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Vitamin D

6 best winter sun Mediterranean cruise destinations – sail from £85pp a night!

Mediterranean winter sun cruises are the optimum way to explore this glorious corner of the globe without the crowds or breaking the bank – here are some of the best places to visit.

Winter sun Mediterranean cruises deliver unforgettable cultural exploration across Spain, Italy, France and beyond; renowned culinary delights, and – as it says on the tin – better weather than back in the UK, so why stay shivering in Blighty?

Adults-only brand Ambassador Cruise Line offers a selection of winter Mediterranean cruises which ensure you not only visit a smorgasbord of must-see European wonders but also bag holidays for jaw-dropping prices. How does sailing from £85 a night sound?

Ambassador Winter sun Mediterranean cruises

Set Sail

Jewels of the Mediterranean

Save up to £390!

Duration: 21 nights
Where: London Tilbury, UK | Leixoes (for Oporto), Portugal | Lisbon | Cadiz (Spain) | Ajaccio, Corsica | Cannes, France | Livorno (for Florence/Pisa), Italy | Civitavecchia (for Rome) | Olbia, Sardinia | Palma de Mallorca, Spain | Gibraltar | Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela) | London Tilbury, UK
Ship: Ambience
Price: From £1,779 pp

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Book Cruise

Classical Mediterranean

Save up to £730!

Duration: 24 nights
Where: London Tilbury, UK | Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Spain | Cadiz | Palma de Mallorca | Toulon, France | Livorno (for Florence/Pisa), Italy | Naples | Messina | Palermo | Barcelona, Spain | Valencia | Malaga | Leixoes (for Oporto), Portugal | London Tilbury, UK
Ship: Ambience
Price: From £1,699 pp

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Florence Italy

Best winter sun Mediterranean cruise destinations

Where to go

Inspired? We’ve rounded up the six best winter sun Mediterranean cruise destinations you can visit on your Ambassador cruise in 2024 and 2025.

Rome, Italy

Both Ambassador winter sun Mediterranean cruises take in Rome – the eternal city simply cannot be missed! While summer sees throngs of tourists flood the Italian capital, the winter months bring a quieter, more intimate experience – perfect for immersing yourself in the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Vatican City.

The winter weather in Rome varies greatly depending when you visit, with daytime temperatures hovering around 4-22°C so if you want to roam (no pun intended) on foot throw on a jacket (or coat…and scarf) and stroll through the cobblestone streets of Trastevere or enjoy a leisurely walk along the Tiber River to soak up the city’s storied history.

There’s nothing like a plate of yummy carbs to warm the body and soul either. Try classics like cacio e pepe or indulge in a slice of authentic Roman pizza paired with a glass of local wine. Perhaps Sir would fancy a Chianti?

Sicily, Italy

Down south (read: warmer) Sicily serves up further lashings of ancient history and beautiful landscapes (we won’t mention the Mafia). In winter, temperatures are decent, ranging from 10-14°C, making it an ideal time to explore without the summer crowds on winter sun Mediterranean cruises.

Visit the historic city of Palermo, where the Palazzo dei Normanni and the buzzy markets offer a glimpse into Sicily’s rich culture, past and present. Want to stretch the sea legs? Nature enthusiasts can venture to Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, for a surreal winter hiking experience.

Of course, you’ll need to keep fuelled up for all your island escapades and the good news is that Sicilian cuisine is superb – dishes like arancini (rice balls), pasta alla norma and cannoli all encapsulate the essence of the island. Sip on Sicilian wines, such as Nero d’Avola, to do as the locals do (just don’t mention the Godfather).

Toulon, France

Toulon, nestled along the French Riviera, is a hidden gem for winter sun seekers. The city’s clement winter climate, with temperatures ranging from 7-16°C, provides a refreshing escape from the doldrums of a freezing British winter. Explore Toulon’s historic Old Town, meander along the picturesque harbour and discover the impressive Toulon Cathedral.

For a day excursion, visit the nearby Provence region. If you have time on your winter Mediterranean cruise, Cassis (an hour’s drive from Toulon) is a picturesque fishing village. The Calanques National Park, with its scenic rocky inlets, will be less crowded during this season for those eager for hiking or boat tours. If you’d rather stay on flat and dry ground, explore the narrow streets of the town centre and visit the historic Cassis Castle.

Peckish? French cuisine shines in Toulon, with fresh seafood and Provençal specialities taking centre stage. Tuck into a warming bowl of bouillabaisse, a traditional fisherman’s stew, or enjoy a leisurely lunch at a seaside bistro with a glass of local rosé wine. Winter has never tasted so good.

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, a city where historic charm meets modern architecture, is a must-visit on your winter sun Mediterranean cruise. With temperatures ranging from 5-19°C in this season, Valencia offers a variable climate so you’ll want to go prepared ahead of exploring its fascinating neighbourhoods and landmarks.

Discover the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, an amazing complex featuring an opera house, planetarium and interactive science museum, while the historic Valencia Cathedral and Central Market are also worth a visit.

It’s not just your eyes that can feast in this gorgeous city – Valencian cuisine is a treat for the senses, too. Chow down on paella or enjoy a plate of tapas accompanied by a glass of tastes-like-summer Agua de Valencia, a cocktail made with sparkling wine, orange juice, vodka and gin. That’ll put hairs on your chest to keep you toasty for sure!

Leixoes – for Oporto, Portugal

Leixoes, over in Portugal, features on both Ambassador Mediterranean winter sun cruises and is the gateway to Porto, known for its port wine cellars and historic gems. Temperatures range from 6-17°C at this time of year, making it a cool yet pleasant destination.

Explore the Ribeira district, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its colourful houses and narrow streets; visit the Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world; and try a tasting tour of the renowned port wine cellars along the Douro River.

Need to line your stomach? Try a delicious Francesinha sandwich or sample bacalhau (salted cod) prepared in various tasty ways – and, of course, team it all with a glass (or three) of port. Talk about soaking up the culture…

Lisbon, Portugal

Sail south on your Mediterranean winter sun cruise and you’ll hit Lisbon, where winter temperatures range from 9-18°C, providing a mild climate for exploring the city’s seven hills and getting stuck into sightseeing.

Visit the historic Alfama quarter, with its narrow streets and Fado music echoing through the air; take a tram ride to Belém to admire the famous Tower of Belém; and stuff yourself silly with Lisbon’s famous Pastel de Nata custard tarts.

For something savoury, order grilled sardines or petiscos (Portuguese tapas). Don’t forget to end your meal with a glass of ginjinha, a cherry liqueur – you know, to keep the cold out…

Published 23.02.24