Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a particular holiday. Today: a Mediterranean cruise in late July/early August, based on two sharing, including meals, entertainment and port taxes.

MSC Cruises

Seven-night Mediterranean cruise aboard the flagship MSC Fantasia: £1,860 including return flights from Gatwick, transfers. Departs Genoa on 2 August and calls at Naples, Palermo, La Goulette/Tunis, Palma, Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa. "We're offering free cabin upgrades, so enjoy summer sunshine in style," said MSC Cruises' Sarah Longbottom (0844 561 1955; msccruises.co.uk).

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fourteen-night Med Canvas Cruise aboard Balmoral: £2,998. Departs Dover 26 July, calls Malaga, Marseille, Barcelona, Ibiza, Gibraltar, Lisbon. Cast members of Radio 4's The Archers will be on board. Fred. Olsen's Nigel Lingard says: "This cruise is superb value and everything on board is priced in sterling. Balmoral's facilities are second to none" (01473 742424; fredolsencruises.co.uk).

Royal Caribbean International

Fourteen-night Italian cruise on Independence of the Seas: £4,030. Departs Southampton 1 August, calls at Gibraltar, Cannes, Livorno (for Pisa/Florence), Rome, Cagliari, Cadiz (for Seville), Lisbon, Vigo.

"Independence is one of the most innovative ships, offering an endless number of activities," says RCI's Jo Rzymowska (0845 165 8330: royalcaribbean.co.uk).

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