Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Saint Paul, Marco Polo and millions of others from the dawn of civilization to present-day cruise vacationers have explored the coastal cities and thousands of islands of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.
These are, in fact, places linked mainly by the sea, and much of their history, commerce and traditions have their origins there.
Cruises in this part of the world fall into three broad categories:
Eastern Mediterranean/Aegean Sea cruises visit ports in Turkey, Greece and islands such as Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. Ships traveling this itinerary on seven-day cruises often departing from Piraeus (Athens), Greece, or Istanbul, Turkey, though some longer voyages sail from ports farther west.
Western Mediterranean/Southern Europe cruises sail among the cities and villages of Southern Europe from the Adriatic to the Straits of Gibraltar, including Venice, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Genoa, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; St.-Tropez, France; Barcelona, Spain; and a host of others, ranging from small villages to major cities.
Southern Mediterranean cruises visit the more exotic ports of call along the coast of North Africa from Morocco to the Holy Lands, including Tunis, Tunisia; Tripoli, Libya; Alexandria, Egypt; and Haifa, Israel, among others.