Mediterranean cruise

Cruise tips you can trust


Bewildering number
of Mediterranean cruise
itinerary choices

The Mediterranean Sea is the largest sea in the world. It has more than 100 cruise ports and itineraries. Deciding the right itinerary for you is a complex process.

Simplify your decision

Narrow down your
geographical scope.

First decide whether you want to experience the Western or Eastern Mediterranean. Then determine which ports of call appeal to you most.


Then focus on the ports of call and the sightseeing and shore excursions each offers.

Popular Western
Mediterranean ports

Popular Eastern
Mediterranean ports

Western vs Eastern

Which side is
best for you?

Most first-timers prefer the Western Mediterranean. Seasoned Mediterranean cruisers tend to gravitate to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Hybrid itineraries

Some cruise itineraries visit both the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. For instance, you embark in Nice (Western) and disembark in Athens (Eastern), and stop at a variety of ports en route.

Keep in mind

Small ports

You'll likely need to book a small luxury cruise ship if you want to visit the small, picturesque ports of call.

Port time

Don't use the port arrival and departure times on a cruise's itinerary schedule to determine how long you will be ashore. You have to subtract the line waiting and transfer times from ship to shore, and back. This could consume a couple of hours or more if you are tendering and are on a large ship.

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Helpful Mediterranean cruise tips

Best itineraries
Best time to go
Best cruise lines

Top 10 Mediterranean Ports of Call

1   Civitavecchia  Gateway to Rome

2   Piraeus  Gateway to Athen

3   Venice  Italy

4   Livorno  Gateway to Florence

5   Istanbul

6   Dubrovnik  Croatia

7   Naples  Gateway to Pompeii + more

8   Marseille  Gateway to Provence

9   Nice  Gateway to French Riviera

10 Malaga  Spain

Best shore excursions in...

29 Western Med ports

23 Eastern Med ports

13 ports near the Med

What it's like on a
Mediterranean cruise ship

Azamara Quest ship

World Wonders - Top 100 rankings
World Wonders - Top 1000 list


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