The Eastern Mediterranean, without doubt, provides a wider variety of interests for cruise visitors than any other region in the world.
From the sandy beaches of the Greek Islands to the dazzling mosques and palaces of Istanbul, there is something for everyone.
Many itineraries visit the region on a voyage from Southampton whilst the majority operate as fly-cruises, whereby passengers join the ship in Istanbul, Venice, Corfu or another Eastern Mediterranean port.
There are cruise styles and itineraries to meet and exceed every expectation. Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises offer a truly Italian flavour on some of the world’s most modern vessels whilst P&O Cruises and Voyages of Discovery cater for those seeking a style more suited to British tastes. Fred Olsen Line is also in the area with a number of educational features that impress its loyal following.
The region attracts cruise visitors all year round, although the main season operates between April and October. Winters can be very chilly, with snow in Turkey, Cyprus and the Black Sea, but those who wish to explore the host of museums and palaces will be happy to travel outside the busier summer season.
Most itineraries are port intensive, and in the Greek Islands it is sometimes possible to make more than one port call in a day. This is also the case in the scenic Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Croatia.
Beach lovers are rarely disappointed but water sports and diving activities are not as plentiful in these waters as they are in the Caribbean or the Indian Ocean.
The area attracts young and more mature passengers alike as there are places of interest for all tastes, especially in the larger ports of call, such as Venice, Dubrovnik, Athens and Istanbul. This is definitely the case when an itinerary ventures to Alexandria or Port Said on the Egyptian coast, where passengers may join a shore excursion to the famous pyramids at Giza near Cairo.
- St Mark’s Square, Venice
- Gondola Ride, Venice
- Diocletian Palace, Split
- Kotor Fjord, Kotor
- Acropolis, Athens
- Sultanahmet, Istanbul
- Ephesus, Kusadasi
- Olympia, Katakolon
- Opera House, Odessa
- Alupka Palace, Yalta