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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.

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