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Did summer manage to slip away before you had a chance to plan that little getaway? No need to dismay – we’ve dug up a trio of short-and-sweet sailings embarking next month that are primed for quick weekend escapes to either the Bahamas or just for some well-spent R&R days at sea on “cruise to nowhere” itineraries. Departures are available from Miami; Norfolk, Virginia; and New York City and are priced as little as $149 for a two-night getaway – that’s just $75 per night, per person – and reflects a savings of up to 58 percent off brochure rates. Read more
It’s just about the most wonderful time of the year for cruisers in search of jaw-dropping value, when summering cruise ships from Alaska, Europe, and other northerly locales point their hulls south toward the warmer waters and their winter bases in the Caribbean, Florida, Mexican Riviera, and more. And the direction of these sailings is not the only thing headed south – rates on these “repositioning” sailings are slashed as much as a whopping 80 percent off, as cruise lines look to woo vacationers with discounted rates on these relocation runs, while offering passengers access to off-the-path ports and plenty of extra time at sea for some quality R&R. Read our Repositioning Cruises 101 Guide for our expert advice on planning your next repositioning cruise vacation, and then make it happen with one of the exceptional deals outlined below – we’ve rounded up four cruise deal steals with radically reduced rates that are sure to have you hitting the high seas with financial ease this fall: Read more
For you solo cruisers looking to skirt that dreaded single supplement, we’ve come across a real deal: International Expeditions is waiving the fee on several sailings in 2012 – translating to a savings of up to $1,749 for cruisers looking to travel by their lonesome. Set off on one of 11 expedition cruises to the Amazon or to the Galapagos on the small-ship cruise line, specialized in nature-themed, wildlife-rich itineraries.
For you cruisers looking to ply the waters of the Med without putting your bank account in the red, your MSC Cruises ship has come in. The Italy-based cruise line has posted a Balcony Bonanza promotion for travelers who book select fall and winter Mediterranean sailings: Nab a balcony stateroom for the same rate as an inside stateroom (from $649 per person on an 8-night itinerary) or upgrade to a balcony superior stateroom for the same standard rate as a regular balcony cabin (from $849). Read more
We here at Cruise News love the Cunard line for its old-world style and luxury flair, but tend to balk at the price tag. However, a handful of Panama Canal cruises this December, January, and February promise the same bells and whistles at a much lower price point. Our favorite is a 15-night sailing starting December 6 from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles with stops in Aruba, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico – as well as the requisite canal transfer – for just $1,295 per person. That’s about $86/night. Itineraries of that length often cost twice as much on Cunard.
Italian cruise line MSC Cruises has posted a limited time Independence Day sale on select sailings to the Caribbean and Canada/New England. Those who act by Friday (July 8th) can book select 4 to 14-night sailings on the 2,550-passenger MSC Poesia and nab low fares from just $299 (note the lowest advertised fares of $249 were already sold out during our attempted bookings). Plus, take advantage of bonus offers like shipboard credit ($50 for interior or oceanview cabins; $100 for balcony bookings) and up to a five category upgrade for balcony cabin reservations. Read more
Italian-based cruise line MSC Cruises has announced new 7-night sailings to exotic ports of the Arabian Sea this winter sailing season. Set sail aboard the MSC Lirica to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE, as well as to Oman. What’s more, the company is offering guests who book their berths before July 31 a whopping 50 percent off rates for one guest per stateroom on these newly debuted itineraries. Rates for the full-paying passenger begin at $649, bringing the reduced rate for the second passenger to as low as $324.50 (before taxes and fees). That works out to as little as $46/night for the discounted fare. What’s more, kids 17 and under sail for just $99 apiece. Weekly departures are available from October 30 through March 4. www.msccruisesusa.com
See our Dubai Travel Guide and our Abu Dhabi Travel Guide for more trip-planning information, than use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on cruises and more.
What could possibly improve the Disney cruise experience for a family with kids in tow? How about bringing the brood along for free on select Disney Cruise Lines’ sailings?! Kids 17 and under do indeed sail for free when traveling on promotional Mexican Riviera sailings in the accompaniment of two full-fare guests. The company does not limit the number of children, but does say that there are few suites available for more than 4 guests.
Itineraries incorporate day-long stops in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas; additional stops are included in Mazatlán and Manzanillo with some 7- and 8-night trips. This offer applies to verandah cabins (starting rates on adult fares from $1,559 per person) on select embarkations between October 30 and December 18, 2011; be sure to indicate booking code “KFO” at time of booking.
Visit our Mexican Cruise Deals page for more offers to the region.
Azamara Club Cruises just added South America to its long list of serviced destinations, ranging from Borneo to Croatia. To celebrate the new ports of call, such as locales in vibrantly cultured Brazil and wildlife-filled southern Argentina, Azamara Club Cruises is offering a savings of up to 50 percent and $1,000 in air credit, depending on the cruise cabin reserved. This offer must be booked from now until June 30 for select cruise routes and departure dates.
Journeys to South America, between eight and 16 nights long, will commence this October and run through February 2012, with itineraries running over Christmas and New Year’s. Azamara Club Cruises’ fleet includes two intimate, 694-guest ships that allow for a more personalized touch and familiar feel than larger cruise liners. Both of Azamara’s posh ships include a state-of-the-art fitness center with on-site Pilates instructors, a spa center with acupuncture treatments, multiple restaurants, and a casino. www.azamaraclubcruises.com
The hidden costs of most all-inclusive tours can quickly add up once you factor in gratuities, shore excursions, and single supplements. Not so with Smithsonian Journeys, which has just announced three new all-inclusive Mediterranean cruise deals that include: international airfare, shore excursions in each port, on-board lectures, gratuities to shipboard staff, and more. Unlike most cruises (where you won’t need any brainpower beyond what’s required for reading the latest trashy magazines poolside), be prepared to learn on these cruises, as they are run by the world-famous Smithsonian Institution’s travel branch.
The cruises offered are fairly lengthy, in order to allow cruisers to have ample time to explore the amazing cultural sites throughout the Mediterranean. Choose from:
“The Wonders of Turkey and the Greek Isles” (June 23-July 6) or “The Glories of Greece and Turkey” (July 1-14), which both stop in the Greek Islands of Crete, Delos, Mykonos and Samos; the historic Turkish cities of Ephesus and Aprodisias; and World Heritage sites in Athens and Istanbul. Land stops in Istanbul and Athens are also included. Book either one of these cruises by March 31st, and pay only $3,195 (which includes international airfare from select East Coast cities).
Or pay a little bit more ($3,750) and try the “Splendors of Italy and the Dalmatian Coast” (May 31-June 15), featuring the Italian cities of Rome, Corsica, Sardinia, Venice and Sicily; the tiny country of Malta; and Croatia’s Dubrovnik and Split.
All three cruises will take place on-board the 350-passenger Aegean Odyssey, which features a spa, pool, library, lecture theater, and a variety of dining options. Be sure to take advantage of Smithsonian Journeys’ unique lecture programs with on-board experts, to help you learn about what you’ll be seeing off the boat. Or, just hang out at one of the Odyssey’s three bars – your call.
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