THE MEDITERRANEAN IS THE second-most popular cruise destination in the world, and for good reason. Nowhere else on Earth combines such an array of stunning marine settings with so many iconic, cultural and historic treasures. Cruise passengers can comb the ancient ruins of Greece and Italy, party on the Riviera, sip the wines of southern France, island-hop along the Iberian Peninsula or explore the walled cities of the Dalmatian Coast.
Sea-going travelers seeking to make their own odysseys in the Mediterranean have a full berth of choices among international cruise lines, with ships ranging from large resort vessels to small luxury ships. High season for Mediterranean cruises commences in June and tapers off by November. Experienced cruisers often prefer autumn or spring sailings when temperatures are milder and ports less crowded. Winter sailings are sparse, although the Mediterranean is inching toward becoming a major year-round cruise destination.
Cruises in the Western Mediterranean are four times as popular as cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, where smaller luxury lines predominate, offering educational voyages to the Greek Isles; the Adriatic coastline of Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro; and, until recent political problems flared up, the treasure houses of Turkey and Egypt. Italy hosts the most cruises, followed in order by Spain, France and Greece. Eight Mediterranean ports served more than 1 million passengers each last year, led by Barcelona, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Veanice. Marseille and the Balearic Islands of Spain (including Majorca and Ibiza) also topped the million-passenger mark, as did Athens (Piraeus) and two more Italian ports, Naples and Genoa.
Picking a Mediterranean cruise depends in part on selecting an itinerary with the ports, major and minor, that interest you most, whether they be Rome or Athens, Gibraltar or Santoríni, Florence or Monte Carlo. Another determining factor is which cruise line to book. Nearly 50 cruise lines deploy at least one of their ships to the Mediterranean this summer. Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Celebrity, Disney, Cunard and Carnival are among the largest operators with the largest ships, while Silversea, Seabourn, Viking, Crystal, Windstar, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas and Azamara Club Cruises lead the ranks of smaller luxury options. For Mediterranean trips year-round or shorter than a week’s duration, there are several international, European-based lines to choose from, including Costa Cruises (an Italian cruise line headquartered in Geneva), MSC Cruises (the world’s fourth-largest cruise company) and Variety Cruises (an Athens-based operator of boutique ships and mega-yachts).
Enclosed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the wide Mediterranean has plenty of space to accommodate the world’s major cruise lines while packing enough attractions to reward a lifetime of sailings, whether you yearn to see Vesuvius or Venice, Capri or Crete.
There is something magical about sipping a glass of local wine while watching the sun slip into the Aegean Sea as the afterglow tinges traditional, white-washed Cycladic houses with glorious shades of rose, purple and gold. Ancient Greeks believed Helios, the Sun God, caused sunsets by driving his fiery chariot into the sea. Standing at water’s edge in Mykonos, watching the sky slowly turn from purple to inky black, you almost believe it.
Reconnecting the World: GBTA Convention 2023 Spotlights the Vital Role of Business Travel and In-Person Connection
In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention remains an indispensable platform for business travel industry professionals seeking to make the most of the power of face-to-face connections. Taking place August 13–15 in Dallas, the 2023 GBTA Convention provides the unique opportunity for professionals and companies to join visionaries, thought leaders and industry experts for meaningful networking, cutting-edge insights and inspiring innovation.
The prospect of a post-visit treasure hunting session inside the shops of landmark museums such as the Louvre in Paris, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and The British Museum in London can be irresistible. However, some of Europe’s smaller and more unusual museums boast retail spaces with a surprising “wow” factor, often as well-curated as the galleries.
Hyatt Hotels recently announced plans to add more than 30 new luxury and lifestyle hotels and resorts to its U.S., Canada, Latin America and Caribbean portfolio through 2025. These new hotels and resorts span many of Hyatt Hotels’ brands including Park Hyatt, Dream Hotels, Thompson Hotels and Destination by Hyatt.
Are you looking to enhance your business trip with a little leisure? Look no further than Portugal, a country renowned for its captivating blend of history, culture and natural beauty. And with TAP Air Portugal, you can effortlessly transform your business trip into an unforgettable bleisure adventure. Discover why Portugal and TAP Air Portugal are the perfect combination for an enriching and rejuvenating experience.
Studio MHNA Demonstrates Unique Style in Latest Project by Constance Hotels & Resorts for C Mauritius
Studio MHNA demonstrated its sensitivity and unique style in the latest project by the Constance Hotels & Resorts group: the Constance Belle Mare Plage (aka C Mauritius). C Mauritius sits on the tranquil east coast of Mauritius, about 36 miles from the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.
In partnership with Nobu Hospitality, SODIC, Egypt’s leading real estate developer, recently announced plans on the expansion of the Nobu brand in Egypt. This expansion entails the development of luxury hotels, branded residences and the acclaimed Nobu restaurant.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
VBT Bicycling Vacations and Country Walkers recently released an exciting lineup of tours and itineraries for 2024. The new offerings are available for booking now and include VBT Bicycling Vacations’ Italy: Tuscany, Chianti & Marina di Castagneto and Country Walkers’ Croatia: Brač, Korčula & Mljet National Park.