The best cruise deals aren’t always the last-minute offers – plan ahead for these great deals.
* Explore the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea on a 17-day trip with Voyages of Discovery, starting with a flight to Mombasa in Kenya on March 30. Board the MV Discovery and sail to the Seychelles. Then it’s on to Yemen, before a final call at Safaga in Egypt, where there’s time for an excursion to Luxor before the flight back to the UK on April 15. Fares start at £1,295. Details at www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk or telephone 0845 017 1814.
* Fred Olsen’s Balmoral will be sailing a 22-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise leaving from Dover on May 22, calling at Gibraltar, Cagliari in Sardinia and Messina in Sicily, Athens, Volos, Thessaloniki and Kavala in Greece, Valletta in Malta, Ibiza and La Coruna in Spain, returning to Dover on June 13. Activities on board include talks on the Mythology of the Mediterranean, and lessons on computers for beginners. Fares from £2,099. Go to www.fredolsencruises.co.uk or call 01473 742424.
But if it’s a late deal you’re looking for, take your pick from this selection:
* There’s a rare opportunity for a seven-night Black Sea cruise – most itineraries are longer – aboard Spirit of Adventure. Fly from Heathrow to Istanbul on November 3 and then visit the fascinating ports of Odessa, Sevastopol and Yalta in Ukraine, followed by Constanta in Romania and Nessebar in Bulgaria. Fares from £1,364. Go to www.spiritofadventure.co.uk or 0800 300 432.
* Nine nights on a Caribbean and USA cruise on board party ship Carnival Glory from £899 including flights. Departing from Port Canaveral in Florida, on November 13, the ship calls at Cozumel in Mexico, Belize and Costa Maya. Go to www.cruise118.com or call 0800 280 2614.


* Holland America’s Noordam sails from Fort Lauderdale on a 12-night cruise to the islands of St Maarten, St Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Tortola and the private resort of Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. Flights depart Nov 30, and fares start at £979. Go to www.cruisethomascook.com or call 0800 916 6070.
* Fly to Barcelona on Dec 8 to join the lively Norwegian Jade for a 12-day fun cruise to Rome, Athens, Izmir, Alexandria and Valletta. Fares from £749 each for two in an inside cabin. Go to www.gillscruise.com or call 08456 582 323.
* New to cruising? The Discover Cruises website is packed with information on ships, destinations and everything else you need to know. Go to their website www.discover-cruises.co.uk for more details.