Luxury cruises are guess what? Luxurious! So if you think you can stumble across one at a bargain basement price, think again.
Opulent ocean liners which pamper passengers to the nth degree are not going to be offering big discounts on a regular basis. They can do, but it’s rare.
There are, however, several ways that passengers aspiring to a luxe cruise can save a boatful of cash, such that the total holiday cost is less expensive.
Cruisecritic.com.au has a number of tips to get you sailing in splendour, including:
- book early and be the bird that catches the worm
- book your next cruise on board before your journey finishes
- become a repeat customer because there are rewards for loyalty
- sail off-season as it’s often cheaper and you don’t have to jostle with as many fellow passengers for the cruise services
- sail back-to-back, as combining two cruises will attract big discounts
- use a travel agent with links to a luxury consortium such as Virtuoso, Signature or Ensemble
As in most businesses, liners follow the rules of supply and demand. So when a new cruise trip is offered, they are more likely to have better fares. As the cabins are snapped up and demand intensifies, the fares may creep up, because the companies know that passengers not wanting to miss out are prepared to pay a premium.
However, when the reverse happens and a liner is faced with a half empty vessel as the set-sail day approaches, they will pull out some stops to lure new passengers. Sometimes it may be a discount or other incentives, such as on board credit for spending on drinks and services, a free airfare or suite upgrade.
To remain abreast of these offers, sign up to the mailing lists of your preferred luxe cruise liners.
According to cruisecritic.com.au, once liners have you on board and you are enjoying the experience, they believe they stand a good chance of persuading you to book your next sailing holiday. To this end, they offer sweeteners to save you cash.
Crystal offers a 2.5 to 7.5 per cent discount, and Seabourn and Silversea offer a five per cent discount. Azamara, Regent and Oceania also offer a range of savings, including onboard credits and reduced deposits.
Additionally, Seabourn offers up to 10 per cent off when you book consecutive sailings on the same ship; Silversea offers five per cent; Crystal and Regent decide discounts based on itineraries, cruisecritic.com.au reports.
Finally, if your booking agent is a member of a cruise consortium, they will be among the first to know of money-saving perks coming up, such as free onshore excursions. Plus, they may even be able to negotiate cheaper fares on your behalf.
Do you have any tips for making your dollar go further on a luxury ocean liner?