The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Get back on board for a laugh on the ocean wave

- Caroline Hendrie

THIS should be the busiest time of year for taking a holiday but with travel restrictio­ns still in place, our choices are limited. A staycation cruise is still a good option, whether you pick one with 100 per cent time at sea or one with ports of call, which now include Scotland.

There are excellent deals for the

Greek islands this year, and for

European river cruises in 2022. Here are some of the best to book now.

Joker Jenny’s summer seacation

A long weekend of laughs starts on August 7, with a comedy-themed cruise from Southampto­n aboard Regal Princess. Funny woman Jenny Eclair, below, stand-up veteran Jeff Stevenson and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown regular Tom Binns lead the entertainm­ent on the three-night Comedy Summer Seacation sailing non-stop for three nights from Southampto­n.

Fares start at £399pp, sharing a balcony cabin, and include drinks, wi-fi and tips (

Try an Orkney odyssey

Celebrity Cruises (celebrityc­ is extending newly revamped Celebrity Silhouette’s special UK-only season and offering a cruise to Scotland in early autumn. A nine-night round trip, departing Southampto­n on September 18, calls at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, Inverness, Glasgow, Belfast and Liverpool. The cost, including drinks, wi-fi and gratuities, is from £1,299pp.

Get back to Greek island hopping

Take the plunge and book a cruise in the Greek islands with new Elixir Cruises (elixirwell­nesscruisi­ by July 31 and receive 30 per cent off. There are two one-week itinerarie­s – Divine Cyclades features overnight stays in Mykonos and Santorini, while Grecian Trails takes in Crete.

Boutique motor-yacht Elysium, which carries just 48 passengers, will also take you to small islands and coves with beaches that are inaccessib­le to bigger ships.

Departures from Piraeus, 45 minutes from Athens airport, are until October, with fares now starting at £1,925pp.

Explore the mighty Danube

Escorted tours expert Newmarket Holidays (newmarketh­ has launched its new river cruise brochure and is offering £100 off cruises booked by August 31. For example, an eight-day Classic Danube Explorer cruise, aboard A-Rosa Donna, sailing through Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, with overnight stays in Vienna and Budapest, is now from £1,499pp (brochure £1,599pp). There are 12 departures between October this year and October 2022, and fares include a premium drinks package and flights from Gatwick.

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