Friday, 23 December 2005 12:00 AM
While Christmas approaches and the country scrambles round to finish their shopping and prepare for the arrival of relatives, many are already lining up their summer breaks.
The beach might be the target destination for most, but a number of new cruises are being arranged to explore Scandinavia and northern Europe.
Seabourn Pride has organised the shortest cruises it has ever made available, to cater for those who do not want to be away from home for too long.
On offer are cruises starting from Denmark’s Copenhagen, which will visit the most popular ports in the region. There are the 12-day Scandinavia and Russia cruises, as well as a nine-day exploration of the Norwegian Fjords.
Even though the cruises are shorter, they visit more ports and spend more time in ports than others – and have the advantage of costing less.
Seabourn’s president, Deborah Natansohn, said: “Sailing in Scandinavia with Seabourn is especially satisfying because so many of our officers and crew come from Scandinavia and the Baltic.
“They have a special feeling for the places where they grew up and spent their childhood summers. It’s like a homecoming celebration.”
On the 12-day cruise, travellers can take in the sights of Estonia, spend three days in St Petersburg, before heading to Helsinki. After that Stockholm is visited, as is Berlin, Prague and Krakow.
There are departures on this cruise for June 17th, July 8th and 29th and August 19th.
Booked early, travellers can save 25 per cent, while fares start from £4,600 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite.
The shorter Norwegian Fjords cruise sails to Gudvangen and Flaam, Aalesund, Bergen, Ulvik, Eidfjord and Oslo, departing June 29th and July 20th. Again, early booking can earn a 25 per cent saving, and prices start at £3,463.
For more information, contact a travel agent, visit Seabourn’s website at www.seabourn.com.