Who hasn’t dreamed of waking up each morning in a different exotic destination? If the thought of immersing yourself in rich history and faraway cultures appeals to you a Mediterranean Cruise is just the thing to satisfy your wanderlust.

Take a gondola ride on Venice’s Grand Canal, gaze at the Gaudi architecture of Barcelona and walk through the whitewashed villages of Santorini. Though it shouldn’t take much to convince the travel enthusiast to cruise the Mediterranean Sea, here are a few top reasons that will leave you wondering why it’s taken you so long to book.

Breathtaking Beaches

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The Mediterranean is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world. A favored cruise ship beach excursion is Lia Beach in Mykonos, Greece. Relax on a padded lounge chair, sip a seaside cocktail and snorkel in one of the most picturesque spots the Mediterranean has to offer.

If your cruise itinerary takes you to Spain, then be sure to visit Bolonia Beach. It’s a bit of a trek from the port but don’t let that keep you locked up in your cabin. The beach is about a 1.5-hour voyage from the cruise ship port. Bolonia’s golden beaches, architectural ruins and peaceful surroundings make this pristine beach a must-do for any sun worshiper.

Sardinia, Italy, is known as “The Island of a Thousand Beautiful Beaches.” If hitting the sand and surf is on your bucket list be sure your cruise includes a stop at this breathtaking island off the coast of Italy. Have your beach blanket in hand when your ship docks and head over to Su Guidey Beach, Sardinia. With its pink sand and sparkling green water, this tranquil oasis is sure to create lasting vacation memories for years to come.

Iconic Landmarks

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All those well-known European landmarks seen on television can be yours to experience first hand on a Mediterranean Cruise. There’s no better way to enhance your Instagram feed than with snaps of some of Europe’s most famous sites.

See the Roman Colosseum up close and visit St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. If you happen to be in Vatican City on a Wednesday morning you’ll have the added bonus of witnessing the Pope address the public in person. It’s a truly memorable event. Climb the 297 steps within the Leaning Tower of Pisa and give in to the temptation to pose for a photo holding up the tower. You’ll only regret it if you don’t.

Visit the many unique landmarks in Barcelona that showcase the Antoni Gaudi's architecture. Walk through Park Guell with its quirky Dr. Seuss-like structures. Tour La Sagrada Familia and learn why the cathedral has still not been completed some 136 years after its construction began.  

Florence, Italy, tops the list of cruise ship favorites. It’s an hour-long trek from the port but don’t let that discourage you from disembarking. This compact medieval city will allow tourist to see all the famous sites in a short amount of time. Tour the Duomo, visit iconic museums and gothic cathedrals and still have time for gelato.  

Foodie Paradise

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From trattorias to pizzerias to decadent Mediterranean desserts, eating your way through excursions is all part of the experience. Most itineraries include several stops in Italy for ample dining opportunities. This region is well known for simple dishes with an old-world flare. Be sure to pair your ethnic entree with a glass of vino from a local vineyard.

Don’t head back to the ship from your Greek excursion without sampling authentic moussaka. Relish in a decadent piece of baklava and finish up with a glass of ouzo. Hit the ports of France and order the ratatouille. Always indulge in freshly baked bread and marinated olives. With entree choices like these, save the cruise ship buffets for another time.

Culture and History

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There’s no better way to “travel yourself interesting” then by booking a Mediterranean cruise. Reading about history in books or watching documentaries pales in comparison to seeing for yourself where history was made. Walk in the steps of some of the greatest historical figures while learning what events took place right beneath your feet.

Learn about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and hear the tales of some of the greatest influencers of the ancient world. Discover the history of the birthplace of democracy and hear stories of the Spanish monarchy.  

Birds and Marine Life

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Visiting another part of the world is an opportunity to not only visit landmarks and sample the local cuisine but to witness the animal life indigenous to that area. Floating on the Mediterranean you will see a variety of marine life, including swordfish, dolphins and maybe even a white shark. Turtles and seals are in abundance in Greece and Turkey. Portugal and Spain are home to storks, flamingos and pelicans, so keep your camera at the ready for some amazing shots.

While touring the Greek isles watch for golden eagles. Recognizable by its golden throat, the golden eagle is the most dominant bird of prey in Europe. If Montenegro is on your ship’s itinerary you’ll be privy to the largest bird statuary in Europe, Lake Skadar. Don’t forget the binoculars on your Turkey excursions for some of the best birdwatching found around the globe.