There are plenty of affordable last minute cruises on offer to help you soak up the sun this summer, and the Mediterranean is crammed with beautiful cruise stops for adventurous travellers.
1. Ajaccio - Corsica
Ajaccio is a perfect choice for a keen explorer because it's sprinkled with tucked-away curiosities and boutiques, as well as a great selection of restaurants where you can sample the island's traditional French-Italian cuisine. Visitors will have a great time relaxing and exploring in this small yet charming port.
2. Barcelona - Spain
Nibble delicious plates of tapas, soak up jaw-dropping architecture and stroll through one of Spain's most stunning cities by taking a cruise that sails by Barcelona. La Sagrada Familia is a must-see: a modern cathedral with a unique aesthetic, designed by Barcelona's iconic architect Gaudi. Visitors shouldn't miss Las Ramblas, a vibrant street packed with flower sellers, street artists, and cafés.
3. Cannes - France
With its turquoise water, white beaches and exquisite sunshine, Cannes is a must-visit stop-off point for many luxury Mediterranean cruises. Cannes has a fantastic reputation as a glamorous hotspot, but boasts a surprisingly rich history beyond the noted film festival. The Old Town, Le Suquet, offers a modest array of places to visit, whilst La Croisette, a star-studded boulevard lined with palm trees, is the place to see and be seen.
4. Madeira - Portugal
Home to Madeira wine, the island of the same name is a haven for foodies. With local cuisine based on historic "peasant" food, visitors flock to Madeira to enjoy a delicious range of local specialities which are made with the freshest ingredients. The best way to see the island is almost certainly by taking a walk along the 'levadas', or water channels. Be sure to pack a picnic!
5. Rome - Italy
It's difficult to narrow Italy's list of gorgeous cruise destinations down to just one, but Rome, steeped in culture, is a resounding winner. With so much to see and do, it's a top destination for Cruise and Stay holidays - cruises which include extra time to spend in a location of your choosing. If you pick Rome, you'll have the opportunity to explore famous sites like the Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel, while enjoying Italian specialities like gelato, espresso and tiramisu.
When on a cruise - particularly on a vessel like the Independence of the Seas, which a huge variety of activities including rock-climbing and a Flow Rider surf machine - it can be tempting just to stay on-board for the duration, enjoying the entertainment and activities. But, it's well worth remembering to hop onto dry land from time to time to enjoy the sights, and these cruise stop suggestions are a great place to start!