A classic Mediterranean cruise visits major port cities located on the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the countries of Spain, France, Italy, Monaco, Greece and Turkey and the islands of Malta, Crete and Sicily. Some cruises also include stops in Egypt. The Mediterranean cruise season is April to November when the weather is generally sunny and mild. Many cruise lines sail the Mediterranean and while there is most likely a cruise that appeals to any style and budget, we’ll focus on luxury cruises here.
Radisson Seven Seas is a luxury carrier in the small cruise line category. As such, a small number of passengers (only 198 to 700 based on individual ship capacity) are treated to personal service by a cruise line that has been selected by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure to be the “World’s Best Small Cruise Line”. Radisson Seven Seas appeals to the sophisticated traveler. Based upon service, quality dining, upscale accommodations, and service, Radisson Seven Seas has earned a six-star rating. The cruise line’s special accommodations include two 700 passenger all-balcony suites ships, Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner, and one 490 passenger all-suites ship, Seven Seas Navigator. The Radisson Diamond is another unique ship due to its twin hull design. The Radisson Diamond carries 350 guests in luxury.
The Seven Seas Voyager and the Radisson Diamond routinely cruise the Mediterranean Sea, departing from or terminating at ports such as Rome, Venice, Athens, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Istanbul normally for a 7-night cruise. These cruises stop at some of the most famous European cities that occur between the start and end points such as Florence, Italy; Marseilles, France; St. Tropez, France; Dubrovnik, Croatia; the island of Sicily; and others.
Crystal Cruises is another award-winning six-star cruise line. A reader’s poll by Travel + Leisure magazine named Crystal “World’s Best” in cruise line service. Conde Nast Traveler magazine has awarded Crystal “Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” while Travel + Leisure called Crystal the “World’s Best Large – Ship Cruise Line”, both titles being given for the past nine years. Crystal Cruises boasts “extraordinary cuisine” coupled with impeccable service.
Crystal offers a large number of 7- to 12-night Mediterranean cruises, many with romantic overtones. For example, the Renaissance Reflection cruise originates in Lisbon and stops in Barcelona, Cannes and Monte Carlo. The Italian Treasures cruise spends seven nights on the west coast of Italy. The Path of the Phoenicians is a twelve-night odyssey from Athens to Istanbul followed by stops at the historically famous Greek islands of Kusadasi, Rhodes, and Santorini before terminating at Venice.
The Yachts of Seabourn cruise line advertises that they provide “Ultra Luxury” by “delivering the highest levels of personalized service to an exclusive group of guests aboard intimate, elegant ships that could visit the most enticing destinations worldwide.” Seabourn sails three identical all-suite ships that cater to only 208 passengers each. Of course, dining and service is world-class.
Seabourn offers longer, leisurely cruises that can explore a small or unique area in-depth. For example, the 17-day Spring Time in Spain cruise originates in Lisbon, Portugal, stops at six Spanish ports plus ports in Monaco, France and the Balearic Islands. Many of the stops were selected due to the availability of golf courses. The 16-day Mediterranean Odyssey II begins at Istanbul; spends six days at Greek ports, four days at Italian ports along with several days at sea before terminating at Lisbon. The 7-day Capitals of Antiquity cruise begins at Cairo, Egypt; tours the historic Greek islands of Rhodes, Mykonos, and Kusadasi before terminating at Istanbul.
If luxury is your objective, there are a large number of out of the ordinary Mediterranean cruises to choose from beyond those discussed here.