The big news in the the 2017 schedules was the new set of Mediterranean fly cruises, a series of 7 and 14-night itineraries on Oceana out of Valletta, Malta. I’ve done some research on how they will work and the ports they will call at.
First, another look at how these cruises can be booked. Below I’ve laid out three successive 7-night itineraries, all starting at and returning to Valletta:
- 1 June: Valletta, Athens, Santorini, Kusadasi, Heraklion, Valletta;
- 8 June: Valletta, Dubrovnik, Sibenik, Venice, Zadar, Valletta;
- 15 June: Valetta, Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Rhodes, Valletta;
You can book these cruises in the following ways:-
- Cruise E709 – 14 nights from 1 June and including itineraries 1 & 2 above;
- Cruise E709A – 7 nights from 1 June and including itinerary 1 above;
- Cruise E709B – 7 nights from 8 June and including itinerary 2 above;
- Cruise E709C – 14 nights from 8 June and including itineraries 2 & 3 above;
- Cruise E710 – 14 nights from 15 June and including itinerary 3 above, plus the next 7 night itinerary in the rotation.
So there’s a lot of flexibility there. By the way, each 7-night itinerary throughout the season includes 4 ports of call, has two days at sea, and starts and finishes at Valletta.
Next up is the question of the ports of call. The sample itineraries above show ports in the E Mediterranean/Aegean (itineraries 1 and 3) and in the Adriatic (itinerary 2). Additionally, there’s a third set of itineraries that run up the west coast of Italy, which I’m calling the Tyrrhenian itineraries. In total there are:-
- 13 instances of the Adriatic itinerary;
- 11 instances of the E Med/Aegean itinerary;
- and 4 instances of the Tyrrhenian itinerary.
Obviously the itineraries into the different regions differ from the each other, but in addition there are small differences between itineraries in the same region. The tables below list the ports called at in each of the itineraries, and give the number of calls at each port.
The only ports that feature in every running of each different itinerary are Venice in the Adriatic itinerary, Athens in the E Med/Aegean itinerary and Rome in the Tyrrenhian itinerary. Dubrovnik misses just two (of 13) in the Adriatic and Kusadasi misses two (of 11) in the E Med. Ten ports are only visited once, although five of these are in the Tyrhennian itinerary of which there are only four instances. Finally, one port – Messina – has the distinction of appearing on two different itineraries; once in the Adriatic itinerary, and once in the Tyrhennian.
So that’s my analysis of the 2017 Mediterranean fly-cruises. I think they’re attractive and also varied – if you’re not tied to a particular period for your cruise (e.g. school holidays) then it’s worth taking some time to examine the itineraries in detail, as they do vary.