Cheapest cruise holiday ever? Sail the Med for just £38

Salut Marseille!

Bargain hunters in search of a cheap cruise holiday can enjoy the best of the Mediterranean on an end-of-summer cruise for as little as £38 per person - yes, really!

SEE ALSO: Ten incredible small ship cruise breaks

SEE ALSO: The best mini cruise holidays

CruiseDeals.co.uk is offering the one-night cruise from France to Italy aboard MSC Cruises' MSC Preziosa this October. The cruise departs Marseille and arrives in Genoa, allowing you to take in two beautiful ports and often-overlooked European cities.

While there are no flights from the UK included in the 31 October 2017 cruise, dinner on the departure night and breakfast the next morning are part of the deal. As Marseille and Genoa are on the low-cost airline routes, flights from London to Marseille are available for as little as £20 one-way (Ryanair) at the end of October and £24 one-way (Ryanair) from Genoa to London in early November.

Villa Durazzo Pallavicini

The cruise is ideal for exploring both cities and provides the perfect opportunity to spend more time on land. For instance, you could fly to Marseille and spend a long weekend in the French city, even venturing to Aix-en-Provence for a day trip by train, before cruising to Genoa. You could then spend a couple of nights discovering all that the underrated city has to offer. One of the must-visit attractions in Genoa is the 19th-century Villa Durazzo Pallavicini, which has just been named the most beautiful park in Italy.

Cruisers on a budget can also book a mini overnight holiday from Spain (Valencia) to France (Marseille) aboard MSC Cruises' MSC Splendida for £57 per person, spend three nights in Ireland on Cruise and Maritime's MS Marco Polo from £152 per person or sail to Western Europe over two nights on P&O Cruises' Aurora from £218 per person.

Online travel agent CruiseDeals.co.uk says that mini holidays are becoming all the more popular with UK travellers and the cruise industry is the latest to offer more unconventional holiday options at strikingly low prices.

"For new cruisers or those who simply want to save some cash, these shorter, more affordable journeys provide an increasingly viable option for anyone wanting to get away from it all a couple of times a year without burning a hole in their pocket," says the company's representative, Ian Crawford.

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Top cruise and stay holidays
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Top cruise and stay holidays

Discover the very best of China on a comprehensive tour of the country, which features 12 nights in hotels and four nights aboard a ship with Saga. The Grand Tour of China holiday starts in the country's largest city, the buzzing metropolis of Shanghai, then travels into the sublime landscape of Guilin, a region famed for its jagged limestone peaks. You'll visit the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, sail along Asia's longest river, salute the Terracotta Warriors and dine in local restaurants. The tour costs from £3,249 per person and includes return flights departing the UK on 20 June 2017.

Combine a cruise from Rio to Cape Town with a six-night Rovos Rail journey from Cape Town to Victoria Falls on a fabulous cruise and stay holiday from Mundy Cruising. You'll fly from London to Rio on 22 January 2018, before joining Seabourn Sojourn for a 19-night sailing to South Africa's capital, calling at Paraty, Tristan da Cunha, Saint Helena, Nightingale Island, Walvis Bay and Luderitz. The two-night luxurious Rovos Rail train ride travels through spectacular mountain ranges and scenic winelands. After a night in Pretoria, you'll then spend another three nights on the train, touring Botswana, Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls. The cruise costs from £11,699 per person including return flights from the UK. 

Experience the ultimate Tahiti and Society Islands holiday with a seven-night cruise and a three-night pre- or post-cruise stay at The Brando, an exclusive luxury resort on the breathtaking private island of Tetiaroa. Paul Gauguin Cruises takes you to the shallow seas of Tahiti, Fiji and the South Pacific, visiting small ports that larger ships can't reach. During the cruise, there's dolphin-watching at Moorea, snorkelling off Bora Bora and a day on the cruise line's private islet off Taha’a, Motu Mahana. At all-inclusive The Brando, there's carefree luxury amidst pristine nature, with 35 deluxe villas, a luxurious Polynesian spa, a lagoon-view bar and restaurants showcasing Polynesian and French cuisine. The all-inclusive cruise and stay holiday is available year-round and starts from £8,177 per person including return flights from the UK.

Experience an extended trip in beautiful Iberia, where you will discover the likes of Malaga, Cadiz, Porto and Gibraltar on a fantastic cruise and stay holiday with Thomson Cruises. After the seven-night Iberian Treasures cruise on TUI Discovery 2, you'll spend a week at ClubHotel Riu Costa del Sol to soak up the sunshine and relaxation by the beach following your tour of Europe's city highlights. The fly-cruise, which departs from Malaga, visits Vigo, Porto, Lisbon, Cadiz and Gibraltar, and costs from £1,296 per person on an all-inclusive basis for the 20 August 2017 departure from London Gatwick.
For a once-in-a-lifetime holiday on land and sea, look no further than The Luxury Cruise Company's Iguazu and Antarctica Expedition, which allows you to explore Buenos Aires and the spectacular Iguazu Falls at leisure, before sailing down the famous Drake Passage and Antarctic Sound. After a two-night stay in the vibrant capital, you'll fly to Iguazu to spend two nights in a hotel to see both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides of the falls. Next, you'll head to Ushuaia to sail Drake Passage and the Antarctic Sound, spotting icebergs sculptures and wildlife along the way. The 19-day voyage, departing on 25 November 2017, costs from £11,499 per person and includes all flights. 
Crystal Cruises' 17-night Indian Ocean Discovery cruise takes you from Dubai to Mauritius, visiting Qatar, Abu Dhabi, the Seychelles and Madagascar along the way. Before this terrific sailing to some of the most outstanding corners of the world, you'll enjoy a three-night Delhi and Agra land programme, spending two nights at luxurious hotel The Leela Palace New Delhi, with an optional visit to Old Delhi, a tour of New Delhi and a visit to a Gurudwara. For the third night, you'll stay at The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, visiting Agra Fort and seeing the Taj Mahal at sunset. You'll then fly to Dubai for the cruise aboard the spacious Crystal Symphony. The cruise and stay holiday costs from £5,178 per person, excluding flights to and from the UK.
The Caribbean was made for long, lazy days in the sun and with Thomson Cruises' Caribbean Treasures cruise and stay itinerary, you can enjoy seven nights discovering its stunning islands, including Aruba, Bonaire and the Dominican Republic, before spending seven nights at the beachfront Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. The all-inclusive fly-cruise departs from La Romana and visits Kralendijk in Bonaire, Willemstad in Curacao, Oranjestad in Aruba and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. It costs from £1,381 per person and includes flights from London Gatwick on 29 November 2017. 
On an 11-day river cruise along the Danube, you can start your exploration of Europe’s cultural heart with a three-day stay in Prague, the Czech Republic’s enigmatic capital, before you set sail on an unforgettable journey. Emerald Waterways' Prague & Danube Delights holiday takes you through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungry after a wonderful city break in Prague, exploring the beautiful architecture and historical sites. On the river cruise, you'll stop in vibrant Passau, impressive Budapest and incomparable Vienna. The cruise costs from £2,245 per person including return flights from the UK, departing 15 June 2017. 
Delve into Alaska and the Canadian Rockies on an adventure-packed cruise and stay holiday that combines the Calgary Stampede and the Rocky Mountaineer with ROL Cruise. The 15-night package includes a seven-night Alaskan voyage aboard Celebrity Infinity, which takes in the Inside Passage, Icy Strait Point, Hubbard Glacier and Juneau, following a stay at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. After the cruise, you'll begin a Rocky Mountaineer rail tour and Calgary Stampede experience, travelling from Vancouver to Kamloops as you enjoy the views of winding river canyons and pristine forests, before celebrating the world-class Calgary Stampede, with its rodeo events and fireworks display. The holiday departs on 30 June 2018 and costs from £3,999 per person, including return flights from London.

Insight Vacations' La Serenissima is a 21-day tour through Italy, taking the expertise of boutique river cruising from Uniworld and an insightful land journey on a fantastic cruise and stay holiday. After arriving in Milan, guests travel to Venice to board the River Countess, gliding through the romantic waterways of Venice and beyond over seven days, before beginning a journey to Rome by rail with Luxury Gold. Tuscan cooking classes, wine tasting in the Chianti hills, an art-insider’s guide to the masterpieces of Florence and much more await after your journey to Capri and back to Venice. The all-inclusive holiday costs from £7,209, excluding flights to and from the UK.

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