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5 Dream Destinations for European Cruising

By June 17, 2016October 8th, 2017One Comment

There is a lot of ground (and sea and mountains and sky) to cover on this planet. Although my time living in Europe had already doubled my country count, I still battle a longing of wanderlust – and even a little FOMO.

This is especially true for cruises! Although I’ve spent the day on huge ships, done small overnights on fancy ferries and even spent a week on a self-driving canal boat, I have not yet taken a full-on, luxury cruise with all the bells and whistles. And now that I’m so close to the aqua blue Mediterranean Sea, my dream of cruising grows even stronger. I think a Mediterranean cruise is the perfect introduction to this style of holiday, as it gives passengers the chance to see a little of everything and discover tons of exciting ports. That way I can experience a few new hotspots and return later for an in-depth trip if I fall in love. Here’s some ideas!



I’ve conquered Spain several times, as a study abroad student a million years ago and as an au pair. Although Andalucía has my heart, I’d love to spend more time along the Mediterranean coastline as I did via road trip with my husband when we were just dating. So many fantastic cruises have some great stops in Spain, including chic Barcelona, Cartagena and Cadiz. Take advantage of the excursions on this one and make a stop in sunny Seville too, only an hour or so from Cadiz.

spanish coast line beach by eileen cotter wright


This country is a mystery to me, which makes it super intriguing as a cruise destination. So many fellow travel lovers have told me how beautiful the cities and coastlines are of Croatia, offering incredible vistas, cuisine and outdoor pursuits for everyone. The cobblestone streets of Dubrovnik are incredibly irresistible for those who love deep design and Old World culture.



After a small taste of the Amalfi Coast last winter, I’m itching to go back and see the big, iconic cities and sights of Italy. Taking a cruise allows easy access to famous places such as Venice, Rome, Pisa and more. Many of these cities also act as a base to begin cruising, so you can spend a day or two on either end exploring to add a richness to the trip. Cruising beats battling Italian traffic and drivers any day!

amalfi coast ravello by eileen cotter wright

Greek Islands

What better way to island hop through Greece than by way of cruise ship? Ferries and flights can sometimes be tedious, so a relaxing cruise seems like the ideal way to indulge. There’s often stops as well close to Athens and Olympia if you rather immerse in ancient Greek lore and urban delights.

If you could take a cruise in the Mediterranean, where would you go? What time of year do you think is best?

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Instagram @Pure_Wander.

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