Luxury For Less

With the dollar gaining strength on European currencies, it’s a good time to book a European cruise. Pricing is unprecedented, and your dollar will go much further ashore than it did last summer.

Some of the deals:

Crystal Cruises offers an onboard credit of $2,000 per couple on European sailings. And some of Crystal’s cruises begin at a little more than $3,000 per person, so it’s like getting 1/3 off.

Seabourn Cruise Line has reduced fares on European cruises by up to 65 percent off the brochure rate. The discounted fares start at $3,000 per person on seven-day Mediterranean cruises. The cruise line’s brand new ship, Seabourn Odyssey, can be had for a song, starting at $3,299 per person. Seabourn includes alcohol in its rates.

Also, the line’s “Between Friends” promotion is a modified referral program that offers $1,500 per couple for private shore excursion arrangements to groups of three or more couples sailing together if one couple is new to Seabourn.

Silversea Cruises jumped on the discount wagon with 50 percent off its fares, and that’s not just Europe. The half-price fares are available from the Arctic to the Antarctic (on its new expedition ship) and many destinations in between, including Alaska, Australia and Africa. And some of those sailings also offer free roundtrip air.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises will include free shore excursions on all its 2010 cruises, and on 35 cruises this year. Regent is upping the luxury ante with what it calls “ultra-inclusive” cruise pricing.

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