While we don’t usually highlight one-time departures here on Deal of the Day, this discount from Swan Hellenicbrought to our attention by cruise specialist Tom Bakeris so steep we’ll happily make an exception. The 15-day sail from Rome to Lisbon, departing on May 25, would normally sell for about $300 a day, Baker tells us. But because the cruise line is hoping to lure last-minute bookings, the fare is now about $100 a day, including shore excursions, three on-ship overnights, and gratuities, starting at $1,549 per person. That’s an extraordinary value on a great ship, Baker says, and we agree.
The itinerary hugs the Mediterranean, with stops in Livorno, Nice, Barcelona, Tangier, and a detour up the Guadalquivir River to Seville. While the cruise pulls into Lisbon on the morning of June 7, one of those included overnights allows you to enjoy the Portuguese capital for another day.
While airfare isn’t included in this deal, we found appropriate flights from New York from $1,152 including all taxes, from Chicago from $1,346, and from Los Angeles from $1,378. Compared to the regularly seen cruise-only prices for sailings like this$300 a day works out to $4,500this is still a deal, even with flights at those prices. To book, we recommend speaking with Tom Baker directly, as he’ll have the latest information on available cabins and further details on Swan Hellenic’s on-board programs. You can reach him at 800-592-3887.
UPDATE: Baker writes to alert us that two more sailings are offering steep discounts for last-minute bookings. A “Rivers & Vineyards” trip leaves Lisbon on June 8picking up right after the Rome to Lisbon sail described aboveand travels for 15 days northward along Iberia to France and England. Discounted fares start from $2,799 per person, or $187 a day, almost 40 percent less than regularly seen rates. Then, on July 21, a 16-day sail leaves Portsmouth, England for Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. The “Call of the Arctic Tern” itinerary starts from $2,699 per person, again a deep discount for a Swan Hellenic cruise.