Looking for a good deal? Here’s this week’s TOP CRUISES column from the travel pages of the Daily Mirror.
Christmas under control? Presents all bought and wrapped, the turkey ordered from Tesco? Time to take it easy, then – and it’s not too late to take a cruise before Santa pays a visit.
Get into the festive spirit with a seven-night cruise on board P&O’s Artemis from Southampton to Oslo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Bruges, departing on Tuesday, December 14. You’ll be home in plenty of time to start peeling the potatoes and the sprouts. Fares start at £502 per person based on two sharing an outside stateroom (there are no inside cabins on Artemis). Call P&O Cruises on 0845 3 555 333.
Rather spend Christmas Day afloat? Then take a five-night river cruise aboard the MV Virginia to Rudesheim, the Rhine Gorge, and Konigswinter. The fare of £529 includes coach travel to and from the UK, with half-board hotel accommodation on the way there and back. Departs Decermber 21. Go to www.shearings.com or call 0844 209 7143.
Or celebrate New Year on a two-night mini cruise from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Amsterdam. OK, this is aboard a ferry rather than a luxury liner, but it still comes with a free bar, live entertainment, and a casino.
Coach transfers are provided for a day’s sightseeing in Amsterdam, and there’s a champagne celebration to bring in the New Year. Fares for the December 30 departure from £238 per person sharing a twin sea-view cabin.
Go to www.dfds.co.uk/festive, or call 0871 882 0885.
Looking further ahead? Norwegian Cruise Lines have jumped on the sales bandwagon to kick start bookings on their newest mega-ship, Norwegian Epic, which will be sailing in the Mediterranean for the first time between May and October next year.
The ship has 21 restaurants and 20 bars – including the first-ever ice bar at sea – and entertainment includes Cirque Dreams and Dinner, and the inimitable Blue Man Group. Seven-night voyages from Barcelona to Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), Civitavecchia (for Rome), Naples and Palma start at £679.
The 14-night eastern Med itineraries on Norwegian Jade, from Venice to Dubrovnik, Athens, Izmir, Split, Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Katakolon start at £1,149. NCL’s Baltic cruises next year start from Copenhagen instead of Dover, saving a couple of days at sea; a nine-night voyage to Warnemunde, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm starts at £1,019.
Go to www.ncl.co.uk or call 0845 201 8900.
New to cruising? For advice on ships and destinations, go to www.discovercruises.co.uk