Cruises that prove the best of the Mediterranean are found after summer

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The Mediterranean may be synonymous with summer vacation, but when it comes to cruises, the next few months are synonymous with glorious vacation at sea. The fierce heat of summer has subsided and the tourist crowds have thinned. The shore excursions coincide with the harvest and the first pressing of the olives. The high temperatures of the high season give way to cool and languid days full of flavor for tourists.

But the best part of a fall Mediterranean trip is, really, that there is no bad weather. Instead, it’s about choosing the best spot on the map and plotting a course. Here are the best cruises to squeeze the last drops of summer from southern Europe.

Spot the Dalmatian Islands

This is surely the ultimate treat for anyone who has ever felt the overwhelming urge to jump from ship to sea. While cruising the hidden corners of Croatia’s Dalmatian islands aboard the Princess Eleganza, passengers can swim in the back of the cruise ship whenever it is anchored. Explore the islands of Vis, Hvar and Brac, scattered like emeralds in the aquamarine waters of the Adriatic. Dubrovnik, meanwhile, blends scenic beauty with Venetian heritage amid a tide of terracotta houses, while the Unesco-protected Diocletian’s Palace in Split dates back to Roman times.

To book: A seven-night round-trip Gems of Croatia cruise from Dubrovnik departs on September 30. From £ 1,295 per person (aptouring.co.uk)

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