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Christmas and New Year's in Paradise

Nine-night French Polynesia cruises aboard the elegant Paul Gauguin (tel. 800/848-6172; www.pgcruises.com) come with perks on two December sailings, departing Dec. 18 and 27, 2010. Get 2-for-1 airfare from Los Angeles to Tahiti, the third passenger in the suite sails for free, and kids ages 9 to 17 get the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program free on these sailings as well (a value of $269 per child). The kid-tailored education-focused activities and shore excursions include learning how black pearls and vanilla are cultivated, how volcanic islands become coral atolls, and how to paddle an outrigger canoe. Fares for the 9-night cruise round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, start at $4,845 per person. Ports include the islands of Fakarava, Huahine, Bora Bora, Taha and Moorea,.

Costa Exotica

Costa Cruises (tel. 800/GO-COSTA; www.costacruises.com) is offering 7-night cruises round-trip from Dubai for as low as $699 per person. Sailing round-trip from Dubai aboard the new Costa Luminosa or Deliziosa, ports include Muscat, Oman; Fujairah and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with two nights aboard the ship in Dubai -- one at the beginning and one at the end. Certain restrictions apply, mention discount code BO when booking.

Crystal Heats up Savings in Alaska

Crystal (tel. 888/722-0021; www.crystalcruises.com) is dishing up deals and perks on nine 12-night Alaska cruises aboard the 940-passenger Crystal Symphony sailing round-trip from San Francisco between May 9 and Aug. 13, 2011. Ports include Victoria, Vancouver, Sitka, Juneau, and Ketchikan and cruising through Glacier Bay or the Hubbard Glacier areas. The 9 voyages (numbers #1211 though #1219) include $1,000 per couple onboard spending credit and free airfare from major U.S. hubs (or a $400 cruise credit instead of the airfare). Fares start at $4,650 per person.

Special onboard themes on every Alaska sailing include talks, demos and performances, and range from the Mind, Body & Spirit theme on voyage 1211 to Crystal's Wine & Food Festival on voyage 1219, and on seven sailings -- voyages 1212 through 1218 -- Emerging Artists are featured.

Affordable Fjords

Hurtigruten (tel. 800/323-7436; www.hurtigruten.us) is offering 20% savings on six Spitsbergen cruise itineraries, the largest island in the Arctic's Svalbard archipelago. The highlight of this remote area is the polar bear population -- some 4,500 of the giant white creatures roam freely on the icy landscape. If booked by Dec. 31, 2010, discounted fares start at $2,097 per person, double occupancy, for the five to 13-day itineraries departing between June 9 and Sept. 7, 2011, mostly aboard the new and very comfortable 318-passenger exploration ship, MS Fram. Sample itineraries include the five-day "Polar Encounters" voyage along north coast of Spitsbergen, where rare wildlife roam a landscape of breathtaking fjords, gigantic glaciers, and staggering mountain peaks. The trip includes amazing views of "The Seven Glaciers," the piercing towers of the "Three Crowns," and the large walrus colonies of Moffen Island, with stops at North West Spitsbergen National Park and Ny-Alesund. There are eight summer departures with rates from $2,907. Another voyage is the 13-day "Polar Bears, Islands and Fjords" itinerary that takes in the best of Norway and Svalbard, from the ice blue fjords and dramatic peaks of the Lyngen Alps to the colorful coastal town of Alesund, renowned for its Art Nouveau architecture. Enjoy a folklore show in Barentsburg, visit the former mining town of Ny-Alesund, and experience Norway's bustling capital of Bergen. The trip starts at $4,639 and departs Sept. 7.

All Spitsbergen itineraries include daily lectures from onboard naturalist guides, expedition leaders and Zodiac landings, all meals aboard and some on land, transfers and port charges. Certain restrictions apply.

Leaf Peeping on Europe's Rivers

European Waterways (tel. 800/394-8630; www.gobarging.com) is offering Europe luxury barge cruises for up to $2,000 off per cabin on select cruises in France, England and Scotland this fall. For example, the 8-passenger L'Art De Vivre cruises the Nivernais Canal in central Burgundy, gliding along the edge of the Morvan hills, a region of serene moors and lakes, as well as forests, pastures, and heaths that yield spectacular leaf-peeping opportunities in the fall. The cruise includes visits to Noyers, a village with a medieval city center that appears just as it did in the 15th century, and also to the picturesque Vézelay and its hilltop basilica, a structure that has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Make your deposit by Sept. 30 and rates for the Oct. 3rd and 24 departures start at $2,850 per person, based on double occupancy. For a limited time, you can also save 25% off the whole boat charter price for the Oct. 10 departure -- at $21,600, eight passengers go for the price of six. Often called the "Tuscany of France," the gorgeous Gascony region of France is the destination for the 8-passenger Rosa hotel barge which offers a 6-night journey along the Canal Lateral à la Garonne. The waterway leads towards historic fortified towns built during the 13th and 14th centuries, including Montauban, a town built mainly of reddish brick and home to magnificent abbeys and palaces. Nearby, the fall foliage of the Bordeaux wine country spreads across the land. Excursions include wine tasting at local cellars and on board regional meals that highlight Gascony's gastronomic prowess. For last-minute travelers, the Oct. 3 departure starts at $2,850 per person, based on double occupancy. Make a deposit by Sept. 30 and take 25% off the whole boat charter price for cruises through Oct. All of European Waterways' river boats have a sun deck, spa pool, and bikes for cycling, as well as a comfortable lounge area, dining room, and an open, all-inclusive bar. Cabins feature twin or double bed configurations at passengers' request and all barges have a knowledgeable, English-speaking crew.

Hot Norwegian Deals

NCL (tel. 866/234-0292; www.ncl.com) is offering these great deals if booked by Friday Oct. 1, 2010. Call to book and mention promotion codes. Certain restrictions apply.

  • Oct. 4, 8, 11 & 15, 2010, Norwegian Sky: 3 or 4-night Bahamas round-trip Miami, calling in Nassau, Grand Bahama Island, and Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian's private island). Starting at $129 per person for best available inside cabin; mention promo type PGHOT. Also, best available suites start at $329 per person.
  • Oct. 23, 2010, Norwegian Sun: 7-night eastern Caribbean round-trip Orlando (Port Canaveral), calling in Nassau, Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Starting at $369 per person for best available inside cabin; mention promo type PGHOT. Also best available suites start at $749 per person.
  • Oct. 24, 2010, Norwegian Jade: 7-night western Mediterranean round-trip Barcelona, calling in Monte Carlo, Monaco; Florence (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples, Italy and Palma, Spain. Starting at $499 per person for best available inside cabin; mention promo type PGHOT. Also best available suites start at $899 per person.
  • Nov. 5, 2010, Norwegian Dawn: 9-night southern Caribbean round-trip Miami, calling in Samaná, Dominican Republic; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John's, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados and Basseterre, St. Kitts. Starting at $499 per person for best available inside cabin; mention promo type PGHOT. Also best available suites start at $799 per person.
  • Nov. 14, 2010, Norwegian Jewel: 7-night Bahamas & Florida round-trip New York, calling in Orlando, Florida; Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian's private island); Nassau and Grand Bahamas Island. Starting at $399 per person for best available inside cabin; mention promo type GYT. Also best available suites start at $599 per person.
  • Nov. 27, 2010, Norwegian Gem: 7-night Bahamas & Florida round-trip New York, calling in Orlando, Florida; Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian's private island); Nassau and Grand Bahamas Island. Starting at $399 per person for best available inside cabin; mention promo type GYT. Also best available suites start at $599 per person.

New reservations made at least nine months prior to sailing now through Dec 31, 2011. Fleetwide. Receive up to $300 in on-board credit per stateroom for new suites and villas reservations.

What Travel Agencies Are Offering

Here are some of the best deals a handful of major travel agencies are advertising this week. Cruises are capacity-controlled and offers may be withdrawn at any time. Similar deals may be available from competing online and brick-and-mortar agencies. All rates are per person for an inside cabin unless otherwise stated, and include port charges. Rates for the ultra-lux lines may also include gratuities and some or all beverages.

Vacation Shoppe (tel. 866/727-8473; www.vacationshoppe.com)

  • Crystal Symphony: 10-night Mexican Riviera, round-trip from Los Angeles. From $2,990, Dec. 12 sailing. Deal includes $1,000 per cabin onboard credit and gratuities; if booked by Sept. 30 take $500 per person discount off select categories and additional $250 onboard credit per cabin.
  • Crystal Symphony: 7-night Mexican Riviera, round-trip from Los Angeles. From $2,165, Dec. 5 sailing. Deal includes $1,000 per cabin onboard credit and gratuities; if booked by Sept .30 take $500 discount off select categories and an additional $250 onboard credit per cabin.
  • Celebrity Infinity: 14-night Panama Canal, Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. From $1,199, Nov. 7 sailing.
  • Celebrity Century: 5-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $269, Nov. 8 sailing.
  • Celebrity Mercury: 9-night Bahamas, round-trip from Baltimore. From $699, Nov. 20 sailing.
  • Celebrity Eclipse: 7-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. Fro $649, Nov. 20 sailing.
  • Celebrity Constellation: 14-night southern Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $1,149, Nov. 20 sailing.
  • Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam: 15-night transatlantic, Ft. Lauderdale to Barcelona. From $1,099, Apr. 3 sailing.
  • Holland America Statendam: 32-night Panama Canal/Mexican Riviera, San Diego to Vancouver. From $2,299, Apr. 15 sailing.
  • Holland America Noordam: 16-night transatlantic, Ft. Lauderdale to Civitavecchia/Rome. From $1,199, Apr. 28 sailing.

All-Travel

(tel. 866/565-3214; www.all-travel.com/cruises)
  • Crystal Symphony: 10-night Mexico, round-trip from Los Angeles. From $2,990, Dec. 12 sailing. Deal includes $500 per person discount for select categories if reserved by Sept. 30 and $1,000 per couple shipboard credit
  • Crystal Serenity: 11-night Canary Islands, Barcelona to Lisbon. From $4,845, Nov. 11 sailing. Deal includes free air, a $2,000 per couple shipboard credit and prepaid gratuities.
  • Celebrity Eclipse: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $918, Nov. 27 sailing. Deal includes $75 per couple shipboard credit.
  • Paul Gauguin: 9-night Tahiti, Society Islands & Tuamotus, round-trip from Papeete. From $4,845, Dec. 18 sailing. Deal includes $500 per couple shipboard credit plus an additional $250 per person shipboard credit if reserved by Oct. 31.
  • Holland America Zaandam: 14-night Hawaii, round-trip from San Diego. From $1,499, Nov. 21 sailing. Deal includes free shore excursion in Hilo.
  • Regent Voyager: 10-night ultra-luxe Mediterranean, Venice to Athens. From $7,550, Oct. 17 sailing. Deal includes free air, additional savings and free unlimited shore excursions if reserved by Sept. 30, plus $400 per couple shipboard credit.
  • Regent Navigator: 21-night ultra-luxe Far East & Australia, Bangkok to Sydney. From $11,285, Oct. 26 sailing. Deal includes free air and free unlimited shore excursions if reserved by Sept. 30, plus $400 per couple shipboard credit.
  • Silversea Silver Shadow: 10-night ultra-luxe Asia, Hong Kong to Bangkok. From $6,698, Oct. 19 sailing. Deal includes up to 60% savings plus free economy class airfare if reserved by Oct. 19.
  • Seabourn Legend: 10-night ultra-luxe Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $2,899, Dec. 3 sailing. Deal includes $500 per couple shipboard credit.
  • Oceania Insignia: 14-night southern Europe, Venice to Barcelona. From $3,799, Nov. 10 sailing. Deal includes $200 spa or shipboard credit per stateroom and prepaid gratuities.

Cruise Brothers

(tel. 800/827-7779; www.cruisebrothers.com)
  • Princess Caribbean Princess: 7-night southern Caribbean, round-trip from San Juan. From $499, Jan. 8 sailing.
  • Celebrity Millennium: 11-night southern Caribbean, round-trip from San Juan. From $849, Feb. 14 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas: 7-night Caribbean, round-trip from Ft Lauderdale. From $949, Jan. 30 sailing. Deal includes a $75 onboard credit.
  • Carnival Miracle: 8-night southern Caribbean, round-trip from Ft Lauderdale. From $599, Mar. 3 sailing.
  • Princess Golden Princess: 14-night Hawaii, round-trip from Los Angeles. From $1,299, Feb. 2 sailing. Deal includes a $75 onboard credit.
  • Norwegian Dawn: 7-night Bermuda, round-trip from Boston. From $949, June 17 sailing. Deal includes a $50 onboard credit and bottle of wine.
  • MSC Musica: 7-night Mediterranean, round-trip from Venice. From $1,349, Aug. 7 sailing. Deal includes onboard cocktail party. Book by Nov. 30 and take $100 off per person.
  • Carnival Magic: 9-night Mediterranean, round-trip from Barcelona. From $1009, Aug. 5 sailing. Deal includes $100 onboard credit, champagne, chocolates and wine.
  • Celebrity Century: 7-night Alaska, round-trip from Vancouver. From $799, May 29 sailing.
  • Norwegian Epic: 7-night Mediterranean, round-trip from Barcelona. Family Villa Suites from $3,899, June 5 sailing.

Cruise Members Only

(tel. 800/999-3543; www.cruisemembersonly.com)

The annual $50 membership fee is being waived for Frommers.com subscribers who mention Frommers.com when booking any cruise.

  • Oceania Marina: 16-day Europe, Dover to Rome/Civitavecchia. From $7,199, Aug. 10 sailing. Deal includes airfare, prepaid gratuities, cooking demonstrations with Jacques Pepin and cooking lessons with Yankee Magazine food editor Annie Copps.
  • Oceania Marina: 12-day Europe, round-trip from Dover. From $5,899, July 29 sailing. Deal includes airfare, prepaid gratuities and private cooking lessons with Chefs Raymond Ost and Steve LaCount.
  • Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas: 7-night eastern & western Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. Ocean view from $1099, Oct. to March sailings. Deal includes free spa treatment.
  • Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas: 7-night southern Caribbean, round-trip from San Juan. Ocean view from $673, Oct. to March sailings. Deal includes free spa treatment.
  • Regent Seven Seas Mariner: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $3165. Nov. 23 sailing. Deal includes airfare, all suite accommodations, prepaid gratuities, shore excursions and a $500 shipboard credit.
  • Regent Seven Seas Mariner: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $2799, Jan. 4 sailing. Deal includes airfare, all suite accommodations, prepaid gratuities, shore excursions and a $400 shipboard credit.

Just Cruisin' Plus (tel. 800/888-0922; www.justcruisinplus.com)

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