Time to Snap up a Cruise Bargain!
January and February are the best months to snap up a cruise bargain as cruise lines race to fill up a record number of empty cabins. The chairman of the International Cruising Council of Australia, Gavin Smith, is predicting "incredible value" for Australian cruisers, as the proliferation of big ships in Australia will see prices plunge over the next two months.
"2012 will bring more choice in cruising to the Australian public than in other time in the industry's history, with a number of first-time, world-class cruise ship visitors still to come from a variety of brands, with vessels set to include Voyager of the Seas, Celebrity Solstice, Carnival Spirit and Oosterdam," he said.
"I anticipate that with so many opportunities to go cruising, there will be some very attractive pricing, most likely for cruises towards the end of 2012 and the 2012-13 summer season."
The best time to book is tipped to be during the "earlybird sales", traditionally launched at the start of each year, Smith said. "My prediction is that the industry will respond to the increased volume of cruise holidays by releasing never-to-be-repeated pricing in January and February. They will all be out there with great deals," he said.
Heavy discounts are expected to be applied to local as well as overseas departures, particularly in Europe. "The combination of our strong dollar and greater availability should present good opportunities to travel internationally, and whereas in the past Australians have struggled to get their accommodation of choice because the inventory is do dominated by the European market, I think they will now find there are more beds available," Smith said.
He acknowledges the challenging economic situation in Europe and the US but said interest in Australia and New Zealand remained strong, evidenced by the recent trend towards basing new, better quality ships in the region.
"2012 is a demonstration by the world's cruise lines of their recognition of Australia as an important component of their deployments in respect of the strength of the local market and the interest in travel to Australia by Americans and Europeans," he said.
"It augurs well for the year ahead and Australians can look forward to the benefits," he added.
Source: Cruise Weekly, 10 January 2012