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A European cruise might sound like a vacation that is out of reach financially; however, it’s not as expensive as you might think. Just like with a Caribbean cruise, there are plenty of Cruise Deals in Europe.
Cruising in this part of the world is different because, with shorter distances to cover, you’ll find yourself in port more often and for longer periods of time. So how can you find great cruise deals for this region? Here are three tips for finding deals and two for choosing the right cruise.
5 Tips for Finding Cruise Deals in Europe
Avoid School Holidays
Most of Europe goes on holiday around the same time. By avoiding school holidays, you’ll also see fewer people on your ship. Fewer guests mean lower prices because companies try to fill as many rooms as possible. This is true not only for the cruise itself, but for airfare as well.
First and Last Sailings
Did you know that most cruise ships run a circuit? They don’t do the same route back and forth, but instead progress their way around the world, or through a circuit of routes. Look for repositioning cruises of a specific ship and then find the first cruise to follow afterward. For example, if a cruise is repositioning from the Caribbean to Europe (usually in late spring), the first cruise in Europe will be drastically less expensive than one in the middle of their European season. The same is true for the cruise right before it repositions.
It’s worth it to look at all the European cruise routes you might like and then sign up for newsletters from those cruise lines. They regularly send out promotions that can lead to big savings. If you happen to book directly with a cruise line and put a deposit down, you can cancel your reservation and reschedule for a cheaper option if a promotion pops up. It’s a little more of a hassle, but it can also save big money.
Check Travel Distances in Ports
Make sure you know how far the destination is from the port. We learned this on our first European cruise. When the boat says it docks in Livorno (Florence), for instance, you should know it’s a good 90 minutes from the city. If every port stop means lots of travel time to get to the city you want to see, it might not be as appealing a trade-off. However, when we sailed the Norwegian fjords, each cruise stop was in the actual city it stated, making seeing and doing things much easier.
Consider Back to Back Cruises
We didn’t even know these existed until our last cruise, but many of the guests mentioned they were doing a back-to-back cruise. You can book two cruises in a row on the same ship. You simply stay in your room when the boat moves to the new rotation. Some cruise lines will bundle them together and give you a discount. For example, we sailed the Norwegian fjords on a first-of-the-season cruise and considered adding on an eight-day Baltic capitals tour. It would have been a 15-day total cruise for around $1,000 per person (under $67 a day).
With a little bit of research and planning, you can make that Mediterranean cruise a reality sooner than you might have realized!