Mediterranean Cruises

You may choose to book your cruise to the Mediterranean from Southampton or Dover or another UK port. These cruises will typically stop at ports in France, Northern Spain and Portugal before entering the Mediterranean. Cruises to the Western Mediterranean from Dover and Southampton may call at ports such as Gibraltar, Barcelona, Marseilles and Palma before turning around and heading home within a typical 12 night - 15-night duration. If you're looking to cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean and Adriatic from the UK then you should expect a longer duration of 18 nights or more. Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean are often easier accessed from ports such as Venice, Athens or Malta but there are cruises to the Greek Islands from Southampton or Dover or indeed cruises to Italy and Croatia.

Cruises to the Mediterranean - Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best cruise lines to the Mediterranean?

Many cruise lines sail to the Mediterranean. Here's a selection of the top 10 cruise lines cruising to the Mediterranean.

Ultra-luxury cruises to the Mediterranean

  • Seabourn - ultra-luxury all-inclusive ships with a choice of departure ports.
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises - including what the line claims is the most luxurious cruise ship at sea.
  • Hapag Lloyd - Small ship cruising for the international market.

Luxury and premium cruise lines to the Mediterranean

  • Oceania Cruises - known for its exquisite dining aboard small-medium sized ships.
  • Celebrity Cruises - offering a range of departure ports including from Southampton.
  • Princess Cruises - award-winning cruise line with larger ships and excellent onboard technology and dining.

Family cruises to the Mediterranean

  • Royal Caribbean Cruises - innovative resort-style ships with a range of activities and entertainment
  • P&O Cruises - Iconic British cruise line with ships mainly sailing from Southampton.
  • Marella Cruises - previously TUI Cruises have a range of all-inclusive cruises to The Mediterranean.

Cruises to the Mediterranean

  • Saga Cruises - British cruise line catering exclusively for Over 50's with two brand new ships.
  • Fred. Olsen Cruises - classically British with small ships offering excellent onboard service and themed cruises.
  • Cunard - larger ships with a typically British feel.

What is the best cruise ship for the Mediterranean?

It's hard to suggest any one ship is the best for a cruise to the Mediterranean. If you're looking for a family adventure then we'd recommend one of Royal Caribbean's ships. Full of activities, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes and ages there's something to keep everyone entertained. If you're looking for a more relaxed trip we'd recommend avoiding the school holidays and travelling with Celebrity or Princess Cruises. Both have luxurious ships and can cater for all dining tastes, each offer excellent cabin choices and affordable fares. For something more opulent perhaps try Oceania or Azamara cruises. Or maybe try NCL or MSC Cruises - the latter having a range of new ships offering a real Mediterranean welcome and style of cruising.

When is the best time to cruise to the Mediterranean?

The best time to cruise to the Med is in the spring and autumn when you're likely to get some great weather whilst missing the crowds and all the main attractions remain open. The best months to cruise to the Med are mid-March to May and then again from September to November. Many of the local attractions close during the winter months and whilst it may be warmer than in the UK the weather in the winter in the Mediterranean can sometimes disappoint. During the summer months, it can become exceptionally hot and the many tourist sites may be very busy with the main holiday season.

Will the seas be rough on a Mediterranean cruise?

The weather is always changeable and calm seas cannot be guaranteed at any time of the year. For the best chance of the calmest seas, travel in the spring and summer months. In the winter period, the seas can be affected by winter storms. The Mediterranean is likely to be calmer towards the east.

What are the best places to visit on a Mediterranean cruise?

The Mediterranean offers a great range of places to visit from beaches, cathedrals and historic sights. Here's a snapshot of some of the best.

  • The beaches of the Balearic Islands - be it Majorca or the smaller island of Menorca where the beaches and coves will delight.
  • The architecture of Barcelona - see the Sagrada Família or perhaps visit Park Guell.
  • The historic sights of Greece and its islands - from the Acropolis to the Palace of Knossos, these astounding sights will amaze you.
  • The glitz of Monte Carlo - take some time in the Casino or see the famous Formula 1 track in this millionaire's playground.
  • Explore the Dalmatian Coast - from the Croatian port of Dubrovnik see the azure sea dotted with beautiful islands.
  • Be British in Gibraltar - this unashamedly British outpost has history galore alongside an outstanding marina and tax-free shopping.
  • Eat Italian in Rome or Venice - the best pizzas and pastas and many Michelin starred restaurants await you.

What should I wear on a Mediterranean cruise?

Your Mediterranean cruise could take you to a number of countries so be aware of where you're travelling to and when you're travelling. Summer jet-setting is likely to require a couple of sets of bathing costumes, light wear for during the day relaxing onboard or when you're out and about exploring. Spring and autumn cruising may need a light jacket and full length trousers or dress whilst winter cruising will require warmer attire. Remember too the dress code for the ship that you're on. Some cruise lines will have a very relaxed attitude to evening attire although you may still be expected to wear smarter clothes to dine in restaurants while some ships may require gentlemen to wear a jacket and collar and ladies to wear smart-casual attire.

What should I pack for a Mediterranean cruise?

Packing for a Mediterranean cruise really depends upon the time of year you're travelling. As well as taking into account what you should wear on a cruise you should also consider a jacket, umbrella, binoculars and camera. Modern telephones may have a camera to record all your memories so make sure you don't forget your charger! Read our full article on what to wear and pack for a Mediterranean cruise.

The best cruise lines to the Mediterranean

Explore these guides to the best cruise lines sailing to the Mediterranean.

Mediterranean cruising guides

Our cruise guides will give you the best information for your Med cruise.

Guides to the best places to visit in the Mediterranean

Explore our guides and read all about the best countries to visit on your Mediterranean cruise.

Best places to visit in the Eastern Mediterranean

The Eastern Mediterranean has some jewels of cruising - read all about them in these guides.

Best ports to visit in the Mediterranean