When most people think of a cruise around the Med, it’s normally Spain, France and Italy that come to mind. A cruise around the ports along the western coast of the Mediterranean is a route that’s very well-travelled, but for those seeking something a bit different there’s the option of an Eastern Mediterranean cruise.
Take a cruise that introduces you to the ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece and Turkey and see some of Europe’s most stunning sights on a journey that takes you back thousands of years.
Many cruises of the Eastern Mediterranean start in the historic city of Rome, where there is plenty of opportunity to explore the former beating heart of the Roman Empire.
A fly-cruise deal may offer you the chance to get to the city with a night or two before your cruise ship departs, make sure you take it. There is so much to see and do, there’s no way you could do it justice in an afternoon but if your time is limited, taking a guided tour of the main sights will give you a flavor of the place. And don’t forget to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain to make sure you come back.
After Britain’s success in the 2012 Olympics, nothing could be more perfect than a stop at the town where the modern Olympiad originated. With a full day to take a trip to the town, wander around the Olympic museum and the chance to unwind in a cafe on the waterfront, there’s plenty of time to soak up the culture and history of the place.
The port of Pireus is the gateway to Athens, where you get the chance to immerse yourself in a different ancient civilization only a day or two’s cruising after your Roman holiday.
On your day in the city, make the Acropolis the main focus of your visit. This ancient citadel built on a rocky outcrop above the city has many archaeologically and historically significant buildings that are open for you to explore. The most famous of these is the Parthenon, built in 447 BC and dedicated to the city’s patron goddess Athena, which is a breath-taking sight and gives a glimpse into the past glories of ancient Greece.
For history and archaeology buffs, the New Acropolis Museum makes for a fascinating visit, and is a great place to shelter from the heat of the midday sun.
Another day, another ancient civilization but this time spanning two continents at once. Istanbul is the only city in the world that sits in both Europe and Asia, making it a truly transcontinental experience.
The city itself is a fusion of cultural influences from its European and Asian roots, blended with African flavors from its long history as a trading port and gateway between Europe, Africa and Asia.
Many Eastern Mediterranean cruises will give you two days in Istanbul, and with good reason. It’s a sprawling, fascinating city full of history, culture and life. Istanbul is a great place to get all your gifts for friends and family, and wandering through the bazaars you’ll find an array
of sights, sounds and smells to keep you entertained for hours.
The final stop on a cruise around the Eastern Med before you get back to Rome, Naples is a city of fashion and refinement. Cruising into the bay, you’re met by the 13th century castle and within minutes of stepping off the ship you’re surrounded by Naples’ beautiful old town. It’s a perfect place to conclude a cruise around this lesser-explored part of the Mediterranean.
When booking a cruise holiday, take a trip along the route less travelled and enjoy a voyage around the Eastern Mediterranean.
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