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Best time to cruise the Mediterranean

Take a Mediterranean cruise when the weather is warm and there are fewer people.

A cruise on the Mediterranean Sea offers a fusion of romance and adventure.

Yet, because of the huge number of cruise ships that sail through the Mediterranean, the crowds that come with them can quickly diminish that romance and adventure you’re looking for.

To help you get the most enjoyment from your cruise, we’ve sorted out the best times to set sail for the historical ports, idyllic isles and picturesque towns you’ll visit.

Best time to cruise the Mediterranean

April, May, September and October

Why?

April to October is high season when you can choose from a lot of cruise companies and itineraries. Tourism hits its peak from June to August because of school holidays. Those months also often see uncomfortably high temperatures in some destinations. Prices skyrocket and many cruises are sold out several months in advance.

However, during the spring season of April to May, and the fall months of September and October, the Mediterranean Sea is at its best for sailing, with a pleasant, warm climate. This is ideal for travelling on a cruise and taking advantage of outdoor leisure facilities such as swimming pools, as well as excursions at the destinations.


Overview

The region around the Mediterranean Sea has its own Mediterranean Climate with four seasons. This climate is characterised by moderate temperatures throughout the winter (5ºC to 20ºC) and dry summers and hot (25ºC to 40ºC).

The high season for a Mediterranean cruise begins from April and ends in October while the low season lasts from November to March.

Weather and prices

Best time to cruise the Mediterranean, weatherwise. The shoulder-season months (April, May, September and October) enjoy a warm, sunny climate which is ideal for cruising.

Cheapest time to cruise the Mediterranean: During the winter months, you can find the best prices and smaller crowds, but with cooler weather conditions. If you’re not fussed by less-favourable weather conditions, this is the best time to bag a bargain.


Best time to cruise in...

  • Western Mediterranean:Spring (April to May) and fall (September to October) are the best months to go for a Western Mediterranean cruise as you’ll still enjoy pleasant weather, but avoid the hoards of tourists that come from June to August.
  • Eastern Mediterranean:The shoulder months of May and September are the most enjoyable for Eastern Mediterranean cruises. Hot temperatures in the Eastern Mediterranean add another reason to avoid the peak summer months of July and August. Be aware, however, that some of the smaller businesses and restaurants on Mediterranean islands off Italy, Greece and Croatia are only open during the peak seasons so April and October may offer fewer options.

Cruise deals

MSC Cruises MSC Cruises

2-for-1 last-minute cruises

Valid for travel until December 2019, including over Christmas. Destinations include Venice, Italy, France, Japan, South Africa and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Up to $1,000 air credit with Holland America

Valid on select 2019 and 2020 sailings. Destinations include New Zealand, Australia, Northern Europe, South Pacific and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Up to 46% off Celebrity cruises

Valid for travel on select 2020 dates. Destinations include Mediterranean Sea, Southern Europe, Pacific, Hawaii, Canada, USA East Coast and more. T&Cs apply.

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Destination International Destination International

15-day Italy cruises + return flights from $2,999

Valid for travel at 15 May 2020 with Royal Caribbean cruise. Includes hotel accommodation in Rome, return flights from Australia, daily meals, entertainment and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Free Europe flights with Viking River Cruises

Valid for 2020-2021 sailings. T&Cs apply.

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Up to $700 off per cabin with MSC Cruises

Valid for travel on select 2020 and 2021 sailings on 7+ nights. T&Cs apply.

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MSC Cruises MSC Cruises

Up to 50% off Europe cruises with free drinks and Wi-Fi

Valid for travel on select dates in 2019 - 2020, including over Christmas. Destinations include Barcelona, Civitavecchia, Croatia, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg and more. T&Cs apply.

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Winter sale: 8-day Europe cruises from $399

Valid for travel on select dates in November 2019. Destinations include France, Spain, Italy and more. T&Cs apply.

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Flight Centre - Cruises Flight Centre - Cruises

Free flights, upgrades and 2-for-1 deposits on Viking Cruises

Book a Viking ocean or river cruise in destinations like Italy, France, Norway, the UK, Germany, the USA, Japan and more between August 2019 and March 2021.

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U River Cruises U River Cruises

Up to 10% off bookings or free drink package

Discount applies for new bookings on 2020 itineraries across Europe. Get 10% discount or free U drink package valued at $349. Destinations include Vienna, Nuremberg, Belgrade, Amsterdam, Brussels and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseAway CruiseAway

Up to 40% off Miami cruises

Valid for travel on select dates in 2019 - 2020. Other destinations include New York, Europe, Caribbean and more. T&Cs apply.

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Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
16 Sep 2019 2-for-1 last-minute cruises ********
28 Aug 2019 Up to 42% off P&O cruises + free premium beverage package ********
21 Aug 2019 50% off deposit + Up to $500 OBC with Holland America cruises ********
19 Sep 2019 Australia: 7-night cruise from $852 ********
19 Sep 2019 Vienna: 10% off 8-day cruise ********

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