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Mediterranean Small Ship Cruises

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Jorde Angjelovik
Colorful flowers and brilliant blue skies complement beautiful Greek islands
Adriatic Sea
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Sail along the Grande Canal in Venice
Balate Dorin
Visit charming Sicily
Balate Dorin
Visit charming Sicily
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Experience the Mediterranean on a luxury small ship cruise by Adventure Life. The ultimate way to cruise the Mediterranean is on a luxury-class yacht, though below are several penny-pinching options below that visit enchanting ports on the Adriatic Sea like the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, to the canals of Venice, the ruins of ancient Rome, and the island cultures of GreeceSicily, Corsica, Sardinia & Malta. Or, explore the western Mediterranean from the exotic Portuguese culture of Lisbon and Spain's Barcelona to glitzy Monaco, and sunny Nice and Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera. A small-ship cruise is far superior to taking a large cruise ship due to access to small coves & ports, safety, and personalized service. Contact one of our Mediterranean small ship cruise specialists for help designing your dream cruise to the Mediterranean. 
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10 Best Mediterranean Cruises for 2023-2024

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Top 10 Luxury Mediterranean Cruises for 2023-2024

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Mediterranean: Civitavecchia to Valletta$71159May 22, 2023Explore Mediterranean hot spots on this incredible 8-day Sea Cloud II adventure. Beginning in Rome, this cruise visits the islands of Capri, Amalfi, …
Corsica & Sardinia$1695011May 4, 2023Each 11-day roundtrip cruise of the Mediterranean from Naples aboard Sea Cloud is crafted to offer the authentic experience of sailing a true …
Mediterranean Enchantments$54108Sep 30, 2023Join this 8-day Eastern Mediterranean cruise aboard Emerald Azzurra and explore the wealth of beauty that Greece has to offer. Visit Sarandë on the …
Early Summer Mediterranean Style$60558May 7, 2023Explore the spectacular Italian Riviera on this 8-day cruise aboard the glamorous Sea Cloud II. Starting in the charming city of Italy visit …
The Best of Croatia$48808Jun 15, 2023From Venice, set sail for Croatia and its many hidden treasures on this 8-day cruise aboard the luxurious Le Lyrial. Explore the wild beauty and …
Ligurian Sea$18908Jun 3, 2023On this 8-day trip, the Star Clipper takes you to idyllic destinations including Cannes, Bonifacio, Alghero, Monaco and more! Sail aboard a tall ship …
Ancient Treasures of the Mediterranean$40108Jul 6, 2023Fall under the spell of the Mediterranean’s key sites during an 8-day cruise from Athens to Istanbul aboard Le Lyrial. History comes alive as you …
From the city of Gods to the canals of Venice$47808Jun 26, 2023Board Le Bougainville from Athens to Venice for an inspiring 8-day cruise from the city of Gods to the Serenissima. Explore Athens, Kotor, Hvar, …
French & Italian Rivieras with Corsica$42758Apr 18, 2023Start your 8-day Emerald Azzura cruise of the Mediterranean in Rome's port of Civitavecchia before cruising north to Port Ercole, and on to the towns …
Ionian Sea Adventure$42708May 2, 2023Transit the Corinth Canal on this 8-day cruise aboard Emerald Azzurra, before sailing onwards to the Greek town of Itea and the village of Fiskardo …
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Top 6 Mediterranean Cruise Deals for 2023-2024

Trip NameSaveFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Sicily & GreeceSavings$21309Oct 14, 2023Explore Greece, Sicily, and Malta on this 9-day cruise aboard the tall ship Star Flyer. Starting in the famous and historic city of Athens, visit …
Cannes to RomeSavings$18908May 13, 2023Your 8-day roundtrip Mediterranean cruise departs from glittering Cannes, France. Sail to luxurious Monaco; explore the charming port of Bonifacio, …
Grand Voyage: Venice to CannesSavings$350015Sep 2, 2023Explore the Mediterranean aboard a tall sailing ship, the Royal Clipper, on a 15-day sailing expedition. Experience Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, …
Lisbon to MalagaSavings$19308Apr 19, 2024Cruise with Star Flyer on an 8-day expedition along the Mediterranean Sea from Lisbon, Portugal, to Malaga, Spain, stopping in fantastic destinations …
Northern CycladesSavings$18908Jun 10, 2023Explore the exceptional beauty of the Cyclades Islands on this incredible 8-day tall ship sailing adventure on the Star Flyer. Visit some of the most …
Morocco & Canary IslandsSavings$232010Oct 25, 2023Immerse yourself in the diverse cultures of Morocco and the Canary Islands on this 10-day sailing adventure onboard the Star Clipper. Sail from …

Top 13 Mediterranean Small Ship Cruise Destinations

Our 10 Favorite Mediterranean Small Cruise Ships for 2023-2024

Mediterranean Cruise Guide & Travel Tips

Top Islands of the Mediterranean for Luxury Cruising

This expansive sea unifies a diversity of countries and cultures that you will explore from your small ship Mediterranean cruise.

The Greek Isles of Santorini and Mykonos
Step back into the times of the ancient Greeks as you explore the world-renowned ruins, picturesque landscapes and world-famous beaches in sunny Greece.  

Island hopping along the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia
Or enjoy the relaxing beaches and fascinating culture and history of the Adriatic Sea's islands like Mljet National Park, the Elaphiti Islands, Korčula and Hvar.

Cruising the Central Mediterranean in Style
Italy's legendary island of Sicily is circumnavigated on wine and culinary tours and picturesque Sardinia and Corsica mix Italian and French cultures into their own unique island vibes, while the historic fortress-city of VallettaMalta mixes in the cultures of its previous rulers including the Romans, Moors, French and British.  
How to Choose a Mediterranean Small Cruise Ship

While we feature over 30 boats to choose from in the Mediterranean, picking the right one can be an exciting part of your trip planning, rather than a headache, and our Europe cruise experts are here to help you every step of the way. So follow this simple process and let us know if you have any questions:
  1. Choose your region or destinations. Most itineraries only have a few cruise ships that travel to them, so if you know where you want to go, that's half the battle. 
  2. Check the cabins & suites on each boat. All of the vessels we feature are comfortable, but each one has cabins and suites that vary in size. Some offer balconies, while others offer floor-to-ceiling windows, while others simply offer port holes.
  3. Consult your budget. There's a boat and/or cabin for every budget, so even if you're on a tight budget, we can still help you find a boat in your price range. 
  4. Let us know when you're ready to book! We'll walk you through the whole process and make sure your boat has everything you're looking for, and we'll also make sure you're getting the best deal!

Luxury Cruises in the Mediterranean 

What's the difference between a luxury cruise and a regular cruise?
While all of our cruises offer comfortable accommodations and engaging itineraries, the luxury cruises take that one step further, aboard only the finest of the Mediterranean ships, like SeaDream I, or Sea Cloud (classic luxury style windjammer), and the ultra modern luxury small cruise ships like Le Lyrial, Le Bougainville or L'Austral. Aboard these luxury vessels, you might find: 
  • A full bar and gourmet food.
  • Balconies or floor-to-ceiling/ panoramic windows.
  • Spacious suite-style cabins.
  • Modern design & amenities 
  • Spa, fitness center, jacuzzi, and pool
Luxury Cruise Destinations
You can visit anywhere in the Mediterranean on one of our luxury cruises, including:
  • Italy (Rome, Venice, and Sicily)
  • Greece (the coastal towns & islands)
  • Croatia, the Adriatic, and the Aegean Sea (including the Dalmatian Coast)
  • France & Spain
Popular Mediterranean Cruise Destinations

Some of the most popular destinations frequently visited on a Mediterranean cruise include:
The Mediterranean: Endless Possibilities
The only limit to your Mediterranean cruise is your sense of wanderlust. From Spain to Turkey and everywhere in between, you will enjoy visiting ancient ruins that are seamlessly integrated into modern towns and taking a dip in the azure waters of this tranquil sea, as you sample the delicious cuisine in the likes of Italy and Greece.
Depending on your desires, a Mediterranean cruise could take you to destinations like:

Spain & PortugalBetween the quiet villages, the Gothic cathedrals, the authentic Spanish art, and more, you will experience the Iberian Peninsula like never before.
FranceBig cities, small fishing villages, and the French Riviera are just a few of the attractions you'll see as you explore France, accompanied by gourmet meals on land and aboard your comfortable yacht.
ItalyRome & Venice show off their vibrant culture and rich history. In Rome, you will see the heart of the ancient Roman Empire  and the modern day capital city all in one. Venice is the "City of Canals" and has deep roots in Renaissance art & architecture.
The BalkansIn this region, you will navigate the fabled Adriatic and the Aegean Seas to reach the southeastern corner of Europe, including Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Greece, and Turkey - each with their own distinct cultural flair. 
GreeceThe blue-green waters and terraced towns of the Greek Isles hold a fascinating place in the cultural history of the world, as home to myths and legends that have shaped modern art, architecture, and literature, as well as beautiful beaches and quiet towns.
CroatiaYou will be able to go for relaxing swims in some of the most scenic beaches of the Mediterranean, including the Elaphiti Islands, Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast, and the beachfront towns of Split & Bol. 
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Mediterranean Cruise FAQ

Do I need a visa to travel to the Mediterranean?
All citizens of North America traveling to Europe need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. In recent years, it has not been necessary to apply for a visa before traveling to Europe if you plan to stay less than three months, however, this situation may change in the future. See current European visa requirements.

Is tipping customary in the Mediterranean?
A service charge is generally included in the bills at most places that expect gratuities, but if you feel like leaving an additional 5-10%, it's always appreciated. You should leave a few euros with your taxi drivers or porters, especially if they help you with heavy suitcases. Tour guides and the captain and crew of your boat will probably expect a tip that is a few euros per person per day of your trip, which will be split among them.

What is internet access like in the Mediterranean?
Your vessel may or may not have WiFi, but you shouldn't anticipate it. You might be able to find a hotspot while in the towns you are visiting, since wireless internet is prolific throughout Europe. However, you'll find that the itineraries are largely so engaging that you won't even feel the need to connect.

Can I use my cell phone while in the Mediterranean?
Maybe, but you shouldn't count on it. While you could call your service provider and ask them to unlock your GSM-enabled phone so that you can buy a SIM chip when you arrive, we suggest just turning it off and enjoying your Mediterranean vacation. You could also try to connect to WiFi networks or ask your provider if they offer any international plans.

Do I need power adapters?
Depending on where the ship was made, power adapters are likely European style (two prong - C, E, F) or possibly (though not likely) North American style (A & B), so it's a good idea to purchase some power adapters. Power is 220-240v, but most 110v devices are made to handle both levels so a converter isn't necessary.

What are the toilets like in the Mediterranean?
Toilets in the boats of the Mediterranean are standard western-style flush toilets.

Can I drink the water in the Mediterranean?
It is safe to drink the tap water in your cruise vessel and in Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, and Greece. The Balkan states do not have safe-to-drink tap water. But don't worry - no matter where your cruise goes, you will always be provided with plenty of purified or bottled water for drinking.

Are credit cards accepted in the Mediterranean? Will I be able to find ATMs?
ATMs are common in the big cities, and most cruises will visit a major city at least every other day. However, do keep in mind that some of the cruises stay mainly in smaller towns, where access to ATMs might not be as readily available, and other cruises are designed specifically to stay away from the modern buzz of life, so no matter which cruise you are on, it's safe to have some cash in pocket at all times just in case. Fortunately, our cruises are all-inclusive, so other than souvenir shopping, tips, and any alcohol or meals outside of the itinerary, you won't have to worry about paying.

Should I purchase travel insurance?
Of course! Having travel insurance is important, so once you've decided which trip is right for you go to our Once You're Booked page for more information and deals on Travelex Insurance.
Test your Mediterranean Knowledge!
How many square miles is the Mediterranean? What is the average depth?
  • 965,000 sq miles.
  • 4,900 ft. deep.
What are the largest islands in the Mediterranean?
  • Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, Corsica and Crete
Why is it called the "Mediterranean"?
  • Romans considered it to be the center of the earth, so the name derives from the Latin mediterraneus, which literally means "middle of the earth."
What is the closest point between Europe and Africa?
  • The Strait of Gibraltar on the southern tip of Spain is just 8 miles across at its narrowest point!
Favorite Mediterranean Cruise Destinations
Separating Europe and the northern coasts of Africa, the Mediterranean Sea borders 21 countries, each with their own distinct culture, sites, history, cuisine, and attractions. Depending on which part of the Mediterranean you are planning to visit, your experience could vary greatly. The influence of the ancient Roman and Greek Empires can be seen throughout most countries, especially in the ancient architecture and well-preserved ruins. And the climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, cool winters, making it a great summer destination and a good winter destination too. Here are a few of the top destinations in the Mediterranean:
    • The Dalmatian CoastDiscover the idyllic Adriatic Sea as you tour Croatia's sun-kissed Dalmatian Coast.
    • The CycladesIn the heart of Greece's Aegean Sea, you will encounter white-washed port towns, tranquility, and excellent swimming in crystal waters in the islands of Santorini, Mykonos, and Delos.
    • Classical GreeceThese tours tend to feature a lot of interactive and engaging history, including visits to Athens and many of the country's sunny beaches.
    • Romantic ItalyVenice, Rome, the Vatican, Sicily, and many other ancient, beautiful cities await you on your Italian cruise of the Mediterranean.
    • Spain, Portugal, & FranceThe Iberian Peninsula and France are popular destinations for those hoping to see Western Europe's rich culture, taste savory wines, and perhaps even visit Morocco. 

    Best Mediterranean Small Ship Cruise Lines for 2023-2024

    • European Waterways - a Berkshire, England headquartered company, maintains 17 river cruise ships around Europe. The company refurbishes vintage barges and converts them into hotels barges. Canal du Midi cruises are the perfect holiday option to explore the diverse Mediterranean landscapes, sun-drenched vineyards, and Cathar fortresses aboard the 20 passenger vessel La Bella Vita.
    • Silversea Cruises - is a premium cruise line based in Monaco, owned by Royal Caribbean, and the inventor of all-inclusive cruising. Explore the fabled lands of the Mediterranean that have been the inspiration for artists and poets aboard the 254-guest Silver Cloud.
    • Star Clippers Americas - For almost 30 years, the renowned specialist in sailing vacations has shared the legendary tall ship dream with thousands of travelers from all over the world. With all three ships, Star FlyerStar Clipper, and Royal Clipper sailing together in the Mediterranean, Star Clippers is offering more than 65 sail dates to choose from with itineraries in France, Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Turkey. 
    • Ponant - is an ambassador of the "French Touch" worldwide. With French crew, discreet service, refined cuisine, and partners with excellent track record doing their utmost to maintain its unique cruising philosophy. Enjoy a Mediterranean cruise to visit historical and ancient sites in Greece, Italy, Malta, and Turkey on the 184-guest Le Bellot
    • Sea Cloud Cruises - has always been committed to preserving the true value of windjammers for over 40 years. The wind and waves determine the direction of life on board. With a total length of 117 meters, 23 sails, and about 3,000 square meters of sail area as a three-mast barque, the Sea Cloud II has also enriched the fleet of blue-water cruise ships.
    • Variety Cruises - home of the leading small ship cruise line worldwide with eleven state-of-the-art SOLAS certified Yachts hosting no more than 72 guests. Discover the Mediterranean at 13 knots, one island or shoreline at a time, aboard Variety Voyager. Her 72 guests appreciate her sleek lines and spacious decks, reinventing yachting.
    • Emerald Waterways - offers gourmet meals, horizon-expanding adventures, and first-class service. With so many extras on every cruise, all you have to do is relax and enjoy your Mediterranean trip. Reaching an impressive 110 meters in length, the spectacular superyacht Emerald Azzurra exceeds your ocean cruising expectations. 
    • CroisiEurope - has over 55 luxury cruise ships, ranging in capacity from 22 to 200 passengers, cruising on some of the most beautiful Mediterranean seas and the rest of the globe.
    • Lindblad Expeditions - has fleets consisting of 15 expedition ships that travel to the world's most remote and exciting locations in the comfort of luxury accommodations and are equipped with necessary exploration tools. Discover the romance and exhilaration of a tall Mediterranean ship sailing aboard the legendary Sea Cloud.
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