The majority of itineraries include a combination of culture, history and beautiful beaches, therefore appealing to a wide variety of cruisers. A selection of cruise lines offer itineraries which focus purely on history and culture, incorporating ports such as Venice, Athens, Katakolon for Olympia, Istanbul, Dubrovnik for Croatia, and as far down to the Israeli ports including Haifa and the closest to Jerusalem, Ashdod.
Dalmatian Coast & The Adriatic Sea: Usually embarking the ship in Venice, an Adriatic cruise tends to always stop in Dubrovnik, incorporating calls to the Italian port towns of Ravenna and Bari, or sometimes even the more unusual Eastern Mediterranean ports such as Kotor, for Montenegro. A shorter itinerary of these cruises sail back to Venice, whilst the longer itineraries either continue to sail to Greece and Turkey, with Greek highlights such as Katakolon, the birthplace of the Olympic Games or sail around the coast of Italy, with stops in Naples or Sicily before disembarking in ports such as Rome, Marseilles for France or Barcelona.
The Black Sea: Usually these itineraries depart from either Istanbul for Turkey or Athens for Greece. A cruise around the Black Sea has a combination of stops along the Turkish coast with stops to Crimea for Yalta and Odessa and Russia. There maybe occasional, stops in Romania and Bulgaria.
The Greek Isles: A great way to visit the Greek Islands is from a cruise. Usually cruises embark from either Athens or Istanbul, and the majority of Greek Island itineraries stop in the major ports, such as beautiful Santorini, and the stunning islands of Mykonos and Corfu. Kusadasi, for Turkey, is home of the ancient city of Ephesus, which is usually included within the itinerary.
The Holy Land: The Eastern Mediterranean itineraries sail down into Israel to make stops at Ashdod, the closest port to Jerusalem or Haifa to Jerusalem. In the past, these itineraries tended to make stops in Alexandria, for Egypt, however with uncertainty within the country, travel has been restricted in recent years. The Cypriot ports, both Limassol and Paphos are also popular, with embarkation usually in Athens or Istanbul
Stay tuned for part 3 of my blog – Port Highlights of the Eastern Mediterranean
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