Cruise Report: Plenty of ships to fill, so grab a last-minute European deal

 

If you are among the cautious thousands who have waited until now to book a summer holiday, there is a far better choice of last-minute cruises than the cruise lines – with their "book now to avoid disappointment" warnings – would have us believe.

With more large ships on the Mediterranean to fill than ever, cruise line websites are showing some astonishingly cheap-looking fares, considering that full board, entertainment and activities are included. A week aboard new Italian ship MSC Preziosa (0844 561 1955; msccruises.co.uk) on a round-trip from Barcelona on 23 August costs £599 per person; while eight nights on American "fun ship" Carnival Sunshine (0843 374 2272; carnival.co.uk) sailing from Barcelona to Venice on 30 August costs £412pp. However, these prices are cruise-only, so high-season flights to Barcelona (at the time of going to press at least £180 return) and playing safe by staying a night pre-cruise could almost double the cost of your holiday.

For a one-click or one-call cruise, choose a round trip from the UK or a fly-cruise package. Prices and availability are correct at the time of writing.

An 11-night "European Jewels" cruise aboard Holland America Line's Ryndam (0843 374 2300; hollandamerica.co.uk) with children's clubs for ages three to 17, sails from Dover to Barcelona next Saturday. The cost, from £949pp, includes the flight back from Barcelona to Heathrow.

A week's fly-cruise package from Mallorca to Menorca, Corsica, Sardinia and Naples aboard family-friendly Thomson's Island Escape on 20 August costs from £704pp including drinks, tips and flights from Bournemouth or Aberdeen with Island Cruises (0871 230 2800; thomson.co.uk/cruise).

w Balmoral sails from Southampton to Spain, Lisbon and Gibraltar and back next Sunday. The 12-night voyage costs from £749pp (0845 421 3646; fredolsencruises.com).

P&O (0843 374 0111; pandocruises.co.uk) has a 16-night no-fly Baltic cruise from Southampton on Adonia leaving Friday for Copenhagen, St Petersburg and Stockholm, for £929pp. Meanwhile, a 12-night no-fly cruise to the Canary Islands on P&O's Oceana on 20 August costs £899pp.

There is no single supplement on the archaeology-themed "And God Created the Kornati Islands" cruise with Voyages to Antiquity (0845 437 9737; voyagestoantiquity.com). Small ship Aegean Odyssey departs Athens on 22 September, sailing for 12 nights to Venice via northern Greece, Albania and Croatia. The cost from £2,359pp includes BA flights from a range of UK airports, excursions, wine with dinner and tips.

Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Investigo: IT Auditor

    £60000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: A global leading travel busi...

    Recruitment Genius: Chef De Partie x 2

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This charming and contemporary ...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

    Terry Venables column

    Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
    Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin
    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

    You know that headache you’ve got?

    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

    Scoot commute

    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
    Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

    The Paul Robeson story

    How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
    10 best satellite navigation systems

    Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

    Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
    Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

    Paul Scholes column

    England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

    Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
    Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

    Frank Warren column

    Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
    Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

    Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

    Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
    Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

    'How do you carry on? You have to...'

    The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

    'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

    Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
    Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

    Sir John Major hits out at theatres

    Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
    Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

    Kicking Barbie's butt

    How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines