Best Mediterranean Cruises

Vineyard visits, bicycle tours and living history lessons make these Mediterranean cruises stand out from the rest.

Best Mediterranean Cruise for Foodies

Oceania Cruises has just announced the launch of the Culinary Creations Land Tours offered aboard Nautica, Marina and Riviera as the ships visit Italy, Spain and Greece, starting in spring 2016. The tours, which also include pre- and post-cruise explorations, consist of cooking classes and trips to local food markets, plus specially organized visits to restaurants and other attractions. One highlight is the Toasting in Tuscany trip: Offered before or after a cruise, it's a three-night stay in the storied region with cooking lessons at Villa Pandolfini.

Best Mediterranean Cruise for Fitness Fanatics

Windstar Cruises has partnered with Vermont Bicycle Tours to offer back-to-back tours of Mediterranean destinations. Beginning May 2016, guests can set off on a 10-day ride of the Amalfi Coast and Capri, stopping at the ruins of Pompeii and the seaside village of Positano, before embarking on a cruise around Italy.

Best Mediterranean Cruise for History Buffs

Star Clippers' tall-sailing ships are beloved not only for their access to smaller ports, but also for the detailed history lectures given by the cruise directors — including Peter Kissner, whose working knowledge of visited ports rivals Google. Now, he'll have to brush up on Positano, Gozo, Carloforte and a handful of additional Italy and Malta destinations. The sailing line has amended their Mediterranean spring and summer itineraries, which start in mid-April, to include more stops along these coasts.

Best Mediterranean Cruise for Families

For the first time, Disney Cruises will sail to Scotland, Ireland, England and France in 2016. One itinerary in June has the Disney Magic sailing for 12 days from Dover, England, to Glasgow, Dublin, the Channel Islands and a handful of other new ports for the cruise line.

Best Mediterranean Cruise for Oenophiles

Indulge your love of wine at sea and in port with eight new Mediterranean cruises from SeaDream Yacht Club, sailing from May to November 2016. Aboard SeaDream I and SeaDream II, guests can partake of exclusive tastings, plus sit-down dinners curated by local winemakers. The best part: The port itineraries in Italy, Spain, Greece and France have been selected by sommelier Ida Donheim to include tastings and vineyard visits.