Taking a cruise is one answer to a last-minute summer vacation.
There are many reasons for choosing to cruise at this, or a future, time. The first is pleasure; cruises consistently receive high satisfaction ratings from passengers. Next is value; the cost of a cruise covers most travel expenses - transportation, accommodations, meals, and entertainment. And, finally, there is ease of planning. Pick a destination or ship, and the cruise line can handle all the details of getting to and from the ship, and at a lower cost than if you booked a last-minute high-season air fare.
Among deals noted in the July issue of Consumer Reports Travel Letter are “twofers” (two for the price of one) on many Alaska and European cruises, cruise agencies that feature Caribbean cruises starting at $1,200 a cabin, and group discounts of 35 percent on Cunard sailings (travel agents assemble the group). The Travel Letter is a good source of information on discounts; for subscription or single order information, call (800) 234-1970.
Instead of the Caribbean, consider Europe as a destination. Europe is one of the fastest-growing cruise markets.
Here are a few other cruise ideas for summer and fall:
Silversea Cruises is offering a National Geographic Traveler Series that features photographers’ and journalists’ presentations based on adventures in National Geographic Traveler magazine.
Crystal Symphony will debut New England/Canada cruises this fall with sailings between New York and Montreal. Boston, Newport, Halifax, Bar Harbor, and Quebec City are among stops.
Norwegian Cruise Line will hold its popular Big Bands at Sea this November aboard the Norway. And Sept. 13-20, the ship will offer a Rock Oldies theme cruise with stars such as Little Anthony and the Imperials and Paul Revere and the Raiders.
Adventure travelers might check out Marine Expeditions, the Canadian company that features expedition cruises to destinations such as Greenland to Churchill, Iceland, the Aleutians, and Russian Far East. Call (800) 263-9147 for information.
American Hawaii Cruise features Aloha Festivals/Hawaiian Heritage cruises on the culture, history, and music of the islands.
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