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News, Tips & Bargains | TRAVEL INSIDER

Europe is easier to afford if you paddle across the Pond

Cruises to the Continent are hot while the dollar remains in the doldrums. But bookings are going fast.

April 24, 2005|Jane Engle | Times Staff Writer

Prices are up this year throughout much of the cruise industry, including European sailings. But there are ways to save. Some tips from Campbell:

Go in the fall: "This is the best time of year to cruise in Europe, especially southern Europe," Campbell said. "You've got the place to yourself. You don't have hordes of tourists from all over Europe. The weather is wonderful." Cruise fares are usually lower too.

Skip the shore excursions: "In a lot of places in Europe, you don't need to take them," Campbell said. "The ship docks right in town." (Instead, do some research and take your own self-guided walking or transit tour.

Shop with the locals: "Go where the middle-class shops: department stores," Campbell said. "Avoid whatever the equivalent of New York's Fifth Avenue is." Quiz the cruise staff about where to go.

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Hear more tips from Jane Engle on Travel Insider topics at latimes.com/engle. She welcomes comments but can't respond individually to letters and calls. Write to Travel Insider, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012, or e-mail jane.engle@latimes.com.

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