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Cash in on Fancy French River Cruises

Luxury barge cruise line French Country Waterways (tel. 800/222-1236; www.fcwl.com) is offering value-season discounts of $400 per person on its cruises in Alsace-Lorraine, Burgundy and the Upper Loire Valley from May 7 to 20, July 23 to August 19 and October 22 to November 4. The all-inclusive, six-night cruises on stylish eight to 18-passenger barges have been reduced to $3,495 to $4,595 per person, double occupancy, in value season. Fares include a suite or deluxe stateroom, French cuisine served with estate-bottled wines at lunch and dinner, open bar, dinner ashore at the most famous Michelin-starred restaurant on each route, all tours and excursions, bicycles, personal service by an English- and French-speaking crew, and escorted transfers between Paris or Strasbourg and the barges. Far from the tourist throngs, the barges ply tree-lined canals through rolling countryside dotted with medieval villages, fields and vineyards in the heart of provincial France. Daily excursions take in historic cities and medieval towns, Gothic and Romanesque churches, stately ch¿teaux and private wine tastings. During free time passengers can relax on the sundeck with a good book and an excellent Riesling (or other fine wine), chat with fellow cruisers or walk or bicycle along canal towpaths.

One-Day Sale Today

Carnival (tel. 888/CARNIVAL; www.carnival.com) is offering free cabin upgrades on most bookings made on Thursday, April 27, for cruises sailing any time before March 31, 2007. Save on Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexico itineraries. 3-night cruises start at $259 per person; 5-night cruises start at $349 per person; and 7-night sailings start as low as $499 -- all also include the free upgrade. Generally, best available cabin upgrades are available within like cabin categories (Interior to Interior, Oceanview to Oceanview and Balcony to Balcony). Some restrictions apply. Request promotional code CP1S when booking.

Fall into Saving with Crystal

Save big time on Crystal's (tel. 888/799-4625; www.crystalcruises.com) Fall Value Collection cruises this November and December aboard the 1,080-passenger Crystal Serenity and 940-passenger Crystal Symphony. Fares start at less than $250 per person, per day, and sailings during the Thanksgiving holiday include the traditional five-course feast and a festive mood. Here are the itineraries that apply:

  • November 12; 12-day Panama Canal cruise from Miami to Caldera, Costa Rica; starting at $2,380 (Crystal Symphony)
  • November 15; 10-day crossing from Lisbon to Miami, including an overnight stay in Bermuda; starting at $2,875 (Crystal Serenity)
  • November 24; 12-day Panama Canal cruise from Caldera to Tampa; starting at $2,380 (Crystal Symphony)
  • December 5; 10-day Caribbean cruise round-trip from Miami; starting at $2,950 % (Crystal Serenity)
  • December 6; 15-day Panama Canal cruise from Tampa to Los Angeles; starting at $2,930 (Crystal Symphony)
  • December 15; seven-day Caribbean cruise round-trip from Miami; starting at $2,165 (Crystal Serenity)

The Queen Strikes a Deal for Past Guests

Past Cunard (tel. 800/7-CUNARD; www.cunard.com) guests booking the QM2's upcoming four-night cruise from New York to Halifax and back can take advantage of a complimentary balcony upgrade. The mini cruise departs Sept 2 and fares start at $1,099 per person. Certain restrictions apply. Reference promotion code PEA when booking.

May Day Deals

Windjammer Barefoot Cruises (tel. 800/327-2601; www.windjammer.com) is offering 25 percent discounts in May aboard the Mandalay. Departing May 21, a 7-night BVI cruise starts as low as $900 per person. Ports include Prickly Pear, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Norman Islands, Peter Island, Salt Island and Virgin Gorda. The Polynesia's May 7 and May 14 weeklong cruises in the French West Indies are going for as little as $675 a person. Ports include St. Maarten, St. Barts, Anguilla, Tintamarre, Saba, St. Eustatius, Nevis and St. Kitts. The Poly's May 21 and 28th eastern Caribbean sailings are also going for as low as $675 per person per week; ports include Antigua, Dominica, Les Saintes, Nevis and Falmouth Harbor. Finally, the Yankee Clipper's 7-night cruise to St. Lucia and the Grenadines on May 14, is going for as low as $900 per person. Offers valid on new bookings only, on selected dates, in standard and ensign cabins only.

Princess Bows to Fares as Low as $399 Per Week

Hop on the Golden Princess on April 29 for as little as $399 per person for a 7-night cruise from San Juan to New York, with calls in St. Thomas, Antigua and St. Maarten. The second half of the week is spent steaming north to the Big Apple, over the course of three days at sea. Some restrictions apply and you must be a past guest and a member of the Princess Captain's Circle. Mention promo code UEB when booking. Princess Cruises (tel. 800/Princess; www.princess.com).

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 and include port charges. Rates for the ultra-lux lines may also include gratuities and some or all beverages.

Cruise Brothers (tel. 800/827/7779; www.cruisebrothers.com)

  • NCL Norwegian Sun: 7-night Alaska, round-trip from Seattle. From $899, July 22 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Pearl: 9-night Southern Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $699, Jan 19 sailing.
  • NCL Pride of Hawaii: 7-night Hawaii, round-trip from Honolulu. From $799, Aug 28 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Star: 8-night Mexico, round-trip from Los Angeles. From $599, Nov 14 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Crown: 17-night Panama Canal, NYC to Valparaiso. From $1649, Oct 29 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Spirit: 8-night Caribbean, round-trip from New York City. From $599, Sept 2 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Dawn: 7-night Canada/New England, round-trip from New York City. From $879, Oct 7 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Dawn: 7-night Bahamas, round-trip from New York City. From $799, June 17 sailing.
  • NCL Pride of Hawaii: 7-night Hawaii, round-trip from Honolulu. From $799, Nov 6 sailing.
  • NCL Pride of America: 7-night Hawaii, round-trip from Honolulu. From $899, Sept 2 sailing.

CruisesOnly (tel. 800/278-4737; www.cruisesonly.com)

  • Carnival Victory: 4-night Canada/New England, round-trip from New York. From $379, June 22 sailing.
  • Celebrity Zenith: 7-night Bermuda, round-trip from Cape Liberty. From $599, Sep 2 sailing.
  • Carnival Glory: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Port Canaveral. From $669, June 3 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas: 9-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Cape Liberty. From $699, June 2 sailing.
  • Celebrity Mercury: 7-night Alaska, round-trip from Seattle. From $799, June 2 sailing.

Cruise Value Center (tel. 800/231-7447; www.cruisevalue.com)

  • Carnival Destiny: 7-night southern Caribbean, round trip from San Juan. From $879, Dec 24 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas: 4-night western Caribbean, round trip from Fort Lauderdale. From $489, July 27 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas: 5-night Bermuda, round trip from Baltimore. From $549, June 4 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas: 7-night Alaska, round trip from Vancouver. From $1299, July 30 sailing.

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

  • NCL Norwegian Pearl: 7-night Alaska, round-trip from Seattle. From $849, May 13 sailing
  • Holland America Maasdam: 7-night Canada/New England, Montreal to Boston. From $649, May 13 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Dawn: 7-night Bahamas & Bermuda, round-trip from New York. From $499, May 13 thru Aug 26 sailings.
  • NCL Norwegian Spirit: 6-night Bahamas & Florida, round-trip from New York. From $499, May 14, May 28, Jun 11, Jun 18, Jul 2, Jul 16, Jul 30, Aug 13, Aug 27, Sep 10, and Sep 24 sailings.
  • Holland America Maasdam: 7-night Canada/New England, Boston to Montreal. From $699, May 20 and Jun 3 sailings.
  • Holland America Amsterdam: 10-night Gems of the Baltic, round-trip from Copenhagen. From $1099, May 23 and Jun 22 sailings.
  • NCL Pride of Aloha: 7-night Hawaii, round-trip from Honolulu. From $599, Jun 2, Jun 9, Jun 16, Jun 23 and Jun 30 sailings
  • NCL Norwegian Sun: 7-night Alaska, round-trip from Seattle. From $699, Jun 3 sailing.
  • Holland America Veendam: 7-night Alaska, Anchorage to Vancouver. From $649, Jun 4 sailing.
  • Holland America Veendam: 14-night back-to-back Alaska, round-trip from Vancouver. From $1099, Jun 11/18 sailing.
  • NCL Norwegian Jewel: 7-night western Mediterranean, round-trip from Barcelona. From $799, Jun 25, Jul 9, Jul 16, Jul 23 and Jul 30 sailings
  • NCL Norwegian Dream: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Houston. From $399, Oct. 14 thru Nov 11 sailings.

Vacation Outlet (tel. 800/690-2210; www.vacationoutlet.com)

  • Carnival Imagination: 4-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $349, May 18 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Miami. From $563, Sept 2 sailing.
  • NCL Pride of Hawaii: 7-night Hawaii, round-trip from Honolulu. From $799, Jun 19 sailing.
  • Celebrity Galaxy: 10-night Mediterranean, round-trip from Rome. From $849, Nov 10 sailing.
  • Celebrity Mercury: 10-night Mexican Riviera, round-trip from San Diego. From $880, Nov 10 sailing.

Vacation Shoppe (tel. 866/7-CRUISE; www.vacationshoppe.com)

  • Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas: 11-night westbound Transatlantic, Barcelona to Miami. From $599, Nov 14 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas: 13-night westbound Transatlantic, Barcelona to Miami. From $799, Nov 7 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas: 7-night western Caribbean, round-trip from Pt. Canaveral. From $699, Aug 27 sailing.
  • Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas: 7-night Bermuda, round-trip from Philadelphia. From $599, Sept 2 sailing.
  • Holland America Prinsendam: 7-night eastern Caribbean, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. From $799, Dec 15 sailing.
  • Holland America Amsterdam: 10-night Baltic, round-trip from Copenhagen. From $999, June 2 sailing.
  • Holland America Veendam: 14-night back-to-back Alaska, round-trip from Vancouver. From $1,099, June 11 sailing.
  • Princess Sapphire: 7-night Alaska, Anchorage to Vancouver. From $599, June 10 sailing.
  • NCL Dawn: 7-night Bermuda and Bahamas, round-trip from New York. From $499, May 13 sailing.
  • NCL Pride of Aloha: 11-night repositioning to Hawaii, San Francisco to Honolulu. From $1,120, May 17 sailing.

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