Image: Egypt pyramids
Anita Dunham-Potter
Navigate the waters between Greece, Egypt and Turkey with Norwegian Cruise Line and save up to 63 percent.
updated 8/18/2008 9:20:27 AM ET 2008-08-18T13:20:27

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various into November 2008

The deal
Most U.S. workers get two weeks of vacation time but how many of us use all of it before year’s end? Between hectic schedules, family commitments and work deadlines, turning off and tuning out for more than a few days is rare. If you haven’t claimed a holiday yet in 2008, we suggest you to take all 10 days and book a cruise through the Eastern Mediterranean. These long sailings to lands rich in history, culture and culinary tradition promise relaxation at rates that won’t add years to your target retirement date. Cabins start at just $849 for a 12-night voyage.

Save up to 63 percent on Egypt, Turkey and Greece
Navigate the waters between Greece, Egypt and Turkey with Norwegian Cruise Line and save up to 63 percent. Interior staterooms aboard the Norwegian Jade start at $849 for the 12-night voyage from Athens to Istanbul. Ports of call include Katakolon (Olympia) and Corfu in Greece, before the ship docks in Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt. Next it’s onto Iraklion (Heraklion), Crete, followed by the Greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos as well as Izmir, Turkey. The price is valid on the October 25 sailing only. If you prefer to hit the Aegean Sea sooner, you’ll have to fork out at least $100 more per cabin. Rates on the October 1 cruise start at $949.

12 nights, three countries from $899
Carnival also has an Eastern Mediterranean October sailing with deep discounts. You’ll save 70 percent on this 12-night round-trip excursion departing from the Roman port of Civitavecchia. On the Carnival Freedom‘s itinerary: Naples and Livorno (Florence and Pisa) in Italy; Turkey’s Marmaris, Izmir and Istanbul; and Piraeus (Athens) and Katakolon (Olympia), Greece. Three days at sea are mixed in, as well. Interior cabins, normally listed at $2,999, are available for just $899 on the October 25 cruise. As a comparison, staterooms on the only other available voyage this season, leaving September 19, start at a pricey $1,349.

Two-week deluxe expedition from $2,149
For a luxury experience complete with butler service, we suggest the 14-day Ancient Empires cruise on Azamara Quest. Setting sail on October 25 from Athens (Piraeus) on its way to Rome (Civitavecchia), the ship drops anchor first in Canakkale (Kepez), Turkey, and then in Istanbul. After a day in Chios, Greece, the liner hugs the Turkish coast making stops in Bodrum, Fethiye and Antalya before heading on to Limassol, Cyprus. Alexandria in Egypt is the next port of call, followed by Heraklion (Iraklion), Crete, and Sorrento, Italy. Inside cabins on this idyllic odyssey start at $2,149, with oceanview rooms just $500 more. Veranda staterooms go for $2,799.

The dollars
Prices are per person, based on double occupancy and include port charges, shipboard accommodations, meals, entertainment, and some beverages. Government taxes and fees, alcoholic beverages, gratuities and onshore expenses are passengers’ responsibility.

The catch
Airfare to the ports of departure will add a chunk to the final bill.

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