14. Eastern MEDITERRANEAN: Venice, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Turkey

Whilst the Eastern Mediterranean is accessible with no fly cruises from the UK, these ports are further from the UK than the Western Mediterranean and are normally accessed with flights to Malta, Naples, Majorca or Venice as a starting point. This is a very special area and digs into history and interests of many kinds from mythology, Game of Thrones to the Bible. An evening cruise out of Venice is quite romantic, see film.

Eastern Mediterranean - the help you need is here

Malta – the Knights of St John’s Hospital Experience

Here you can understand the plague or Black Death setting in

Malta – VALLETTA WALKING GUIDE – Map – tourist brochure

If you are interested in why Malta is the Hollywood of the Mediterranean

Popeye Village – Malta – a living breathes film location

Many report that this is a great day out

Malta Street Art and Statues

Malta is being transformed. Everywhere there seems to be

Easy and cheap, panoramic Malta by public bus

Malta can be a long day in port, so make the most of it and travel.

MALTA – Hollywood of the Mediterranean, where Captain Philips was shot

Valetta is the largest natural harbour in Europe

Valletta – St John’s amazing Co-Cathedral, St Paul Shipwreck Church & Valletta’s first church

What lies between the Holy Lands and Rome, answer, Malta. The Knights only had one job, to protect the Catholic religion at any cost. The Normans conquered the island in 1091 and completely re-Christianised them by 1249. The Knights then ruled Malta from 1530. The cost of such wars was always human. Valletta, Malta is a […]

Cruisers guide to Messina in Sicily

Some ships dock at Messina (but mainly ferries)

Giardini Naxos: The Godfather of all tours, Corleone family footsteps in Sicily

Sicily has over a hundred tours

Sicily’s capitol and Italy’s capitol of Culture 2018

Between Eastern Med and Western Med routes, Palermo sits at the foot

Messina Strait, sail through by P&O Aurora R717.

The Strait of Messina (Stretto di Messina) is the narrow passage

An Evening in Venice

It is not often cruisers get to have an evening anywhere, so this is a treat

Venice, Carnival, Casanova & the Masked Ball

Venice – a history of erotica and gambling? 


If you are a Game of Thrones fan

Cruisers guide to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Jean’s video report for Doris Visits

One of the most prominent destinations

Walking Dubrovnik’s Ramparts and Walls round the 12 century old town

The eastern end of a Med Cruise, and the northern most mart of the Med, the Adriatic

Dubrovnik: The churches of Dubrovnik

We try not to let the churches dominate city guides

Zadar, Croatia. Jean visits from cruise ship Aurora for Doris Visits

Located between Rijeka and Split on the Adriatic Sea, this old town

Albania is at the Southeastern Balkan Peninsula. It is a small country with Adriatic and Ionian coastlines. If you at least say hello in Albania it will help. Don’t expect to find English menus. Albanian language has four dialects, is not easy, and is official language of Albania and Kosovo. Prepare to be amazed by the beaches, the many castles, and archaeological sites. The capital of Tirana is very cosmopolitan and the focus is the large Skanderbeg Square. The National History Museum is worth a look and has exhibits ranging from antiquity to communism and beyond. The frescoed Et’hem Bey Mosque is also a must.



  • BRIEF: Durres is a treat, just west of the capital, Tirana which is worth the trip. However, here you will find a huge Roman amphitheater and a 9th-century church with mosaic-covered walls. Museums here and in the capital have extensive exhibits. Beach lovers can visit Durrësi Beach which has beautiful shallow waters and a nearby summer villa of the 20th-century King Zog.
  • CURRENCY: Albanian lek but Euro taken in most places like hotels and restaurants and ATM machines will give you local money
  • LANGUAGE/PHRASES: English spoken
  • Hello – Përshëndetje! / Tungjatjeta
  • Good morning – Mirëmëngjes!
  • Bye – Mirupafshim!
  • Yes – Po
  • No – Jo
  • How much is it? – Sa kushton?
  • VISA: Cruise card entry.
  • SHIPS GOING THERE INCLUDE: Seabourn Encore, Seven Seas Voyager, Oceana Sirena, Phoenix Amera and new to Marella

  • BRIEF: Sarande is a resort on the Albanian Riviera, below hills of olive groves. The town wraps around the bay with an enjoyable promenade and great beaches. Again, archaeological remains feature. Here a 5th-century synagogue with floor mosaics. Things to see include the 16th-century Lëkurësi Castle on the hilltop and monastery of 40 saints.
  • CURRENCY: Albanian lek but Euro taken in most places like hotels and restaurants and ATM machines will give you local money
  • LANGUAGE/PHRASES: English spoken
  • Hello – Përshëndetje! / Tungjatjeta
  • Good morning – Mirëmëngjes!
  • Bye – Mirupafshim!
  • Yes – Po
  • No – Jo
  • How much is it? – Sa kushton?
  • VISA: Cruise card entry.
  • SHIPS GOING THERE INCLUDE: larger ships can get in here, MSC Lirica, Sinfonia, Orchestra and Musica stage stops here regularly and almost exclusively. Marella have now added Albania, expect more cruises to go there.

Sarande, Albania – a gem

We discovered Sarande, pronounced Saranda doing research for the third cruise crime novel.


Athens – the Acropolis up close and personal

If you choose to visit the ancient citadel, the Acropolis, it will take over an hour, maybe more if it is busy. It is quite a climb and there is a lot of uneven ground. Essentials are hat, to protect your head from the sun, water, and shoes for the job. Not essential is a […]

ATHENS GUIDE – general on foot guide of this spectacular city

Most of these ruins and monuments are so huge it is

ATHENS – Horse & Carriage ride. Acropolis to Plaka – 30 Euro

Most taxis and buses will drop you at the Acropolis. After

Athens – incredible themed ice cream shop absolutely not to miss – HANS & GRETEL

This is not just any ice cream. This is a themed shop

ATHENS GUIDE cheapest way – cruise terminal to City Euro1.40 each way, tour with commentary Euro5.

Easily seen by public transport, Athens is

ATHENS – PLAKA area made easy, a walk between two metro stations

Sad we have to remind you, but

CORFU destination guide

Corfu sits at bottom of the Adriatic just off Albania in the Ionian Sea, ideally placed to go north to Croatia and Venice or east to Greece and Turkey. 

Private Tours In Corfu, a great source of research as to what is there.

Corfu is a classic and historic holiday destination for Brits and there is a lot to do there. It is the home of the Durrells TV series,

CORFU – Vido Island cheapest boat trip around

Stand in Corfu, look our to sea and that Island you can see is Vido Island.

CRETE GUIDE – Chania, Souda Bay to Old Town, Venetian Harbour and Beach – TOP CRUISE STOP !!

Crete has a good public bus service. The PORT

Crete – Trip to Knossos and Heraklion

If you want to visit these sites it is a taxi or an organised trip, it is a long journey and you will need to be up and out early. It is an ambitious trip for a cruiser and though public buses run every hour and take 2.5hours to get there from Chania, the saved […]

Crete War Cemetery

World War II is now way over a generation ago, and few who cruise may feel they have no immediate family connection to that era. However, there will be a deep connection for all of us to a distant relative lost here. To that end, and because it is so moving, we felt we needed […]


OK film buffs, this is where they made Shirley Valentine and you can sense it as soon as you see the colourful harbour from the ship. When in town you may get to see the rich and famous who love it here. Mykonos is another easy port on this Greek cruise route. According to Greek mythology, […]

Mykonos, Greece. Cruise the sun and historic mythology

Mykonos is said the be the jewel of the Aegean,

Rhodes – Greek Islands Cruise GUIDE TO OLD TOWN

Our first visit to Rhodes and what a pleasant

Santorini, the Lost City of Atlantis. Elizabeth cruises in on Ruby Princess

Santorini is the most southern Cyclades island

Zakynthos is the third largest Greek island in the Ionian sea. It has a walkable town, many churches and the best bays are boat rides away. Tours will include wine making, Anafonitria 15th Century monastery, Volumes for rugs and souvenirs, honey and cheese. Aghia Maina a local village seven miles away and Laganas the islands more commercial holiday resort. See our town guide and film on monastery at the southern end.


Zakynthos tours trips and ideas.

Zakynthos town guide, an easy Greek port to stroll and see

Zakynthos or Zakinthos is normally a tender port.

Zakinthos Monastery and Church

The St Dionysios monastery and Church are quite extensive so we have given them their own film.


Istanbul in Turkey is a cruise stop.

Tours available in Bermuda

As always tours and their description show what the locals are proud of and wish to show.

TIVOLI – the fun theme park in Copenhagen with something for everyone

Given the King granted permission to open Tivoli Gardens in 1843, it is unlikely they used the name because it spelt I LOV IT backwards

Marella Explorer 2 – with Cabin Video

The Marella Explorer 2 is an adult only cruise ship, with a larger

Easy and cheap, panoramic Malta by public bus

Malta can be a long day in port, so make the most of it and travel.

TALLINN – walk the old town, and views from St Olafs

There are likely to be six or so ships at the popular port in Tallinn, it is a fantastic busy port!

SHIPS FOR SALE – who will buy these dearly loved older ships fancy one of the many?

There are now quite few ships for sale, I counted five this morning as I was doing some work on the Fred Olsen page.

Tours available in Le Harve

As always tours and their description show what the locals are proud of and wish to show.

Marbella, Puerto Banus not too far from Malaga

Marbella, Puerto Banus is the place to party.

EPHESUS from port Kusadasi, TURKEY

Kusadasi is a beach resort on the Aegean coast and the new cruise port has a small shopping centre with a duty free which you can only use on you way back to the ship. The port is in down town Kusadasi and it is about a 5 minute walk into the main area with […]

[td_block_5 custom_title=”Latest from blog” limit=”3″ ajax_pagination=”load_more”]