Rich in history, natural beauty and having some of the oldest cultures in the world, the area on the coastlines of the Mediterranean Sea is one of the most fascinating and exciting places to visit on earth. Countries in Africa, Europe and Asia Minor border this massive body of water, from Egypt, Israel and Turkey in the east, to France, Spain and Morocco to the west; and dozens of archaeological sites, ancient and medieval structures and well-known cultural centers can be found here, UNESCO World Heritage sites among them.
The various countries around the Mediterranean may be visited by road, or by air, but one of the best ways to travel throughout this incredible part of the world is by sea, on one of the many available Mediterranean cruises.
Benefits of a Mediterranean cruise
For families and couples traveling to the Mediterranean, finding a way to see and experience as much as possible without breaking the bank is always an issue. One of the many benefits of cruising is that many of the expenses generally associated with vacations, including lodging, food, activities and transportation, are either covered within the all-inclusive cruise price or are simply eliminated as being unnecessary.
One valuable benefit of an organized cruise vacation is that excursions into the various cities and ports of call along the way are more easily arranged with the assistance of cruise ship staff. From booking tours with expert tour guides to planning unique activities and excursions; from making reservation at fine restaurants and award-winning theaters to cutting through lines at museums and archeological sites, cruise ship staff members are available to make things easier and more enjoyable for all guests.
Ports of call
A Mediterranean cruise is also a wonderfully educational way to visit the region, with ships passing by or stopping in dozens of famous, and infamous cities and tourist sights. Alexandria, Beirut, Athens, Naples, Barcelona, Marseille, Tripoli and Algiers are just some of the noteworthy, beautiful and historical cities and sites that can be visited in the Mediterranean, with many sitting right on the water’s edge.
The adventure does not stop on the coast, however, and Mediterranean cruises offer many excursions that take families and couples on a journey through the local areas and to the main tourist attractions. The Parthenon in Athens; the Roman Baths in Naples; Roland’s Column in Dubrovnik; and the many pieces of Antoni Gaudi architecture scattered throughout Barcelona are some of the must-see sights of the region. Even the ancient archeological treasures of Egypt are within reach with excursions down the Nile to Cairo and Giza frequently included, and the mysterious Sphinx and the wonder of the Great Pyramid just a side-trip away.
Most of the major cruise lines, along with some minor regional lines, offer Mediterranean cruises. The average cruise lasts anywhere from seven to 14 days, though some are available that are even longer and more detailed. Every cruise line offers a variety of different routes around the Mediterranean Sea, with stops at different cities, including major port cities such as Florence, Pisa, Venice, Rome, Istanbul, Nice and Monte Carlo.