This article was first published in Spring/Summer 2018 issue of the International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
With more than a thousand years of history and culture to be explored, the Mediterranean region has been lauded by travellers for generations. Now, a new cruise route is making it easier for today’s adventurers to explore some of the most beautiful islands the region has to offer.
Menorca, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily are all home to tranquil landscapes and local cultures that provide visitors with a truly escapist experience. The new WestMed route takes in these exclusive Mediterranean ports, with European travellers able to embark and disembark in the Majorcan ports of Palma and Alcudia. Meanwhile, their American counterparts will be able to do the same in either of the popular cities of Barcelona, Spain, or Rome, Italy, depending on which city is on their route.
The historic temples and monuments that dot the landscape of these islands provide an insight into the origins of the Mediterranean people, while historic town centres and traditional dishes allow for a modern taste of the region’s ancient cultures.
The Mediterranean ports of Mahon, Ajaccio, Alghero and Messina are littered with stories of pirates, the deeds of great kings and knights, the lives of fishermen and merchants, the discoveries of scholars and the customs of ancient civilisations. The region’s history provides an insight into how life was once lived, and the Mediterranean’s ports can be viewed as silent sentinels of everything that has happened in the region.
While each of these destinations is beautiful and unique in their own way, there is something that binds them all together – the ‘Mediterranean essence’. This could be characterised as a certain type of light, the pleasant sea breeze, the greenish reflection from the turquoise sea onto the landscape, the flavours of the healthy cuisine, the leisurely pace of life, the welcoming local people who have a shared past and desire to preserve it. These attributes combine within the WestMed route to provide an evocative and memorable cruise experience.
With WestMed, cruise passengers can learn more about how Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Britons, Frenchmen and Muslims helped to shape the Mediterranean culture we know today, and take a journey that allows them to truly explore the origins of a civilisation.