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.

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
  • Get to the point
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: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    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
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    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