Whilst the Eastern Mediterranean is accessible with no fly cruises from the UK, these ports are further from the UK than the Western Mediterranean and are normally accessed with flights to Malta, Naples, Majorca or Venice as a starting point. This is a very special area and digs into history and interests of many kinds from mythology, Game of Thrones to the Bible. An evening cruise out of Venice is quite romantic, see film.

Eastern Mediterranean - the help you need is here

Albania is at the Southeastern Balkan Peninsula. It is a small country with Adriatic and Ionian coastlines. If you at least say hello in Albania it will help. Don’t expect to find English menus. Albanian language has four dialects, is not easy, and is official language of Albania and Kosovo. Prepare to be amazed by the beaches, the many castles, and archaeological sites. The capital of Tirana is very cosmopolitan and the focus is the large Skanderbeg Square. The National History Museum is worth a look and has exhibits ranging from antiquity to communism and beyond. The frescoed Et’hem Bey Mosque is also a must.

 

Bye

  • BRIEF: Durres is a treat, just west of the capital, Tirana which is worth the trip. However, here you will find a huge Roman amphitheater and a 9th-century church with mosaic-covered walls. Museums here and in the capital have extensive exhibits. Beach lovers can visit Durrësi Beach which has beautiful shallow waters and a nearby summer villa of the 20th-century King Zog.
  • CURRENCY: Albanian lek but Euro taken in most places like hotels and restaurants and ATM machines will give you local money
  • LANGUAGE/PHRASES: English spoken
  • Hello – Përshëndetje! / Tungjatjeta
  • Good morning – Mirëmëngjes!
  • Bye – Mirupafshim!
  • Yes – Po
  • No – Jo
  • How much is it? – Sa kushton?
  • VISA: Cruise card entry.
  • SHIPS GOING THERE INCLUDE: Seabourn Encore, Seven Seas Voyager, Oceana Sirena, Phoenix Amera and new to Marella
 

  • BRIEF: Sarande is a resort on the Albanian Riviera, below hills of olive groves. The town wraps around the bay with an enjoyable promenade and great beaches. Again, archaeological remains feature. Here a 5th-century synagogue with floor mosaics. Things to see include the 16th-century Lëkurësi Castle on the hilltop and monastery of 40 saints.
  • CURRENCY: Albanian lek but Euro taken in most places like hotels and restaurants and ATM machines will give you local money
  • LANGUAGE/PHRASES: English spoken
  • Hello – Përshëndetje! / Tungjatjeta
  • Good morning – Mirëmëngjes!
  • Bye – Mirupafshim!
  • Yes – Po
  • No – Jo
  • How much is it? – Sa kushton?
  • VISA: Cruise card entry.
  • SHIPS GOING THERE INCLUDE: larger ships can get in here, MSC Lirica, Sinfonia, Orchestra and Musica stage stops here regularly and almost exclusively. Marella have now added Albania, expect more cruises to go there.
 

Zakynthos is the third largest Greek island in the Ionian sea. It has a walkable town, many churches and the best bays are boat rides away. Tours will include wine making, Anafonitria 15th Century monastery, Volumes for rugs and souvenirs, honey and cheese. Aghia Maina a local village seven miles away and Laganas the islands more commercial holiday resort. See our town guide and film on monastery at the southern end.

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