When you’re exploring new places on a trip, it’s the perfect time to shop till you drop! You’ll be happy to know that destinations in the Mediterranean are full of shopping opportunities. When you take a Mediterranian cruise, you’ll want to check out the best ports for shopping. Here are our favorite Mediterranean ports to get your shopping fix:
When cruising to Barcelona, exploring the port is a must. Begin your journey by having some tapas and sangria, but also be sure to check out the shops! A good place to head for the best shops is La Rambla boulevard. This area is a busy, exciting portion of the city and it’s not far from the cruise port. You’ll be happy to head back with some great souvenirs, and unique boutique finds.
If you’re cruising on a smaller ship, Capri may be part of your itinerary. You’ll find boutique stores as well as larger, designer brand stores here. If you’re looking to make big purchases and love expensive, designer goods, head to the street known as Via Vittorio Emanuele III street. If you prefer unique items and smaller shops, head to Via le Botteghe street.
Seville is the perfect place to stop while on your Mediterranean cruise. You’ll be happy to know that it’s full of shopping opportunities. A favorite area to spend time and shop is Barrio Santa Cruz. The oldest part of the city, it has charming views and is full of character. Explore the narrow streets and make your way from shop to shop. Sierpes and Tetuan are also excellent streets to explore if you enjoy shopping.
Another must-see destination as you make your way throughout the Mediterranean is Malta. This incredible island is gorgeous and full of things to do. As you begin your shopping adventure, head to Republic Street, which is the central shopping hub. Merchants Street is another fun place to stop. The Merchants Street Market is a good place to wander for fashion items. While here, be sure to visit C. Camilleri & Sons, which is the place to go while in Malta for sweets.
And there you have it—these are some of the best ports for shopping in the Mediterranean. Be sure to leave a little extra room in your bag when packing for your cruise so that you can bring home some local delights from your travels.
As 2022 is now on the downslope to New Year’s Day 2023, what trends are emerging on the high seas? Certainly, the U.S. government’s elimination of the pre-flight test to enter/re-enter the U.S. has fueled travel demand. One-third of Americans say that they’re more likely to travel internationally with that testing requirement gone, according to MMGY Global Intelligence’s research. As people get back out cruising, five trends in the luxury cruise marketplace have “taken off.”
1. Trading Up to a Top Suite
Luxury travelers are saying, “I deserve it,” after a few tough years with no travel. So, top-tier suites are selling out quickly—from the top down, not the bottom up. Cruisers who typically would have reserved a balcony stateroom are opting for a suite; those who previously sailed in a mid-level suite are now choosing the most spacious, highest category suite on the ship. So, as these top-level suites often sell out faster than in the past, loyal past guests are taking notice. “As a result, they’re booking further out to ensure that they get what they want,” emphasizes Michael Consoli, franchise owner, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, Roswell, GA.
2. Booking Longer Luxury Voyages
Just a few years back, the future of World Cruises was uncertain. It was thought that younger generations wouldn’t flock to them the way mature guests did. Today, though, those lengthy voyages are a hot commodity, selling out in just hours or overnight. For the fourth year running, in June 2022, Regent Seven Seas Cruises sold out a World Cruise in record time; that 2025 sailing was fully reserved prior to opening for public sale. One-third of guests booking were new to brand.
Demographic-wise, loyal past guests and mature travelers still love World Cruises, but increasingly so do still-working Baby Boomers and even younger professionals. Connectivity is the reason. With smart phones, tablets and laptops in tow, guests are now able to work remotely using shipboard Wi-Fi. Competitively, many cruise lines have upped their bandwidth to improve Wi-Fi speed and reliability; it’s not perfect, but vastly improved from the past.
Ruth Turpin, owner of Cruises Etc., a Virtuoso member agency in Fort Worth, TX, says that “one of the biggest trends we’re seeing is clients booking much longer cruises.” Lines have responded on all levels. Past World Cruises were often 80 to 125 days, but Oceania Cruises will operate a 180-day 2023 World Cruise, while Royal Caribbean International fields a 274-day 2023 World Cruise. Many others too have much lengthier options than in the past.
Grand Voyages up to 65 days or so are also increasingly popular. “Our luxury clients are looking for the most inclusive experiences available and on longer sailings,” says Consoli. “They want to get out of the house and they want to do it for a while longer than in the past.” Whether for World Cruises, Grand Voyages or even less lengthy voyages, consumers with pent-up wanderlust are targeting more travel dollars to spend. “That’s pushing them to look at the 14-day to 28-day sailings instead of the normal 10 to 14 days,” he says.
Back-to-backs are definitely in style. Turpin also sees luxury lines “making itineraries seven and 14 days where they do not repeat any ports,” thus encouraging back-to-back bookings.
3. Combining Luxury with Adventure
Perhaps the hottest cruise trend, though, is “the rise of expedition. Silversea Cruises had just acquired the nearly new, former Crystal Endeavor. Renamed Silver Endeavour in honor of James Cook, the 18th century captain of HMS Endeavour. The expedition ship will begin sailing in November 2022 and replace Silver Explorer in Antarctica this coming winter. Seabourn’s new 264-passenger Seabourn Venture, recently debuted in Alaska, and sister Seabourn Pursuit will set sail this year, too.
Scenic Group’s second Discovery Yacht, the 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse II, was recently floated out. Viking’s new 378-passenger expedition ship, Viking Octantis, is now sailing the Great Lakes. Sister Viking Polaris will launch this fall and both will head for Antarctica this coming winter. Ponant’s LNG-powered icebreaker, the luxurious, 245-passenger Le Commandant Charcot, is now taking travelers to the geographic North Pole. Atlas Ocean Voyages will position the 196-passenger World Navigator and new World Traveller in Antarctica during winter 2022-23.
For a different style of pampering adventure, Lindblad Expedition will offer a Croatia/Slovenia cruise and separate western Mediterranean itinerary in 2023 on the historic, 58-passenger Sea Cloud, a luxurious, four-masted, sailing ship once owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post. Guests can even opt to help hoist the sails.
4. Savoring Everything Culinary
Luxury cruisers are increasingly seeking a strong culinary component—fine cuisine, specialty dining choices, cooking classes and shoreside culinary and wine programs. The new Explora Journeys has laid the keel for its second ship, Explora II, and with nine restaurants, guests will have myriad culinary choices. Regent Seven Seas Cruises will unveil an enhanced Sette Mari experience (with refined/new menu choices) on the new 750-passenger Seven Seas Grandeur, launching in 2023.
Oceania Cruises’ gourmet cuisine has been entirely reimagined from new dishes at the Grand Dining Room to a Dom Pérignon pairing dinner, while Azamara’s new 684-passenger Azamara Onward offers an Atlas Bar that serves new small plates (think “smoked lobster crudo) and artisanal cocktails using the latest techniques from smoking domes to nitro-infusions. As a “deep dive” in local food and drink tastings, Silversea’s S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) program debuted in late 2021 and is now on two ships. Launching in 2023, the 728-passenger Silver Nova will offer eight distinct dining venues including the 160-capacity S.A.L.T. Kitchen; it will have more space for bit larger groups and a more social culinary experience.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s 298-passenger Evrima is slated to begin cruising on August 31, 2022. Highly anticipated is specialty restaurant S.E.A. with a European tasting menu created by Chef Sven Elverfeld of the three-Michelin-starred Aqua at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg, Germany. Windstar Cruises’ revitalized, 312-passenger Star Pride offers the new Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso; we’d recommend the small octopus starter plate as it’s superb. Celebrity Cruises has introduced new “Captain-Curated Shore Excursions” in the Greek Isles, some with a culinary bent. At Katakolon (Olympia), Celebrity’s guests will visit Olympia, explore an olive mill, make their own Greek salad using fresh tzatziki and wrap their own pita souvlaki.
5. Soaring Multi-Generational Demand
Families have a strong need to reconnect so cruise lines have added new holiday or summer voyages, or multigenerational experiences. Definitely, “we’re seeing an uptick in multi-generational travel,” reports Consoli. One Seabourn “first” is a Hawaii holiday sailing on the 450-passenger Seabourn Sojourn, departing December 22, 2023, roundtrip from Los Angeles. This 20-day “Allure of Aloha Holiday” voyage calls at Catalina Island, CA, five Hawaiian islands and Ensenada, Mexico, plus spends many days at sea.
For families seeking a new ship, Disney Cruise Line’s 4,000-passenger Disney Wish now sails from Port Canaveral, FL. A new, interactive “Disney Uncharted Adventure” experience is designed for families to play together. With the line’s Navigator app, guests’ mobile devices become “spyglasses” with families unlocking adventure, solving puzzles, conquering quests and, ultimately, “saving the day.”
Also, Princess Cruises will offer year-round cruises from Los Angeles in 2023. Included are the line’s first-ever summer roundtrip sailings to Mexico, Hawaii and the California coast; they’ll be operated by the 3,080-passenger Emerald Princess. “Grandparents have been separated from their families for two years and we are seeing a desire to get the family together, regardless of the cost,” Consoli explains. “They just want that time with their families and to create the lasting memories they have missed.”
While any cruise can make for a fantastic travel experience, there are some truly incredible adventures out there that are waiting to be booked. If you’re in search of a once-in-a-lifetime cruise experience, you’ll want to check out our bucket list cruise destination list. These destinations are sure to please any traveler who is seeking a memorable experience.
Take an Amazing Trip to Antarctica
The average person never gets a chance to step foot on (let alone cruise throughout!) Antarctica. If you’re dying to see this gorgeous continent, you’ll be happy to know that many cruise lines have journeys that go here. If you’re looking for a bucket list option, we recommend booking one of Silversea’s Antarctica cruises. Their luxury cruises are all-inclusive, so you can sit back and relax and have a fantastic vacation. Plan to see local wildlife like whales, seals, and penguins up close and take part in culture and adventure activities, too!
Explore the Famous Galapagos Islands
Another bucket list cruise experience you should consider is the Galapagos Islands. For a luxury option, we suggest you hop aboard the mid-size Celebrity Xpedition ship. With room for only 48 passengers, you’re sure to have a more intimate experience as you enjoy an all-inclusive adventure. As you explore each island, you’ll learn that each has its own unique landscape, creatures, and things to love. While on a Galapagos Islands cruise, plan to snorkel with sea turtles, go bird watching, and hike as you take in incredible views—and much, much more!
Voyage Through Africa by Cruise
Another continent that is begging to be explored by cruise is Africa. With Crystal Cruises, you can explore many amazing African ports while on a luxury cruise adventure. Visit incredible destinations like Walvis Bay, Cape Town, Dakar, and the Cape Verde Islands. There are so many breathtaking natural wonders to explore, and, of course, wildlife. If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a safari, you can do that, too! Crystal Cruises has several Africa cruise journeys.
Take a Northern Europe Cruise to Explore All Things Scandinavian
Scandanavia is another bucket list cruise destination that you’ll want to explore. You’ll quickly see why these countries have some of the happiest people in the whole world. We recommend booking a cruise with Seabourn to see the best popular Northern Europe destinations and hidden gems. Wondering what kind of excursions you’ll be able to book? Culture and history walking tours, local farm visits, kayaking adventures, craft brewery tours, and picturesque helicopter rides are some available options.
Cruise lines are always looking for ways to improve their ships and the offerings available to appeal to a wide range of travelers. Celebrity Cruises is no exception. Their newer ship, the Celebrity Flora is a mega yacht full of exciting features and its made especially for their Galapagos explorations. This luxurious ship offers only suites, so you know you’ll get a comfortable cabin. Additionally, only 100 passengers are on board at one time — making for a more intimate cruising experience. But, there’s more to love, too. If you’ve always wanted to sleep under the stars while cruising, while aboard Celebrity Flora, you can!
Hop aboard a cruise to the Galapagos and get ready to take part in an incredible stargazing experience. While aboard the Celebrity Flora, you’ll have the chance to check out the stunning stars above. The ship has its own stargazing platform where travelers can check out the views and also listen to ecological seminars led by experts.
But the most exciting part of the stargazing platform is that you can book exclusive “glamping” cabanas for evening and night use. Each booking includes two cabanas. One is for al fresco dining featuring campfire-inspired eats, and the other cabana features a double bed to sleep under the stars. Talk about an incredible, unique travel experience. Guests can book this experience for one evening while on their Galapagos cruise.
Another cool feature of the Celebrity Flora is the observatory deck. Here guests can continue their exploration of the Galapagos Islands. The cozy library-like setting is full of books that are ready to be browsed. Passengers can take in the outdoor views while relaxing, through the impressive floor to ceiling windows.
If you’re thinking of visiting the Galapagos, you’ll want to book a journey with Celebrity Cruises so that you can enjoy all that Celebrity Flora has to offer!
When planning to take a cruise, it can be frustrating having to book a double occupancy cabin when you prefer to stay in your own room. While many rates you see advertised for cruises are based on double occupancy, several cruise lines now offer solo cabins without the worry of a single supplement. Keep an eye out for cabins marketed specifically as single-occupancy rooms. We’ve researched for you so you can easily plan your next getaway. Here are some great ships that have solo cabins available for booking.
Book a Solo Journey with Celebrity Cruises
The Celebrity Edge has single interior staterooms available. They’re modern and spacious. If you’re traveling solo, or prefer your own room when adventuring with a group of friends, you’ll want to book a journey on the Celebrity Edge ship.
Royal Caribbean Has Several Ship Options
Royal Caribbean also makes it easy for solo travelers to book an exciting cruise getaway. Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas ships feature 28 studio cabins made for solo travelers. These cabins come in various setups and sizes to accommodate all needs.
Holland America is Solo-Travel Friendly
If you’re planning to cruise with Holland America, you have a couple of ship options. The Koningsdam and the Nieuw Statendam ships have solo cabins available. Each ship has 12 solo cabins, and the rooms feature a large single bed, with the same size bathroom as standard rooms.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Have Solo Cabins
If you’re considering taking a cruise with Fred. Olsen Cruise Line, you’ll be happy to know all of their ships have solo cabins available! They’re also available in various sizes, so you can get a more spacious cabin if you like to have more room to hang out.
Take a Solo Cruise with Costa Cruises
Costa Cruises is also solo-cruise friendly. More than half of Costa Cruises ships accommodate solo travelers. These ships include the Fascinosa, Favolosa, Pacifica, Serena, and Costa neoRomantica. Inside rooms and ocean view rooms are available.
AmaWaterways Has Some Options Available
While AmaWaterways solo cabins are more limited, they do have some available. The following ships have 1-2 solo cabins on each ship: AmaVerde, AmaBella, AmaLyra, AmaDante, AmaDolce, and AmaCello. If you plan ahead, you should be good to go when making your river cruise reservations.
These are some ships that offer solo accommodation. Enjoy a cruise exactly how you want to without the worry of having to book a double occupancy room. And as mentioned before, Riviera River Cruises recently added more solo journeys as well. These ships provide comfortable solo cabins that are perfect for your next adventure at sea.
A Transatlantic cruise means a few extra leisure filled days at sea. What better way to ease into vacation mode, leaving stress at shore, than indulging in a little onboard pampering? Sail into bliss at our top five tranquil spas aboard these Transatlantic cruises.
Celebrity Edge: The Spa
Is it any surprise that the newest Edge class ship, Celebrity Edgewould have one of the most magnificent spas at sea? Step aboard for an ahhhhmazing escape as the spa borrows calming elements from its surroundings. Envision peaceful waters, blue skies, and soothing earth tones. Couple the perfect space with state-of-the-art technology and innovative treatments, and your restorative journey is underway. Our favorite? The SEA Thermal Suite’s eight unique experiences featuring everything from HAMMAN to the Float Room.
Regent Seven Sea Cruises: Canyon Ranch
The epitome of relaxation, Canyon Ranch on Regent Seven Sea Cruises will take you on a relaxing reprieve with renewing organic body wraps, and rituals meant to reset your body. Treatments from around the globe set Canyon Ranch apart from other spas at sea. In particular, Ayurvedic (“the science of life”) services incorporating five elements: earth, fire, water, wind, and ether. Shirodhara and Shankara body wraps promote inner and outer harmony. Customized treatments for men, informative wellness talks on everything from aromatherapy to meditation and energizing fitness classes make Canyon Ranch one of the best at-sea spas.
Viking: LivNordi Spa
Leaving no pampering stone unturned, Viking’s LivNordic Spa features saunas, thermal suites, hot stone relaxation lounges, a cold-water splash bucket, and even a snow room. If you are not familiar with a “snow room,” imagine a quick escape into a snow-filled room. The winter wonderland is part of the 12-step process of Nordic Bathing known to detox tired muscles and improve circulation.
Seabourn: Seabourn’s Spa & Wellness
Dr. Andrew Weil’s partnership with Seabourn perfectly balances innovative and traditional approaches to physical and spiritual well-being. With groundbreaking research, guests at Seabourn’s Spa & Wellness are privy to the latest in health and wellness. Education, seminars, and classes intended to enhance body treatments, massages, facials, and fitness allow guests to take home more than beautiful memories of their cruise; they leave with a new holistic mind and body perspective for healthier living.
Princess Cruise: Lotus Spa
Named Best Spa on a Cruise Ship by Spa Finder Wellness 365™, The Lotus Spa is all about pampering Princess passengers with therapies such as aroma stone therapy massages and detoxifying ocean wraps. An inviting atmosphere and ancient treatments from both the Far East and contemporary Western technologies promote mind, body, and spiritual relaxation. Along with thermal suites filled with grottos and chambers releasing dry heat, steam, and mists of aromatherapy vapors, spa-goers are invited to leave the stress of everyday life far behind.
The Valletta 2018 Cultural Program kicks off on the 20th of January 2018: a collection of over 140 projects and 400 events taking place throughout the European Capital of Culture year. Valletta 2018 has invested strongly in a program that sees the involvement of around 1000 local and international artists, curators, artist collectives, performers, workshop leaders, writers, designers, choirs and film-makers. While a number of international artists are collaborating with locals throughout the 2018 program, Maltese artists are travelling to twin European Capital of Culture Leeuwarden in the Netherlands as well as other cities in Cyprus, Japan, Poland and Greece.
The 2018 program is based on a direct investment of €10 million in the cultural sector. At the center of the 2018 program are several infrastructure projects designed to evolve and expand well beyond 2018. Among these are MUŻA, the Valletta Design Cluster, Is-Suq tal-Belt and Strait Street.
Malta’s majestic Grand Harbour is one of the most spectacular ports in the world. A wide stretch of water separating the capital city of Valletta from the historic towns of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, the harbour has been a hive of activity for over two thousand years. With its imposing fortifications and vast panorama, Grand Harbour is Malta’s principal maritime gateway and a popular port-of-call for ships that are cruising the Med. The Grand Harbour makes for one of the most dramatic port calls in Europe.
There are several excellent cruise lines that feature itineraries to Malta including:
Guests onboard Celebrity Solsticewill soon enjoy even more exciting new offerings as the ship undergoes a bold refresh. New features include Celebrity Cruises’ unrivaled “A Taste of Film” experience under the stars, authentic Japanese cuisine at Sushi on Five, a reimagined Photo Gallery, among new additions.
“Celebrity Solstice already turns heads with her beautiful design, so these lavish enhancements will ensure our guests never want to leave,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “When discussions began about what we could do to further enhance the already stunning Solsticized ship, we couldn’t think of a better way to further delight guests than to offer the multi-sensory A Taste of Film experience, Sushi on Five, the savvy new Art Gallery, and all of the other glimmering finishes. We are offering a truly distinct experience.”
The revitalization, which is scheduled for late October 2016, will see various enhancements and additions implemented across the ship, including:
A Taste of Film: Celebrity Solstice will be the first of the Solstice Class ships to offer the iconic gastronomic adventure, which pairs films that evoke a specific cultural, culinary or destination experience, with cuisine that brings the scenes on the screen to life through guests’ taste buds A large movie screen will be added to The Lawn Club where the unique culinary experience will be hosted Transformative alcove-style cabanas will line the real grass lawn for additional seating and relaxation space. Guests will be able to adjust the cabanas to their preferred view as the spaces evolve throughout the day.
Sushi on Five: Celebrity’s hotly anticipated newest dining endeavor will be reimaged from what was once Bistro on Five and feature an expertly crafted à la carte menu. The new menu,curated by sushi chef Yoshikazu “Yoshi” Okada, offers hand-rolled sushi, fresh tableside grated wasabi, house-made soy sauce, Asian-inspired cocktails, Japanese beers and premium sakes, plus an array of mouth-watering starters and entrees.
The revitalization of Celebrity Solstice will also see the following new distinct additions; suites onboard will have various modern luxury enhancements, including lavish new patio furniture being added to suite balconies; Celebrity Solstice’s Photo Gallery will receive a full modern luxury makeover, removing the traditional panel display of printed photos.