Travel Take the plunge on MSC Preziosa

Thought cruising wasn't for you? Here's why you're wrong

Diarrhoea bug hits 130 passengers on Fred Olsen cruise ship

Around 130 people have caught a sickness and diarrhoea bug during a 12-night luxury cruise.

Deals of the week - Paris, Essaouira, Norwegian coast

Less than £200... Cresta has a trip to Paris, just before Christmas, when the city will be at its festive best. The price of £165pp includes Eurostar from London St Pancras on 13 December with three nights' B&B accommodation at the Ambassade Hotel. Crestaholidays.co.uk

The Costa Concordia, which hit rocks off the shore of Giglio in January 2012

Costa Concordia: Italy prepares to salvage a maritime disaster

The fraught international operation to right the capsized ‘Costa Concordia’ begins tomorrow, and tensions are high

Icing on the cake: Antarctica is the trip of a lifetime

Cruise Report: Follow Shackleton to the great White Continent

Antarctica’s monumental icebergs, history of heroic exploration and fearless wildlife give it an allure that is enhanced by its remoteness. The only realistic way for tourists to visit the vast White Continent is by ship. For most, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so it is important to choose carefully.

Album: London Grammar, If You Wait (Metal & Dust)

London Grammar have spent  18 months preparing to be an overnight success, which care and attention pays dividends on If You Wait.

Murray defeated the 31-year-old Frenchman 6-2 6-2

Cincinnati Masters: Andy Murray through to last eight with victory over Julien Benneteau

World No 2 will now face Tommy Robredo or fifth seed Tomas Berdych

Sale away: Cruise bargains are still available this summer

Cruise Report: Plenty of ships to fill, so grab a last-minute European deal

If you are among the cautious thousands who have waited until now to book a summer holiday, there is a far better choice of last-minute cruises than the cruise lines – with their "book now to avoid disappointment" warnings – would have us believe.

If your name is Gary or Deborah chances are you live in a house and drive a Citroen Picasso

What's in a name? How our lives are influenced by what we are called

If your name is Gary or Deborah chances are you live in a house, drive a Citroen Picasso and are in the 45 to 54 age group

The city’s environment councilor Gianfranco Bettin, said the 100,000-tonne Carnival Sunshine vessel, passed within 20 metres of the water front at Riva Dei Sette Martiri, 800 yards past the famous piazza

Cruise ship has alleged close call in Venice

The row over the presence of giant cruise ships in Venice’s lagoon was reignited this weekend after claims that a huge vessel belonging to the same company as the wrecked Costa Concordia sailed dangerously close to St Mark’s Square.

Deals of the week - Barcelona, cruising Venice to Athens, El Hierro

Less than £200... For £189pp, Teletext Holidays has a break in Barcelona. Spend mornings admiring Gaudi's creations, afternoons on the beach, then crash out at the Tryp Apolo where two nights' room-only is included with easyJet flights from Liverpool on 13 August. Teletextholidays.co.uk

Ship’s captain Francesco Schettino awaits his fate

Costa Concordia staff found guilty over sinking of cruise liner

Captain Francesco Schettino only person still on trial

Francesco Schettino with his lawyer

Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino launches last-ditch plea bargain

Schettino says he saved many lives on Concordia as he faces 20 years in jail at manslaughter trial

Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten hopes to attract more British passengers with its Europa 2

Germans launch ‘you’ boat to lure English speakers on luxury cruise

Every cabin on the ship has a mini-bar dispensing unlimited Konig Pilsener, free of charge

The captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship, Francesco Schettino seated for his trial in Grosseto, Tuscany. He is charged with multiple manslaughter over the 32 people who lost their lives and is accused of abandoning the ship while terrified passengers were still inside in the 13 January 2012 disaster

Strike halts 700-witness trial of Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino

He faces charges of multiple manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing shipwreck off Giglio island

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform