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Eastern Mediterranean Cruises Reveal the Best of Italy and Greece

June 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 187

Italy

If you're looking for the quintessential Mediterranean cruise experience, then you really can't go past Italy. This glorious peninsula gifts one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. Actually, make that several superlative coastlines.

Italy boasts an almost 8,000km long shoreline, comprising beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs and heavenly islands. It's hardly surprising then, that all eastern Mediterranean cruises include several stops along Italy's coasts.

On-shore excursions abound, as do historical and cultural attractions. Make sure you pick a liner with a comprehensive itinerary to make the most of your cruise holiday.

Princess Cruises is an excellent choice if exploring Italy is on your must-do list.

They offer a 12 night cruise deal which leaves from Rome and ends in Venice.

A Rome departure is an added bonus, as you can opt to spend a few days exploring the ancient Roman capital before embarking on your cruise.

Visit the Vatican, and the famous Colosseum, or simply get hopelessly lost in the city's streets searching for that perfect gelato and absorbing the dolce vita atmosphere this Italian metropolis is renowned for.

A stop-over in the seaside town of Livorno will give you the opportunity to visit popular holiday destinations like Florence and Pisa.

Don't miss the chance to walk up the vertically challenged Tower of Pisa, or explore one of Italy's most romantic cities: Florence. Should you be slightly partial to a spot of shopping, then this may well be your heaven!

Leather, jewels and wine are just some of Florence's essential produce. For uniquely local epicurean treats, head to the Mercato Centrale in Piazza San Lorenzo and fill up your suitcases with delectable home-made olive oils, cheeses, pasta sauces and breads.

While these kinds of souvenirs may not last as long as a perfectly tailored leather jacket, it does not mean they are any less precious!

If you'd like to experience the real Italy, then your stop-over in Naples will certainly deliver... BIG time!

This once most prestigious address is chaotic, exhilarating and mesmerizing all at once.

Ironically however, Naples is also the perfect springboard for relaxing island cruises to Capri and Ischia, where you can immerse yourself in breathtaking nature, savour delicious pizzas and indulge in fantastic designer shopping. A win-win-win deal for most!

For the more historically inclined, choose a visit to Pompeii as you off-shore excursion. The ancient city was completely incinerated by an eruption from nearby Mt Vesuvius 2,000 years ago, and is one of Italy's most revered heritage sites.

The volcanic ash has preserved the town, and its ill-fated inhabitants, through the millennia. A startling, yet somehow disturbing visit is truly mind boggling.

Your grand eastern Mediterranean cruise will see you conclude your epic journey in Venice, Italy's northern Adriatic capital. The city of bridges is a feast for all the senses, and a few days stay, after your cruise, are highly recommended.

Venice would have to be one of the few cities in the world where a map, or guidebook, would prove futile.

The maze of cobblestone streets can drive a sane man to despair, but we think this is actually one of the city's most endearing qualities.

Dissected by infinite canals, and connected by an equally unending number of bridges, Venice is a breathtaking cruise destination one never forgets. For a priceless Venetian experience, beat the crowds and head to St Mark's Square at first light.

Watching the city wake from its slumber, while enjoying a freshly brewed cappuccino, is a holiday experience second to none.

Princess Cruises are not the only ones offering amazing deals on Eastern Mediterranean cruises; Celebrity Cruises also offer an amazing 12 night journey which starts from the southern Spanish town of Barcelona.

What both liners have in common is that they visit our other favourite Mediterranean destination...

Jump onboard for an unforgettable trip, and come discover why island hopping through the Greek isles is considered to be one of the world's top leisure activities.

Greece

Volcanic eruptions, like the ones from Mount Vesuvius, do not always have such tragic consequences.

Sometimes, they create spectacular shaped isles like Santorini in Greece.

Brimming with natural attractions including black sand beaches and a breathtaking caldera, Santorini is often regarded as the best sunset viewing platform in the whole Mediterranean area!

Even well seasoned travellers, wary of touristy hype, soon give up trying to resist the island's obvious allure.

Yes, it is often crowded with tourists but, in all honesty, why wouldn't it be? This place is like heaven on earth!

No eastern Mediterranean cruise would be complete without a stop-over in this most ancient of all human headquarters.

Athens, the Greek capital, is considered by many historians to be the cradle of civilization.

Nowadays, Athens is a bustling city which has managed to seamlessly blend antiquity with modernity.

Catapulted onto the tourism world stage once more after the 2004 Olympics, Greece is currently struggling through a transitional period, fighting hard to maintain a healthy economic state. Never has there been a better time to visit.

Luckily, Greece has always understood the importance of its history in international terms.

After an audacious program was introduced, banning car traffic through the old town, some of the most important ancient ruins in our world are now contained in what can only be described as an archaeological pedestrian wonderland.

Spend your day engrossed in ancient Greek mythology and your senses be overwhelmed by all that you see.

An Eastern Mediterranean cruise will also see you touchdown on famous islands like Corfu and Mykonos.

Corfu, or Kerkyra in Greek, has been the setting and inspiration of many of the world's greatest writers and poets.

A luscious island escape, Corfu is perfect for those who want to stretch their legs amidst a wonderful natural setting.

Olive groves, flanked by enormous cypress trees, make for a truly splendid setting.

Mykonos offers a completely different experience. One of Greece's most visited hubs is an eclectic mix of glitz, glamour and fishing-town charm. Hard to define... and almost impossible to duplicate!

Finding a quiet spot on a beach to soak up the rays may be a challenge so we suggest that, whilst in Mykonos, you simply join the crowds for a spot of shopping and delightful sea-side gourmet feasting.

All Mediterranean cruises are a joy to experience but an eastern Mediterranean cruise offers you the best of both worlds - whether you want the beaches of Greece, the history of Rome or the romance of Venice, all can be found when cruising the eastern Med! You are almost spoilt for choices with regard to cruise lines, ship and itineraries but Princess Cruises cruise deals are often difficult to beat and depending on personal choice you can embark in Southampton eliminating the often stressful airport! To get a better insight into your eastern Mediterranean cruise options, visit the cruise specialist who have been voted Princess Cruises top agent for 25 years!

Source: EzineArticles
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