updated 2/24/2010 9:31:47 AM ET 2010-02-24T14:31:47

Book by: March 14

Travel by: April 10

The deal: When winter winds down, cruise ships are relocated from the United States and are sent overseas for a summer series in the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. In order to fill cabins, cruise lines slash rates on these one-time transatlantic crossings like this 14-night cruise from New York to Venice. Norwegian Cruise Line has reduced rates aboard its newest ship, the Norwegian Gem to just $639 — that’s 62 percent off rack rates!

The Gem embarks from New York City on April 10 and will spend five days crossing the Atlantic before arriving in Ponta Delgada, in the Azores Islands — home to isolated beaches and soothing natural hot springs. During the time at sea, explore the ship’s many lounges and restaurants, take in a Vegas-style show in the Stardust Theater, or test your skills on the climbing wall. After visiting the Azores, set sail to Portugal’s bustling capital of Lisbon before making way to Cadiz, Spain, which holds the title as the oldest city in Europe. Next up the Gem will dock in the laid-back town of Malaga, Spain followed by three days spent at sea before arriving in the final port of call: Venice, Italy.

In addition to paying just $46/night, travelers can save up to $400 with an onboard savings book and — when booking before March 14 — they’ll also receive a free cabin upgrade.

The dollars: All quotes are per person and based on double occupancy. Rates cover accommodations, meals and entertainment on the ship. Fees and taxes, as well as shore excursions, personal expenses, alcoholic beverages, and tips are additional.

The catch: Taking a full two weeks off work is going to be tricky.

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