Want to know where to cruise? There are lots of great deals around at the moment and there are some exciting autumn itineraries on offer. Liz Jarvis, Editor of Cruise International magazine, has some suggestions for the perfect holiday.
Lovely cruise ideas for autumn
Ten wonderful ideas and deals for autumn cruises
If you've always dreamed of visiting New York at Christmas time, seeing the stunning store decorations and skating on the rink at Rockefeller Plaza, then a seven-night cruise with Cunard on the Queen Mary 2 from Southampton to New York starts at £899 (per person, based on two sharing). Just remember to take an extra suitcase for all those presents you'll be buying. For them. Or you.
A cruise across the Baltic Sea in winter is absolutely magical, and a wonderful way to see St Petersburg, proper snow and discover the charms of Scandinavia. Itineraries usually include a few nights in Russia, giving you plenty of time to explore, as well as Copenhagen, Norway, Sweden and Finland. HollandAmerica cruises offers a wide range of Northern European itineraries.
Autumn is a really popular time for city breaks - and sailing to Amsterdam or Bruges is a great way to experience a cruise holiday with the added advantage of no airport queues, plus no risk of losing your luggage en route (which can be a nightmare if you're only away for a weekend). It's also a chance to travel on a luxurious ship for a fraction of the price. P&O has a mini-cruise to Bruges on board the wonderful Aurora from just £199 per person, based on two people sharing.
Just as temperatures start to drop in Britain it's hotting up in the Pacific. You'll need quite a lot of free time to cruise to Sydney (roughly 27 days with P&O) but it's a much more laidback way to travel, and you get to see South America too. For shorter cruises, Thomas Cook offers a Royal Caribbean cruise for 12 nights from Sydney to Fiji and New Caledonia from £1,163 for an oceanview cabin, departing mid-October.
By November hurricane season is over in the Caribbean, and it won't be unbearably hot, either, making it the perfect time to sail. The islands all have very distinct personalities, and a cruise is the ideal way to discover what they have to offer. P&O Cruises offers round-trip cruises from Southampton to the Caribbean, calling at islands including Antigua, St Lucia and Barbados from £1299 per person.
One of the best ways to see the foliage of Canada and New England is from a ship, where you'll be able to enjoy the 'Fall' colours in all their splendour (and discover why 'leaf-peeping' – searching for the most beautiful shades of ochre and ruby to photograph - is so popular). Choose a cruise that includes New York, Boston, Montreal or Quebec and you can tag on a city break at the beginning or end. Crystal Cuises offers a seven-day break onboard Crystal Symphony travelling to Montreal, Quebec and Boston from £2,535 per person)
Autumn is the perfect time to visit historical sites that are usually unbearably busy (and hot) during summer. Take a cruise from Athens to Turkey, Naples and Citivecchia (Rome) and explore ancient ruins and monuments including the Parthenon and Colosseum to your heart's content. P&O offers an Eastern Mediterranean cruise calling at destinations including Istanbul, Athens and Rhodes from £1199 per person, based on two people sharing.
For sheer escapism head to the Indian Ocean, and the hottest destination right now - Burma. Azamara Cruises offers a 13-night cruise to the Indian Ocean, with destinations including Burma, Phuket, Thailand and Singapore, from £2895 per person, based on two people sharing.
A Christmas shopping cruise is the perfect solution for anyone who can't face the thought of hitting the high street. Calm, relaxing and you can enjoy some gluhwein (mulled wine) while you shop for unique gifts, including handmade wooden decorations. Head for Copenhagen or Germany where you'll be spoiled for choice with beautiful Christmas markets – and when you're not shopping, you can relax and sightsee. Or have some more gluhwein. We won't judge. DFDS Seaways offerse four-night Christmas market cruises to Bruges and Brussels from £189 per person, departing from Newcastle.
Sailing to the Canaries is an easy way to get some sun, fast, and if you want a quick no-fly getaway to islands including Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Tenerife then a cruise is the ideal solution. P&O Cruises has a 12-night cruise to Madeira, the Canaries, Portugal and Spain from £899 per person, departing in October and based on two sharing.