude of cruise lines that offer an array of itineraries and experiences. Here are some of the most renowned cruise lines that operate in the region:

  1. Royal Caribbean International: Known for their innovative ships and extensive onboard amenities, Royal Caribbean offers Mediterranean cruises that cater to all types of travelers. From families to adventure seekers, their itineraries often include popular ports such as Barcelona, Rome, and Athens.
  2. MSC Cruises: MSC Cruises is a well-established brand in the Mediterranean. They offer diverse itineraries exploring iconic destinations such as the Greek Isles, the Italian coast, and the French Riviera. MSC Cruises is known for its elegant ships, excellent cuisine, and immersive cultural experiences.
  3. Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises offers upscale Mediterranean voyages with a focus on luxury, service, and enrichment. Their itineraries often include lesser-known ports along with popular destinations. Onboard, guests can enjoy gourmet dining, enriching activities, and pampering at the Canyon Ranch Spa.
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line offers a more relaxed and casual cruising experience in the Mediterranean. They have a wide range of itineraries, from Western Mediterranean routes including ports like Barcelona and Cannes, to Eastern Mediterranean routes that explore Greece and Turkey.
  5. Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line provides a lively and fun-filled Mediterranean experience. Their family-friendly ships offer a wide range of activities, including water parks, live entertainment, and interactive dining experiences. Itineraries often include popular ports like Naples, Florence, and Dubrovnik.
  6. Princess Cruises: Princess Cruises offers a mix of classic and off-the-beaten-path itineraries in the Mediterranean. Their ships are known for their elegance and style, and their onboard experiences include culinary delights, engaging entertainment, and enriching activities.
  7. Holland America Line: Holland America Line offers a refined and sophisticated Mediterranean cruising experience. Their itineraries often include iconic ports like Venice, Santorini, and Istanbul. Onboard, guests can indulge in world-class cuisine, elegant lounges, and enriching activities.
  8. Costa Cruises: Costa Cruises, an Italian cruise line, showcases the Mediterranean’s vibrant atmosphere and culture. Their itineraries feature a mix of popular and lesser-known ports, offering guests a chance to explore both well-known and hidden gems. Costa Cruises is known for its warm hospitality, tasty Italian cuisine, and lively onboard entertainment.

These are just a few examples of the popular cruise lines that operate in the Mediterranean. Each cruise line offers its own unique style and amenities, catering to different tastes and preferences. Whether you are looking for luxury, family-friendly options, or a budget-friendly experience, there is a Mediterranean cruise line to suit every traveler.


Itinerary Options

Mediterranean cruises offer a wide range of itinerary options, allowing you to explore different regions and experience a variety of ports of call. Here are some popular itinerary options to consider:

  1. Western Mediterranean: This itinerary typically includes ports such as Barcelona, Rome, and the French Riviera. You can visit iconic cities, explore ancient ruins, enjoy the stunning beaches of the Balearic Islands, and indulge in the culinary delights of Italy and France.
  2. Eastern Mediterranean: An Eastern Mediterranean cruise takes you to destinations like Athens, Santorini, and Istanbul. You can explore the ancient wonders of Athens, soak in the sun-drenched Greek islands, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and history of Istanbul.
  3. Greek Isles: A Greek Isles itinerary offers the opportunity to visit the stunning Greek islands, such as Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes. You can stroll through charming whitewashed villages, relax on golden beaches, and discover the rich history and mythology of ancient Greece.
  4. Adriatic and Dalmatian Coast: This itinerary takes you along the picturesque Adriatic Sea, visiting destinations like Venice, Dubrovnik, and Kotor. You can explore romantic canals in Venice, wander the ancient walls of Dubrovnik, and marvel at the natural beauty of the Croatian coastline.
  5. Spanish Mediterranean: This itinerary explores the vibrant cities and stunning islands of Spain, including Barcelona, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands. You can experience the unique blend of history, culture, and gastronomy that Spain has to offer.
  6. Italian Coast: A cruise along the Italian coast allows you to discover the beauty and charm of cities like Naples, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast. You can explore the breathtaking landscapes of the Cinque Terre, visit historical landmarks, and indulge in delectable Italian cuisine.
  7. Middle East and North Africa: For a more exotic experience, you can choose an itinerary that includes destinations like Egypt, Israel, and Morocco. You can explore the ancient wonders of Egypt, visit the historic sites of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Morocco.

These are just a few examples of the many itinerary options available for Mediterranean cruises. Whether you’re interested in exploring iconic cities, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or immersing yourself in fascinating cultures, there is an itinerary to suit every preference. Consider your interests and desired destinations when choosing your Mediterranean cruise itinerary to ensure an unforgettable experience.


Ports of Call in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is home to a multitude of captivating ports that offer unique experiences and a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region. Here are some of the most popular ports of call in the Mediterranean:

  1. Barcelona, Spain: Known for its stunning architecture, vibrant street life, and delicious cuisine, Barcelona offers a mix of cultural attractions and seaside charm. Visit the iconic Sagrada Familia, stroll along Las Ramblas, and indulge in tapas while exploring this vibrant city.
  2. Athens, Greece: Step back in time in Athens, the birthplace of democracy. Explore the ancient Acropolis and its famous Parthenon, wander through the Plaka neighborhood, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s bustling markets and tavernas.
  3. Rome, Italy: The Eternal City is a treasure trove of ancient history and incredible art. Visit the Colosseum, explore the Roman Forum, toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, and savor authentic Italian cuisine in this iconic city.
  4. Istanbul, Turkey: Straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul offers a blend of cultures and stunning landmarks. Visit the iconic Hagia Sophia, explore the vibrant Grand Bazaar, and take a scenic cruise on the Bosphorus to appreciate the city’s unique beauty.
  5. Santorini, Greece: With its jaw-dropping views of whitewashed buildings perched on cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea, Santorini is a picture-perfect destination. Explore the charming villages of Oia and Fira, relax on volcanic beaches, and witness the world-famous Santorini sunset.
  6. Dubrovnik, Croatia: Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” Dubrovnik is a beautifully preserved medieval city. Walk along the historic city walls, visit the iconic Pile Gate, and enjoy the stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.
  7. Naples, Italy: Located near the legendary ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Naples offers a mix of history, culture, and delicious Neapolitan pizza. Explore the narrow streets of the historic center, visit the National Archaeological Museum, or take a day trip to the picturesque Amalfi Coast.
  8. Izmir, Turkey: Situated on the Aegean coast, Izmir is a bustling port city with a fascinating history. Explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus, visit the vibrant Kemeraltı Market, and savor the flavors of Turkish cuisine.
  9. Venice, Italy: Known for its romantic canals and breathtaking architecture, Venice is a city like no other. Take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal, visit St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, and get lost in the narrow streets and charming squares of this unique destination.

These are just a few examples of the many incredible ports of call in the Mediterranean. Each port offers its own unique charm, history, and cultural experiences, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the magic of the region.


Onboard Activities and Entertainment

When cruising the Mediterranean, the adventure and excitement don’t end when you step off the ship. Cruise lines offer a wide array of onboard activities and entertainment to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience throughout your journey. Here are some of the onboard activities and entertainment options you can expect:

  • Swimming Pools and Water Parks: Many cruise ships feature expansive swimming pools, some with thrilling water slides and water parks. Whether you want to relax and soak up the sun or make a splash with the family, there are plenty of options to keep you refreshed and entertained.
  • Live Performances and Shows: Enjoy world-class entertainment in the onboard theaters, where you can watch Broadway-style shows, live music performances, comedy acts, and more. From high-energy productions to intimate acoustic performances, there is something to suit every taste.
  • Casinos and Gaming: Cruise ships often have onboard casinos where you can try your luck at slot machines, card games, and roulette. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or just looking for some fun, the casino offers an exciting atmosphere and the chance to win big.
  • Spas and Wellness: Indulge in relaxation and pampering at the onboard spas. Enjoy rejuvenating treatments, massages, and beauty services, or unwind in the saunas, steam rooms, and whirlpools. Many ships also offer fitness centers with state-of-the-art equipment and fitness classes.
  • Sports and Activities: Stay active onboard with a range of sports and recreational activities. From basketball courts and rock climbing walls to mini-golf and jogging tracks, there are plenty of options for those who enjoy staying active and having fun.
  • Cooking Classes and Culinary Events: Learn new culinary skills or participate in cooking classes taught by professional chefs. Some cruise lines also host culinary events, such as wine tastings and mixology workshops, allowing you to indulge in the flavors of the Mediterranean.
  • Kids and Teen Clubs: Cruise lines offer dedicated kids’ and teen clubs, providing a range of age-appropriate activities and entertainment. Kids can enjoy arts and crafts, games, movie nights, and themed parties, while teens can socialize in their own designated areas, complete with video games, dance parties, and more.
  • Lectures and Enrichment Programs: Expand your knowledge with onboard lectures, workshops, and enrichment programs. Learn about the destinations you will visit, delve into the history and culture of the Mediterranean, or attend art classes and photography workshops.

These are just a few examples of the onboard activities and entertainment that cruise lines provide in the Mediterranean. Whether you prefer adrenaline-pumping adventures, relaxing spa treatments, or immersive cultural experiences, there is something for everyone to enjoy while sailing the Mediterranean seas.


Dining Options

One of the highlights of a Mediterranean cruise is the incredible dining options available on board. From gourmet restaurants to casual eateries, cruise lines pride themselves on offering a wide selection of delicious cuisine to suit all tastes. Here are some dining options you can expect to find on a Mediterranean cruise:

  • Main Dining Rooms: Cruise ships typically have elegant main dining rooms where you can enjoy multi-course meals prepared by talented chefs. Feast on a range of international dishes, from succulent seafood to delectable steaks, while enjoying impeccable service and beautiful ocean views.
  • Specialty Restaurants: Many cruise lines offer specialty restaurants that provide a more intimate and unique dining experience. These restaurants often feature cuisines such as Italian, French, or Asian, and may require reservations or an additional fee. Indulge in gourmet dishes, fine wines, and impeccable service in a refined setting.
  • Buffet and Casual Dining: Cruise ships also offer casual dining options, such as buffet-style restaurants or cafes. These venues provide a variety of dishes from around the world, including salads, pastas, carving stations, and desserts. The buffet is perfect for those who prefer a more relaxed dining experience with a wide range of choices.
  • Room Service: For a more private dining experience, you can order room service to enjoy a meal or snack in the comfort of your cabin. Cruise lines usually offer a complimentary room service menu with a variety of options available 24 hours a day.
  • Special Dietary Needs: Cruise lines are generally accommodating to various dietary restrictions and special needs. Whether you are vegetarian, gluten-free, or have specific food allergies, most cruise lines offer alternative menu options or can cater to your dietary requirements upon request.
  • Theme Nights and Culinary Events: Look out for themed dining events and culinary experiences offered on board. From seafood nights to regional cuisine showcases, these events provide a chance to savor specific cuisines and specialties associated with the Mediterranean region.
  • Onboard Cooking Classes and Demonstrations: Some cruise lines offer cooking classes and demonstrations led by professional chefs. You can learn new recipes, cooking techniques, and even take part in culinary competitions or wine tastings to enhance your gastronomic knowledge.

With a wide range of dining options available on board, a Mediterranean cruise offers a culinary experience that is as diverse and delightful as the destinations you will visit. From fine dining experiences to casual and convenient options, there is something to please every palate and satisfy your cravings while at sea.



When embarking on a Mediterranean cruise, you can expect a variety of accommodation options to suit your preferences and budget. Cruise ships offer a range of cabin categories, from cozy interior rooms to spacious suites with luxurious amenities. Here are some common types of accommodations you may find:

  • Interior Cabins: Interior cabins are located in the interior of the ship and do not have windows. They are typically smaller in size but can still provide a comfortable and cozy space to rest and relax during your cruise.
  • Oceanview Cabins: Oceanview cabins feature a window or porthole that allows natural light to enter the room and provides a view of the outside. They offer a refreshing ocean view and can vary in size and location depending on the ship.
  • Balcony Cabins: Balcony cabins are a popular choice for many cruisers as they provide a private outdoor space with a balcony. These cabins offer a breathtaking view of the ocean and allow you to enjoy the fresh sea breeze and stunning vistas from the comfort of your own room.
  • Suites: Suites are the most luxurious and spacious accommodations on a cruise ship. They often feature separate living areas, larger bathrooms, and a private balcony or veranda. Suites come with additional amenities such as concierge service, priority embarkation, and access to exclusive areas on the ship.
  • Family Cabins: Many cruise lines offer family cabins or interconnected cabins to accommodate larger groups or families traveling together. These cabins often have additional space, pull-out sofas, or bunk beds to comfortably accommodate everyone.
  • Accessible Cabins: Cruise ships have accommodations specifically designed for guests with mobility challenges. These cabins feature wider doorways, accessible bathrooms, and other modifications to ensure a comfortable stay for all passengers.

No matter which type of accommodation you choose, you can expect a comfortable space with amenities such as a private bathroom, storage, a television, and climate control. The size and layout of cabins can vary depending on the cruise line and ship, so it’s essential to review the specific details of each cabin category before making a selection.


Additionally, cruise ships provide impeccable housekeeping services to ensure your cabin remains clean and tidy throughout your journey. Your dedicated cabin steward will attend to your needs, refreshing towels and linens, and ensuring your comfort during your stay on the ship.


Whether you’re looking for a compact cabin to rest after a day of exploration or indulging in a lavish suite with all the luxurious amenities, your accommodation on a Mediterranean cruise will be a comfortable and inviting space to make your cruise experience unforgettable.


Tips for Planning a Mediterranean Cruise

Planning a Mediterranean cruise requires thoughtful consideration to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when planning your trip:

  1. Choose the Right Time of Year: The Mediterranean offers different travel seasons, each with its own advantages. Summer months are popular and offer warm weather and long days, but can also be crowded. Consider shoulder seasons like spring or fall for fewer crowds and more moderate temperatures, or winter for a quieter experience.
  2. Select the Ideal Itinerary: Research different itineraries to find the one that best suits your interests. Consider the ports of call, the amount of time spent in each destination, and the activities and excursions available. Decide whether you prefer a more relaxing or adventurous itinerary.
  3. Book in Advance: Mediterranean cruises, especially popular ones, tend to fill up quickly. To secure your desired ship, cabin category, and itinerary, it’s wise to book well in advance. This will also give you ample time to plan and prepare for your trip.
  4. Research and Plan Shore Excursions: Research the ports of call and plan your shore excursions in advance. Determine the must-see attractions, cultural experiences, and guided tours you want to participate in. Pre-booking excursions can save you time and ensure availability.
  5. Observe Local Customs and Dress Codes: Research the cultural norms and dress codes of the countries you will be visiting. Some religious sites may have specific dress requirements, so it’s important to pack appropriate clothing. Respect the local customs and traditions to enhance your experience at each port of call.
  6. Pack Accordingly: Pack comfortable clothing, including layers for varying weather conditions. Bring comfortable walking shoes, swimwear, sunscreen, and a hat for sunny days. Don’t forget important travel documents, medications, and adapters for electrical outlets.
  7. Explore Pre- and Post-Cruise Options: Take advantage of the opportunity to explore the embarkation and disembarkation cities. Arrive a day or two before your cruise to explore the port city, or extend your trip after the cruise to discover more of the region. This allows you to maximize your time and immerse yourself in the local culture.
  8. Familiarize Yourself with Cruise Policies: Familiarize yourself with the cruise line’s policies regarding gratuities, dining reservations, onboard activities, and other important details. This will help you navigate the ship and make the most of your time onboard.
  9. Stay Hydrated and Practice Good Hygiene: Carry a water bottle and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in the Mediterranean heat. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitizer to stay healthy during your cruise.
  10. Embrace the Experience: Finally, embrace the adventure and immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the Mediterranean. Try new foods, interact with locals, and take in the stunning landscapes. Be open to unexpected delights and allow yourself to truly enjoy the journey.

By considering these tips and planning ahead, you can make the most of your Mediterranean cruise and create a memorable experience filled with incredible destinations, cultural immersion, and lifelong memories.



A Mediterranean cruise is an extraordinary experience that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, breathtaking landscapes, and unforgettable moments. From the convenience of travel to the wide range of itinerary options and onboard amenities, there are numerous reasons why this type of cruise continues to captivate travelers.


Embarking on a Mediterranean cruise allows you to explore iconic destinations such as Barcelona, Rome, Athens, and Santorini, each offering its own unique charm and cultural heritage. Whether you’re fascinated by ancient ruins, enchanted by picturesque coastal towns, or eager to savor delectable Mediterranean cuisine, the Mediterranean has something to satisfy every traveler’s desires.


Onboard a cruise ship, you will find a plethora of activities and entertainment options to keep you engaged and entertained throughout your journey. From swimming in luxurious pools and enjoying live performances to indulging in exquisite dining experiences and pampering spa treatments, there is never a shortage of things to do.


When planning your Mediterranean cruise, it’s important to consider factors such as the best time to visit, itinerary options that align with your interests, and the accommodations that will suit your needs. Preparing in advance and familiarizing yourself with the local customs and dress codes will help ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience.


Whether you choose to explore ancient ruins, relax on stunning beaches, or immerse yourself in vibrant city life, a Mediterranean cruise promises an enriching and unforgettable adventure. From the moment you step on board, you will be treated to exceptional service, stunning views, and an array of experiences that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.


So, pack your bags, embark on a Mediterranean cruise, and let the wonders of this captivating region unfold before you. Discover the magic of the Mediterranean as you sail through its turquoise waters, immerse yourself in its history and culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime.