updated 3/24/2008 7:56:46 AM ET 2008-03-24T11:56:46

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Travel by: August 2008

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The deal
You may have heard rumors that the Baltics are the next hot destination on European cruises. And it’s true! So true, in fact, that spring and summer sailings feature sky-rocketing prices few of us can afford. But we sifted through the current specials to this Northern European region and found a threesome of bargains you simply can’t skip. Sailings start as low as $1,299 and discounts run as high as 49 percent!

Baltic odyssey with Holland America
This summer, Holland America’s upscale Rotterdam sets sail on a 12-night Baltic odyssey. The regular price of this terrific cruise is $2,679 but CruisesOnly offers a deal for just $2,399. That saves you a substantial $280! Even the oceanview units on this August 21 departure are on sale, for $2,589. En route from London to Copenhagen, the ship calls in eight countries: England, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Germany. Plus you’ll have an entire day at sea to explore all the deluxe bells and whistles of the elegant Rotterdam.

Norwegian sailing of the Baltic capitals
For an even longer voyage, we recommend this Vacation Outlet special: a twelve-night sailing of the Baltic capitals for $1,299 with Norwegian Jewel. This May 29 departure also has oceanview units on sale for only $1,599. The low cost reflects a discount of 49 percent off the rack rates! On this roundtrip circuit from Dover (London), cruisers will enjoy visits to Germany, Estonia, the Russian Federation, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. It all happens aboard Norwegian Dream that is, according to CruiseCritic.com, “fully loaded with so many land-based bells and whistles” ...

Baltic voyage aboard Crystal Symphony
If you want to live it up this summer, Orbitz has a one-off special for a weeklong sailing of the Baltics aboard five-star Crystal Symphony. This seven-night cruise now sells at a discount of 33 percent, for only $3,645 in an oceanview stateroom! Regular prices start at $5,475 so you’re saving a hefty $1830. On this August 4 departure from Stockholm to Copenhagen, the ship calls at Estonia, Russia, and Finland. Another bonus: a day at sea aboard Crystal Symphony, recently transformed, claims CruiseCritic.com, “from an elegant dowager, say, to a sophisticated socialite”.

The dollars
The rates above are listed per person, based on double occupancy. The cost covers onboard accommodations, meals and entertainment, as well as port charges. You’ll just have to dish out extra for government taxes and fees, as well as any shore excursions you may decide to take.

The catch
Northern European countries are known to be ultra-pricey so set some cash aside for on-shore expenses.

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