Best Mediterranean cruises to book now for 2024
This unusual itinerary sees Ponant 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.
On 11th May 2024 Oceania's newest ship, 1,200-guest Vista, sets sail from Istanbul, beginning with an overnight there to explore the city proper, before voyaging on a leisurely 10-night journey eastbound including Sicily, Greece, Malta and Turkey. After a penulimate stop at stylish Sorrento you'll end in Rome and its endless treasures.
Regent's stylish Seven Seas Voyager, carrying 680 guests, leaves Barcelona on 8th June 2024 on a 10-night cruise to Lisbon. Along the way she visits stylish cities of the French and Italian Rivieras and Western Mediterranean including Mallorca, Sardinia, St Tropez and Málaga, and with excursions included in the fare, you have many options for exploration.
On 20th July the intimate yacht SeaDream II, carrying just 112 guests, voyages from Venice - because of her small size, she can sail into and from the city itself - on an enticing 7-night cruise beginning with a call in at Slovenia before visiting the islands and magical seaside towns of Croatia, before completing her cruise in the enchanting walled city of Dubrovnik.
The 298-guest Evrima, launched in 2023, the first vessel in the Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection fleet, sails from Rome on 7th August. 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 four-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 Whisper's round-trip sailing from Lisbon on 30th September, which takes in the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. A spacious small ship carrying just 392 passengers, Silver Whisper's multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2018 has enhanced the spacious accommodation, four fabulous dining options and an expanded spa.
Greek Isles and Istanbul
The 600-guest Seabourn Encore sails from Athens on 20th October on a 14-night journey to include northern Greece and highlights of Turkey, including magical Istanbul, and visits to Izmir, the birthplace of Homer, and magnificent Ephesus, before a leisurely journey back to Athens through the Cyclades.