Mediterranean itineraries have become increasingly popular among both seasoned cruisers and first-time cruise travelers.

Some even say that visiting the Mediterranean by cruise ship is the best way to see and experience the region.

So what are the best Mediterranean cruises for 2024?  Below I listed the best of the best for each type of traveler.

Viking ocean cruise ship leaving the port of Kalamata cityin Messenia, Greece. Photo 249300880 / Cruise © Pilotf18 Dreamstime.com

Viking has dozens of itineraries sailing within their Mediterranean, but their most notable is their ‘Journey to Antiquities’ which includes 8 ports of call throughout Italy, Turkey and Greece. This 8-day sailing for 2 guests costs roughly $7,000, which includes all amenities – meals, drinks, Wi-Fi and even one shore excursion per port, per person.

This itinerary has been favored among guests for not only its onboard experiences, but the unique and iconic shore excursions.

With stops in Italy, guests can marvel at the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Sistine Chapel, Pompeii, and the culture of Naples. Neoclassical architecture is abundant in Greece, and ruins are left to be explored in Turkey.

Viking purposely included the fare of one excursion in the base price of all sailings to encourage each guest to explore their destinations and its rich culture.

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Best Mediterranean Cruise for Food and Wine Aficionados:

 When it comes to sampling new foods, or savoring tried and true flavors, the best place to do so is onboard a cruise ship. While dining is included in the base fare of most cruise packages, if you’re looking for the best food at sea it is important to know which cruise line to select.

The most seasoned cruisers will know that Oceania is arguably the best in the business when it comes to dining at sea.

Photo Credit: Oceania Cruises

Why Oceania?

Oceania has built up a solid reputation when it comes to cruise dining, earning themselves the title of ‘The Finest Cuisine at Sea’. Most notably being that they partnered with French chef Jacques Pepin to carefully curate meals for guests onboard at his restaurant, Jacques.

Guests also love the option of anytime dining, which allows for more flexibility within their vacation itinerary, and 24-hour room service.

To further immerse guests in the culture of their sailing, Oceania offers cooking classes onboard for guests for an additional fee. This allows guests to explore different foods of various cultures in an exciting and unique way.

Read more: Best all-inclusive cruise lines

Best Oceania Mediterranean Itinerary:

With so many itineraries, it can be overwhelming to decide which is best for yourself and your travel party. It is helpful to know that Oceania includes the following in the base fare of all sailings:

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Roundtrip Airfare
Airport Transfers
$1,600 worth of Shore Excursion Credit
Free Champagne, Wine and More
Free Gourmet Specialty Dining
Free Unlimited Wi-Fi

Some cruise packages will also include free, or discounted hotel stays for before, and/or after your cruise as well.

All sailings with Oceania will feature their upscale, gourmet dining with special nods to the destination that your itinerary is focusing on. For a Mediterranean Cruise in 2024 departing from Venice to Rome for 2 people, you can expect to pay roughly $15,000 for a veranda stateroom. This base fare includes all amenities mentioned.

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With ports of call in Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Malta, and a day spent sailing on the Mediterranean Sea, passengers are sure to experience all that the Mediterranean has to offer while indulging in some of the best foods at sea onboard.

Dining Experience on Oceania:

While onboard, guests have the option of dining in a more luxurious atmosphere at any of the several sit-down restaurants or, if a more casual option is preferred, Oceania offers this as well. Dining at any of Oceania’s restaurants, including the specialty locations, is included in the base fare of your cruise.

Alongside the main dining rooms, Oceania’s vessels boast several specialty restaurants ranging from Italian cuisine, to Pan-Asian, and even a signature steakhouse with wine-pairing options.

Passengers have especially appreciated how diverse each menu presentation has been, and how dedicated Oceania has remained to offering a range of cultural dishes specific to the particular sailing.

Best Mediterranean Cruise for Beach Destinations:

The Mediterranean is well known for their lush, white sand beaches and coastal beach towns. Hundreds of thousands of passengers set sail every year to visit the rugged shores of these coastlines where picturesque villages dangle over the Mediterranean Sea.

One of the most visited areas in the Mediterranean is Italy’s Amalfi Coast, which several cruise lines have now curated special itineraries specific to this coastal landscape.

Although most mainstream cruise lines have developed their own Amalfi Coast itinerary, it’s worth exploring which one offers the best experience for your next Mediterranean cruise.

With Celebrity Cruises, passengers can choose from several different itineraries depending on their travel preferences with an opportunity to experience the Amalfi Coast. With ports in Salerno, Positano and Ravello, guests will not run out of options when sailing with Celebrity.

The all-new Edge-class Celebrity Ascent will be offering Mediterranean sailings throughout 2024. See our video of the ship here.

Why Celebrity Cruises?

 Celebrity is known for being the cruise line to sail with when visiting multiple ports of call in one sailing. This can be a unique opportunity when embarking on a Mediterranean cruise to a coastal town such as the Amalfi Coast, as it will allow you to visit several destinations.

The Mediterranean encompasses a vast area and is inclusive of several countries. Visiting this destination by cruise ship is especially helpful if you want to gain the most out of your experience.

With Celebrity Cruises offering sailings with the most port of calls, you’ll have the best opportunity to do so on one of their vessels.

Best Celebrity Cruises Itinerary:

For example, on an 11-night sailing, you will visit 10 ports of call throughout the Mediterranean including Rome, Florence, Portofino (Amalfi Coast), Naples, Sicily, Brindisi (Italy), Croatia, Montenegro, and Ravenna (Italy). Celebrity also typically includes sea days in their itineraries to allow guests to enjoy the vessel as part of their destination.

On this sailing, guests can expect to pay roughly $7,500 for two guests in a veranda stateroom. This is inclusive of amenities such as all meals, drinks (including alcohol), Wi-Fi, gratuities, and all taxes, fees and port expenses.

Guests have the option to visit Italy’s coastline at two ports of call: Portofino, which is the Amalfi Coast, and at Ravenna, which has nine (9) seaside resorts to visit. Both Croatia and Montenegro also have several beaches situated near Celebrity’s cruise ship port that are worth visiting if seeing the world’s best beaches is on your bucket list.

Final Thoughts

When planning your visit to the Mediterranean it’s worth considering taking a cruise to ensure you can experience all that it has to offer. The Mediterranean is a region packed full of rich experiences, differing cultures, historical architecture, beautiful beaches, and endless food and drink.

Regardless of what experience you’re looking to get out of your Mediterranean vacation, there is sure to be a cruise line such as Viking, Oceania, or Celebrity with an itinerary fit for your preferences. Both cruises and the Mediterranean alike are ideal travel destinations for adults, children and families with something for everyone to enjoy.

* This guest post was written by C. Ingram

Read more: Top 10 Mediterranean cruise destinations

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