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Few cruise destinations offer as much as the Mediterranean, where Celebrity Beyond sails in 2022. Here are standout ports and experiences you won't want to miss.
Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca. Photo: Getty.
Approach the Spanish island of Mallorca from the sea and it rises in white apartment blocks, a hilltop castle and huge seafront cathedral against blue serrated mountains. The island's rugged interior, graced with olive groves, almond orchards and sleepy villages, is stunning.
Palma itself is an agreeable wander too. The Arab-influenced streets are crammed with art studios, tapas bars and sun-soaked cafés. Foodies should take a tour with the Celebrity chef to explore market produce such as shellfish and oysters, and learn about how vendors source local seafood, before enjoying a restaurant lunch of Jamón Ibérico ham, Mahón cheese and other local specialities. The chef-hosted dinner back on board is a celebration of Spanish flavours from the day's exploration.
Malta Grand Harbour. Photo: Getty.
Be on deck as you sail into Malta's Grand Harbour, a superb Renaissance-era gem of massive fortifications and battlements, above which rise bulging church domes, turrets and tall houses. Valletta's shady palace-lined streets, café-cluttered back alleys, garden promenades and eye-popping cathedral are a walk away.
Even better, Malta is compact enough that its other sights are within easy reach, from megalithic temples dating back 5000 years to baroque hilltop towns and a spectacular coastline. Feeling energetic? Soak up scenery and history on a walking tour in the island's north, followed by a kayak to secluded, sculpted bays.
La Rochelle on France's mid-west coast. Photo: Getty.
Sunny La Rochelle on France's mid-west coast was a significant fortified port in medieval times and remains suitably towered and turreted. With Celebrity lingering in port until 9pm, you can enjoy its atmospheric evening illuminations, shadowy streets and leering gargoyles.
Otherwise, admire the region's soft Atlantic scenery of limestone villages, vineyards and dainty chateaux. Saintes has a Roman amphitheatre, gorgeous riverside setting and gaggle of photogenic church spires. Don't miss Cognac, another charming town and birthplace of the famous brandy of the same name. Three-course lunch followed by a visit to a cognac producer? Why not.
Mykonos is a drool-worthy view wherever you turn. Photo: Getty.
Mykonos is utterly charming, which might seem surprising given its reputation for hedonistic beaches and pumping nightlife. But this Greek island still retains its biscuit-baked landscapes, striking windmills and sugar-cubed houses scattered like dice and swathed in lipstick-pink bougainvillea. You'll be seduced by drool-worthy views wherever you turn.
For history, tiny Delos just offshore was one of ancient's Greece's most significant religious sites. For living culture, take a Mykonian cooking class at a typical island spiti or homestead and learn how to produce spinach pie, stuffed capsicums and tzatziki. Delicious.
Santorini is all about staggering landscapes. Photo: Celebrity Cruises.
This Greek island is all about the staggering landscapes. A massive volcanic explosion created the towering cliffs, sunken caldera and red-hued rock. Then the Greeks topped it off with whitewashed houses and blue-domed chapels. You'll want to see it from every angle, not just from clifftops, so consider a catamaran excursion for a brilliant day out.
Celebrity lingers until 10pm, which is just as well, because Santorini's sunsets are fabled. Houses turn pink, clouds purple, and the rocky landscape glows as the sun plunges towards the sea.
Messina a busy port facing mainland Italy. Photo: Getty.
Messina on Sicily's northeast corner is a busy work-a-day port whose fabulous setting faces hilly mainland Italy across the strait. A short walk takes you back into the medieval era, where prancing lions and saints parade across the cathedral. This gracious city reputedly has Sicily's best granita, which is saying something.
Head down the scenic coastline and Mt Etna's smoking summit commands attention. Fans of The Godfather series will enjoy a small-group Celebrity experience on an excursion to the infamous Bar Vitelli in Savoca among other movie locations. Everyone else will enjoy Savoca's ruined castle, ornate churches and magnificent setting: Sicily to perfection.
Like her industry-changing sister ships, Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Beyond is innovatively designed to seamlessly connect guests with their destination for a truly authentic experience. And, to ensure a truly effortless holiday, Celebrity Cruises always includes drinks, Wi-Fi, and service charges on every sailing – so you can focus on what's important, like exploring every history-steeped corner of the Mediterranean, or relaxing on board with a destination-inspired spa treatment.
To give you more peace of mind in planning, Celebrity Cruises' Cruise with Confidence offers flexible cancellations and the best offer guaranteed – discover more at celebritycruises.com/au.