Eastern vs. Western: Which Mediterranean Cruise Should You Take This Summer?

Once you’ve decided to take a Holland America Line cruise to the Mediterranean, you quickly are faced with a second decision to make: should you cruise to the eastern Med or western Med? The truth is, you can’t go wrong with either choice, and if you have more time you should consider doing a longer cruise that combines both regions or take a back-to-back Collectors’ Voyage! Holland America Line has an almost endless list of options for cruising the Med. Among the dozens of options, guests can ghoose from 12-day Mediterranean Rivieras itineraries that explore the western Med. or 12-day Mediterranean Empires cruises to the east, or take it all in with a 36-day Best of the Mediterranean. Here’s what makes the two regions different. THE WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN First-time-cruisers typically choose the western Mediterranean. It is a classic choice that combines incredible history and stunning architecture. Attractions here include plenty of museums and religious sites where you’ll enjoy work by some of the most influential artists and architects in history. Western Mediterranean cruises usually call at a combination of cities in Spain, France and Italy. Popular ports on these cruises include St. Tropez, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Barcelona and Malaga, Spain; and Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples, Italy. Museums World-class museums are a staple of the western Mediterranean. Malaga’s Picasso Museum opened a little over a decade ago in the Andalusian city where the famous artist was born. The museum features nearly 300 pieces donated by the Picasso family. Another iconic museum in Spain is Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum. In one look you’ll quickly know it was designed by famed architect Frank Ghery. This building is incredibly beautiful from the outside but also holds vast amounts of interesting modern and contemporary art inside. The Bilbao Highlights & the Guggenheim Museum is the perfect tour to explore this architectural masterpiece. Religious Sights Many of the western Med’s most important sites are centered around religious buildings. Gaudi’s incredible Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is a fantastic Gothic-style cathedral that impresses from the inside and out. Visit it, and many other iconic sites in the city, […]

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