Learn How To Save Money Booking A Cruise Holiday
If you are looking to go on a cruise holiday then learn when the best times are to book. A cruise holiday allows you to see some great places, but cruise holidays can also be expensive if you don’t book them at the right time.
The following tips will help you to reduce the cost of a cruise holiday and keep more money in your pocket.
For first-sailing announcements, book in advance
For those who are able to plan a year (or more) ahead, added value savings can be found as and when the cruise first goes on sale. Cruise lines tend to offer a number of added-value promotions, which includes anything from drink packages to gratuity or airfare – all added costs that cruisers will usually end up paying anyway, and could save hundreds of pounds.
Book anytime for off-season savings – but be flexible!
Destinations have high and low seasons – with cruise fares following suit. By booking a cruise during a destination’s low season, cruisers may have the option to visit their destination of choice at a much lower cost – and without the crowds. However, one compromise when sailing off-season will likely be the weather, so do check the weather conditions for that destination before you book. Examples include Alaska in May and September, or the Mediterranean in the autumn.
Repositioning cruises also offer money-saving opportunities. From September to November numerous ships cross from Britain to the US to follow the sun, while during the Spring many ships travel back to Britain via the Azores and the Iberian Peninsula after spending winter months in the Caribbean and South America. These one-way voyages are often sold at a discount, as they’re not part of regular sailing schedules.
Look for industry-wide sales in October and January – March
Two of the biggest industry-wide cruise sales are held in October and January – March. The cruise industry’s Plan a Cruise Month, which is organised by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), runs throughout October, with cruise lines and agents offering a wide range of promotions. “Wave Season,” beginning in January, is an annual period of three months where cruise lines offer special promotions during one of the more popular times for cruise shopping to begin.
Book a few months or weeks out for last minute deals
For those who like to be spontaneous, bargains may be found on sailings leaving within 90 days. This is the deadline for those who book in advance to cancel without penalties so cabins often open up at the last minute. However, don’t forget to factor in last minute airfare, which may cancel out any savings, plus you may have a limited selection of cabin locations and dinner seatings. But, if you’re flexible and can sail from a UK cruise port, it can be a great way to save. You can search for top deals on Cruise Critic, and the Price Drop tool also shows cruises that have been discounted over the past week.