It’s almost impossible to imagine that it would be possible to find a cheap world cruise, but surprisingly, bargains do exist. True, you won’t find those $299 last minute bargains, but then again, a world cruise is a vacation that will last almost three months, if not longer. Even on luxury ships, it’s possible to find deals that on a per-day basis rival any vacation available.
As with shorter trips, one of the best ways to book a cheap ticket is to book in advance. Itineraries for cruising are commonly set well over a year in advance, and booking early pays off. You may be offered reduced rates or cabin upgrades, specials on airfare and shore excursions, or credit that can be spent on ship. For instance, Regent Seven Seas is rewarding early reservations with promotional 2-for-1 fares, free airfare, and free unlimited shore excursions. Silversea is offering airfare discounts, along with on-board ship credits. Big discounts for advance booking goes a long way to creating a cheap world cruise.
Have you cruised before? If so, consider the cruise line you sailed on previously. The cruise line may offer discounts or gifts to travelers that refer new customers to the cruise line; if you have friends that are considering a cruise, why not take advantage of such referral programs to help get your own cheap cruise?
Many cruise lines also offer rewards to repeat customers, or that join their preferred traveler club. These rewards can include discounts, stateroom upgrades, or onboard spending credits. Some cruise lines offer special events or receptions to these preferred travelers, increasing the value you receive for your vacation dollars. Taking advantage of such specials or rewards programs is one way to a cheap cruising ticket.
Don’t forget to comparison shop, though! Cruise lines are competitive, and you may find special discounts offered to new customers, as well. As an example, Crystal Cruises has offered a $10,000 savings per couple for customers that have never cruised on Crystal before, in the form of onboard ship credits. It’s worth their trouble to offer a cheap cruising ticket to gain a new customer.
Another route to a cheap cruise is through your accommodations. On all cruises, the size and location of the stateroom have a big impact on the price of the fare. Smaller cabins and interior cabins will be cheaper. A cabin with just an ocean view will be cheaper than a cabin with a balcony, and cabins on lower decks are usually cheaper than cabins on upper decks.
Some traditional advice for finding cheap cruises doesn’t apply to cruises, however. If you’re booking a ship in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, a low-season sail could be a bargain, but there is no off-season for world cruises. There is a limited number of cruises offered each year. Many cruise lines don’t offer these long cruises at all.
While it’s not impossible to get a cheap cruising ticket by booking a last minute cruise, it’s not easy or common. This is due in part to the limited number of world cruise berths that are available in the first place. A second issue is that most world cruises are offered in segments, so travelers can book a portion of the cruise instead of taking the entire trip. Wait too long to make reservations and you may find that only part of the trip is available.
With a little research and planning, it’s possible that your dream world cruise can also be a cheap world cruise.