Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Monday, December 31, 2012

Getting to the Ship: Dealing with Air Travel Sticker Shock

As you’re planning for your next cruise, the current strong demand for air travel means you may have a little sticker shock over the cost of airfare to your ship’s home port – especially if that port is in Europe.

In recent years, airlines have reduced costs by trimming flight schedules and flying smaller planes on some routes to conserve fuel. Recent airline mergers have also reduced the number of available flights, even on popular routes. As a result, the supply of airline seats has become more limited, and fares may be higher than you expect.

Fortunately, cruise travel professionals can help you find ways to maximize the value you receive for the price you pay to travel to and from your ship. According to a recent survey, the top recommendation of Cruise Holidays owners and agents is to spend some additional time on land at the beginning or end of the cruise. After all, you’ve already paid to get to Miami, Boston, New Orleans, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Venice, or whatever port your ship calls home – it makes sense to take some additional time to enjoy the city and the surrounding area.

Another popular recommendation is to increase the all-inclusive value provided by your cruise by waiting for special offers, such as “two for one” cruise fares. Or, watch for special offers for on-board credits that can pay for extras not included in the cruise fare, such as beverages and specialty restaurant cover charges. Cruise travel professionals are expert at finding deals like these, and the money you save can be redirected to airfare costs.

Cruise vacationers can also minimize air travel costs when their cruise travel professionals work with air consolidators. These companies purchase unsold seats directly from the airlines at low prices. The largest and most reputable consolidators usually do not sell directly to the public, but make lower-cost tickets available to travel professionals who can pass the savings on to you.

Finally, some high-end cruise lines actually include air travel to and from the ship in their base cruise fares. It may be more economical to take one of these luxurious and delightful cruises than to book a lower-priced cruise and a higher-priced airfare.

For more ideas about minimizing your airfare costs – and maximizing the fun you’ll have on your next cruise – talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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