For those seeking a more affordable way to see Europe this summer, Carnival Cruise Lines is offering special cruise/air packages for its 12-day “Grand Mediterranean” and “Mediterranean, Greece & Turkey” cruises aboard the 2,974-passenger Carnival Freedom, with rates starting at $2,399 per person.

The special rates are available in conjunction with nearly 40 different North American gateway cities and eight different “Grand Mediterranean” and “Mediterranean, Greece & Turkey” voyages departing June through August.  Both itineraries operate round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia).

“With today’s high euro/dollar exchange rates, a ‘Fun Ship’ cruise is already one of the most affordable ways to experience and explore Europe’s fascinating history, culture and architecture, and these new cruise/air packages make the value greater than ever,” said Lynn C. Torrent, Carnival’s senior vice president of sales and guest services.

The special cruise/air packages are available in conjunction with Carnival Freedom’s 12-day “Grand Mediterranean” cruises departing June 3 and 27, July 9 and 21 and Aug. 2 and 26, 2008.  These voyages visit seven ports: Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice (two-day call), Italy; Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy.

On these cruises, guestscan visit Capri, Taormina, Monte Carlo, Florence and Pisa, home to centuries-old landmarks and celebrated museums.  The two-day Venice call offers myriad opportunities to view that city’s stunning architecture and visit magnificent museums and cathedrals.

Cruise/air packages are also available in conjunction with Carnival Freedom’s 12-day “Mediterranean, Greece & Turkey” voyages departing June 15 and Aug. 14.  These voyages feature eight ports: Naples, Italy; Marmaris, Turkey; Izmir (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey; scenic cruising of the Dardanelles; Athens (Piraeus) and Katakolon, Greece; and Livorno, Italy; and an overnight call in Rome (Civitavecchia).

Highlights include Greece’s legendary Acropolis and the ancient settlements of Olympia, Priere, Didyma, and Miletus. Guests can also visit Istanbul’s fabled Blue Mosque, and tour the Coliseum or Vatican City during the overnight call in Civitavecchia.

A “floating resort” in every sense of the word, Carnival Freedom features 22 lounges and bars, four swimming pools, a 13,300-square-foot spa, 100 percent “bow-to-stern” wireless Internet access, cell phoneservice, and “Carnival’s Seaside Theatre,” a 270-square-foot LED screen displaying movies, concerts and other programming.

A wide variety of formal and casual dining options – including twin two-level main dining rooms, a reservations-only supper club and a 1,400-seat casual eatery with 24-hour pizza and ice cream – are also available. Organized activities for kids in three age groups, including “Camp Carnival” for kids 2-11, “Circle C” for 12- to 14-year olds, and “Club O2” for older teens – are among the ship’s numerous family-friendly amenities.

Also featured is a wide selection of spacious staterooms, including hundreds with private balconies – ideal for scenic European cruising.  All Carnival Freedom staterooms include the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows.

Carnival is currently accepting reservations on all of the Carnival Freedom’s various 2008 European departures. Rates are based on interior accommodations for select departure dates and subject to change without notice. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, as well as pre- and post-cruise land stays in Rome are also available