The benefits of a short Mediterranean cruise

Just as weekend getaways and city breaks have really caught on in the holiday market, so mini cruises and short cruises have finally come into their own. It’s about time too, as just a few days on a cruise ship can be quite as, if not more, therapeutic as an enjoyable long weekend.

You can even add a short cruise to your existing holiday, especially if you will be very active or in ‘explorer mode’, as a way to add a touch of luxury and to round off your days away with a relaxing finish. Look for a range of mini cruises that sail from a variety of destinations and if a Mediterranean cruise catches your imagination, you’ll be spoilt for choice. It’s always possible you might get lucky with last minute cruise deals, however, advance booking is almost always recommended.

One of the many reasons why embarking on a Mediterranean cruise is so wonderful is that it features sparkling deep blue waters, warm breezes, medieval towns and a good dose of European culture. Short Mediterranean cruises are great as you can decide whether you want to explore the larger or smaller ports. They are all close together so sometimes a series of short cruises is much more satisfying than a single, longer, but more restricted one. You can tailor make your itinerary to suit your interests and spend just as long as you wish at each stopover port.

Instead of European river cruise deals for 7 days, 10 days or 14 days, look for shorter outings of three or four days on a Mediterranean cruise. One great example is the short cruise departing from Genoa and Portofino in Italy, and travelling to Palermo in Sicily and then Cagliari in Sardinia. You will have a really nice cabin on board for three nights and superb fresh food, with personal service. This cruise is good value for money and as well as onboard entertainment there is much to see and do when the ship docks. Within this relatively small geographical area, you can enjoy glorious pristine beaches, abundant local history and lively European cultural events.

If you’re holidaying in Venice you might enjoy a little add-on cruise from the city, lasting for four days and three nights, that includes a stop in Bari, southeast Italy, and Zadar, Croatia – both located on the Adriatic Sea – before returning to the Venetian capital. If you like, you can choose from a range of excursions which will give you an idea of the different tours available in each port. Advance booking is generally recommended for very popular tours and all guides speak English.

Cruise deals are usually easy to spot as operators flag them up quite sometime before departure dates. One of the most attractive features of a Mediterranean cruise is the range of beautiful ports including those in France, Italy and Spain in the Western region as well as the Israeli city of Haifa in the Eastern Mediterranean.

From the world-famous city of Venice, you can sail to the wonderfully beautiful Dubrovnik in Croatia. Every year, new cruise ports open up along the African coast and there are lots of diverse traditions and cultures to be found around the Mediterranean – many more than you might imagine.

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