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
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London