We recently asked our social media following what their best cruise excursion experience has been and got a bundle of responses! It’s no good us keeping all these recommendations to ourselves and we just love helping you out with planning your cruise holidays.  – So if you’re in need of some inspiration of where to spend your money when sailing around The Mediterranean, these four shore excursions came out on top!

Idyllic Italy

Italy may just have, more must see works of art and iconic landmarks than any other country in the Mediterranean! Home to Leonardo’s The Last Supper, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and the Sistine Chapel, Italy beholds some of the worlds most beloved paintings and sculptures.

Although Italy is so much more than art work, as beautiful as they may be, Italy also houses two of the world’s most loved cities, which just so happen to be two major cruise ports – Venice and Rome. Out of all the recommendations we gathered, the top three reside here!

Shore excursions to Venice and it’s canals

Gondolas sailing down one of the canals in Venice

No visit to Venice is complete without a gondola ride. Take a shore excursion through the maze of canals taking in some of the city’s best known landmarks. From impressive churches to the world famous St Mark’s Square, you can blissfully float along and experience the city built on water in the best possible way. Plus they’ll be time to get out of the water and head out on foot for a closer look at some of Venice’s top sights.

Shore excursions to The Vatican City

Saint Peter's Square in Vatican and aerial view of Rome

When in Rome why not see all the classics AND the Vatican City! With Rome shore excursions that squeeze it all in, you can easily work your way around the full romance of this city. From Rome’s iconic Colosseum, where you can channel your inner gladiator to the Roman Forum and Capitoline Hill.

However The Vatican City is the place our followers voted a favourite of Rome’s shore excursions. Headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and home to the Pope, it’s your gateway to Rome’s rich history!

Independent from the rest of Italy, this small state houses St. Peter’s Square, St Peter’s Basilica and Vatican museums including The Sistine Chapel – said to be one of the city’s greatest treasures. See the works of Michelangelo and marvel over the Italian Renaissance styling. You need only spend part of your day here to cover all the main sights!

Shore excursions to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius

Ancient Pompeii (UNESCO World Heritage Site) Arch of Caligula, Via di Mercurio and Mount Vesuvius in the background

If you’re traveling to the port of Naples, the city of Pompeii is only a 30 minute drive away!

Explore the city that was frozen in time. Once a bustling port town, Pompeii’s fate was sealed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius back in 79AD. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular places to visit in Italy – you can really get a sense for what life was like in ancient Rome.

Walk around the remains of it’s temples, villas and streets which more or less look exactly as they did 2,000 years ago. You’ll even see some of those who sadly turned to stone trying to flee the city. It’s harrowing yet ultimately intriguing – a real history fest.

If you like, from Pompeii you can go onto Mount Vesuvius itself. Take a coach up to the 1000m mark and walk through the national park to it’s summit. It can be a little enduring but the extra leg work is well worth it, if you are able – we’ve been told those views really are incredible!

Charming Greece

The final Mediterranean shore excursion that our followers were shouting about takes us away from Italy and into the stunning country of Greece. Athens is the historical capital of Europe and if you find yourself cruising into the port of Piraeus, you’ll likely want to plan a trip to the Acropolis!

Shore excursions to The Acropolis and Athens City

Acropolis of Athens

Opt to tour both Athens city itself and the marvel that is the Acropolis during your time in Greece!

Many tours will start by taking you around the main city sights such as, Constitution Square, the Neoclassical-styled university buildings, the Royal Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the county’s old Olympic Stadium of Athens. – If you love your history and ancient architecture this cruise excursion really is a must do!

The Acropolis really is the highlight of this tour! Going with a guide is always recommended, you’ll leave on a walking tour which splits into several stages. Listen to your guide explain the history of this most famous monument before having some free time once you reach the top!

Wander around the ancient temples of Athena Nike and capture those breathtaking city views beneath you. Let’s not forget to capture that picture perfect shot of the Acropolis, before you even start your journey up too!

Booking your shore excursions

Like the sound of any of the above?

Most Cruise lines will allow you to start booking your shore excursions once your actual cruise booking is confirmed, or in most cases you can wait until you’re actually onboard the ship – however be aware some excursions may sell out by this point.

There is also the option of private vendors – these usually come out a little cheaper however unlike official cruise line excursions, the ship will not wait if you get held up! So just be aware of ship departure times and ensure you have more than enough time to make it back!

Sail with Marella Cruises

Couple happy on beach whilst holidaying on Marella Dream

First step of getting to experience all those amazing shore excursions is to book the cruise itself. Why not check out our latest offers page for the best deals and discounts available right now. Let us help you find an amazing deal and get that part ticked off your to do list! – you can always call our friendly sales team as well on 0800 107 2323.

Marella Cruises have a bundle of shore excursions available to you, if you decided to book onto one of their cruises. With six amazing ships all based in various parts of the world, we’re certain you’ll find the perfect match. – Plus, every ship of the Marella Cruises fleet is now All Inclusive! So that’s all your food and drink already covered – Hopefully relieving more spare cash to splash on those shore excursions.

All of the cruise excursions we’ve detailed above are available with Marella Cruises, however you can check out even more of Marella Cruises ports of call and excursion options right here!

Still looking for more recommendations? See our original Facebook post here to read all comments about all world destinations favourites. – Perhaps you’ll have your own to add to!

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We are acting as an agent on behalf of travel suppliers and your booking will be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Prices may be subject to very limited availability and are correct as at the date and time of writing. Prices may go up or down from time to time. Prices quoted are for the dates, accommodation, board basis, departure points and number of persons sharing specified only and cannot be combined with any other offer. We reserve the right to amend any quotes given if there is a genuine error as soon as we become aware of it. We reserve the right to withdraw any offers without notice.