Let’s face it, everyone likes a bargain. At one time though, there was no such thing when it came to cruising and the notion of an ocean voyage to far-off destinations was something that most of us could only dream of. These days, it’s much easier to cruise, with ever-more affordable itineraries showing up on the holiday radar. In fact, you’d probably be surprised by some of the places you can visit and still keep your per-person budget inside three-figures.
One of the most popular cruise destinations partly because it’s relatively close and easy to visit from the UK, the Mediterranean also offers the perfect mix of beach life and city culture. You’ll certainly be able to find a 7-night deal for under £999, and providing you don’t mind an inside cabin, you can find a longer 10 or 12-night voyage and stay within your budget. A Mediterranean cruise can take you to such iconic and architecturally beautiful cities as Barcelona, Athens, Rome and Venice as well romantic Riviera escapes like Nice, Saint Tropez and Monte Carlo.
It’s not hard to see why that along with the Mediterranean, the Caribbean is the most popular destination year-on-year with cruisers. Paradise beaches, year-round sun, beautiful scenery and charming colonial architecture are the order of your itinerary, whichever islands you choose to explore and it’s possible to get a taste of the region for yourself while sticking to a three-figure budget. Depending on where you want to go, there are a number of four and five night voyages and even some week-long cruises available and you’ll visit such ports as Grand Cayman on the Cayman Islands, the Mexican island of Cozumel and Phillipsburg on St Maarten.
If you want to journey deep into Europe’s history and experience some of its finest architecture, then a Baltics cruise should be at the very top of your cruising to-do list. Indeed, you’d probably be surprised by just how much history you can see for your money and how many different countries you can visit while doing it, because it’s not difficult to find a ten or 12-night voyage within your budget. On your Baltics cruise you’ll see such cities as Russia’s history-rich St Petersburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and the beautiful medieval city of Tallinn in Estonia.
The Norwegian Fjords
For pure breathtaking natural wonder, few places can compete with the Norwegian coastline and its many expansive fjords and glittering glaciers. Depending on your itinerary, which line you choose to cruise with and which cabin you select you can enjoy anything from a four to 14 night voyage and experience this awesome region for yourself for an equally awesome price. You’ll have the opportunity to explore such beautiful port towns and cities as Bergen, Tromso, Olden, Alesund and Geiranger and visit some of the country’s most famous fjords while ashore.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Middle East would be out of reach on a £999 budget, but the truth is, it’s possible to explore a number of its wonders while cruising on a three-figure sum. Ancient history, exotic cuisine and a heady blend of cultures are all on the agenda and depending on which itinerary you select, you can enjoy a seven or 10-night voyage for your money. Turkey’s legendary capital Istanbul, Oman’s Muscat and Dubai – where you can see none other than the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa – could all be on your itinerary.
By Simon Brotherton