A cruise can be the vacation of a lifetime, or it can be your top vacation choice year after year. But no matter how many cruises you take, the question is: when is the best time to book a cruise?
The answer isn’t
exactly simple, but in general, it’s best to buy when you and your professional
travel advisor find a fare you’re comfortable with for an itinerary, schedule, and ship you like.
Here, we’ll get
into some of the complexities:
Cruise lines want
passengers to book their cruises early, so they offer some of the best fares as
soon as a cruise opens for booking, which can be up to two years in advance. Booking
early has other advantages, such as the best choice of staterooms. The cruise
line may also offer incentives, like onboard credits or discounts on beverage and
dining packages, which won’t be available later.
After that, what
happens to the fares for a specific cruise can be hard to predict. If a cruise
looks like it will sell out quickly, fares may increase. If a cruise sells
slowly, the cruise line might reduce fares, especially as the sail date gets
And, a lot
depends on the destination. For example, cruises of Alaska are very popular and
the cruise season is brief; so, if you want to sail there during the peak time
of July to August, be prepared to book at least a year in advance. If you can
cruise in late spring or early fall, you might find a good deal as late as three
months in advance, but there’s no guarantee.
Cruises of the
Arctic or Antarctic are bucket-list items for many, but the cruise seasons are
short and the ships are small, so cruises tend to sell quickly. Be prepared to
book more than a year in advance.
like the Caribbean and the Mediterranean welcome cruise ships of all sizes
almost all year, so you can often book a cruise just a few months in advance.
But if you want to sail either sea during the winter holidays or spring break,
it’s best to book at least a year ahead.
there’s no magic formula for booking a cruise at the lowest possible fare, working
with a professional travel advisor – who can access cruise deals and discounts
that aren’t available to the public – Anita can always help you reserve a
wonderful cruise at an attractive price.
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