This undated photo courtesy of Avalon Waterways shows the Avalon...

This undated photo courtesy of Avalon Waterways shows the Avalon Scenery as it cruises on the Rhone River in Lyon, France. River cruising is growing in popularity, concerns about Mexico are leading some cruise lines away from the region, and a new port is due to open in Jamaica soon. That's some of the cruise news for 2011 as wave season gets underway. Credit: Avalon Waterways

This week's best travel bargains around the globe. Keep in mind that many deals sell out quickly.


At the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort in Hilton Head, S.C., save hundreds on activities with the Ultimate Family Package. Through Sept. 1, a family of four pays $2,352 for seven nights in a two-bedroom villa, a nature or dolphin cruise (value: $160), two-hour single kayak rental for four ($120), seven-day bike rental for four ($120) and two hours of daily court time per villa at the tennis center ($420). Taxes included. Info: 866-380-1778,


With Rail Europe, save 20 percent -- or more than $85 -- on a France Rail Pass, good for unlimited train travel in the country. With the deal, receive a five-day first-class pass for $299, the same price as a three-day pass. Valid only on adult, saver adult and premium adult passes. Book by June 14. Info: 800-622-8600,


Book a weekend stay at one of 15 Lower Manhattan hotels this summer and get free water taxi or harbor tour tickets. Certificate is redeemable for two tickets on any regular tour or ride with New York Water Taxi or Circle Line Downtown (choices include Hop-On/Hop-Off, Statue of Liberty Express, Statue by Night cruise and the Shark Speedboat Thrill Ride; up to $52 value; see for tour schedule and departure points). Hotel rates and requirements vary depending on the property. For example, at the Conrad New York, a new contemporary luxury hotel, stay Thursdays through Sundays and pay $394 double per night; a two-night stay, with fees and taxes, comes to $915. Book and stay by Sept. 3. For a list of hotels:


Save at least $500 on a last-minute cruise to Greece with Royal Caribbean. The 10-night cruise on Grandeur of the Seas, which departs from Venice on June 22, starts at $649 per person double, plus $71 taxes; by comparison, the trip in October starts at $1,149. The ship travels to Split, Croatia, before heading to the Greek ports of Corfu, Crete, Piraeus, Mykonos, Santorini and Katakolon. Info: 866-562-7625,

Avalon Waterways has early-booking discounts on its 2013 European cruises, with $250 off per person. For example, the three-night Taste of Danube cruise from Vienna to Budapest on Oct. 7, 2013, normally costs $2,106 for two people, including fees and taxes. With the deal, the total is $1,606. Book by Sept. 18, 2012. Info: 877-797-8791,


Friendly Planet is offering a $300 early-booking discount on its eight-day Taste of Greece tour. Trip visits Athens, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi and Meteora, and includes round-trip air from New York JFK, all transportation and transfers, six nights' lodging in deluxe and first-class hotels with private bath, some meals, entrance fees and English-speaking guides. Cost varies depending on departure date. For example, the Oct. 15 trip, normally $2,559, is $2,259 with the discount. Book by June 13; departures through October. Info: 800-555-5765,

Pictured: The Avalon Scenery cruises on the Rhone River in Lyon, France.


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