What Factors Can Raise the Price of a Cruise Holiday? An Expert Has the Answers

Cruise Holiday tips

Many of us look to keep the cost down as much as possible when booking a holiday. And whilst there is a misconception that cruise getaways are expensive, they are actually great value for money as not only can you visit a myriad of incredible destinations in one trip, but food, basic drinks and entertainment are also often included in your fare!

However, some factors can affect the price of your cruise, such as the time of year and destination. Grace Sandwith, Commercial Director at Iglu Cruise has offered some expert insight into what can increase and decrease the price of a cruise holiday, allowing you to snap up the best deals. 

1. Which destination should you pick?

Choosing the right destination is crucial if you’re looking for a cheaper cruise deal. With options in Europe, North America, Central and South America, Asia and more, the price can seriously vary depending on the location. If you’re wanting something a bit cheaper, being flexible on where you visit can help keep the costs down. 

You can also often find great deals for repositioning sailings. This is when a cruise ship leaves a destination that it’s been travelling around and heads to another one, where it will then spend a season. For example, a ship might have a season in Alaska, then head over to Asia. Repositioning cruises tend to be longer and have more consecutive sea days.

Not only can you find cheap deals for these, but they give you the opportunity to visit destinations that are sometimes off the beaten track.

Grace said: 

There are certain destinations such as Canaries which work well during the shoulder seasons and therefore often have great deals. Cruise lines also frequently offer repositioning sailings where ships sail from one destination to another to start their next season. These itineraries are often very interesting and are attractively priced.

2. Should you book in advance or last minute?

If you’re after the best possible deal, it’s difficult to know when to book a cruise. Prices fluctuate according to demand and capacity. Booking far in advance can result in lower pricing as tour operators compete for early bookers. If you book in advance, you’ll also have first pick for cabins and any add-ons. 

However, you can also find great deals for last-minute bookings, if there is capacity on the ship. It really depends on demand, the time of year and also how popular your destination is. 

Grace said: 

Booking in advance often gives you the best price and enables you to get the exact cabin that you would like before the ships fill up. However, there are often great last-minute deals to grab. You’ll be able to get a great price, however, you might need to be more flexible in terms of type and location of your cabin.

3. What time of year should you choose?

Along with the destination, you also need to consider the time of year you wish to sail. Cruises run all year round to destinations all over the world. If you’re searching for a cheap deal, there are some things to consider.

Prices can alter greatly depending on the season you want to travel in. For example, summer cruises to popular destinations such as the Mediterranean are always in high demand. This is because the weather is better throughout the summer months and it’s the school holidays, meaning that many families will opt to travel during this time. Early summer and late summer cruises are both great options for those looking for a more budget-friendly holiday. 

Grace said:

Often the most popular months are the summer months, particularly for sailings departing from the UK or Europe, hence to get the best price and availability it would be best to book early. There will, however, always be last-minute deals to be had throughout the year. In addition, the shoulder seasons (the time just before and after peak summer season) of spring and autumn are often a great time to secure deals.

4. What time should you fly, and from which airport?

Flight time can also be an important factor. Peak times, such as during the day and on the weekend are often more expensive to travel in as they have higher demand. To save some money, if possible, try to find flights either early in the morning or late at night during the week.

For convenience, many people choose to fly from their closest airport, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the best price. Searching around for a better deal and being flexible could save you money. For example, travelling to an airport further afield may result in cheaper prices.

Grace said: 

It is always worth considering other airports that may not necessarily be the closest to home, it is also usually a money saver to look at options to fly indirectly. As a general rule for flights, booking early is the best way to secure the strongest fare.

5. Should you book any packages? 

When booking a cruise, many people are apprehensive about booking add-ons or package deals as they think it is expensive. However, pre-booking packages can save you money in the long run, plus there are plenty of options available to choose from. 

Typical add-on options include drinks packages, Wi-Fi and gratuities; although some may include this in the initial cruise fare. For those that don’t offer them as standard, they may offer these add-ons on certain cruise deals, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for these. Ensuring you don’t have to worry about taking your wallet out throughout your cruise getaway, these inclusive packages are very popular with first time cruisers and cruise enthusiasts alike. 

Grace said: 

Where cruise lines offer extras that can be booked and paid for in advance, this is a great way to save money as often things like drinks, WIFI and gratuities are more expensive when booked onboard.


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