Mediterranean cruises are a great way to get out and explore parts of the world you may not ordinarily get to see. When people think about cruising, they often think of tropical locations with sunny weather and fruity cocktails. While the Mediterranean area may not have a tropical appeal, it’s a beautiful area packed with stunning views, clear waters, and great cultural significance. Mediterranean cruising isn’t just about being on a ship. With these packages you typically get a day or two on shore to explore the area. Many of the best Mediterranean cruise packages will stop at several ports, allowing you to get several experiences in a single vacation. Here are 8 of the most popular and magnificent ports to consider for your next cruise experience.
No Mediterranean cruise would be complete without a stop in Rome. Some of the most famous architecture in the world exists within this area. You can see the celebrated Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum, and many other architectural wonders that date back more than 2000 years with just a few hours off the ship. Many Mediterranean sea cruises that go to port in Rome will plan the cruise around this destination. This means with the right package you can spend a day or two in this area alone.
Another Italian port, Naples offers an experience unlike any other. The town itself is almost 3,000 years old, and offers great food, spectacular historic landmarks, and more importantly, warm weather. Not all Mediterranean cruises will stop here for lengthy periods, but even just a few hours is enough time to get a great meal and take in some of the sights.
Another Italian port in our list of favorites, Genoa offers a more old school magic than some other areas. Most of the area has been untouched by modern architecture, so you see the original buildings as they were built. It’s a much more country feel. Genoa is a great cruise destination for anyone who wants some peace and quiet and traditional charm.
Known for being a playground of the rich and famous, Monte Carlo is a popular cruise destination. Monte Carlo is located in the French Riviera. While the casinos are the biggest draw, there are plenty of other attractions to take in as well. This is a popular daytime stop for a lot of Mediterranean cruises.
Just west of Monte Carlo, St Raphael is a small town that packs a big punch. It offers a mild climate year round, making it a popular stop on many Mediterranean cruise vacations. The beaches are picturesque, and quaint shops and boutiques line the streets. Not all cruise lines will stop at this port, but if you find one that does you will be in for a real treat.
Until recently Corsica remained an unknown gem in Mediterranean cruises. Many lines have seen the benefit and started adding this port to their packages. Since it’s not a huge tourist destination, it is peaceful and serene. You can find information on many historical aspects. It’s also the birthplace of Napoleon, and offers a learning experience to anyone who visits.
The largest city in Spain, Barcelona offers a busy city feel in a relaxed atmosphere. You can sit and enjoy a cup of Spanish coffee at one of the many coffee bars, or shop at world class boutiques along crystal beaches. Most Mediterranean cruises stop in Barcelona.
For a much more unique experience, find an eastern Mediterranean cruise that offers a stop in Tunis. Tunisia is an Arabic country, so it will offer a much different cultural experience. You can visit old world street markets and haggle for better bargains. Just be sure you understand the cultural differences before you plan a stop here.
These cruises don’t have to be terribly expensive. When you compare the costs of these cruises to that of tropical locations, you’ll find they can be an affordable option for family vacations. If you do some simple research you can also find discount Mediterranean cruises to save even more. With all that Mediterranean cruises can offer, it would be shameful to discount this as a viable cruise option.