There are cool ways to save on cruises if you’re willing to take your time and step outside your comfort zone. Exciting? It should be.
Travellers take cruises because they’re able to visit several destinations without the hassle of having to unpack and re-pack; there are no bookings to be made at hotels, or flight bookings. Instead, there are ports where travellers can visit each destination for the day, and then return to the comfort of the ship for the night. Cruisers easily meet new people and experience different environments. There’s something new every day.
Cruises, however, are known to be expensive, with extra fees to be paid for expeditions and day-trips. Did you know that there are ways to beat the price? In the list below are a few examples.
- Look out for cruises called “repositioning” or “transatlantic” cruises. These are attractively discounted cruises, but you need to seek them out, since these are not usual routes for the ship. When ships need to be reassigned to new routes, or to avoid unfavourable weather conditions, one-time cruises are offered at incredibly low rates. Significant discounts are offered to attract more passengers instead of allowing the ship to sail empty.
- To find a cruise that’s a steal of a deal, you must prepare to be flexible. Very specific travel destinations and dates limit your search. Instead, find the list of repositioning cruises from the cruise-provider. It’s usually listed in a different category. An adventurous spirit and an open mind are sure-fire ingredients for an ideal — cheap — vacation.
- Search through cruise websites such as Cruiseline and iCruise which have special offers for different itineraries. Websites allow you to weigh your options and compare which one provides greater savings. For instance, a 16-night cruise from New Orleans to the Caribbean and Barcelona, Spain costs around $700, which is half of the regular cost.
- Repositioning cruises have the advantage of travelling long distances between different countries, unlike regular cruises. There are more unexpected stopovers and opportunities to explore ports and destinations, too. The trip will take longer, which can be a good thing. Just think about it as sleeping while travelling, and waking up to a new place. However, you will have to spend for the one-way flight home, which can be expensive considering the total distance travelled. Your frequent flyer miles will be well-spent on your homebound airline ticket.
- Repositioning cruises drop rates at the last minute. If you’re willing to wait, you might get incredibly low rates for a cruise. Unlike the situation with airlines, where tickets bought at the last minute actually fetch a higher price, repositioning cruise tickets are offered at attractive deals. A ticket for a 3-night repositioning cruise from Panama to Fort Lauderdale could be as cheap as $184, all taxes and fees included (if bought within less than 2 weeks of departure date).