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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

Up to 60% off second passenger with Royal Caribbean

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Valid for cruise on select sailings to the South Pacific (Vanuatu and New Caledonia) and New Zealand.

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Vivid Sydney cruises from just $15

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Valid on select sailings during Vivid from 25 May 2018 - 16 June 2018. $15 cruise includes a 1.5-2 hours sailing and dinner/drink included on select sailings.

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Up to 60% off 2nd guest + $100 onboard credit with Royal Caribbean

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Valid for travel on select sailing with Royal Caribbean. Enjoy 60% off on 2nd guest plus 3rd and 4th guests also receive up to 30% off. Onboard credit amount varies based on length of cruise and cabin type booked. T&Cs apply.

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$2,500 off tours and cruises

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Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $15,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

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$1,500 off tours and cruises

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Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $10,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

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$1,000 off tours and cruises

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Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $8,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

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$700 off tours and cruises

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Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $4,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

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$200 off tours and cruises

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Valid on all 2018 and 2019 departures $2,000 or more including river cruises, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Asia.

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Up to $1,100 off European river cruises

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Valid on select dates from March 2019 - November 2019. Destinations include Budapest, Munich, Prague, Berlin, Krakow and more. Note: Deposit must be paid by 7 November to receive discount.

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Up to 20% off sailing adventures

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Valid on select tours from 9 June - August 2018. Destinations include Croatia, Bali, Norway, Greece and more. T&Cs apply.

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Free Europe flights with 2019 river cruise bookings

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Valid on select March 2019 - July 2019 Uniworld luxury river cruises. Book an eligible cruise and get free flights to Europe. Cruise destinations include France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Austria and more.

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Mediterranean cruises from $849

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Valid on select cruises departing Venice, Italy. Destinations include Italy, Croatia, Greece and Montenegro.

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2nd guest sail free + up to $2,200 onboard credit

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Valid on select 2018-19 sailings with CMV. Pay 1 guest and second guest sails free plus get up to $2,200 onboard credit to spend. Onboard credit amount varies based on length of cruise and cabin type booked. T&Cs apply.

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Luxury fly-cruise-stay packages from just $2,199

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Enjoy full board luxury sailings when you book with CruiseAway. Sample fare is for Bustling Cities via the Great Barrier Reef, includes flights, meals, accommodation and private transfers. T&Cs apply.

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11-day European Christmas market cruise from $2,298

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Valid for cruise on 10 December 2019. Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and more. T&Cs apply.

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Multi-day cruises from just £599

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Valid for travel on select dates and sailings. Destinations include Baltic, Russia, Belgium, Netherlands and more. T&Cs apply.

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Room upgrade from just $100 with Princess + up to $200 onboard credit

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Valid for cruises to the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe, Alaska and the Americas. Onboard credit amount varies based on length of cruise and cabin type booked. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 30% off select Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 cruises

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Valid for travel on select dates and sailings. Destinations include Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and more. T&Cs apply

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Worldwide singles cruises from $2,075

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Valid on select sailings in Alaska, New Zealand, the South Pacific, Asia and Europe. Cruise lines include Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Celebrity, Princess, and Avalon Waterways. Sample price is an Alaska cruise.

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Up to 45% off Croatia sailings

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Valid for sailings until September 2018. Sail to Dubrovnik and enjoy peace at Mljet National Park with discounted fares at Travel Talk. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 10% off Cuba sailing

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Valid for travel from 29 June - 6 August 2018. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 50% off 3rd and 4th guests with Princess

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Valid for cruise on select Princess sailings. Includes Balcony upgrade and up to $200 onboard credit to spend. Onboard credit amount varies based on length of cruise and cabin type booked. T&Cs apply.

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Let's Ferry Let's Ferry
20% off Super economy tickets

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Valid on routes to Mykonos, Greece. T&Cs apply.

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Free door-to-door travel

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Valid for use on select 2018 - 2020 sailings. Minimum of 9-nights or more from UK departures to redeem offer. T&Cs apply.

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Up to £300 off river cruises + free drinks

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Valid on select cruises until September 2018, during European summer. Destinations include Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France.

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Monaco Grand Prix cruise from just £1,999 Valid for cruise on 18 May 2019 and sails for 16-nights, returns on 1 June 2019. Destinations include Portugal, Spain, France and more. Enjoy exclusive perks when you book with Fred. Olsen. T&Cs apply.

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10% off Croatia sailing tours

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Valid on select 2018 Croatia sailing trips with Busabout.

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Let's Ferry Let's Ferry
Greece: €20 passenger tickets with Blue Star Ferries

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Valid on select dates of sailings. Destinations include Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Karpathos, Leros, Samos, Lesvos, Kea and more. T&C's apply.

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Up to US$1,000 onboard credit with Princess Cruises

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Up to US$1000 onboard credit with Princess Cruises. Valid on select dates and sailings with Princess Cruises. Includes up to US$1,000 to spend onboard. Onboard credit amount varies based on length of cruise and cabin type booked. See site for details. T&Cs apply.

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Up to $3,000 off select sailings + up to $1,000 off airfares Valid for travel on select dates and sailings. Offer is valid on stateroom bookings only. Destinations include Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska, New Zealand, Australia and more. T&C's apply.

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Fjords cruises from £679 + up to £100 tour credit Valid for travel on select 2018-19 sailings. Choose from a complimentary all-inclusive drinks upgrade or up to £100 pp shore tour credit. T&C's apply.

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