Mediterranean magic from €399pp: Is this the cheapest cruise holiday of 2015?
A combination of astute marketing and winter dates has turned up one of the cheapest fly-cruises we've seen in years.
The seven-night Mediterranean cruise on MSC Preziosa, including direct flights from Dublin to Barcelona, is available from just €399pp.
The price is currently listed for December 04 and 11 departures, and could conceivably give you a week at sea for less than the cost of staying at home.
And the catches?
Well, December on the Med ain't exactly balmy - meaning your tan may not be topped up to the extent that it would be in July or August.
Transfers are not included either, so you'll have to bankroll the 20-minute cab ride (allow €25 approx) from the airport to the ship.
What's more, the flights do not include a hold luggage allowance, you can expect to fork out roughly €60 on tips, and shore excursions are extra.
Other than that, the lead-in seems like solid value to me.
Mediterranean cruises tend to be cheaper in winter given the cooler weather, but this goes beyond the normal discounting - MSC is clearly also using low prices to get the market interested and encourage early bookings.
The 3,500-capacity Preziosa is MSC's newest ship, the deal includes all meals and entertainment, and you can upgrade to include all drinks at €499pp.
Ports of call include Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa, Rome and Sicily.
The cruise is available to book here from Independent Travel (01 539-7700; travel.independent.ie) and is also available from clickandgo.com.
NB: Prices subject to availability and change.