Last year 543,000 Britons cruised in the Mediterranean nearly twice as many choose to cruise than a decade ago. It seems that our love of the ocean has been re-kindled; in part this has much to do with the many disruptions that airlines have caused it passengers, although the Icelandic volcano was not the airlines fault, the way in which they handled the stranded passengers all over the world certainly was. This coupled with delays, lost luggage, and price increases has for most been the icing on the cake. Whilst it seems that many people continue to endure the stress of British airports, a large proportion of our fellow countrymen have quite literally cruised right on by.
Welcome to world of Mediterranean cruises sailing from the UK. The stress free way to see many historically beautiful locations, whilst being pampered and cared for. Am I dreaming? No, I have chosen to cruise from Southampton, and I am heading for the balmy waters of the Mediterranean.
Sailing from Southampton takes the stress out of travelling, ok so you have to get to Southampton port but with the great rail and bus connections it really is a doddle. You can also pay to get picked up from your door straight to embarkation, your luggage is taken care of and brought to your cabin, no more lugging it across a hotel complex, or worrying if you let it out of your sight you may never see it again.
Cruising from Southampton to the Mediterranean means that within an hour of being onboard you could be sipping your first cocktail, and discovering the wonders of the ship that will be your home for the next week or so. Walk along the decks before the ship sets sail, take in the sights of a busy port and its people, knowing that everything is being taken care of, and your only job is to sit back and enjoy.
Mediterranean cruises departing from Southampton, gives you at least two more days at sea, than if you were to fly cruise. This allows you do a 7 day cruise, just right if this is your first time cruising, although you will probably wished you had booked for longer.
There are two areas in which to cruise the Mediterranean the western and the Eastern islands. The western half of the Mediterranean includes the idyllic islands of the Balearics, Corsica and Sardinia. Equally stunning the Eastern Mediterranean includes the wonders of Greece, Croatia and Turkey.
Most people choice to cruise the Mediterranean in the summer months, when many popular destinations can be crowded. You can also cruise from Southampton in the winter months offering you the chance to visit when it is less busy, although the promise of the weather cannot be guaranteed; this is still a great time to cruise the Mediterranean. Or choose a cruise that is sailing the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa usually offers better weather at this time of year.
Cunard, P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean all offer Mediterranean cruises from the UK. Each of these cruise lines offers superb facilities, magnificent dining and a host of on board activities, think of it as a 5 star floating hotel.
Numerous people who choose to take Med cruises from the UK return year after year. As they find it is near on impossible to take in all the sights of Mediterranean in just one cruise some of the more popular delights that should not be missed are Naples, Rome, Athens and Venice.
Naples of course is known for the volcano Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii, but has great restaurants and fantastic shopping think shoes and handbags. Rome has to be visited at least once, marvel at the Coliseum and the Pantheon. Before you leave wave to the pope in the Vatican, you never know he might be looking. Athens and Venice are wonderful cities to wander around, mixing the old with the new, winding streets, bijoux shops, and small intimate restaurants. Of course if you are in Athens visit the Acropolis which is only a 20 minute metro ride away from where the ship docks at Piraeus.
The joy of a Mediterranean cruise is that you get to see some of the jewels of the Med all in one holiday, no in-between flights to catch, no packing and unpacking between destinations. After a great day sightseeing sit back, relax with a cool drink and watch the sun go down over the Mediterranean sea, which in its self is well worth the trip.