(3 p.m. GMT) -- This week (through to 27 September) is National Cruise Week in the U.K., an annual awareness campaign begun last year to give travellers a taste of how great cruising is -- and entice more people to the seas with some tempting deals.
To celebrate, the Passenger Shipping Association -- an organisation which represents cruise lines in the U.K. -- has rallied up the troops offer discounts, perks and upgrades to cruise travellers in the U.K. through selected cruise travel agencies.
Whether you are a savvy traveller looking for a bargain, or a newbie looking to book a cruise for the first time, it's worth taking a look at some of the special offers on PSA's Web site, Discover Cruises. Here are some of our favourites:
Upgrades and Free Stuff
Carnival Cruise Lines: With Carnival, all you need to do is quote "National Cruise Week" at the time of booking and you will receive a free cabin upgrade. Simple!
Hurtigruten: Niche operator Hurtigruten is giving away free flights and two excursions on Northern Lights cruises this winter.
Holland America: Just quote "National Cruise Week" at the time of booking and you could receive a free bottle of wine, parking at Dover and onboard credit of $75 per stateroom.
Onboard Spending Money
Costa Cruises: Italian line Costa Cruises is offering £300 onboard credit on selected departures when booking during National Cruise Week.
Crystal Cruises: The luxury line will give up to £610 onboard credit per passenger on all new and existing bookings.
NCL: The informal cruise line is giving customers up to $150 onboard credit per stateroom on 2010/11 Europe, Alaska, Canada and New England, South America and Hawaii sailings booked during National Cruise Week with selected travel agencies in the U.K. Click here to check out the agencies this deal is bookable through.
Special Fares & Discounts
easyCruise: If you are budget-conscious, then easyCruise is offering a three-night Aegean Islands cruise until October 16, 2009 and from April to October, 2010 for £299 per person.
P&O Cruises: The Brit line is offering special discounts on 50 sailings to the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Baltic. A last minute 25-night Mediterranean cruise onboard Oriana starts at from £1,979 and departs on 22 October, 2009.
Regent: Luxury line Regent Seven Seas has 14 cruises next year from Regent Seven Seas will include free flights and onboard credit. Book during National Cruise Week and save an additional £500.
Most of these deals will expire on 27 September. Also, be sure to visit CruiseCritic.co.uk's Deals page -- all year long -- for more cruise deals. It's updated daily.
--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor
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It's National Cruise Week -- Grab a Cruise Deal!
September 22, 2009