Travel Take the plunge on MSC Preziosa

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

The operation to remove the Concordia wreck will take a year

The wrong maps, doors left open, bad wiring: is this why Costa Concordia really sank?

Consumer group claims electrical problems may have led to the loss of several passengers stuck in lifts

Church of Scientology is in the middle of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise divorce

The school at the centre of Cruise split

Insiders claim Katie Holmes filed for divorce to prevent the Church of Scientology educating her daughter

Holmes and
Tom Cruise on
their wedding
day in 2006

Scientology's summer of hell

With the Cruise marriage split, the 60th anniversary of L Ron Hubbard's cult movement is going from bad to worse

In happier times Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise

Marriage impossible: End of a Hollywood romance

After six gossip-filled years, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are divorcing

Some 'hurry-before-it-goes holidays' provide poor value, says Which?

Consumers are not always getting the best price when they book time-limited "hurry" holidays, according to Which?

Voyager into uncharted waters: Sjón

The Whispering Muse, By Sjón, trans. Victoria Cribb

Iceland's maverick storyteller returns with a cruise into legend.

Huge ship MSC Divina leaves Venice during the inaugural cruise

Sophia sails into row about monster ship in Venice

Environmentalists are urging Italian screen legend Sophia Loren to ditch her endorsement of the latest giant cruise liner to sully the views and pollute the air of Venice. The 140,000-tonne MSC Divina, which the actress christened last month in France, gained the dubious title at the weekend of becoming the largest liner ever to enter the lagoon city.

On the high seas with the high rollers

Just think how hard it must be to be loaded. All that tax and grief from poor people about greed. And then there are the trials of love. Just how do you find a partner if you're a multimillionaire?

Deals of the week: Lille; New Forest; Med cruise

Less than £200: Cresta Holidays has a three-night break in the French city of Lille for £155pp. The package on offer includes travel on Eurostar from London St Pancras on 30 July and B&B accommodation at the simple but central Comfort Hotel Opera (

Cunard cruise ship worker jailed over spanking

A children's supervisor who enjoyed spanking young boys in his care was jailed for four years today.

Up to 40 of the 270 boats that ply the Nile can resume trips at the end of this month

New horizons: The Nile, Egypt

Expanding the world of travel

DVD: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

This particular Mission certainly would be impossible for any flesh-and-blood human being, but Tom Cruise and his team (Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton) tick off the most ludicrously challenging feats as easily as they saunter away from bone-shattering falls.

Jet setting: A flight in a MiG will cost you £31,400

Cruise report: You can fly in a MiG, or just paddle your own canoe

Going ashore from a cruise used to involve either a "city panorama" (ticking off sights from a coach); or a "highlights" tour (the cathedral, museum and a souvenir market before piling back on the bus).

Sweeney says: 'I wanted to be a nun until I discovered disco dancing'

My Secret Life: Claire Sweeney, 41, actress

My parents were... great role models, especially my mum – she was my best friend. My dad really helped push my career, to the extent of taking me to gigs in the back of his meat van.

Ships cruising deep into the Arctic are often a long way from civilisation

Foreign Office warning sends a chill over luxury Arctic cruises

Large distances between populated areas poses safety risk, but operators say the alert is 'ridiculous'

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic