updated 4/20/2010 1:17:48 PM ET 2010-04-20T17:17:48

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Travel by: May 1, 2010

The deal: Enjoy the sublime spring weather of the Mediterranean while sailing aboard Norwegian Cruise Line for as little as $599 — that’s a 70 percent discount! The Norwegian Gem hits four different countries during the 7-night round-trip from Venice, Italy, each one bursting with culture and personality.

The itinerary: The Norwegian Gem sets sail on May 1 from the quintessential romantic city of Venice, and will make its first port of call the following day in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Here, travelers can spend the day walking the cobbled streets of the enclosed ancient city while enjoying the mix of Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture. During the next two nights, passengers can relax and take of advantage of one of the 11 bars or 12 restaurants aboard the Gem, NCL’s newest vessel. Other amenities include a four-lane bowling alley, tennis courts, spa, casino, and theater.

On the morning of the fourth day, the Gem arrives in Athens, Greece and guests will have the opportunity to visit the Acropolis — home to such historic sites as the Parthenon and Propylaea. After, the ship calls on Izmir, Turkey, where passengers can enjoy secluded beaches on the Aegean Sea and visit the Agora of Smyrna — an ancient marketplace built 2,300 years ago. The following morning passengers will awake at the port of Nauplion, Greece, a city known for its architecture, including the crowning jewel, the Palamidi, where views of the Argolic Gulf are truly breathtaking. The Gem then takes to the sea for two more nights of carefree sailing before returning to Venice.

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: Vacationers may unknowingly return home as history buffs.

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