I flew back this week from a week in the Red Sea on board the Thomson Celebration. You could go on the same cruise next month for as little as £629. Fly from Gatwick or one of several regional airports on February 11 to join the ship in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh and sail to Aqaba in Jordan for an overnight stay and an excursion to Petra. Then it’s off to Port Sokhna, from where it’s a two-hour drive to Cairo and the pyramids, followed by a two-day stay at Safaga, for the long drive to Luxor, and then return to Sharm for the flight home. Go to
www.cruise118.com or call 0800 280 2614.
No flying necessary for a 13-night cruise to the Canaries on Fred Olsen’s Black Watch, leaving Southampton on April 18. The ship, which has recently been refurbished, calls at Leixoes (for Oporto), Agadir, Arrecife, Santa Cruz, San Sebastian and Funchal, returning to Southampton on May 1. Specialsaver fare from £935 per person, based on an inside twin bedded cabin. Go to www.fredolsencruises.co.uk or call 01473 742424,
Some of the best deals available are when ships relocate from one side of the Atlantic to another – believe me, the cruise companies rarely make money on these voyages, and they are great vaule for those who enjoy long days at sea uninterrupted by too many ports of call. Fly to
Galveston, Texas on April 18 and spend a night in a hotel before joining Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas to sail via the Bahamas, Ponta Delgada in the Azores, Malaga and Cartagena before disembarking in Barcelona for the flight back to the UK. Fares for balcony cabins on this 16-night holiday start at £899. Go to www.gillscruise.com or call 08456 58 23 23.
Or if you have more time, you could sail across the Atlantic both ways on P&O’s Oriana, leaving Southampton on March 20. On this 22-night cruise, the ship calls at Ponta Delgada and then visits St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent, Grenada and Barbados before returning via Madeira. Fares from £1,929 pp for an inside cabin, including £300 per cabin on-board spending money. Go to www.gillscruise.com or call 08456 58 23 23.
Looking further ahead, here’s an opportunity to be part of an historic event when Cunard’s three Queens – Mary 2, Victoria, and the new Elizabeth – will be together in New York harbour next January. The 49-night voyage leaves Southampton on Queen Victoria on January 5, 2011and sails direct to New York to switch to Queen Mary 2 for a cruise to Sydney, Australia via Fort Lauderdale, Barbados, Salvador de Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Cape Town, Durban, Mauritius, Perth and Adelaide. Fares for an inside cabin start at £4,489pp and include $750 per cabin spending money. Go to www.gillscruise.com or call 08456 58 23 23