What Factors Can Raise Cruise Prices? A Cruise Expert Explains!

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One of the leading cruise experts at Iglu Cruise has revealed 5 factors that can have an impact on cruise prices.

Why are MSC Cruises so cheap

Grace Sandwith, the Commercial Director at Iglu (one of the biggest cruise travel agents in the UK) has offered expert insight on the factors that can increase (and decrease) cruise prices, to help guests get the best value possible from their cruise holiday.

1. Destination

Choosing the right destination is essential for finding a cheaper cruise deal, as prices vary significantly by location.

Flexibility in your choice of destination can help reduce costs, with options ranging from Europe and North America to Asia and beyond.

Repositioning sailings, where a ship moves from one region to another for a new season, often offer great deals. These cruises are typically longer and include more sea days, providing an affordable way to visit less common destinations.

There are certain destinations such as Canaries which work well during the shoulder seasons and therefore often have great deals. Cruise lines also frequently offer repositioning sailings where ships sail from one destination to another to start their next season. These itineraries are often very interesting and are attractively priced.

Grace Sandwith

2. Time of booking

Deciding when to book a cruise can impact the price significantly.

Booking well in advance often results in lower prices as operators compete for early customers, and it gives you the best choice of cabins and add-ons.

However, last-minute bookings can also offer great deals if there is still availability. The best strategy depends on demand, the time of year, and the popularity of your chosen destination.

Booking in advance often gives you the best price and enables you to get the exact cabin that you would like before the ships fill up. However, there are often great last-minute deals to grab. You’ll be able to get a great price, however, you might need to be more flexible in terms of type and location of your cabin.

Grace Sandwith

3. Cruise dates

When choosing a time of year for your cruise, consider how prices vary with the season. Cruises run year-round, but costs fluctuate significantly.

Summer cruises to popular destinations like the Mediterranean are in high demand due to better weather and school holidays, making them more expensive.

For a more budget-friendly option, consider sailing in early or late summer when demand is lower.

Often the most popular months are the summer months, particularly for sailings departing from the UK or Europe, hence to get the best price and availability it would be best to book early. There will, however, always be last-minute deals to be had throughout the year. In addition, the shoulder seasons (the time just before and after peak summer season) of spring and autumn are often a great time to secure deals.

Grace Sandwith

4. Flight times

Flight timing can significantly impact your travel costs. Daytime and weekend flights are typically more expensive due to higher demand.

To save money, look for flights early in the morning or late at night during the week.

While flying from your nearest airport is convenient, it may not offer the best price. Being flexible and considering airports further away could result in cheaper flights.

It is always worth considering other airports that may not necessarily be the closest to home, it is also usually a money saver to look at options to fly indirectly. As a general rule for flights, booking early is the best way to secure the strongest fare.

Grace Sandwith

5. Packages

Many people hesitate to book add-ons or package deals for cruises, fearing high costs. However, pre-booking packages can actually save money.

Common add-ons include drinks packages, WiFi, and gratuities, and while some cruises include these in the fare, others offer them as optional extras.

These inclusive packages are popular because they eliminate the need for extra spending during the trip, making them a convenient choice for both first-time cruisers and experienced travellers.

Where cruise lines offer extras that can be booked and paid for in advance, this is a great way to save money as often things like drinks, WIFI and gratuities are more expensive when booked onboard.

Grace Sandwith

Check out Iglu Cruise if you want to find out more, or book a cruise. It’s a specialist cruise travel agency with 15 years of experience, with a dedicated team of experts ready to help you.

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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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