Mediterranean vs Caribbean

Everyone has their favourite corner of the world, and it’s safe to say that the Mediterranean and the Caribbean are amongst the most popular – but which one do you prefer? Read on to see our comparison of the world’s two most sought-after cruise destinations.


Mediterranean coastline - Amalfi coastline

For the ultimate blend of sun-soaked beaches, vibrant culture and remarkable history, the Mediterranean ticks every box. Encompassing the coastlines of many countries across southern Europe – including Spain, France and Italy in the west, as well as Greece, Croatia and Montenegro in the east – the Mediterranean cannot be experience entirely in one voyage. Itineraries generally focus on a specific area of this beautiful region, which is why people return to the Med again and again and always discover something new.

There truly is something for everyone across the Mediterranean. From the picture-perfect beaches along the Spanish coastline and the glamorous destinations on the French Riviera to the bustling and iconic cities such as Rome, Venice, Athens, Barcelona and Dubrovnik, each speckled with ancient landmarks which stand as a testament to the regions long and illustrious heritage. The only thing each new port will definitely have in common is the sunny weather. Here’s a brief look at two of the region’s most popular destinations.


The ancient Acropolis in Athens, Greece

The ideal destination for budding historians, cruisers can make the short journey to the ancient city of Athens from the port of Piraeus. Featured on many Eastern Mediterranean itineraries, this historic metropolis is steeped in thousands of years of fascinating heritage, the remnants of which can still be observed.

Some of Athens most iconic sights include the ancient Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, while the city’s modern side is also worth exploring for a range of excellent shopping and dining experiences.


The bustling city of Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a hub of fascinating culture and heritage, offering a diverse mix of sightseeing opportunities, shopping districts and dining experiences.

You could head to La Sagrada Familia to appreciate Gaudi’s historic unfinished cathedral, take a tour of Barcelona FC’s world-famous Nou Camp stadium or stroll along Las Ramblas and shop for authentic souvenirs at a plethora of traditional market stalls – there’s simply so much to discover across the city.


Beach in the Caribbean - Punta Cana

The Caribbean is the perfect place for lovers of the laid-back lifestyle, where beachside relaxation is always on the agenda and sunshine is never in short supply. Every Caribbean island in this stunning region boasts its own unique charm and character, from the 365 pristine beaches of Antigua and the spectacular shorelines of Barbados, to the lush mountainous scenery of St Lucia and the lively towns and cities of Puerto Rico.

In the Caribbean, you can enjoy your days however you please. Whether you’re the type of traveller who likes to delve into the local culture and immerse yourself in your unique surroundings or simply spend a day laying on the beach, playing games on the soft golden sands or swimming in the crystal blue ocean waters for which this captivating archipelago is perhaps best known.

Droves of cruisers flock to the Caribbean each year for good reason. This collection of tiny islands has captured the hearts and minds of many a traveller, drawing them back year after year. Take a look at what you can expect from two of the archipelago’s most sought-after islands.


A beautiful beach on the coast of Nassau in the Bahamas

The Bahamas encapsulate all that travellers have come to expect from the colourful Caribbean. Beautiful stretches of white sandy coastlines, clear glistening ocean waters and even a collection of historic landmarks including forts and monuments across the city of Nassau.

Relaxing on the beach is easily one of the most popular pastimes for visitors to this idyllic destination, but this Bahamas offer much more than this. Adventurous cruisers could opt for a dolphin – or even a shark – encounter off the island’s gorgeous shores.

St Lucia

The lush Piton Mountains of St Lucia

St Lucia is one of the Caribbean’s most naturally beautiful and verdant destinations, well-known for its vast areas of thick jungle, spectacular coastal scenery and towering Piton Mountains. The opportunity for both relaxation and adventure is abundant across this unique island.

How you spend your time on St Lucia is up to you. You could unwind on the beach, enjoy a scenic rainforest trek, hike to the impressive Sulphur Springs or even climb Gros Piton – an achievable goal for those with a can-do attitude and a head for heights!

Our verdict

The Mediterranean and the Caribbean both have their own unique appeal and in order to assess which destination is superior, you must take into account the tastes and preferences of the individual traveller.

If you’re looking for a diverse cruise and an itinerary packed with contrasting experiences across a combination of ancient cities, quaint ports and cosmopolitan metropolises – then a Mediterranean cruise is for you. You could be relaxing on a beach one day and uncovering ancient archaeological ruins the next, before arriving in arriving in a modern city, sampling local cuisine and strolling through a bustling city centre – it’s all possible in the Med.

A Caribbean cruise, however, is ideal for travellers seeking a sun-soaked island escape and looking to surround themselves in picturesque, tropical scenery. If your idea of heaven is lying back on a soft sandy beach, sipping a cocktail and dipping your toes in warm ocean waters, the Caribbean is perfectly suited. But it’s not all about the beaches and there is plenty of history, culture and adventure to uncover for those with the motivation to find it.

Hopefully, you now have a clearer picture of what to expect from both the Caribbean and Mediterranean. If you still can’t decide between them, remember you could always simply book a world or transatlantic cruise and experience a little of both!

Call our Cruise Concierge team today on 0808 1234 118 for the best deals and expert advice to help book your perfect cruise.

Emma Smith
Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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