A European vacation is one of the most sophisticated and elegant choices a traveler can make, and some of the best cruises in the world are those that explore the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Offering an unbeatable blend of culture, history, cuisine, and natural beauty, a dreamy Mediterranean cruise topped off with a weekend city break is pure perfection.And where better to start a wonderful Mediterranean vacation than Paris, one of the most beautiful, chic, and romantic cities in the world? From beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes to exquisite fine dining and high culture, here’s how to design the perfect European cruise vacation.

Start in Paris: The City of Lights

Paris is the perfect place to begin any European adventure. The City of Lights is the embodiment of art, culture, and beauty, a city with the richest of histories and the most elegant of personalities, oozing with romance and sophistication. From iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Sacre Coeur, to some of the best museums, galleries, boutiques, and restaurants in the world, Paris offers an extraordinary vacation experience. Don’t miss a boat trip along the Seine, croissants and coffee at a riverside cafe, or a chance to enjoy high culture at the Opera Garnier.

Embark on Your Mediterranean Cruise

From Paris, hop on a short flight to Venice, Barcelona, or Marseille, to begin your voyage of Mediterranean discovery. A cruise around this fascinating region offers an astonishing opportunity to discover thousands of years of history, some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and panoramas in the world, as well as some of the most elegant and cultured cities on the planet. Here are some of the highlights of a Mediterranean cruise itinerary.

Barcelona: A Blend of Gothic and Modernism

Barcelona is a vibrant, dynamic city that feels like it never stops. Dramatic Gothic architecture clashes beautifully with Art Nouveau and the whimsical surrealism of Antoni Gaudi, while locals eat tapas in La Boqueria and party on La Rambla.

Marseille: The Gateway to Provence

Marseille is an under-the-radar gem. France’s oldest city is an incredible blend of laid-back Provencal charm and edgy urban modernity. As one of the main ports in France, it has an incredible diversity that has given rise to some remarkable cultural blends, and its ancient history is represented as well in the historic district of the Old Port and Le Panier.

Venice: The City of Canals

From dreamy gondola rides past historic palaces to tiny glass figurines on the island of Murano, Venice is a destination full of romance and surprises. Its eye-catching historic architecture and palazzos, from St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace to the Bridge of Sighs, make it a glorious and enchanting place to explore.

Santorini: A Greek Island Paradise

Santorini is the ultimate Greek island, an astonishing visual feast of whitewashed buildings and blue domes perched precariously on top of sheer cliffs overlooking azure seas. The sunsets alone are worth visiting for, but the island offers so much more, from the traditional villages of Fira and Oia to the amazing ancient ruins and stunning black sand beaches. It is a genuinely once-in-a-lifetime kind of destination and a must-visit on any European cruise.

Dubrovnik: The Pearl of the Adriatic

Dubrovink’s majestic medieval city walls have burst into popular consciousness thanks to its role as a filming location in Game of Thrones, and this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the best places in Europe to visit.

Wherever you go on your European adventure you are guaranteed an experience that will live long in your memory. Happy travels!