Explore Enchanting Mediterranean Destinations with Hupla

Why take a Mediterranean Cruise

The Mediterranean region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with more than 200 million visitors a year.

Here are the top 6 reasons to visit the Mediterranean on a cruise:

  1. Convenient Accessibility: The Mediterranean is easy to reach, with numerous ports of call close to each other, making travel between destinations quick and convenient.

  2. Diverse Cruise Itineraries: A wide array of cruise itineraries are available, catering to all tastes and interests, from historic exploration to luxury relaxation.

  3. Unmissable Cities: Iconic cities like Barcelona, Rome, and Athens are essential stops on any Mediterranean cruise, offering rich cultural experiences and breathtaking sights.

  4. Exceptional Culinary Experiences: Onboard Mediterranean cruises, culinary delights are unparalleled – enjoy exquisite local dishes, wine pairing masterclasses, and gourmet dining experiences.

  5. A blend of Glitz and Rustic Charm: The Mediterranean seamlessly combines jet-set glamour on the French Riviera with rustic escapism. Explore ancient treasures by day and indulge in the glamorous nightlife of Monte Carlo by night.

  6. Ultimate Relaxation: The Mediterranean is perfect for relaxation and unwinding – savour long lunches by the pool, leisurely days exploring charming villages, and enchanting evenings spent stargazing in magical locations. The Mediterranean is easy to get to, with many ports of call situated close to each other.

Where is the Mediterranean Sea?

The Mediterranean Sea is a vast and diverse region that spans parts of three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa. This inland sea, lying between these continents, derives its name from its location.

The Mediterranean is the world's largest inland sea, covering an area of approximately 2.5 million square kilometers. It extends from the Strait of Gibraltar in the west to the Suez Canal in the east, with a coastline measuring around 46,000 kilometers (28,600 miles).

For cruise itineraries, the Mediterranean Sea is divided into three distinct regions:

Western Med & Canary Island

Western Med & Canary Island

The Western Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are perhaps the most popular region for cruises in the Mediterranean. This area includes some of the most iconic and picturesque destinations in the world, including Barcelona, Rome, Florence and Naples.

Eastern Mediterranean

Eastern Mediterranean

From the iconic destinations of Venice, Istanbul, and Dubrovnik, to the off-beaten track ports in Croatia, Lebanon, and Israel, there is something for everyone in this part of the world.

Middle East

Middle East

This region is the perfect opportunity for those younger travellers seeking unusual holiday adventures. There are desert safaris, unspoilt beaches, world-class shopping and vast archaeological sites, such as Petra and Wadi Rum. This is a chance to explore a new destination and create lasting memories.

History & Culture of the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is a region rich in history and diverse in culture, shaped by the people who have lived there over centuries. Here are some highlights:

Iconic Historical Sites

  • Athens: Known as the birthplace of Western civilization.
  • Roman Ruins: Scattered throughout the region, showcasing the grandeur of ancient Rome.
  • Moorish Castles: Architectural marvels that reflect the region’s diverse history.
  • Greek Temples: Ancient structures that offer a glimpse into Greece's storied past.

Cultural Experiences

  • Diverse History: The Mediterranean is steeped in history, offering endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.
  • Culinary Delights:
    • Local Cuisines: Traditional dishes vary by country, but common themes include olive oil, fresh seafood, and aromatic herbs.
    • World-Class Wines: Whether you’re savouring a full-bodied red from Italy or a crisp white from Greece, there are numerous opportunities to enjoy exquisite wine on your cruise.

Unique Aspects of Mediterranean Culture

  • Historical Significance: Explore cities and sites that have played pivotal roles in history.
  • Culinary Heritage: Sample local dishes and wines that reflect the region’s rich culinary traditions.

Best time to take a Mediterranean Cruise

The best time to take a Mediterranean cruise depends on your holiday preferences. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

High Season (June to August)

  • Ideal for Sun and Relaxation: Enjoy the warmest weather, perfect for sunbathing and beach activities.
  • Busiest Time to Travel: Expect large crowds at tourist attractions, higher cruise rates, and fully booked restaurants as families vacation during school holidays.

Shoulder Season (April to May & September to October)

  • Best for Exploring Culture and History: The weather is still warm and sunny, but the crowds are smaller, providing a more relaxed experience.
  • Perfect for Sightseeing: Visit archaeological sites comfortably as temperatures are milder.

Low Season (November to March)

  • Off-Peak Travel Time: Experience cooler weather and fewer crowds at tourist attractions.
  • Budget-Friendly: Enjoy lower cruise rates and more availability in accommodations and restaurants.

Considering these factors, you can choose the best time for your Mediterranean cruise based on your interests and desired experiences.

Major Mediterranean Cruise Departure Ports

Regarding Mediterranean cruises, the departure ports are just as important as the destinations. These ports are where your adventure begins, setting sail for some of the most beautiful places in the world.

Here are some of the 7 major ports of departure in the Mediterranean:

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is one of the most popular ports of departure for Mediterranean cruises. This is largely due to its convenient location, as it is well-connected to major airports such as Barcelona Airport (BCN). Other reasons to love Barcelona include its stunning architecture, world-class museums, and delicious food.

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Civitavecchia is the port for Rome, the eternal city. From here that many cruise ships set sail for destinations such as Sicily, Greece, and Turkey. Civitavecchia is well-connected to Rome's city center by train, and it is also home to some great restaurants and bars.

Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy

Venice is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Venice is home to canals, gondolas, and some of the best Italian food you will ever eat. A must-see is the Piazza San Marco and the island of Murano and Burano.

Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy

Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and it is from here that many cruise ships depart for destinations such as Corsica, Sardinia, and Spain. Genoa is a beautiful city with a rich history, and it is well worth spending a few days here before your cruise.

Marseille, France
Marseille, France

Marseille is the largest city in the south of France, on the french riviera. It is from here that many cruise ships depart for destinations such as Morocco, Tunisia, and Italy. Marseille is a vibrant city with plenty to see and do, and it is also home to some of the best food in France.

Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece

Athens is the capital of Greece and it is from here that many cruise ships depart for destinations such as the Greek islands, Turkey and Egypt. Athens is a bustling city with plenty of history and culture, and it is well worth spending a few days here before your cruise.

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and it is from here that many cruise ships depart for destinations such as the Greek islands, Egypt and Israel. Istanbul is a fascinating city with a rich history and culture, stunning architecture, world-class museums, and delicious food.

What to Wear on a Mediterranean Cruise

When packing for a Mediterranean cruise, it's essential to prioritize light and comfortable clothing. Here’s a guide to help you prepare:

Daytime Attire

  • Light and Breathable Clothing: The Mediterranean weather is typically hot and sunny, so pack shorts, t-shirts, and sundresses.
  • Swimsuits: With some of the world's most beautiful beaches, you'll want to have your swimsuit ready for a dip in the sea or pool.

Evening Wear

  • Light Jacket or Sweater: Evenings can be cooler, so a light jacket or sweater is recommended to stay comfortable.


  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: Expect to do a lot of walking while exploring ports and attractions. Comfortable sneakers or walking shoes are a must.
  • Sandals or Flip-Flops: Ideal for beach and pool days, providing comfort and ease.

Additional Essentials

  • Sun Protection: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong Mediterranean sun.

By packing these essentials, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy your Mediterranean cruise in comfort and style.

Top 10 Mediterranean Cruise Ports of Call

The Mediterranean boasts some of the most beautiful and fascinating destinations in the world. Cruising is an ideal way to explore these stunning locales, allowing you to hop from one port to another without the hassle of constantly unpacking and repacking.

With so many incredible ports and excursions to choose from, it can be challenging to decide where to start. To help you plan your perfect Mediterranean adventure, we've compiled a list of the top 10 ports and excursions:

Who Will Enjoy a Mediterranean Cruise?

A Mediterranean cruise is an ideal first-time cruise experience, offering a rich blend of history, culture, and diverse activities. Here’s why a Mediterranean cruise appeals to a wide range of travelers:

For the Adventurous

  • Active Pursuits: Enjoy hiking or biking in picturesque mountains, exploring ancient ruins, or diving into water sports at beautiful beaches.
  • Vibrant Cities: Visit dynamic cities like Barcelona, Rome, and Athens, each brimming with unique attractions and experiences.

For History and Culture Enthusiasts

  • Historical Exploration: Discover ancient ruins, Moorish castles, and Greek temples that narrate the region's storied past.
  • Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in local traditions, cuisines, and wines, offering a taste of Mediterranean life.

First-Time Cruisers

  • Western Mediterranean: Perfect for newcomers, featuring famous ports like Rome, Venice, and Barcelona. This area is bustling with well-known attractions and activities.
  • Eastern Mediterranean: Ideal for a more relaxed cruise, this region is less crowded and offers a deeper focus on archaeology and history, with serene destinations.

Something for Everyone

  • Families, Couples, and Solo Travelers: Whether you’re traveling with family, as a couple, or solo, the Mediterranean offers something for everyone, from lively entertainment to peaceful retreats.

A Mediterranean cruise caters to diverse interests and promises an unforgettable experience, making it a top choice for any traveler.

Main Ports of Call on a Mediterranean Cruise

There are over 52 popular ports of call in the Med to which you can cruise:

Port of call in the Mediterranean
Ajaccio, France Ancona, Italy Arrecife de Lanzarote, Spain Barcelona, Spain
Bari, Italy Brindisi, Italy Cadiz, Spain Cagliari, Italy
Cannes, France Cartagena, Spain Casablanca, Morocco Cefalonia, Greece
Chania, Greece Civitavecchia, Italy Corfu, Greece Dubrovnik, Croatia
Funchal, Portugal Genoa, Italy Gibraltar, Gibraltar Haifa, Israel
Heraklion, Greece Ibiza, Spain Katakolon, Greece Koper, Slovenia
Kotor, Montenegro La Spezia, Italy Limassol, Cyprus Lisbon, Portugal
Livorno, Italy Malaga, Spain Marseille, France Messina, Italy
Monte Carlo, Monaco Mykonos, Greece Naples, Italy Palermo, Italy
Palma de Mallorca, Spain Piraeus (Athens), Greece Ravenna, Italy Rhodes, Greece
Rijeka, Croatia Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain Santorini, Greece Sarande, Albania
Split, Croatia Syracuse, Italy Tangier, Morocco Trieste (Venice), Italy
Valencia, Spain Valletta, Malta Venice, Italy Zadar, Croatia

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