More time in Mediterranean Ports

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#1
Houston
2 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
We would like to spend 2 days per port (Mediterranean), or just find a ship transport that only goes from one port to another, preferably with overnight accommodation. Do you have suggestions on the best way to do that, or is rail the best option?
#2
Moon Township, Pa
23,146 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
No mainstream cruise line stays in every port overnight. The most you'd get is an overnight in St Petersburg, Rome and Venice. The only way you might accomplish what you want would be to use Europe's extensive ferry system. But that way you'd have to book hotels as the ferry boats don't stay overnight.
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Darcie
#3
1,761 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by clausetrophobe
We would like to spend 2 days per port (Mediterranean), or just find a ship transport that only goes from one port to another, preferably with overnight accommodation. Do you have suggestions on the best way to do that, or is rail the best option?
Taking local ferries might be an option.

Scott & Karen
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#4
Romsey England
11,150 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Even the mainstream lines have the occasional o/nites in port around the Med - Venice, Istanbul, Ashdod, Alex. & elsewhere.
But don't expect more than one or two per cruise.

Either forget cruise ships & do a land tour, or choose a one-way cruise (a number operate Venice - Rome or vice-versa) & extend your stay pre & post-cruise

JB
#5
New Brunswick
40,071 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Many overnights are rare - however on it's June 1st Baltic portion the Prinsendam is doing 3 overnights - St. Petersburg, Copenhagen & Hamburg. Not bad on a 16 day portion of a cruise and quite rare
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#6
85,503 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Some mainstream lines offer an overnight in port and possibly two. But, even luxury lines don't offer two in each port. Some have overnights in a couple of ports.

My recommendation is to find one that might have one or two and then carefully select and itinerary that has a pre cruise port and a post cruise ports for areas that you would like to spend additional time on land before and after the cruise to explore.

Keith
#7
Where ever my motor home is parked - currently Texas!
3,047 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
With a land/rail tour you can spend as many or few nights in a port as wanted. You are also not limited to port cities.

Try a Transatlantic cruise followed by a land tour - best of both worlds!
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#8
Florida
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#9
USA
4,420 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
In my opinion the absolute best way to experience Europe is by rail.

Houston here also.
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#10
New Cumberland,PA, USA
26,892 Posts
Joined May 2000
Great question. We are certainly cruise lovers (have spent more then 2 1/2 years on cruise ships) but also love land trips. No cruise will give you enough time in ports on a consistent basis although some ships (particularly the longer Holland America cruises) do have some overnights in European ports. But when I read the OPs question it sounds like they would actually prefer to spend time in Europe on land. We have done a lot of European travel on both rail and rental cars. Contrary to what many say, we think driving in Europe is, by far, the best way to enjoy the continent. Trains have become more expensive and limit you to only places that have trains. Using a car in Europe is just like driving in the US (except most things are a lot closer in Europe) with excellent roads, good signs, and no limit on your itinerary. We are currently thinking of a trip next spring where we will use a repositioning cruise to get from the US to Europe, get a car (probably through a lease/purchase which is has benefits over long term rentals) and drive for about 6 weeks. At this point we are thinking we will probably spend time in France, Italy, Croatia, Slovakia and Germany. But we can easily alter any itinerary at any time to take advantage of weather variations, festivals, market days, etc.

Regarding the prior post about trains we will give you a great example of the problem with trains. We will use 2 words. Tuscany and Provence. These are two very popular regions (in Italy and France) neither of which can really be seen without a car. Sure, you can take a train to Florence...but you cannot take a train to the Chianti wine area (you use the S222 road), San Gimignano, Colle val d'Elsa, etc. In Provence (where we have rented an apartment in the past) there are very few places outside of a few major cities that can be accessed by trains. If you want to enjoy Les Baux or Pont du Gard you need to have a car. Want to explore the Luberon (made famous by Peter Mayle's book) you need a car. Want to visit some vineyards or neat wine towns like Gigondas or Chateuneuf du Pape ....well you need a car. In the Loire Valley of France there are some wonderful old chateaus that have been turned into inns and restaurants...but the only way you will ever see (or stay at) these places is with a car.

Hank
#11
Virginia Beach, VA
4,685 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I know this is a cruise forum, but maybe you should consider a Eurrail Pass. We loved traveling by rail in Europe. We did this type of trip twice, each time for 3-4 weeks. First was Northern Europe, second time Southern Europe.

We would get on the train in one city and stay as long as we wanted and then go to the station, decide where to go next, reserve the seats and off we'd go. (For a few dollars you can reserve seats at the station the day you travel, you don't have to "pre-book" them.) On both trips we traveled with our children. We each only took a backpack, so there wasn't ever a problem with schlepping luggage around. It's a great way to travel and we never had a problem finding a great room at a "mom and pop" hotel with family rooms upon arrival.

The Eurail pass includes some ferries and if I remember correctly, include the vaporetto in Venice. It also includes some of the rhine river boats (not cruises, more like ferries), which we loved!

This kind of travel is only for people without mobility issues and those that have an adventurous spirit. It would also be great to tack a cruise on to the end of this land tour.
#12
Where ever my motor home is parked - currently Texas!
3,047 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by Hlitner
Regarding the prior post about trains we will give you a great example of the problem with trains. We will use 2 words. Tuscany and Provence. These are two very popular regions (in Italy and France) neither of which can really be seen without a car. Sure, you can take a train to Florence...but you cannot take a train to the Chianti wine area (you use the S222 road), San Gimignano, Colle val d'Elsa, etc. In Provence (where we have rented an apartment in the past) there are very few places outside of a few major cities that can be accessed by trains. If you want to enjoy Les Baux or Pont du Gard you need to have a car. Want to explore the Luberon (made famous by Peter Mayle's book) you need a car. Want to visit some vineyards or neat wine towns like Gigondas or Chateuneuf du Pape ....well you need a car. In the Loire Valley of France there are some wonderful old chateaus that have been turned into inns and restaurants...but the only way you will ever see (or stay at) these places is with a car.

Hank
I agree there are certain places where a car is necessary. We get a rail/drive pass which has a number of car days as well. The problem with driving for us is DH - who does the driving- misses a lot as he has to pay attention to the driving. He has found the train to a more relaxing way to get from points A to B. And I really enjoy being able to sit & relax with him on the train - we can really enjoy the countryside through which we are traveling. Especially love the night trains - something about sleeping on the train.

We use the rail to get from place to place then rent a car as needed to see a certain area. This way we are not encumbered with a car when we arrive in a large city - parking in many EU cities is a real hassle & expense.
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#13
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,158 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by kitty9
No mainstream cruise line stays in every port overnight. The most you'd get is an overnight in St Petersburg, Rome and Venice. The only way you might accomplish what you want would be to use Europe's extensive ferry system. But that way you'd have to book hotels as the ferry boats don't stay overnight.
We had an overnight in Kotor, but I think that's highly unusual.

I was going to suggest the ferry's as well. We met a family in Dubrovnik who was doing this--taking the ferry from port to port and staying in land based hotels. They were having an incredible adventure!
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April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia
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#14
New York
5,057 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
Have you considered a river cruise in Europe? Check out some itineraries. This is our favorite way to travel in Europe, then spend a few days pre/post (or both) a specific city, too.