Lines unveil Europe plans

MIAMI -- Europe is the hot ticket this summer with deals on cruises and packages offered by small-ship cruise lines. A sampling follows:

• Windstar Cruises will offer its Europe cruise clients $95 two-night, pre- or post-cruise hotel packages at four properties: the Istanbul Hilton in Turkey, the Athenaeum Inter-Continental Hotel in Athens, the Barcelona Hilton in Spain and Le Meridien Hotel in Nice, France.

The package is available on Windstar's seven-day Greek Isles cruises on May 11, June 1 through July 6, and Sept. 7 through Oct. 26 on the Wind Spirit, and May 18 through October 19 on the Wind Star; and on four Western Mediterranean sailings: July 27 on the Wind Spirit and June 23, Sept. 1 and Nov. 10 on the Wind Surf.

• Windstar also is offering another Europe perk: The "Cook it Light" culinary cruise Oct. 20 on the Wind Surf from Venice, Italy, to Grand Harbour, Malta. Rates start from $2,195.

• Crystal Cruises, meanwhile, introduced Europe Value fares on eight sailings in Scandinavia, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, reducing fares by nearly 60% in some cases, the line said.

Fares start at $3,495 for deluxe outside accommodations on 12-day sailings of the Crystal Symphony departing July 7, Aug. 13 and 25, Sept. 6 and Oct. 1, 13 and 25. Veranda staterooms are available for $5,995 on the Symphony's Sept. 18 and Oct. 1 cruises.

For information on the packages, contact Windstar Cruises at (800) 258-SAIL or visit www.windstarcruises.com; Crystal Cruises can be reached at (800) 820-6663 or on line at www.crystalcruises.com.

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