Navigating Mediterranean Cruise Ports
When taking advantage of a Mediterranean cruise sale, know before setting sail that transportation from the port into town is not always included in your cruise fare.
At some European cruise destinations, ports are far off from town, and some ports do not have easy walking paths into the cities. In these instances, shuttles may seem necessary to see the sights and sounds of the city. These shuttles usually cost about $12 roundtrip per person at most Mediterranean ports.
Keep in mind that, though taking these shuttles may seem like your only option, there are many ways to save shuttle costs and explore on your own:
- Do your research: Many cruisers overestimate the distance between ship and city -- figure out where you’d like to go ahead of time and plan your transportation accordingly. Check online message boards and review sites to see what other travelers have done. Talk to your friends who may have sailed similar itineraries for what they found in port cities.
- Walk: Although many Mediterranean ports are not located directly in the city you thought you were going to, many times these are walkable. While the port at Marseille might not seem pedestrian friendly, a 10-minute walk will lead you to a €2 city bus headed straight into town.
- Plan your own shore excursions: Designing your own day can save a ton of money. For example, Pisa is only 20 minutes from Livorno by train. If you hop on your cruise line shuttle and buy your own tickets at the train station, €5 euros roundtrip, you can save about $85 per person. Naples is also an easy port for DIY planning, as ferries to Capri and Sorrento leave from the same area and will cost around 80% less than the advertised shore excursion.