These 2024 Cruises Are Sailing the Mediterranean Sea in the Off-season — Visiting Italy, Greece, and Spain Without the Crowds

You can now cruise the Med in the winter aboard Windstar Cruises' "Star Legend."

<p>pawel.gaul/Getty Images</p>

pawel.gaul/Getty Images

If you missed the boat on a summer trip to Europe, you can catch one on the Mediterranean Sea this winter — literally.

Windstar Cruises, known for its fleet of small ships and sailing yachts, will send Star Legend to the Med for a special winter season in 2024. Following a major renovation in 2021, the 312-passenger, all-suite ship has seven dining options (and a partnership with the James Beard Foundation), as well as an expanded fitness center and spa, and a water sports platform.

<p>Peter West Carey/Courtesy of Windstar Cruises</p>

Peter West Carey/Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

"The ship was originally scheduled to sail in the Middle East. We’ve postponed our launch in that region to begin in November 2024,” said Christopher Prelog, the president of Windstar Cruises, in a statement. "With a ship in the Mediterranean, we saw an opportunity to offer guests a legendary winter season in Europe."

<p>Michel Verdure/Courtesy of Windstar Cruises</p>

Michel Verdure/Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Winter is, of course, the off-season for the Mediterranean, which means fewer crowds and easier access to popular landmarks and attractions. There's also the opportunity to spend the festive season in some of the most picturesque cities in Europe, which includes visiting Christmas markets. And finally, you can enjoy mild temperatures all season long.

<p>StockByM/Getty Images</p>

StockByM/Getty Images

"Our small ships and intimate atmosphere provide a truly unique way to explore Europe's winter wonderlands, while enjoying the magic of the season and the comforts and casual luxury that Windstar is known for," Prelog said.

<p>Suttipong Sutiratanachai/Getty Images</p>

Suttipong Sutiratanachai/Getty Images

Star Legend will sail 16 week-long cruises between Rome and Barcelona, visiting Florence and Pisa in Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco (where the ship will overnight); and Marseille, France. Overnights in Rome and Barcelona will offer ample time to explore the cities. There are also two holiday itineraries: an eight-day cruise over Christmas, and a nine-day cruise over New Year's. Then, the final itinerary of the winter season will be a nine-day cruise from Rome to Athens, with ports of call along the Amalfi Coast and in Greece.

So, if you're itching to get to Europe long before next summer, it's time to add a Windstar Cruise to your travel wish list.

Bookings for the special winter 2024 itineraries on Star Legend will open on Nov. 6 at

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