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Most Popular Cruise Destinations and Ports

Do you want a holiday that combines sun-drenched beaches, historic cities, live entertainment and a room aboard a floating hotel? A cruise is the way to do it! Not only do you get to see different parts of the world in a short amount of time, you can also indulge in complete relaxation and pampering on board.

Choosing a cruise that’s perfect for you means researching the most popular destinations, so you can tick every box of your holiday dream list. At Simply Holiday Deals, we’ve done the work for you, with destination guides and a weekly roundup of the best cruise deals across the web.

Are you ready to be inspired? Here’s a list of some of the most popular cruise destinations and ports for UK travellers.

Eastern Mediterranean

Eastern Mediterranean cruises are a blend of ancient cities, stunning islands, panoramic landscapes and diverse cultures. Taking in the Adriatic coast of Italy and Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt, an Eastern Mediterranean cruise is sure to satisfy the wanderlust of all travellers.

The ships that sail the Eastern Mediterranean all offer regular deals and include major lines such as Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, P&O and Cunard. Cruises range from 20-night adventures to shorter getaways to the most popular ports. No matter your budget or travel goals, the array of cruise ships on offer provide exciting options for families, couples, singles, groups, luxury seekers and everything in between.

The itinerary’s you can choose from include those focused on exploring pristine islands like Crete and Santorini, or discovering the history and culture of cities such as Venice, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Athens and Cyprus. If you want a feast of all options, you can choose a blend of beach and city destinations for your itinerary. Some of the most popular ports are:

Corfu, Greece

The Greek island of Corfu will give everyone what they want in a port, with spectacular beaches, the historic walled city that is Corfu Town and the chance to sample the delicious, local food.

Athens, Greece

The home of the Acropolis, the Parthenon and myths and legends of a golden civilisation, choosing an itinerary that includes Athens is a must for history lovers to visit some of the world’s most significant historical sites.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik’s pedestrian only, medieval Old Town is full of Renaissance architecture, narrow cobbled streets and fabulous places to shop, wine, dine and soak up the atmosphere of culture and history.

Istanbul, Turkey

Straddling two continents, literally and culturally, Istanbul is famous for bustling bazaars, towering mosques, historical ruins and a culinary scene that will ensure your mouth is watering at every turn.

Santorini, Greece

Adored the world over for the exquisitely charming landscape of whitewashed houses tumbling into the glittering sea, Santorini is, understandably, one of the most popular ports to include on an Eastern Mediterranean itinerary.

Venice, Italy

Poets, writers and artists the world over have given their hearts to Venice and used their captivation with the city to create inspiring works of art. Here, you can stroll around the Piazza San Marco, glide down the canals in a romantic gondola and lose yourself in the warren of narrow alleyways.

Western Mediterranean

Get ready for non-stop adventure, world-class shopping and dining, glamorous islands and a huge array of historical sights and attractions on a Western Mediterranean cruise. Encompassing Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, The Canary Islands and Morocco, among many more, cruisers are absolutely spoilt for choice with itinerary options.

Cruise lines catering for Western Mediterranean trips include all the big ones, such as P&O, Costa, MSC Cruises, Thomson, Cunard and Royal Caribbean, plus smaller ships offering luxury, fewer passengers and stops to some of the smaller ports. Some of the most popular ports are:

Florence, Italy

Celebrate the early Italian Renaissance with a stop in Florence on your itinerary. From the works of the world’s great artists, such as Michelangelo, to vibrant piazzas, the magnificent Duomo and colourful gelato beckoning from store windows, Florence dazzles every visitor.

Barcelona, Spain

The Gothic architecture of Antoni Gaudi is a huge drawcard to visit Barcelona, but so is the excitement of strolling along Las Ramblas, getting lost in the Gothic quarter, drinking sangria at a beachfront restaurant and sampling tapas every step of the way.

Rome, Italy

Tick off all the ‘must sees’ in Rome while on your cruise, including St Peter’s Square, St Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. Most of all, don’t forget to tuck into a delicious bowl of pasta at one of many atmospheric piazzas.

The Canary Islands

The choice for a beach lover’s cruise itinerary is The Canary Islands. Fabulous ports, such as Santa Crus de La Palma, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Arrecife, San Sebastian and Porto del Rosario offer exquisite beaches, water sports, unspoilt landscapes, fantastic shopping and dining options and cultural diversity.

British Isles

Closer to home, cruises covering the British Isles encompass spectacular coastlines, majestic castles, dramatic mountains and rolling meadows. Rather than jump in the car and waste time on travel, taking a cruise around the British Isles means you can see all the sites and indulge in the luxury on board your cruise ship as you travel to each port. Cruise lines covering the area include Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, P&O, Thomson and Cruise and Maritime. Some of the most popular ports include:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Visit the imposing Edinburgh Castle, the Old Town, trek up and down the Royal Mile and shop, eat and drink to your heart’s content in any number of historic pubs and lively venues in the Georgian New Town.

Glasgow, Scotland

Feast your eyes on Art Nouveau architecture, museums and galleries while immersing yourself in an incredible cultural scene that includes the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland.


Rather than drive to the world-class tourist mecca that is London, you can include a stop on your cruise itinerary! Visit Big Ben, the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge and shop till you drop in internationally renowned fashion houses.


Orkney is an archipelago of approximately 70 islands and it’s here you can see archaeological sites, geological wonders, birdlife, historic cathedrals and visit quaint towns full of arts and crafts shops and local history.

Now that you’ve had a look at some of the most popular cruise destinations and ports, all you need to do is check your inbox for cheap deals from the team at Simply Holiday Deals and get ready to say, “All Aboard!”

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