WHEN TO CRUISE?
The main season is from May to October when the weather is generally dry and temperature ranges from warm to hot.
Winter cruises concentrate on the Eastern Med around Cyprus, the North African coast, Malta and Sicily where the climate will be mild.
The Mediterranean is the Cradle of Civilisation with summer sun, glamourous resorts, historic cities and idyllic islands. The world’s largest inland sea, enclosed by three continents, it is Europe’s most popular cruising destination. If you want a 7 night holiday then a fly-cruise is for you. Cruises from the UK involve a couple of days at sea before they enter the Med so will take 10 days or more. Fly-cruises are port intensive and will sail at night and be in port during the day – 6 ports in a week is quite normal. You will probably need to choose whether you want to cruise the Eastern or Western Mediterranean.
The Western Mediterranean has the beaches of the Rivieras, popular island resorts and cosmopolitan cities and is cruised from Barcelona, Palma, Genoa or Rome (Civitavecchia). Ports on the Spanish coast include Valencia, Malaga (for Granada), Gibraltar and through the Straits to Cadiz (for Seville). Majorca and the Balearics are popular ports of call and both Corsica and Sardinia have lots to offer. The French Riviera can be explored from Nice or Monte Carlo and the Italian west coast offers Livorno (for Florence), Civitavecchia (for Rome) and Naples. Further south volcanic Sicily, Malta and Tunis on the North African coast are interesting ports of call.
The Southern Mediterranean is popular for winter cruises. These may visit Cyprus, Alexandria in Egypt and Tripoli and other ports on the North African coast. The Israeli ports of Ashdod (for Jerusalem) and Haifa are no longer visited due to security problems.
The Eastern Mediterranean offers the Aegean Sea full of islands to explore surrounded by ancient sites and cities. Cruise from Venice or Athens and exotic Istanbul and visit ancient sites like Ephesus in Turkey, Olympia in Greece or Knossos on Crete. The Croatian coast , Dubrovnik and Corfu are now regular ports of call in the Adriatic Sea while the most popular Greek islands for cruises are Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini.