The Mediterranean Sea may be synonymous with summer vacation, but when it comes to cruising, the next few months are going to be a glorious vacation at sea. The summer heat has subsided and the tourist crowds have thinned out. Shore excursions coincide with the grape harvest and the first olive pressing. The high temperatures of the high season give way to cool, sluggish days full of flavor for tourists.
But the best thing about an autumn Mediterranean trip is that there is no such thing as bad weather. Instead, it’s about choosing the best location on the map and drawing a course. Here are the best cruises to squeeze the last drops of summer out of southern Europe.
Explore the Dalmatian Islands
This is surely the ultimate treat for anyone who has ever felt the irresistible urge to jump off a ship into the sea. On a cruise into the hidden corners of the Croatian Dalmatian islands aboard the Princess Eleganza, passengers can swim from the stern of the cruise ship when it is anchored. Explore the islands of Vis, Hvar, and Brac, scattered like emeralds across the aquamarine waters of the Adriatic. Dubrovnik, meanwhile, combines scenic beauty with Venetian heritage amid a flood of terracotta houses, while Split’s UNESCO-protected Diocletian’s Palace dates back to Roman times.
Book it: A seven-day cruise with Gems of Croatia Tour from Dubrovnik starts on September 30th. From Â£ 1,295 pp (apturing.co.uk)