Supplier: Cruise Watch
A recent study by cruisewatch.com, a next-generation cruise advisor based on artificial intelligence, has determined that prices for cruise sailings are greatly reduced on average five weeks before setting sail. However, there are significant differences between the major cruise lines regarding timing and discounts.
Be selective in when you book your cruise
Even though cruise lines try to optimize their prices and secure long-term bookings from customers, they usually end up with a good number of unsold cabins close to the sailing date. In order to fill those cabins, they often start reducing prices closer to departure, which means that customers can benefit from huge discounts. These savings are pushed even further by additional ships entering the cruise market.
“Determining the right moment to book a cruise on one’s preferred cruise line is the most crucial factor to save money,” says Markus Stumpe, CEO and co-founder of cruisewatch.com. Based on extensive research, which took into consideration more than 25,000 cruise sailings departing in 2018, the highest discounts for major cruise lines can be found within 70 days prior to departure, with discounts up to 59% percent.
When to get the best discounts by cruise line
Cruise price discounts for the major cruise lines (the data for other cruise lines is also available) range from 22% up to as much as 59%. Holland America Line offers the highest discounts at 59%, immediately followed by Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises (each 55%), Azamara Club Cruises (54%), Cunard (52%), and Celebrity Cruises (46%). The club of below-40% reduction includes Royal Caribbean Cruises (36%), Costa Cruise Line (31%), Carnival Cruise Line (25%), Disney Cruise Line (24%), and MSC Cruises (22%).
Essentially, you should always book short-term to get these kinds of discounts, especially when you can get hot deals in the last 10 days before departure (like with Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises).
Discounts are specific to cabin type
Cruisewatch went even further to analyze the discounts offered per cabin type for each cruise line in the study. What they found was that interior cabins feature the highest discounts closer to departure, followed by oceanview and balcony cabins. Suites receive the lowest discounts of all cabin types.
“What remains true year after year is that it pays to be a little flexible, especially regarding cabin type or cruise ship, unless you are looking for a specific cruise itinerary,” explains cruise enthusiast Markus Stumpe.
Cruisewatch.com offers a free price drop monitoring system that utilizes big data and machine learning to help customers find the perfect time to book their cruise. Users can get notified automatically when prices are reduced or when good deals are coming up with their free cruise price alerts. They also offer 100% free, automatic forecasts on when to book a cruise for the best price on their website. Keeping true to their mission: right time. right cruise. right price, cruisewatch.com is “levelling the playing field and offering consumers up-to-date technology to make the right decisions,” says the Cruisewatch.com CEO.