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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Guide to Cruising the Eastern Mediterranean

Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean have become more and more popular in recent years as people have discovered what previously lesser known countries such as Turkey (Ephesus pictured above) and Bulgaria have to offer. Generally, cruises to the Eastern Med offer all the same facilities and perks you get on the Western side of this sea but are more frequented by those interested in finding out about cultures further from their own and exploring ancient historic sites in the sun.

The season for cruising is just about perfect right now. The kids are going back to school, but the weather in the Eastern Med is still sunny and warm most of the time – meaning that if you’re looking for something different from your usual holiday of lazing around by a pool in one hotel, you should book cruises online straight away.

St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy (Copyright © Popular Cruising)

While of course you can spend your time on board the ship if that’s what you’d prefer, most people like to take advantage of the beautiful places at which they stop throughout the Eastern Med, experiencing a different country or province every day. The first stop on most Eastern Med cruises is generally along Italy’s western coastline, usually Rome. You’re immediately immersed in a world of breathtaking history and culture, and it only gets better from there on.

You then head on to Greece and its world famous islands. If your ship docks in Athens, make sure to take advantage of your time there, wandering the many historic sites hidden within the city. If you’ve never been before, the iconic sights that must be seen are the imposing Acropolis and its brand new state-of-the-art museum, as well as the ancient agora where the likes of Socrates and Plato wandered. But there are lesser frequented places that are also just as interesting, such as the Lykavettos hill; the climb to the top under the sun’s rays is only for the brave, or you can take the funicular. The views over the city are like no other.

The Island of Santorini, Greece (Copyright © Popular Cruising)

Turkey is the main highlight for many people on an Eastern Med cruise. Istanbul is another of the world’s most iconic cities to visit, packed with a mixed pot of culture from the East and West. But there are generally other stops at places like Marmaris where you can spend time relaxing on the beaches and indulging yourself in typical Turkish food. If you happen to spend a night in Marmaris and you’re a fan of nights out, make sure to head to the infamous Bar Street where the party literally spills out onto the streets. Turkey has something to offer for everyone, and even if it’s not your cup of tea, there is always plenty of entertainment happening night and day onboard the ship.


This is a guest post written on behalf of Bon Voyage.

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