On a Mediterranean cruise, you can soak up the tropical atmosphere of southern Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. Mediterranean cruises are perfect for a family or honeymoon.
Rome, Venice, Naples
Ships for these central-Mediterranean cruises dock in Civitavecchia, about 50 miles outside of Rome. The sites to see in Rome are endless, but don’t miss the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and the Pantheon temple.
The canal city of Venice is home to 150 canals spanning across more than 117 islands, including Murano, where you can watch the famous glass being made. Gondola rides are a must for any visitor, though they tend to be a little pricey.
Naples, on Italy’s southwest coast, features such historical sites as the National Archaeological Museum, which is filled with an impressive display of artifacts from Pompeii, and the Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte, an 18th-century palace turned art museum.
Spain and France
Explore the western-Mediterranean on a cruise to Spain and France.
Begin in Spain with stops in Barcelona, Lisbon, Mallorca, Seville and others. In Mallorca, shopping along the trendy Passeig des Born, touring the Gothic cathedral, visiting the 14th-century Bellver Castle and driving along the wild and undeveloped north coast are popular ways to spend a day. Barcelona features architect Antoni Gaudi’s still-to-be-completed Sagrada Familia, often referred to as Barcelona’s most unusual church.
France offers its visitors the cities of Nice, Paris and Villefranche, among others. In Villefranche, you can visit the 14th-century Chapelle St-Pierre and the 16th-century Fort Sainte Elme, which houses gardens, museums and Villefranche’s city hall.
Greece, Turkey and Croatia
These eastern-Mediterranean cruises head to the outlying destinations of Istanbul, Athens and Dubrovnik.
In Istanbul, Turkey, shopping is on the list of priorities. Check out the Grand Bazaar – a sprawling shopping metropolis featuring more than 4,000 shops, many of which sell the bazaar’s famous rugs. The city is also filled with gorgeous mosques, churches and synagogues.
In Athens, explore the home of both the first and the most recent Olympic Games. Featuring 148 theatrical stages, Athens is home to more than any other city in the world. One of the more famous stages, located at the Herodes Atticus Theatre, is where the Athens Festival runs from May to October each year.
Despite the bombings of the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian War, much of Dubrovnik, Croatia’s, beauty remains intact. Historic highlights include the 14th-century Franciscan Monastery and its circa-1391 pharmacy, the third-oldest functioning pharmacy in Europe.
Northern Europe Cruises
Cruising through the sparkling waters of northern Europe, you can fulfill your desire of seeing many countries including Russia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, among others.
Among the many places to visit here, the most popular is St. Petersburg. A favored destination by vacationers for many years, this former ‘Evil Empire’ is best known for the Russian Ballet and for its museums.