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The Mediterranean is so enthralling, so absolutely seductive that, like the mythical siren's song, its spell is impossible to break. It is both a haven for nature's glory and a veritable treasure trove of history. Once you experience it and behold all its treasures, you will never be the same. See it once and the memories forever embrace your soul. See it a thousand times and you still yearn for more.
A cruise holiday in the Mediterranean, the world's largest inland sea, gives you the opportunity to experience the variety the area has to offer; from the cosmopolitan cities of Spain and France in the Western Mediterranean to Italy, Sardinia, Greece, and Egypt in the Central and Eastern Med.
An extended Mediterranean cruise is simply a cruise vacation that combines ports from both the Western Mediterranean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean has cruises from every major cruise line and quite a few of the specialty operators too.
While there are many cruise types and cruise lengths to choose from the major distinction is whether a cruise is an Eastern or Western Mediterranean cruise or an extended cruise.
The Eastern Mediterranean is the area that covers Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Adriatic Enjoy the culture and history of Italy, especially Venice which is simply stunning and completely unique.See the whitewashed splendor of the Greek Isles and discover the antiquity of Classical Greece. Wonder at the sheer beauty of the Dalmatian coast and be amazed by Istanbul who’s history dates from Byzantium to Constantinople to its place at the head of the Ottoman Empire.
The Western Mediterranean is the area from the west coast of Italy and covers France, Spain and North Africa including the Atlantic coast of Morocco and the Canary Islands. Enjoy the history and culture of Florence, the excitement of Monte Carlo, the architecture of Barcelona and the Arabic heritage of Morocco.
Extended Mediterranean cruises are more than just a combination of east or western Mediterranean cruises. The size of the Med and the range of major ports allows cruise lines to offer a huge range of 10 to 14 day (and longer) itineraries.
While cruises are available year round the main season is from March to October to take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather.
Cruises depart from most of the major ports but the key embark ports include Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Rome (Civitavecchia), Venice, Athens and Istanbul. Many cruises also start and finish in the UK with Southampton being the major port.
Weather during the cruise season is warm to hot and the days are long and generally sunny. Most rain in the region falls in the winter months.
Photo Credit John Simos