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Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Naples, Italy (Photo: BAHDANOVICH ALENA/Shutterstock)

About Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

If you're a fan of art and antiquities, a cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean is right up your alley. With itineraries that include the Adriatic/Dalmation Coast, Black Sea, Greek Isles and Holy Land, the region is a treasure trove for history lovers. Ports such as Venice and Athens have their own unique flavor, while the Greek Isles, Crete and Cypress lure beachgoers. Religion in the Eastern Mediterranean is varied, do don't miss Dubrovnik's ancient churches, Istanbul's breathtaking mosques or Jerusalem's vibrant synagogues.

A message from Cruise Critic: During this unprecedented time throughout the world and across the cruise industry, it is important to note that article information might be impacted by cruise line hiatuses and port closures due to COVID-19. For the latest information, please visit our regularly updated article on cruise port closures.

  • What is the best time to cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean?

  • Which cruise lines go to the Eastern Mediterranean?

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Seven Seas Explorer
Seven Seas Explorer
Seven Seas Explorer

12 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

216 Reviews
Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
$9,849*pp
$821/night • suite

CruisesOnly

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Cruise Critic Favorite
MSC Sinfonia
MSC Sinfonia
MSC Sinfonia

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

705 Reviews
Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic

9 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Norwegian Jade
Norwegian Jade
Norwegian Jade

9 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Norwegian Spirit

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Istanbul
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Norwegian Spirit

9 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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MSC Lirica

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

264 Reviews
Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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MSC Opera

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Trieste
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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Rhapsody of the Seas

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean

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Rhapsody of the Seas

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean

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Norwegian Spirit

15 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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MSC Poesia

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Bari
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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Odyssey of the Seas

12 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Rome
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean

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MSC Lirica

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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MSC Opera

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Trieste
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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MSC Poesia

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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MSC Opera

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Bari
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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Rhapsody of the Seas

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean

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Seven Seas Splendor

26 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Athens
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises

RegentCruises.com

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Brilliance of the Seas

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean

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MSC Orchestra

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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MSC Poesia

11 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Istanbul
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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MSC Poesia

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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MSC Armonia

7 Night
Cruise to Eastern MediterraneanDetails

Leaving:Venice
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises

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What is the best time to cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean?

Eastern Mediterranean cruises -- encompassing dozens of ports in countries like Greece, Israel, Italy and Croatia -- are generally offered from spring through fall, with the most popular time being the summer. If you have a choice, we recommend avoiding those summer months since they tend to be hot and overcrowded. For more: Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Tips.

Which cruise lines go to the Eastern Mediterranean?

There are a wide variety of cruise lines offering Eastern Mediterranean cruises including Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America, Disney Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and more. European lines like MSC and Costa have a big presence here, as well and luxury lines including Regent Seven Seas and Crystal. Some lines, like Azamara, offer country-intensive cruises to just one of these Eastern Mediterranean nations, like Italy or Greece. Others offer itineraries themed "holy lands" that visit notable religious sites.

What are some things to do in the Eastern Mediterranean?

A major highlight of Eastern Mediterranean cruises is visiting historic sites like the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Dubrovnik's Old Town and holy Judeo-Christian pilgrimage sites in Haifa and Jerusalem. But the region is also brimming with gorgeous beaches and incredible food to enjoy.

Do you need a passport to take a cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean?

Yes, a passport is required for Americans to cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean.

What should I pack for a cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean?

Lightweight, comfortable clothing and a swimsuit are essentials in the Eastern Mediterranean, as are comfortable shoes -- sandals for the beach and sneakers for city sightseeing. For visits to monasteries, temples and other religious sites, it's smart to pack a pashmina or shawl that can be used to cover heads or shoulders; skirts or dresses can still be required for women at some holy sites.

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