From whale watching in Alaska to seeing the palaces of St Petersburg, there are some brilliant cruise offers around at the moment. So what are you waiting for?
Titan has chartered an exclusive new ship, MS Serenade 1, for a full season of cruises on the Rhine and Danube rivers for 2017. Its five-day Germany & Strasbourg Spectacular Christmas Markets cruise calls at Mannheim and Worms in Germany with the opportunity to visit the markets there and at Mainz and Cologne, as well as France’s Strasbourg, where there’s an included city tour and canal cruise. Book as soon as possible for savings of up to £100 per person.
Departs 6 December, for five days, from £899pp, two sharing, including return flights, plus Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service (0800 988 5873; titantravel.co.uk).
Low deposits and online discounts are available with Thomson Cruises, for instance on Thomson Celebration’s Caribbean Gems & Treasures cruise, which is available with another £100 discount using the code CRUISE 100. Sailing from the Dominican Republic, the ship visits British Virgin Islands, St Maarten, Antigua, St Lucia and Grenada before returning to the Dominican Republic and setting off for Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba, finishing back at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
Departs 22 November, for 14 nights, from £1,560pp, two sharing, including flights and transfers (0871 231 5938; thomson.co.uk/cruise).
Belmond has 50 per cent off its Road To river cruises in Myanmar, with two free nights at Belmond Governor’s Residence pre or post-cruise and $100 per couple onboard credit for holidays booked by 31 March. Its four-day Highlights of Myanmar cruise from Mandalay includes guided tours of Mandalay, Ava and Bagan.
Departs 16 September for four nights, from £1,454pp (before discount), two sharing, cruise only (0845 077 2222; belmond.com).
Panama and Ecuador
French cruise line Ponant is offering complimentary excursions on its Panama & Pre-Columbian Treasures cruise in October on its superb ship Le Soléal. The 10-day cruise starts with a crossing of the Panama Canal and continues to Ecuador, stopping in the Pearl Islands of the Gulf of Panama. There are excursions to UNESCO-listed Ecuador capital Quito and Callao in Peru.
Departs 14 October for 10 nights, from £2,580pp, two sharing, cruise only (+3348 866 6400; en.ponant.com).
Meander through the heart of Portugal on Emerald Waterways’ return cruise from Porto along the River Douro in Spain to the historic university city of Salamanca. Along the way there will be lectures on wine making and its history in the region, wine tasting and calls at picturesque Pinhão and Pocinho plus tours of Porto. Book by 28 February to save £450 per person.
Departs 5 August, for eight days, from £1,545pp, two sharing, (down from £2,195) including return flights, airport transfers, gratuities, five guided tours and free drinks with meals (0808 159 6417; emeraldwaterways.co.uk).
Save up to 30 per cent off selected Hapag Lloyd Cruises itineraries including its Mauritius to Dubai trip through the Indian Ocean when you book by 28 February. Highlights include Toamasina and Nosy Be in Madagascar, the beautiful beaches of Desroches in the Seychelles, excursions to the Taj Mahal from Kochi (Cochin) in India and the water sports paradise of Agatti in Lakshadweep (formerly the Lakkadives).
Departs 29 April for 19 nights, from £6,570pp, two sharing, cruise only (+49403 070 30555; hl-cruises.com).
Emerald Waterways’s Netherlands and the Beauty of Belgium river cruise has savings from £450 per person. The Amsterdam round-trip calls at Belgium’s second city, Antwerp, once home to the painter Rubens. It also takes in the Second World War sites of Arnhem in the Netherlands and 13th-century Hoorn with a coach transfer to Edam, known for its cheese but once home to 33 shipyards. The cruise returns to Amsterdam when there’s a trip to the Keukenhof gardens to see the spring bulbs. Book by 28 February for savings.
Departs 27 April for eight days, from £1,545pp, two sharing, (previously £1,995) including return flights, airport transfers, guided tours and free drinks with meals (0808 159 6417; emeraldwaterways.co.uk).
Take a walk through the Black Forest with AmaWaterways’ The Enchanting Rhine cruise, which leaves Amsterdam for Germany’s famous cathedral city of Cologne on the way to Strasbourg in France and finally Basel in Switzerland. Book before 31 January for a £500 per person saving on the seven-night cruise. Also on the itinerary is wine tasting at the famous wine town Rüdesheim, a guided tour of Heidelberg and guided bike tour of Breisach and Rheinau Forest.
Regular departures for seven nights, from £1,745pp, two sharing (down from £2,245) cruise only, including free excursions, wifi, drinks at meals and bicycles (0800 320 2336; amawaterways.co.uk).
An online discount of £290 is available for just a £75 per person deposit on Thomson Cruises’ Spanish Sunsets itinerary on TUI Discovery 2. The eight-day return trip to Malaga on the Costa Del Sol calls at Majorca’s cathedral city of Palma, colourful Barcelona, Ibiza town on the party island, Almería within excursion distance of Granada and Ceuta – the Spanish enclave in Morocco.
Departs 27 August for seven nights, from £910pp, based on two sharing, including flights and transfers, drinks and gratuities (0871 231 5938; thomson.co.uk/cruise).
Scandinavia and Russia
Save up to £500 and get a free classic drinks package and free car parking when you book an Oceanview stateroom with Jetline Cruise for Celebrity Cruises’ Scandinavia and Russia trip in May. The 14-night voyage includes three days in St Petersburg and calls at Sweden’s capital Stockholm and Denmark’s capital Copenhagen.
Departs 21 May for 14 nights, from £2,299pp, two sharing (0808 102 0018; jetlinecruise.com).
Buy one all-inclusive cruise fare and get one half price with Bolsover Cruise Club on selected 2017 European sailings, including Independence of the Seas’ Central Mediterranean cruise in May. The return trip from Southampton calls at Gibraltar, Barcelona, Villefranche in France near Nice and Civitavecchia for excursions to Rome. There are also calls in Valencia and Málaga and the opportunity to visit Seville in Spain. Selected fares have free drinks and are available for £25 per person deposits.
Departs 1 May for 14 nights, from £1,149pp, two sharing (01246 819819; bolsovercruiseclub.com).
Spain and France
This Spain & France round-trip from Southampton on Crown Princess is a delightful cruise to St Peter Port in Guernsey followed by a call at Le Verdon for excursions to Bordeaux. In Spain there’s a day in Bilbao followed by La Coruña, where the Spanish Armada set sail for England in 1588. Book by 28 February for savings of £145 per person.
Departs 6 May for seven nights, from £499pp, two sharing (0843 374 2261; princess.com).
There are free two-night stays in Venice and Barcelona on offer with Cruise Nation’s Ultimate Mediterranean package. The 15-night Celebrity Cruises holiday includes a cruise between the two dream cities calling at Italy’s architectural gem Ravenna, an overnight stay in Croatia’s Dubrovnik and on to stunning Kotor in Montenegro, Sicily and Spain. Book before 28 February for £600 per person savings.
Departs 26 September for 15 nights, from £899pp, based on two people sharing, including return flights (0800 408 0761; cruisenation.com).
Canaries and Azores
Saga has special offers for new-to-cruise customers on a small selection of holidays including its 20-night Azores and Canaries in Spring, a return trip from Dover on Saga Pearl II. The March cruise to Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and La Gomera also calls at Horta and Ponta Delgada in the Azores. Book on the free phone line by 12 February for a newcomer’s onboard credit of up to £200. Cannot be booked online.
Departs 22 March for 20 nights, from £2,907pp, two sharing, cruise only, free onboard gratuities and UK mainland travel service (0800 096 0079; travel.saga.co.uk).
Alaska and British Columbia
Seabourn’s 2017 Signature Savings Event includes upgrades and onboard credit when booked by 14 March. For instance, its 14-day Ultimate Glacier & Fjord Adventure offers $400 per suite Ventures Credit and complimentary suite upgrade. The Seabourn Sojourn cruise from Vancouver in Canada to Seward has several stops in British Columbia as well as all the regular Alaska ports plus a few less well known – such as Seduction Point.
Departs 12 June for 14 nights, from £6,999pp, two sharing, cruise only,
all-inclusive on board (0843 373 2000; seabourn.com).
Orlando and Caribbean
Late deal specialists Jetline Cruise have a 15-night Orlando Stay & Caribbean cruise in February that features an all-inclusive drinks package for balcony staterooms and above. Alternatively you could choose $100 onboard credit or 250 minutes of free wifi. The holiday starts with seven nights at a hotel in Orlando, Florida, with a free car hire, then a seven-night cruise from Port Canaveral, calling at Mexico’s Cozumel, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
Departs 11 February for 15 nights, from £2,129pp, based on two sharing, with return flights (0808 102 0018; jetlinecruise.com).
Princess Cruises’ Mexican Riviera round-trip from Los Angeles in California costs just £449 per person when you book by 27 February with third and fourth guests at just £99 each. The Ruby Princess cruise calls at Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta, the setting for Richard Burton’s film Night of the Iguana, as well as Mazatlán with its pristine white-sand beaches and Cabo San Lucas located on the tip of the Baja Peninsula.
Departs 5 November for 7 nights, from £499pp, two sharing, cruise only (0843 374 2261; princess.com).
Silversea’s Africa & Indian Ocean Cruise is a fantastic 10-day return voyage from Cape Town that presents some of the best experiences South Africa has to offer. There are the unspoilt Indian Ocean beaches of Richards Bay, the bustle of Durban and architecture of Maputo as well as penguins on the beaches near Cape Town. On top of that, you can enjoy a two-category upgrade or $1,500 onboard credit if you book by 28 February – as well as complimentary drinks and wifi which are already included.
Departs 7 February for 10 days, from £3,150pp, two sharing, cruise only, all-inclusive (0844 251 0837; silversea.com).
Venice to Rio
Repositioning cruises are always good value and this Cruise Nation package from Venice and the Mediterranean over the Atlantic to Brazil is exceptional. Starting with a free one-night stay in Venice and finishing with two nights free in fascinating famed city Rio de Janiero, there are also free balcony upgrades available as well as £600 savings if you book by 28 February. Departing Venice, MSC Musica sails to the fortress city of Bari in southern Italy and to Malta’s capital Valletta for a day before reaching Malaga in Spain and Funchal in Madeira. After the five-day crossing the ship arrives in Brazil, making calls at Recife, Maceió, Salvador and Búzios before arriving in Rio de Janeiro.
Departs 11 November for 24 nights, from £1,399pp, two sharing, including return flights (0800 408 0761; cruisenation.com).
Bolsover Cruise Club can save you money on the cost of an inside cabin on P&O Cruises’ Atlantic Islands itinerary in May and give you an introductory cashback. Cake maker to the stars Eric Lanlard will be on board Britannia as it sails from Southampton and back down to Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, returning via Madeira, Lisbon and the north Spanish port of Vigo.
Departs 7 May for 12 nights, from £879pp, two sharing (01246 819819; bolsovercruiseclub.com).
Book by 31 January for free business class return flights on Silversea’s
eight-day Barcelona to Civitavecchia cruise, which goes the scenic route calling at Palma in Mallorca and Cagliari in Sardinia, with two stops in Sicily and a day exploring Malta before reaching Naples and on to Civitivecchia. And if you pay in full by 28 February you can also save 10 per cent on the fare in an Early Booking Bonus.
Departs 3 November, for eight days, from £2,350pp, based on two sharing,
all-inclusive onboard (0844 251 0837; silversea.com).
Thailand and Vietnam
Exclusive package specialists Celebrity Cruises has included return flights and two nights in a four-star Singapore hotel with its Thailand & Vietnam cruise on Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation. The cruise leaves Singapore for Vietnam, calling at Chan May for trips to Hue or Danang, plus Nha Trang and Phu My for excursions to Ho Chi Minh. In Thailand there are two days in Bangkok and a day at Ko Samui island for gorgeous beaches.
Departs 16 March for 18 nights, from £1,799pp, based on two sharing, with return flights (0808 102 0018; jetlinecruise.com).
Saga has doubled the discount for previous cruise passengers on its Mediterranean Trio itinerary, a return trip from Dover that takes in Spain, Italy and Portugal. Unusual ports of call include Spain’s elegant Huelva, historic Ibiza Town and Castellón de la Plana, near glorious beaches. The stop at Leixões in Portugal is near Oporto, famous for its port wine. Book by 12 February for savings of up to £300 per person.
Departs 12 May for 18 nights, from £2,799pp, based on two sharing, cruise only, free onboard gratuities and UK mainland travel service (0800 096 0079; travel.saga.co.uk).
Sail from Vancouver in Canada around Alaska’s west coast with Princess Cruises for a bargain seven-night voyage that calls at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, and includes scenic cruising around Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord before finishing in Whittier, near Anchorage. Book by 27 February to save £160 per person when two people share and further third and fourth guests from £99 per person.
Departs 9 September, for seven nights, from £499pp, two sharing (previously £659) cruise only (0843 374 2261; princess.com).
Round-trip flights are included in a special offer from French cruise company Ponant for its expedition cruise Discover Indonesia in September in a new itinerary from Bali. L’Austral will sale to Taka Bonerate atoll islands in a beautiful marine park, visit unspoilt Flores Island and see Tongkonan houses in Toraja Land.
Departs 22 September for 11 nights, from £5,090pp, based on two sharing (+3348 866 6400; en.ponant.com).
Holland America Line is offering free flights on its 12-night Baltic Adventure with its View & Verandah promotion. MS Zuiderdam leaves Copenhagen for Kiel and excursions to Hamburg, and calls at Tallinn on its way to an overnight in St Petersburg. There are also overnight stops in Sweden’s capital Stockholm and also back in Denmark at Copenhagen.
Departs 10 June for 12 nights, from £1,499pp, two sharing, including flights and transfers (0843 374 2300; hollandamerica.co.uk).
Discover France’s wine capital Bordeaux and explore the castles and vineyards of the surrounding countryside on AmaWaterways’ A Taste Of Bordeaux cruise along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers and Gironde estuaries. There are calls at Cadillac, Saint Émilion and Libourne, plus wine tasting. Book by 31 January to save £500 per person.
Regular departures from March to November, from £1,745pp (was £2,245), two sharing, cruise only, including free drinks with meals, daily excursions, free wifi and bicycles (0800 320 2336; amawaterways).
Canada and New England
One of the delights of sailing along the coast of New England and Canada is the chance to sail down St Lawrence River from Montreal and along Saint Lawrence Seaway into Saguenay Fjord and the Gulf of St Lawrence before finally reaching the sea. On top of that, with several days at bustling Montreal plus stops at Quebec City, Saguenay, Gaspé and Charlottetown, there is real charm to Seabourn’s Canadian Maritimes & New England itinerary. Book before 14 March to take advantage of suite upgrades and $1,000 onboard credit.
Departs 12 September for 10 nights, from £4,999pp, based on two sharing, cruise only, all-inclusive onboard (0843 373 2000; seabourn.com).
Read part one of the Top 50 Cruises to Book Right Now.
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