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A different way to see Spain.

The old idea of a cruise being only for the very wealthy has happily been put to death. Demand for this type of convivial holiday has soared, with travellers attracted by the onboard activities, meeting fellow passengers at mealtimes and knowing that accommodation, entertainment and most meals are included in the price. In fact there have never been so many reasonably priced great trips departing from the UK for you to choose from.

If it’s your first cruise, how about starting with a new cruise from the classy Italian cruise line, MSC Cruises (msccruises.co.uk, 0844 561 1955)? They are offering an eight-night cruise to the Spanish cities of Bilbao and La Coruña via France from Southampton, reports the Daily Mail. The Opera, one of the line’s mid-sized vessels, holding 2,055 passengers, has departures in July, August and September so you can be relatively sure of the weather.

Bilbao, in the Spanish Basque country, is a far cry from the typical Spanish costa resort, and is a buzzing town famous for its top-notch cuisine, plethora of tapas bars and the must-see Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum. La Coruña, in Galicia also has some wonderful fish restaurants, a lively bar hopping scene, a UNESCO human heritage site, the Roman Tower of Hercules and an impressive aquarium.

Prices from £709pp for eight nights, including free parking in Southampton.

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