If one thing is for sure, it’s that the Mediterranean is heating up for the summer! With millions of people traveling by cruise ship every year, it’s no wonder this unique region is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Known for its stunning landscapes, colorful cities, diverse culture and rich history dating back to the 17th century BC, the Med tops the must-do list of many travelers. But with both eastern and western, it’s hard to cover the entire area during one cruise … unless that cruise is Holland America Line’s 36-Day Best of the Mediterranean voyage.
On June 16, 2017, Westerdam departs Barcelona, Spain, and makes four more calls in the country. Spain is known for its remarkable art and architecture, and with visits to Seville, Malaga and Alicante on the mainland, as well as Palma de Mallorca, guests will leave with incredible memories and photos of their time in this part of the western Med. In the middle of the Spanish calls, the ship visits Gibraltar where its historic rock awaits.
After tasting and exploring your way through Spain guests will reach Toulon, a picturesque port with one of the prettiest harbors in France. The city’s waterfront is lined with boutiques and lively brasseries with Vieille Ville, Mont Faron and Opéra de Toulon deepening your experience. Westerdam then cruises on to Corsica, a mountainous Mediterranean island with a mix of stylish coastal towns, dense forest and craggy scenic peaks.
After a day in the luxe kingdom of Monaco that highlights Monte Carlo’s beauty, Westerdam spends the next four days showing off the the sights and sounds of Italy. Grab your camera for the opportunity to capture some of the most recognizable icons in the world: the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Colosseum, Cirque Terre, St. Peter’s Basilica and many more remarkable sights.
An overnight taste of Valletta, Malta, starts with a scenic drive out into the countryside of Gozo for a slightly different view of the unusual and interesting Maltese islands. Take in the day on the Ramla il-Hamra Beach (Red Sands Beach), which is still the most unspoiled beach in Gozo.
Lose yourself in the Venetian old town or head north for dramatic seascapes when calling at Kerkira, Greece. After exploring the city, guests begin three days in Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia that will take you back in time to their historical heritage and UNESCO World Heritage sites like Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Kotor, Montenegro. The second overnight call takes place at Venice, Italy, giving guests more time to explore this world-renowned destination. Take a gondola ride through the magical canals, sip a bicerin at timeless Caffé Florian or visit Venice’s heart – St. Mark’s Square.
Next guests will spend a day in Sarande, Albania. While making a quiet imprint on the hearts of visitors with its archaeological sites and traditional villages, Sarande is one to enjoy. After exploring this off-the-beaten-path city, Greece greats you with its extraordinary landscapes and vibrant culture. Calls at Argostoli, Katakolon (Olympia), Nafplion, Mykonos and Santorini allow guests to become fully immersed in Greek life, while an overnight at Piraeus leads the way to Athens and its impressive sites.
Naples, Italy, is the last call of the trip, giving guests plenty of time to explore the city’s museums and Piazza Plebiscito, or perhaps venture to the ruins of Pompeii. Arriving back in Civitavecchia, guests can relish in the memories of the full Mediterranean odyssey that they experienced over the past month.
Will you be joining us on the 36-Day Western Mediterranean cruise?