Travel Take the plunge on MSC Preziosa

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

Yet Another Armageddon? Five Ways to Prepare Yourself for the Impending Solar Superstorm

We've only just wiped the sweat from our brow following the averted Mayan apocalypse, but already news is spreading of another impending doom; and this one even has actual science behind it.

According to a group of experts at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, a solar superstorm - caused by the Sun ejecting billions of tonnes of highly-energetic matter travelling at a million miles an hour - is not only inevitable - but coming soon. "The two challenges for government are the wide spectrum of technologies affected today and the emergence of unexpected vulnerabilities as technology evolves," says Professor Paul Cannon. So let's prepare...

Test the waters: Silversea offers a selection of short sailings

Cruise Report: Mini cruises give passengers a taste of life on board

Are you tempted by the idea of a cruise, but wary of committing too much of the holiday budget and your annual leave to something you might not enjoy? Booking a mini-cruise of two to four nights is a low-risk way of dipping a toe in the ocean of available cruise lines and ships.

Album review: Kimberley Walsh, Centre Stage (Decca)

Following her stint as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical, an album of familiar show tunes is a logical solo gambit for Kimberley Walsh; but familiarity is a Faustian pact from which she profits little on Centre Stage.

Tall groom, small bride: why is height still important to relationships?

Men and women of marriageable age: do you feel the groom should always be taller than the bride?

Tom Cruise says making movies is still fun three decades on

Even though he's been a Hollywood star for three decades, Tom Cruise says he still has fun making movies.

Tom Cruise: 'If f***ing Arnold can be Governor, I could be President'

'If Arnie can be Governor then I can be President' says Tom Cruise

Book on Scientology claims actor had political role for Church

Titan of the sea: MSC Preziosa will carry 3,500 passengers

Cruise Report: From boutique to just plain big – new ships for 2013

This year brings a host of new ships to the seas, adding to the scores already jostling for our bookings. Planned at least three years ago, these gleaming newly built ships will be launched with fanfares despite gloomy economic forecasts for 2013.

Argentinian protesters disrupt cruise ship as tensions over Falklands rise

Argentinian protesters disrupted the cruise ship industry today as they demonstrated for the Falklands Islands to be handed over.

Last Night's Viewing: Billionaire Boy Racers, Channel 4
Trouble Abroad, ITV1

The residents of Knightsbridge are suffering. Their simple village ways are under threat and their traditional lifestyle assailed by insensitive newcomers. And the problem, it seems, is the wrong kind of rich people. "Gulfies", to be specific, the local nickname for the moneyed Gulf Arabs who favour that part of London for their summer holidays and prefer to bring their own cars with them rather than rely on a holiday rental.

100% Happy listening; Lee Child makes film cameo in Jack Reacher

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

More than 200 people on board the Queen Mary 2 have been taken ill

Suspected outbreak of winter vomiting virus on luxury liner leaves 400 ill, say US health authorities

The number of passengers taken ill in suspected norovirus outbreaks on two luxury cruise liners has reached 400, US health authorities have said.

Travel in 2013: Holidays for cruise-goers

Shorter cruises are all the rage, says leading cruise line P&O (0843 374 0111; pocruises.co.uk), which is adding nine new two- to five-night sailings to the Channel Islands, Belgium and the Netherlands, all departing from Southampton. A two-night cruise on Azura to St Peter Port, Guernsey, costs from £199pp, including meals and entertainment. Departs 16 April.

Market Report: Carnival still in choppy waters

Ripples from the deadly capsizing of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy in January were still being felt by cruise ship owner Carnival yesterday.

Norovirus the food poisoning bug that causes violent stomach flu

Up to 750,000 people could be hit by norovirus bug as UK faces biggest outbreak yet

More than 750,000 people could be affected by an outbreak of norovirus in the UK, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has claimed.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions