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 PalermoEvery Tuesday, we’ll feature the best travel bargain we’ve seen all week right here, on our blog. Be the first to find out which deals make the cut by subscribing to our blog or signing up for our weekly deals newsletter.

The Deal: American Discount Cruises & Travel is offering a seven-night Mediterranean cruise on Costa Concordia starting at $330 per person for an inside cabin. This sailing departs from Savona, Italy, and visits ports including Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari, Palermo and Civitavecchia (Rome). The sail date is January 14, which is smack in the middle of the Med’s low season; this means crowds will be scarce, the weather will be chilly, and some attractions might even be shuttered for the winter.

Still interested? Good. If you can get past the aforementioned caveats, you’ll save hundreds on a cruise that could cost upward of $1,000 for an inside cabin in the popular summer season. And unlike a lot of Europe cruises that end up in the sale bin, this one is round-trip. The cruise starts and ends in Savona, which means you won’t have to spend a boatload of money on a multi-leg plane ticket.

The Catch: As we said, travelers to Europe should expect brisk conditions in January. According to the Weather Channel, January is the coldest month of the year in Barcelona, with average temperatures as low as 40 degrees. Pack a coat.

The Competition: You’ll find more cut-rate Europe sailings in our Cruise Deals, including a transatlantic cruise for just $1,899 with roundtrip airfare and a hotel stay.

– written by Caroline Costello

DubrovnikEvery Tuesday, we’ll feature the best travel bargain we’ve seen all week right here, on our blog. Be the first to find out which deals make the cut by subscribing to our blog or signing up for our weekly deals newsletter.

The Deal: Explore botanical gardens, medieval ramparts, Roman ruins and turquoise seas in the heart of the Mediterranean this fall — and pocket half the cost of your trip. We unearthed a romantic Europe cruise that’s selling for less than 50 percent of its original price on Cruise.com. This week-long Western Mediterranean sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas is currently on sale starting at $349 per person. The seven-night cruise departs Venice on October 17 and visits Dubrovnik, Valletta, Cartagena and Gibraltar, debarking on October 24 in Malaga.

This cruise was originally listed on the Royal Caribbean Web site with rates starting at $799 for a Superior Interior Stateroom. The same stateroom is now on offer from Cruise.com for $349, which is a savings of more than 50 percent. Discounts are available on other cabins as well. Book a Large Oceanview Stateroom for $379 or a Balcony Cabin for $669. (All rates mentioned are per person, before taxes and fees.) Cruise.com is also throwing in prepaid gratuities, which generally amount to $10.50 per person, per day.

The Catch: This cruise kicks off in one port and ends in another. As a result, you may have a tricky time finding affordable transportation, as multi-leg plane tickets tend to be expensive.

The Competition: American Discount Cruises & Travel is offering a seven-night Mediterranean cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, which sails roundtrip from Rome in late October, with rates starting at $549 per person. Find this offer and more discounted sailings in our Cruise Deals.

– written by Caroline Costello

uniworld passau germany river cruiseEvery Tuesday, we’ll feature the best travel bargain we’ve seen all week right here, on our blog. Be the first to find out which deals make the cut by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our weekly deals newsletter.

The Deal: If you’re dreaming of exploring French vineyards or visiting historic Turkish mosques this summer, you’ll be intrigued by this deal from Uniworld. The river cruise line is offering up to $2,000 in savings per couple on a variety of summer and fall sailings when travelers purchase both a cruise (or a cruise/land tour combination) and airfare to Europe. The discount starts at $1,000 per couple for itineraries like “Burgundy & Provence” and “Enchanting Danube,” and rises to the full $2,000 per couple for longer sailings such as “Legendary Rhine & Moselle” and “Grand European Discovery.”

This deal must be booked by June 30. Travel dates vary by itinerary, but range from late June through November.

The Catch: The $2,000 discount is hefty, but that’s because the base fares are pretty hefty too. (Think $5,000 and up per person for some of the two-week voyages.) That said, remember that Uniworld’s rates include meals, drinks, shore excursions and onboard activities — so if you can get past the initial sticker shock, there won’t be too many unexpected expenses when you get onboard.

The Competition: Viking River Cruises is offering a nine-night Elbe River voyage from $2,706 per person, sailing from Prague to Berlin on November 5, 2011. Airfare is not included in this price — but given that fall is shoulder season in Europe, you should be able to find a fairly affordable flight.

Find these bargains and more money-saving offers in our Cruise Deals.

– written by Sarah Schlichter

st kitts Every Tuesday, we’ll feature the best travel bargain we’ve seen all week right here, on our blog. Be the first to find out which deals make the cut by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our weekly deals newsletter.

The Deal: Sail to the Southern Caribbean for just $389 per person, and spend seven nights trying your luck in the onboard casino or indulging in 24-hour pizza as you cruise to tropical ports on Carnival Victory. We crunched a few numbers on our fancy calculator and deduced that the going nightly rate for this cruise is about $56 — an affordable fare that will keep your budget in good health. Want to stare at the sea while you get dressed for your big karaoke debut? Oceanview cabins start at $479 per person, and balcony cabins are priced from $639.

This cruise offers a port-intensive itinerary, sailing roundtrip from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. There’s just one day at sea, which means you’ll have plenty of chances to hone your sand castle-building skills at a variety of Caribbean beaches.

The Catch: This deal is for a sailing in October — which just so happens to be hurricane season. While it’s statistically unlikely that your particular sailing will be affected by a hurricane, we recommend purchasing travel insurance just in case. The truth is: Getting used to the idea of a hurricane-season sailing is one of the best ways to snag bargain-basement cruise deals.

The Competition: We’ve spotted several fall (hurricane season ahoy!) Caribbean cruise deals floating around, none of them quite as cheap as the Carnival Victory deal. But some of the offers are still noteworthy. We found a seven-night November sailing on MSC Poesia that starts at $549, and a four-night Royal Caribbean Bahamas cruise in September or October from just $229.

Find these bargains and more money-saving offers in our Cruise Deals.

– written by Caroline Costello

 Ketchikan, Alaska Every Tuesday, we’ll feature the best travel bargain we’ve seen all week right here, on our blog. Be the first to find out which deals make the cut by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our weekly deals newsletter.

The Deal: Many travelers would argue that cruising is the best way to explore Alaska. Cruisers can tour scenic straits by ship, sail past rugged forests and gaze at glaciers from the comfort of their own private balconies. But there’s little debate on how expensive Alaska cruises can be, especially during summer months, which is why we’re excited about Oceania’s just-announced 2011 Alaska sale.

Oceania’s Regatta will start sailing Alaskan waters this May. To celebrate its new itineraries, the luxury cruise line is offering two-for-one fares, free airfare from select cities, $1,000 bonus savings per stateroom and an onboard credit of $1,000 per stateroom on all Alaska sailings. In addition, third and fourth passengers cruise free, and solo cruisers can take advantage of reduced single supplements on select sailings.

The Catch: Thousand-dollar savings seem titanic, but keep in mind that Oceania’s base fares aren’t cheap — after all, it’s a luxury cruise line. Alaska cruises start $3,299 per person based on double occupancy before any discounts are added.

The Competition: Regent Seven Seas Cruises is also running a promotion that features two-for-one cruise fares and bonus savings. The sale includes several Alaska sailings in addition to various discounted Europe, Panama Canal, Australia and Caribbean cruises.

Find these bargains and more money-saving offers in our Cruise Deals. For more information on traveling to Alaska, read Planning a Trip to Alaska.

– written by Caroline Costello

voyager of the seas royal caribbean cruiseEvery Tuesday, we’ll feature the best travel bargain we’ve seen all week right here, on our blog. Be the first to find out which deals make the cut by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our weekly deals newsletter.

The Deal: Can you imagine paying just $33 per person, per night for a cruise? That’s the starting price for this 14-night transatlantic cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, departing from Galveston, Texas, on May 1. The cruise ends in Barcelona and includes port stops in Ponta Delgada, Azores; Malaga, Spain; and Cartagena, Spain. The cruise also features quite a few days at sea, which you can spend enjoying the ship’s many activities, such as rock climbing and ice skating.

The fare starts at $499 per person for an inside cabin. If you’re concerned about feeling claustrophobic during so many days at sea, consider upgrading to an oceanview cabin ($649) or balcony cabin ($799). These per-person rates are based on double occupancy, and do not include taxes and fees.

The Catch: Before you start salivating over the eye-poppingly cheap fare, keep in mind that you’ll also need to budget for one-way airfare from Barcelona back to the U.S. — which could be pricey. (See How to Save on One-Way Flights for tips.)

The Competition: Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a 13-night transatlantic cruise in the reverse direction (from Barcelona to Miami) this coming fall. At $1,799 per person, the fare is significantly higher, but it includes airfare, transfers and several nights of accommodations. And the ship, Norwegian Epic, is the newest in the NCL fleet.

Find these bargains and more money-saving offers in our Cruise Deals.

–written by Sarah Schlichter

couple hammock beach romance vacation travelSo it’s Valentine’s Day. Did you get the Hallmark card yet? The roses? The conversation hearts? The free booze on Southwest Airlines?

Yes, according to a Tweet from the airline, Southwest is giving away free “adult drinks” on all flights. Ostensibly, it’s meant to promote the airline’s tweaks to its Rapid Rewards loyalty program, but it’s timed nicely to coincide with all the lonely hearts flitting around the country today. If you miss it, not to worry: The airline is repeating the promotion on St. Patrick’s Day (hmmm …).

If you’d rather save some money than suck down a gratis gin and tonic at 30,000 feet, Spirit Airlines is offering $50 off round-trip flights with a special holiday deal. But move fast: You have to book by 11:59 p.m. ET today and fly from February 17 through March 4. Isn’t it romantic?

If you prefer the sea to the air, several cruise lines are offering special enticements for those who book over the next few days. In a sale starting today, for instance, Azamara Club Cruises is offering a bonanza of extras (a $500 onboard credit, Champagne, strawberries) for passengers booking an outside or higher-category cabin on select European itineraries. Check out the details on this and several other promotions at our sister site, Cruise Critic.

If you’re as sick of this cold winter as the rest of us, Mexico may be beckoning. Book today and you can get 50 percent off rooms at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort or the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort. You have to reserve by 11:59 tonight and use the promo code L9Z. Rates start at just $100 a night for travel through December 12, 2011.

Don’t leave home without our Seven Secrets for a More Romantic Trip.

– written by John Deiner

boston fall New England and Canada are immensely popular autumn destinations — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fall deals to be found in these parts of the world. You just have to know where to look. We did some travel deal detective work and unearthed several exceptional bargains in harvest-time havens from Maine to Montreal. Travelers can look forward to blazing foliage, crisp autumn weather and fun fall festivals when visiting these regions in September and October.

Third Night Free on Maine’s Coast
This October, get a free night’s stay at Cedarholm Garden Bay Inn, an oceanfront property located in the Camden, Maine area. The inn’s guest cottages, which start at $225 per night, all have private decks overlooking the water. Guests wake up to a complimentary Continental breakfast served each morning.

7-Night Canada/New England Cruise from $549
Pay less than $80 per night — that’s roughly half off standard fares — for a week-long Caribbean Princess cruise sailing roundtrip from New York on September 18. This leaf-peeping cruise stops in scenic ports including Halifax, Bar Harbor and Newport.

Save 25% in Montreal
Receive 25 percent off weekend stays at the Hotel Omni Mount-Royal, a centrally located Montreal hotel set in the city’s popular Golden Square Mile neighborhood. Discounted nightly rates start at $104.25 CAD for travel before December 30.

U.S. Fares from $44 OW
AirTran‘s latest systemwide sale includes low-priced flights to fabulous fall destinations like Boston; Portland, Maine; Rochester; and Buffalo. These sale fares are valid for travel through mid-December, and must be booked by August 24.

Save 25% on Northeast Regional Train Travel
Travelers departing from New York, Washington D.C., Boston and Philadelphia can get discounted Amtrak tickets to lovely New England towns like Providence, New Haven and Stamford. Discounted tickets start at just $10 each way when booked 14 days in advance.

Save 30% on Boston Hotels
For a limited time, travelers heading to Beantown this autumn can take advantage of reduced rates at dozens of local hotels. Book with Hotels.com by August 30 and save up to 40 percent on accommodations in Boston. This deal features nightly rates as cheap as $58 (for the Westgate Hotel and Conference Center), plus discounts at upscale properties including the Copley Square Hotel and the Langham, Boston.

Find more bargains in our Discount Travel Deals.

Editor’s Note: IndependentTraveler.com is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc, which also owns Hotels.com.