Not all cruises take to the high seas. There are some fascinating river cruises in Europe, none more intriguing than a 14-night voyage from Budapest to Amsterdam along the Danube and the Main rivers, which are linked by canal.
The journey, on the 90-cabin MS Johann Strauss (above), travels through vineyards, past the medieval villages and cities of middle Europe, and through the spectacular Rhine Gorge.
Departs September 17. All-inclusive fare is £2,395 per person and there is no single supplement. Details from www.noble-caledonia.co.uk, or call 020 7752 0000, quoting ref: NC090807.
For a cruise from the UK to some of the prettiest resorts of the Western Mediterranean, a 17-day voyage on the MV Discovery looks hard to beat, with fares from £1,298 per person. The ship departs from Harwich on September 3 and arrives in Venice for an overnight stay on September 18, with flights back to Gatwick or Manchester the next day.
Among the ports of call are Nice (also overnight), Villefranche, Santa Margherita on the Italian Riviera, Rome, Sorrento, and Taormina in Sicily. See www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk or call 0845 018 1800.
Closer to home, the Saga Ruby sails a four-night cruise from Dover on August 24 to Edinburgh and back for a visit to the spectacular military tattoo and a champagne reception on board the Royal Yacht Britannia. Fares from £622 per person. See www.saga.co.uk/travel-shop or phone 0800 056 5880.
For those with more time on their hands, there’s a 26-night cruise on board the adults-only P&O ship Artemis leaving Southampton on October 5, with fares which work out at £83pp per night.
Making the most of the autumn sun, the voyage travels as far as Ephesus in Turkey, Port Said and Alexandria in Egypt, before returning via Sicily, Naples, Rome and Lisbon. From £2,168 per person in an outside cabin. See www.pocruises.co.uk or phone 0845 355 5333.