Mediterranean Cruises

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Cruising in the Mediterranean

Due to its proximity to the UK and the possibility of shorter cruise durations, Mediterranean cruises are an excellent choice for people wanting to introduce themselves to the whole concept of cruising. Mediterranean cruises are also an ideal solution for those not keen on flying to meet your cruise ship with several cruises from Southampton.

Southampton is the main cruise hub in the UK for Mediterranean sailings, with five to fourteen day cruises visiting destinations including (but in no way limited to) Portugal, Spain and France. Gibraltar is the gateway to Mediterranean from the Atlantic. 'The Rock's most famous residents are a colony of Barbary Apes, but other attractions include the vast network of wartime tunnels, Europa point lighthouse (the Southernmost tip of the continent) and a cable car ride to the top of the Rock.

If your cruise stops at Malaga, you will have the opportunity to explore this stunning city on the Costa del Sol, or check out the Caves of Nerja. Fly-cruises in the Mediterranean often depart from Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. Activities for cruise passengers and fly-cruise city breaks in Barcelona are numerous, but a top highlight is the Sagrada Familia, the astonishing cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi, still being constructed 90 years on. Football fans will be eager to make a pilgrimage to FC Barcelona’s home ground, the Nou Camp. Try and find La Bario Cotizo (the hidden square), drink traditional Horchata, a traditional almond milkshake or soak up the sun in Park Güell, another Guidi masterpiece.

Out of Barcelona, cruises visit the Balearic islands, including the dazzling Majorca, or head north to the French riviera. Cities like Cannes and Monte Carlo are evocative of a glamorous and stylish world of cocktails and casinos, but the French Riviera is also rich in natural beauty.

The island of Corsica, where the mountains meet the sea, has the fortified cities of Calvi and Bonifacio, perfect for a day excursion.

The coast of Italy offers a fantastic selection of activities for cruise passengers. Genoa has plentiful renaissance architecture and winding alleyways, ideal for getting a traditional espresso in a small cafe. The port is home to MSC cruises and is the starting point for many of their Mediterranean itineraries. Further south is Livorno, gateway to Tuscany and Pisa, home of the famous tower with unstable foundations. Rome is the highpoint of a Mediterranean cruise, the centre of the Roman world and a focus of worship for the world’s 1.3bn Catholics. The Colosseum, the Parthenon and the Circus Maximus are just some of the attractions in Rome, but you might just prefer to take up some window shopping whilst sampling local ice-cream.

Venice is the launch point for Eastern Mediterranean destinations, from the volcanic beauty of Santorini to the splendors of Istanbul. The Balkan coast is a rewarding coast to cruise down, with the citadel of Dubrovnik, Croatia and attractive natural harbour of Kotor, Montenegro, being excellent destinations for day excursions.

Greece has everything you could ask for in a cruise holiday, sun, sea, sand and great food. Tours are available on multiple islands and ancient sites.

Turkey has fantastic beaches on its rocky Mediterranean coast. Visit the remains of the Temple of Artimes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, or browse the souq in Izmir, a city famed for its pottery.

Finally, Istanbul is an astonishingly beautiful metropolis, linking Asia with Europe. Top sites to visit on a shore excursion or city break include Topkapi Palace, home of Ottoman emperors, and the Hagia Sophia, an incredible Roman basilica turned mosque in the city where east meets west.

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