The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Holidays Afloat -

SHORE ex­cur­sions are gen­er­ally cov­ered by the cruise price; longer day trips may be op­tional and a sep­a­rate ex­pense.

Prices fluc­tu­ate sea­son­ally: high sea­son ex­tends from mid-May to the end of Septem­ber, with cheaper cruises avail­able be­fore or af­ter. Cabin costs vary ac­cord­ing to the deck you choose; up­per decks of­fer bet­ter views and can be qui­eter. Check whether a quoted price in­cludes port taxes and fuel sur­charges.

Na­tion­al­i­ties vary on cruises. If this is of con­cern to you, check whether your fel­low cruis­ers are likely to be Amer­i­can, French, English, Ger­man or mixed na­tion­al­i­ties. APT World Dis­cov­er­ies will run 15 cruises next year, with pas­sen­gers mainly from Aus­tralia and New Zealand and with APT cruise direc­tors aboard.

Will an Aus­tralian celebrity es­cort your cruise? Pop­u­lar television jour­nal­ist Steve Lieb­mann will lead Avalon Wa­ter­ways’ Mag­nif­i­cent Europe cruise in Septem­ber 2008.

Some cruises in­volve a theme or sea­sonal el­e­ments, per­haps de­signed for wine or mu­sic lovers, or to visit Christ­mas mar­kets along the Danube. Peter Need­ham

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