On 16th May 2023 Oceania's pretty little 648 guest Sirena sets sail from Rome on a leisurely 11 night journey eastbound including Sicily, Greece and Turkey, before arriving in Israel for a day in Ashdod, then relocating to stylish Haifa. You could take an excursion to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Masada and the Dead Sea or Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee.
Regent's stylish Seven Seas Mariner, carrying 684 guests, leaves Barcelona on 30th May 2023 on a 12 night cruise to Rome. Along the way she visits some of the most cosmopolitan islands of the Western Mediterranean including Mallorca, Minorca, Corsica and Sardinia, and with excursions included in the fare, you have many options for exploration.
On 17th June the intimate yacht SeaDream II, carrying just 112 guests, sails from Dubrovnik on an enticing 7 night cruise visiting the islands and magical seaside towns of Croatia, with a final call in Slovenia before completing her cruise in Venice - and because of her small size, she can sail into Venice itself.
French and Italian Rivieras
The newly launched 298 guest Evrima, first vessel in the Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection fleet, sails from Rome on 8th July. Two days in Livorno give plenty of opportunity to explore the highlights of Tuscany, before indulging in the high life on the French and Italian Rivieras, calling at Portofino, Monte Carlo, Saint Tropez and Antibes, with late nights in port to enjoy the vibe.
Windstar's sleek 4 masted sailing yacht Wind Star, accommodating just 148 guests, sails from Athens every Saturday in August for a magical journey including the tiny islands of Mykonos, Patmos and Santorini, as well at visiting Kusadasi to explore ancient Ephesus, and the castles and sites of the Peloponnese.
Although not technically the Mediterranean, we have to mention the lovely Silver Moon's round trip sailing from Lisbon on 22nd September, which takes in the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. A spacious small ship carrying just 596 passengers, the experience includes Silver's new Sea and Land Taste programme for a very special and wide ranging gastronomic experience.
Aegean Gems and Istanbul
The 600 guest Seabourn Encore sails from Athens on 1st October on a 10 night journey to include northern Greece and highlights of Turkey, including an overnight stay in magical Istanbul, and visits to Izmir, the birthplace of Homer, and magnificent Ephesus, before a leisurely journey back to Athens through the Cyclades.
We are finishing our favourite Mediterranean cruises with a very special 2024 voyage. The itinerary is so unusual, it will be snapped up quickly, so I am recommending early booking to join Smithsonian Journeys on 14th April 2024, when the 184 guest Le Champlain leaves Valletta for an extraordinary 8 night circumnavigation of Sicily. With world class experts on board, a shore excursion included in every port of call, and a unique itinerary for those interested in history stretching back thousands of years, this is an opportunity not to be missed.