More Brits may be taking cruises, but the 1.2 million who cruised last year still represent less than 2% of the population.


Most people have either never considered a holiday at sea or have thought about it and dismissed the idea. It is up to agents to suggest a cruise when a customer asks about a destination.


Royal Caribbean International head of field sales UK and Ireland Michael English said: “Agents don’t get many clients walking through the door with a cruise brochure so they have to try to switch-sell. For instance, if clients want a city break, why not suggest a mini cruise?”


Here are some cruise alternatives to get you started…


 


A week’s sunshine in the Med


Suggest: MSC Cruises’ seven-night Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona on new ship MSC Orchestra next summer. The cruise calls at Marseilles, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Tunis and Palma de Majorca, so clients can mix culture and designer shopping with lazy days sunbathing at sea.


Cost: From £668 per person full-board next year, including flights and transfers. Children under 18 cruise free when sharing a cabin with their parents.


First Choice offers seven nights’ all-inclusive at the Iberostar Playa de Muro Village in Majorca from £552 per adult (£174 per child under 12) in October 2008 including flights and transfers. Family price – for two adults and a child – is £1,278.


 


Island hopping in the Caribbean


Suggest: Princess Cruises’ 16-night Classic Southern Caribbean cruise from San Juan on Crown Princess. This is the easy way to see the Caribbean in one holiday – visiting 10 islands in two weeks.


Cost: From £1,469 per person for 16 nights in November 2008 including flights, transfers and one night pre-cruise in San Juan.


Caribtours offers a three-island tour, with five nights at Tamarind Cove, Barbados, five nights at the Calabash, Grenada, and four nights at Hilton Tobago, from £2,110 per person until November 30, including international and inter-island flights and transfers.



 


Winter sun holiday in the Red Sea


Suggest: Thomson Cruises’ seven-night Red Sea cruise on Thomson Celebration. Clients can enjoy the sun while visiting some fascinating destinations. The one-week cruises start at Sharm el-Sheikh and call at Port Sokhna, two hours from Cairo; Safaga, three-and-a-half hours from Luxor; and Aqaba in Jordan.


Cost: From £589 per person full- board for seven nights in December including flights and transfers.


Longwood Holidays has seven nights at the three-star Falcon Hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh from £349 per person bed and breakfast, including flights and transfers. A one-day excursion to Cairo bookable locally costs from $150 (bus) or $292 (flight). A day trip from Aqaba to the lost city of Petra costs from $250.


 


Safari in Africa


Suggest: Celebrity Xpeditions in the Galapagos. Clients cruising the islands are sure to see seals, giant tortoises and dancing booby birds, and can also get up close to them. The ship holds 100 people and anchors off two islands a day so passengers can go ashore on inflatable Zodiac craft for guided tours with naturalists.


Cost: From £2,309 per person all-inclusive for an 11-night Galapagos cruise including flights, transfers, and three nights in Quito, Ecuador, with a city tour.


Kuoni has a seven-night Ngorongoro Safari in Tanzania from £1,485 per person full-board (breakfast-only for one night in Nairobi) including flights and transfers.


 


Luxury spa break


Suggest: Costa Cruises’ Costa Serena. This is the latest ship to come out of the shipyard featuring the cruiseline’s Samsara Spa – a large area split over two decks and dedicated to wellness and pampering.


Cost: From £1,249 per person full-board for a seven-night Ancient Treasures cruise from Venice in an inside Samsara cabin in November 2008, including flights and transfers.


Classic Collection Holidays offers seven nights at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus, from £582 per person bed and breakfast in January 2008, including flights and private transfers.



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