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    Strictly Come Dancing cruises announced

    P&O Cruises is to offer seven Strictly Come Dancing-themed sailings in 2013, following the success of its first two this year.

    The cruises will take place between May and October, lasting from 12 to 17 nights, and will visit the Canary Islands or the Mediterranean.

    Each will feature Craig Revel Horwood, the judge renowned for his caustic criticism of the hit BBC show’s more rhythmically-challenged celebrity performers, and two of the programme’s professional dancers.

    Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe will join next year’s first Strictly-themed cruise – departing from Southampton on May 11 – while James Jordan, Ola Jordan, Pasha Kovalev, Katya Virshilas, Kristina Rihanoff, Robin Windsor, Camilla Dallerup and Darren Bennett will appear on later voyages.

    The cruises typically feature performances by the professionals, a live interview with Revel Horwood, and a dance contest for passengers.

    Earlier this year Telegraph Travel’s James Bedding joined P&O’s inaugural Strictly Come Dancing cruise, and received the following criticism from the acerbic judge: “You were nervous, stiff, agitated, wooden – as if you had a rod placed firmly up your a--- and you weren’t going to release it.”

    The popularity of themed cruises has grown sharply in recent years. Some of the more bizarre options available include The Barge to Hell, an annual five-day sailing to the Caribbean aimed at fans of heavy metal, and the “Cougar Cruise”, offered by SinglesTravelCompany.com and described as “five nights of fun for younger men/older women”.

    By Oliver Smith, Telegraph Media Group Limited

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