Travel Take the plunge on MSC Preziosa

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

Katie Holmes pictured in New York on Monday

Let them wear heels! Tom Cruise's exes are free to walk tall

As if Tom Cruise weren't already suffering from Small Man Syndrome, pictures emerged yesterday of his newly estranged wife, Katie Holmes, wearing heels for what must be the first time since their union. On the Big Day itself, you'll recall, speculation was rife that Holmes had had to stand in a ditch to achieve parity of titchiness for the pair's wedding photo.

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

Katie
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 (crestaholidays.co.uk).

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'

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
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Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
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Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
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David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
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From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

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Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal