The world of cruising can be a complete minefield – sometime’s it’s best to book way in advance, whilst other times it can pay off to wait and grab a last-minute bargain. That means your cruise could be anything from several days away (last-minute to the T!) or up to 12 weeks ahead. Take a read of our top tips when it comes to setting sail shortly…
Last minute getaways are particularly rewarding if you enjoy the luxury of cruising on a whim – especially if you’re flexible with where you want to go and which cruise line you go with. Not only could you save a fortune by snapping up a last minute cabin, but if you’re happy to go with where the best price is, you could find yourself exploring destinations that you’d never expected to visit before. If you’ve already been on holiday this year and you’re not looking for anything flash, many of the ships’ unsold Inside Cabins will be reduced greatly in price in the weeks leading up to departure. Perfect for grabbing a bargain if you’re not fussed about a Balcony room or higher!
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Time it right
One of the best times to find last minute rates on a particular sailing is 60 to 90 days before departure. The reason? This is the last call (for most cruise lines and itineraries – for some it’s up to 120 days) for travellers to cancel existing reservations without penalty. At that point, the cruise line will know exactly how many cabins are left – and if there’s more space available than the cruise line would like, it will quickly (and often heavily) reduce the fare so that it can sell out the ship. Perfect for you!
Odd itineraries can often lead to great last minute deals, too. Among them are repositioning cruises, when ships basically change regions for the season and sail unusual routes to get to their new homeports – often across an ocean or sea. A ship may go from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, for example. These voyages are usually longer – maybe two weeks or so instead of seven days – and include lots of sea days, as well as a mishmash of ports, all at a reasonable price. Perfect for if you’re wanting to use your ship for plenty of rest and relaxation. These voyages usually begin in one port and end in another, so make sure you find a deal that includes airfare too.
Travel out of peak-season
If you’re flexible when you cruise, the best last-minute deals will usually be in the off-season – unfortunately, the height of summer will always bump the price up! Stay clear of school holidays, Christmas and Easter too, when prices will soar. If you’re not fussed about the weather being roasting hot, and you’re simply looking for a break away – last minute cruises out of peak times are the ultimate way to save you money. Of course, you can still bag a last minute getaway in the summer months – just keep your eyes peeled! Our Last Minute section is a great place to find the cruise for you.
If you’re playing the last minute game, make sure you’ve got things sorted in advance – if you’re simply looking for whichever last minute deal catches your eye, there’s nothing to say you couldn’t be heading off on your jollies in just a matter of days! So it’s important you have things in place if you don’t want to be rushing around.
Don’t make the rookie mistake of not checking whether your passport is in date first. If you want to plan a getaway at a moment’s notice, we recommend making sure there are at least six months left before your passport expires — and renewing it in advance if not. If you know you’re going away soon, but just don’t know exactly when, get your holiday shopping sorted anyway. There’s nothing worse than a stressful shopping trip where you just can’t find what you want!
And lastly…cruise through us!
It’s part of our mission to find you last minute sailings at spectacular prices – take a look at our Last Minute deals here. Or simply call us on 0800 107 2323!