Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

On the Rise: Why the Mediterranean is One of the Hottest Spots for a Cruise

Ring, ring, paradise is calling and its name is the Mediterranean. Famous for its majestic coastline, sensational food and wine, wide array of landscapes and iconic sight-seeing spots, the Mediterranean will inspire some serious wanderlust within even the most seasoned traveler. Considering this, it makes sense why the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) found that cruises to the Mediterranean were up 8 percent from 2017 to 2018 with a total of over 4 million cruise passengers. The Med is a rising cruise destination and there’s no sign of this tourism boom slowing down; let’s take a look at why this region is drawing in so many travelers.

Take Your Pick of Destinations

From the buzzed about Western Mediterranean – Spain, France, Italy, Monaco and Morocco – to the refreshingly exotic Eastern Mediterranean – Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Greece, Israel and Egypt – one thing that makes cruising the Med so special is the chance to explore so many magical ports of call. Spend one day frolicking the romantic streets of Santorini, Greece and wake up the next near the coast of Heraklion. Admire the bustling atmosphere of Turkey’s Grand Bazaar or indulge with a dish of homemade pasta in Italy. The possibilities a Mediterranean cruise adventure brings are endless. 

Relish in the Weather

Another thing that makes this region a cruiser’s paradise is its arguably perfect weather year-round. Peak season is from May to early September with temperatures averaging between 80 to 90 degrees. During this time, travelers can expect little-to-no rain and just enough humidity to prime the water for perfect swimming conditions. Temperatures do decrease significantly during winter months where they hover around 50 degrees. However, this is the perfect weather for travelers who love crisp fall temps and are looking for a deal, as this is when cruise liners run the lowest rates and tourist attractions have the smallest crowds. But the real Mediterranean weather sweet spot is during the months of April, May, September and October where the crowds are moderate and the weather is pleasant, averaging between 60 and 80 degrees.   

Enjoy Options and Ease

Lastly, accessibility plays a huge factor in the Mediterranean’s status as one of the world’s best cruise spots. Many major and boutique cruise liners offer packages to the destination and it’s also worth noting that you don’t have to board a massive vessel to join in on the fun as river cruises are also huge throughout the region. Of course, with accessibility comes cost. Luckily, the ever-popular cruise industry has prices that will appease both bargain hunters and high rollers, and when done right, cruising is one of the more economical ways to explore Mediterranean Europe.

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