Cruise lines to Italy

Explore the Mediterranean by sea with these ships that will take you to The Boot and beyond.

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A gondolier paddles towards the sunset in Venice's Grand Canal

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A cruise across the Mediterranean is not complete without making a stop in Italy. Whether you want to bask in the sun on a deck chair for hours on end, visit quintessential attractions like the Colosseum, and tick riding a Gondola in Venice off your bucket list, there’s a cruise for every kind of traveler. Discover the best cruise for the kind of traveler you are.

How we chose this list

When curating this list of the top cruises to Italy, we looked at the needs of different kinds of travelers. We prioritized cruise companies that offer the most suitable onboard facilities and port stops to suit each traveler demographic mentioned below.

We took into consideration what travelers would want to experience when taking a cruise to Italy, factoring in the length of port stops, how the cruise lines accommodate needs and wants, and how travelers would get the most out of their cruise experience. We read customer reviews on travel websites and researched cruise lines to consider the type of cruise to Italy that would allow travelers needs and expectations to be met.

Best for seniors: Azamara

Azamara offers overnight stops in ports, so you can explore at your own pace without keeping an eye on the time. A cruise to Italy with Azamara includes stops along popular ports like Amalfi, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Venice. With less than 700 passengers on board, enjoy an abundance of on board experiences like specialty dining, the Cabaret lounge, culinary classes and entertainment all the more.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
Price ($-$$$):
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Best for cultural experience: Viking Ocean Cruises

Culture and history buffs are delighted with the itineraries Viking offer for their Italy cruises. Between exploring Italy’s romantic city of Venice, visiting the ruins of Rome and exploring the picturesque Amalfi Coast, Viking Cruises ensures passengers have an onshore excursion at every port on every cruise. When cruising with Viking, expect to immerse yourself in local customs, food and culture.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for kids: Royal Caribbean

Nothing screams “kid-friendly cruise line” more than kids-sail-free offers. A Royal Caribbean cruise across the Mediterranean is sure to impress families. With endless onboard activities and designated kids spaces equipped with music, movies and games to keep the kids entertained for days, mom and dad can relax on a sunbed with a cocktail in hand. Sounds like the perfect vacation? Royal Caribbean docks in the Eternal City of Rome, Sicily and Venice, providing the perfect balance of time on land and sea.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for travelers on a budget: Norwegian

Set sail with Norwegian Cruise Lines and get the most bang for your buck. The cruise line frequently offers last-minute deals, so you can make a cruise to Italy possible, even if you need to save your pennies. With a wide variety of dining, activities and entertainment included in the cost of the cruise, you won’t have to fork out for extras on board.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for honeymooners: Princess

What’s more romantic than cruising along the Italian Riviera to celebrate your wedding? Princess Cruises offer a Honeymoon Package with Vintage Champagne, a Deluxe Balcony Breakfast, a couple’s day pass to the Thermal Suite and more. Sail around Italy and make your way to Greece via Turkey for the ultimate romantic honeymoon getaway.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

When is the best time to cruise to Italy?

  • MAR/APR: March and April marks the start of the Mediteranean cruise season, as the sun starts sticking around later and the temperatures are more welcoming, sitting around 60 to 70 °F. If you want to avoid the crowds, this is the ideal time to cruise around Italy before people start making their way over for the European summer.
  • MAY-AUG: From May to August, you can expect to pay higher prices, but you’ll also have more cruises and ports to choose from, as well as temperatures reaching 86 °F. If you don’t mind crowds, long summer days basking on a sunbed on a Mediterranean cruise is an experience most cannot fault.
  • SEP/OCT: The crowds start to die down in September and October, but don’t expect the cruise prices to drop too drastically. Cruising through Italy during these months still brings moderate weather of around 70°F and sunny days perfect for exploring the ports.
  • NOV/DEC: You’ll have to wait until November and December before prices start to plummet drastically. In exchange, you’re likely to experience cold and rainy weather of 50 °F on average. If you’re booking a cruise that’s heading to Venice, keep in mind the city is prone to flooding in November.
  • JAN/FEB: Leading into January and February, less cruises and ports are accessible, as rough seas and storms become more frequent and you’ll be spending a lot more time enjoying the activities and entertainment available onboard. For days you’re exploring on land, it’s best to keep an umbrella handy.

What are the must-do cruise excursions in Italy?

With standout attractions spanning across ports in Capri, Civitavecchia (Rome), Palermo, Sicily, Sorrento and Venice, visit some of the best cultural and historical spots along the way.

  • Rome: The Colosseum may seem like an obvious place to visit, but for good reason. Once used as an amphitheater for gladiator fights, the area surrounding the Colosseum is visited by millions of people annually. Brush up on your knowledge of the Romans with a Colosseum tour.
  • Venice: Riding a gondola through the canals of Venice is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll want to tick off your bucket list.
  • Sorrento: Journey up north to the archaeological site of Pompei for the ultimate historical experience.
  • Capri: Do a rowboat tour and visit the Blue Grotto sea cave.
  • Palermo: See some of the best preserved Byzantine architecture at the Cappella Palatina.

Bottom line

Whether you want to take a relaxing break to the Mediterranean or fill your itinerary with history, culture, and of course, a copious amount of pizza, pasta and gelato, cruises are a great option for both new and seasoned travelers. Before booking your cruise to Italy, see if you can save money with a deal or discount code.

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