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When is the Best Time of the Year to Cruise the Mediterranean?

Few things beat the tranquillity of exploring new lands by sea. Doing so takes you back to simpler times when this was the only way to set foot on foreign soil. Fast forward to today and we’re able to anchor in European gems such as Barcelona on luxury cruise ships. The time of your voyage is crucial – and acts as the icing on an already delicious cake – but what is the best time of year to cruise the Mediterranean?

When to go

Summer is often the most popular season to set sail, of course, but if you’re looking for warm temperatures while still avoiding sweaty deckchairs, it’s often better to work around these dates. Temperatures at the tail end of spring (May and June), or the start of autumn (September and October) make for a comfortable, yet still tropical voyage. As well as this, you’ll beat the big crowds by a few months, so there’ll be more space on top deck for sprawling in the sun!

Although a later cruise might not be as warm (temperatures average at around 20 degrees in late September), you’ll have the advantage of clear, mild seas before winter. Rewind a few months to May, and you have the perfect climate to discover beautiful cruise ports in Montenegro, Croatia and Italy. Why not disembark in Greece and explore the historic Old Town of Corfu?

Quaint islands such as Santorini look equally charming whether this in the balmier spring months or as they do in the middle of October. The Western Mediterranean offers many stunning cruise destinations – picture the shores of Spain or the glistening coasts off Marseille. Temperatures here are slightly cooler off-season but still more than comfortable enough to laze on an open cruise ship deck. Think early 20s in May, dropping to around 17 in October.

Couple having an amazing time by the swimming pool on a Mediterranean cruise ship

Planning a cruise

Now you’ve set a date aside, all that’s left is to plan your trip. The Mediterranean is a vast region, each corner filled with different cultural and scenic attractions. The western Med treats you to major cities such as Barcelona, with the Gaudi architecture that has helped to place the city on the map. You can sail past the iconic cliffs of Gibraltar and dine in some of the world’s most gastronomically renowned countries. Ports here are both culturally rewarding and a short jaunt from home. What’s not to love?

Meanwhile, Eastern Mediterranean cities, like Venice and Pula, reward you with warm temperatures plus the pearlescent waters trademark to their part of the world. Have your smartphones at the ready since a cruise here makes for unmatched photo opportunities that’ll cement your place in Instagram royalty. Temperatures in the summertime get toasty, which makes it all the better for catching rays in a true, Mediterranean fashion.

When planned correctly, cruises combine sophistication with the chance to revel in not one, but multiple countries. Knowing the best time to take a Mediterranean cruise and having all the information needed for a stellar trip will make the sojourn even more enjoyable.

Long shot of Venice

Ready to replace your anoraks with swimwear? Browse some of the Mediterranean cruise destinations that our sister company Thomson Cruises offers, and then get ready to see the Med at its most glistening.

Unfortunately, you cannot book a Thomson cruise from Dublin, Cork or Shannon online at this time. Call 1800 927 404 and one of our advisors will assist you with any query.

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