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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before