The reality of organising a dream vacation can sometimes be a stressful process. But opting for a cruise holiday can help alleviate some of the pressure and takes care of the tricky details — including transport, itinerary and even finding kid-friendly activities too.
Cruising the Mediterranean is sure to deliver a myriad of unique travel experiences, it is the perfect way to tick off Europe’s most spectacular destinations in one trip. From the sleepy coastal towns of Italy to the bustling streets of Barcelona -- no stone should be left unturned in this truly unique part of the world. Boasting an array of white sandy beaches, sparkling turquoise seas, awe-inspiring art and world-class cuisines, the Mediterranean really does have something for everyone.
The world-class on board entertainment and amenities offered by cruise lines means every moment of your holiday has the potential to be special. Whether your idea of heaven is relaxing by the pool, watching live performances or learning about famous art, there is a cruise out there for you. With prices ranging anywhere between $800 to $8,000, and with so many options to choose from, we’ve put together our top picks of cruise lines for the family, the explorer and the couple, to help you book the perfect holiday.
For the family
Disney Cruise Line
If you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure, then the Disney Cruise Line is a great option. Don’t be fooled: these packages aren’t just a holiday for the kids. Feast your eyes and ears on the Broadway quality live shows, dance in the glow of fireworks at the themed deck parties or relish in some alone time at the adult only pool — and that’s just onboard.
Setting sail on the Disney Magic takes you from Rome to Barcelona via the picturesque Greek Isles. The jewel in the crown being Santorini, with its whitewashed buildings staggered across the rugged landscape of the island, bordered by volcanic sand beaches and crystal clear waters, this destination is nothing short of a fairytale. Other ports of call include the cobbled streets of Italy's famous Sicily, Florence and Sardinia, as well as Cannes in the French Riviera.
Find out more here.
For the explorer
Oceania Cruises is the perfect choice for the sophisticated traveller. The ships are charmingly small in size, offering an intimate and personalised experience. The relaxed atmosphere promises no queues, and all restaurants offer open seating, so you can dine wherever tickles your fancy on the night, without having to fight for a reservation. As for entertainment, each voyage boasts an array of enriching activities to get involved in, including educational lectures, vitality seminars, trivia and wine tasting. Select cruises even offer specialist cooking classes and creative workshops.
Oceania Cruises is also a great choice for exploring hidden gems and boutique ports in the mediterranean that can’t be reached by larger ships, tending to mean smaller crowds. Top of our list would be the island of Corsica, with its diverse landscape of lush forest and mountainous terrain — tremendous natural wonders can be found on this little island. That’s not all Corsica has to offer, get the full foodie experience at local markets where you can sample delicacies and fresh produce, from cheeses and charcuterie to delicious golden honey.
For history buffs, Mdina — known as the Silent City — is not to be missed. Located in the middle of Malta at the highest point of the island, it boasts some of the best views and perfectly encapsulates Malta’s 7,000 year history. Within the walled city you’ll see true architectural grandeur. From prehistoric remains to preserved Medieval buildings, the narrow, traffic-free streets offer a peaceful respite away from the noises of modern day life.
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For the lovebirds
No matter what your love language, Celebrity Cruises promises the perfect setting to make special memories with your other half. A cinema under the stars, exciting art auctions and seminars, sun decks overlooking the ocean and ambient candlelit dinners are just a handful of our on-board top picks. Don’t get too lost in each other’s eyes though, or you might miss the view!
Tick Venice’s canals off the bucket list as you float through the city on gondolas. Visit the Vatican City and see Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel. Reconnect with nature and experience France in full bloom in the town of Provence — peaking in early July, the lavender fields will leave you swooning as you get lost in the soft sea of purple tones and calming scents.
Find out more here.