This is a region that awakens the senses, from the serene elegance of Venice and the rugged beauty of Dubrovnik to simpler pleasures. Jumping off sun-warmed rocks into Croatia’s crystal clear water, for example, or in Sicily, the indulgence of crunchy cannoli, oozing sweetened ricotta, with your morning cappuccino.
What you’ll see:
Voyages that sail between Venice and Rome head further south into the Ionian Sea, to visit Corfu, with its graceful Venetian architecture, the elegant, arcaded Liston promenade and the opulent, 19th century Achilleion Palace, built for Elisabeth, Empress of Austria. If your ship calls at Siracusa on Sicily, simply stroll and enjoy the city’s beauty, all baroque piazzas and Greek antiquities. The Parco Archeologico della Neapolis is one of the most important sites on Sicily, its dazzlingly beautiful Greek theatre dating back to the fifth century BC.
Choose Your Cruise: Interested in exploring the Adriatic coast? Silversea offers several possibilities. One itinerary offers a Venice roundtrip that strongly focuses on Adriatic ports of call. On the other hand, a Rome to Venice cruise offers incorporates more of Italy — with calls at Naples, Sicily, and Bari, in addition to stops along the Adriatic coast.
- The Western Mediterranean.
If you’re looking for the real nostalgic glamour of the Mediterranean, you’ll find it here, in the jewel-like villages studding the Italian Riviera and along France’s shimmering Côte d’Azur in France. In addition, this itinerary shows off the treasures of Tuscany, from the Uffizi in Florence to Pisa’s Leaning Tower. You’ll discover a quieter face of France, too, towards the Spanish border, where the coastline is characterized by pine forests and fishing villages.
What you’ll see:
Art and architecture vie for your attention with the temptations of golden beaches and waterfront seafood restaurants on a cruise between Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, and Barcelona.
On the Côte d’Azur, Nice is all Belle Epoque opulence along the elegant sweep of the Promenade des Anglais. While trips into the mountains to the pretty towns of Eze and St Paul de Vence are tempting, you could do as the locals do. Spend a long afternoon in one of the local restaurants lining the Cours Saleya, Nice’s famous market street, sampling socca, the local speciality of chickpea flour pancakes, a salad Niçoise and a fine, dry rosé from Provence.
Choose Your Cruise: The Western Mediterranean literally lies in Silversea’s own backyard, and many of its ships, from the new Silver Moon to expedition ship Silver Cloud (along with Silver Shadow, Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper — and coming soon, Silver Dawn) offer voyages here. In particular, the Silver Moon, which features Silversea’s new See and Land Taste (S.A.L.T.) offers itineraries that range from 7 – 12 days.
- The Eastern Mediterranean: The Greek Islands and the Turkish Coast
A voyage that calls at Turkey and the Greek Islands is a happy exercise in putting ancient history and mythology into context as you explore rocky islands, sapphire-blue seas and harbours so quaint that they belong in a movie set. Don’t just picture the white cubes and blue-domed churches of the Cyclades — visit them. You’ll see graceful Venetian mansions, medieval palaces and 2,000-year-old temples. And you’ll encounter that famous Greek hospitality everywhere you dock.
What you’ll see:
Greek islands voyages might sail round trip from Athens, or one-way between Athens and Venice. First-timers will no doubt want to see chic Mykonos, classic Cycladean architecture of dazzling, sugar-cube white houses, festooned with mauve bougainvillea, as well as the island’s iconic windmills. Little Venice in Mykonos, right on the water, is the place to sit for the best views and a double-take when the island’s resident pelicans waddle casually into a fish taverna in search of a snack.
Choose Your Cruise: The Eastern Mediterranean’s Greek Islands and Turkish Coast is right in proximity with the Western Mediterranean. Another option: Some itineraries focus solely on the Turkish Coast and the Greek Isles and others mix and match some Western Mediterranean ports.