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DESTINATIONS MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE


packages and gratuities. Prices start at £1,199 per person for a 10-night Italy and Greek Isles cruise round-trip from Civitavecchia, departing May 18. Viking Cruises is more expensive but clients get a lot for their money, as not only will they always get a balcony (all cabins on its ocean ships have balconies) but fares include flights, drinks with lunch and dinner, one excursion per port and Wi-Fi. The catch is that cabins sell out fast – even the lowest-category ones are waitlisted on an eight-day Iconic Western Med cruise in December, pushing the lead fare to £1,790 per person.


BELOW:


Regent Seven Seas Cruises


◗ SPLURGE: SMALL PACKAGES And so we enter a world of luxury cruising, where people splash out for the privilege of sailing on small ships where inside cabins are unheard of and crew are trained to be discreet while anticipating passengers’ every wish. Whether clients have saved all year


for a couple of weeks of luxury or have deep enough pockets to sail with the


In the world of luxury cruising, people splash out for the privilege of sailing on small ships where inside cabins are unknown


likes of Seabourn, Silversea or Regent Seven Seas Cruises regularly, they still want plenty of bang for their buck. As a result, these lines usually include gratuities and unlimited champagne and other drinks in the fare, as well as some or all speciality dining. Passengers sailing the Med on


Crystal Serenity this summer, for example, can dine for free once in each of its two speciality restaurants, but are charged $30 per person if they go again. Cruise-only fares start at £2,702 per person for a seven-day cruise from Marseille to Barcelona, departing September 30.


That price might make budget cruisers gasp, but it looks cheap against Crystal’s 62-passenger yacht Crystal Esprit, where a week sailing from Dubrovnik to Venice next May will set clients back by £4,742 per person. And they’ll have to pay extra for flights. Regent goes several steps further than its peers, as it also includes flights, transfers, lots of shore excursions and Wi-Fi in its fares. It does push up the cost – eight nights sailing from Barcelona to Monte Carlo next April on Seven Seas Explorer starts at £3,512 per person for a balcony suite – but with so much included, passengers can feasibly disembark with no onboard bill to settle. When it comes to splurging in style,


it’s hard to beat SeaDream Yacht Club, which has two identical 112-passenger yachts that are like private clubs at sea. Fares start at about £4,776 per person for a 10-day cruise from Malaga to Nice, departing May 2. Flights, transfers, excursions and Wi-Fi cost extra.


88 travelweekly.co.uk 11 January 2018


PICTURE: STEPHEN BEAUDET


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