10 Reasons Why October is the Best Time to Cruise

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October is one of the best times to take a cruise, or even just to book a cruise for another time.

October Cruises Scenery

October’s combination of beautiful scenery, mild weather and warmer seas, combined with smaller crowds and some great prices, mean it’s a great time to cruise. But there are also good offers for other months to book too.

Luxury cruise specialists Panache Cruises have compiled a list of 10 reasons why October is the perfect time to be cruising, or to be booking a cruise.

1. Perfect Weather

For many people, the Northern Hemisphere’s peak summer months of June, July and August are oppressively hot and humid. Conversely, the weather in October is usually pleasantly warm but without the threat of a heatwave.

Throughout many of the cruise sector’s most popular regions, the weather in October is usually mild and perfectly suited for more active exploration on land.

With the hot summer months behind us in the Northern Hemisphere and the warmer temperatures of spring still yet to arrive in the Southern Hemisphere, taking a cruise in October offers some golden opportunities to experience the best that cruising has to offer.

James Cole, Founder & Managing Director of Panache Cruises

Although slightly wetter, October is the start of the cruise season in the Caribbean. Even though the risk of a hurricane is still present, the prospect of your holiday being affected is much reduced.

The southern Caribbean islands such as Barbados, Trinidad or Tobago are rarely affected at this time. Thanks to fewer visitors In October, you may well find that perfect Caribbean beach for your own exclusive use.

2. Avoid The Crowds

In the Northern Hemisphere, tourist numbers in October are typically less than half that of the summer season’s busiest months (June, July and August).

Although some tourist attractions are beginning to wind down in preparation for winter, many remain open with reduced opening hours. There should be very little queuing to gain access to attractions and there is no need to pre-book popular restaurants when going ashore.

Embarkation and disembarkation at each port of call is often much faster too due to lower passenger numbers.

3. Incredible Scenery

Autumn is widely regarded as the most spectacular season thanks to the glorious colours which ‘Mother Nature’ displays as a prelude to winter. A coastal cruise in October is often the best way to experience this amazing natural wonder.

October Cruises Northern Lights

Whilst itineraries along the New England, New Hampshire and Maine coastlines promise some incredible scenery, many people overlook Japan’s fall foliage cruises which can also be breathtakingly beautiful with an even greater variation and intensity of colour.

It is also possible to see the ‘Northern Lights’ (aurora borealis) in October by visiting Iceland and the North Cape of Norway. This can be the perfect time to visit before the weather becomes too cold.

Autumn foliage cruises along the New England and Canadian coastlines in October can be breathtakingly beautiful with a range of itineraries to suit almost any budget. There is also a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights in October if you pick the right itinerary. Cruises to the North Cape of Norway make this a possibility before the weather gets too cold.

James Cole, Founder & Managing Director of Panache Cruises

4. Children Are Back At School

Whilst taking a cruise with little people can be a lot of fun, a child-free cruise can offer several benefits.

In the Northern Hemisphere, most children return to school after the summer holidays in early September with University students returning in late September. This results in much greater availability of interconnecting cabins and other facilities on-board.

Given that the main school holiday period is over, passenger numbers on-board are much lower and stateroom grade availability is normally much higher. This is especially true for accommodation grades which are popular with families or multi-generational groups such as interconnecting cabins or multi-bedroom suites.

James Cole, Founder & Managing Director of Panache Cruises

October is also a time when obtaining a private table in cruise ship restaurants is much easier.

Menu choices and entertainment programmes at sea will also be much more geared towards adult guests.

Check school calendars for the half-term break however as this may increase prices and the number of families during certain weeks.

5. The Seas Are Warm

Given that water retains heat for much longer than land mass, sea temperatures are at their highest at the end of the summer months.

October Cruises warm seas

In the Mediterranean Sea, temperatures in October regularly reach 25C and therefore provide perfect conditions for snorkelling, scuba diving, paddle boarding and other forms of watersport.

Similarly, ocean temperatures in the Caribbean and Hawaii also reach their peak in September and October.

In Northern climes, the sea in early autumn is also at its warmest making it the perfect time for snorkelling and other forms of watersport. Seas are typically calm too and the comparatively small number of insects make for a comfortable and pleasant cruising experience.

James Cole, Founder & Managing Director of Panache Cruises

6. Christmas Shopping

In the run-up to Christmas, savvy people will start shopping for gifts early. With the same global brands on High Streets across the UK, it can be refreshing to find shops and gifts that are just not available at home.

Buying Christmas gifts overseas can be really rewarding and the relative strength of the Pound currently allows for some bargains to be found.

Furthermore, there are no weight restrictions when transporting gifts back home on a cruise ship, making overseas shopping trips by sea a very attractive proposition.

7. Incredible October Festivals

The month of October plays host to a large number of world-famous festivals, many of which can be easily accessed by cruise ship.

October Cruise Festivals

Germany’s infamous Oktoberfest (held in Munich and many other German cities) is one such example that can easily be enjoyed on a central European river cruise.

Other autumnal festivals in Europe include the Sitges Wine Harvest and the Cavatast Festival in Barcelona which draw inspiration from the nearby Rioja and Ribera wine regions.

October is also a month when many of the world’s most famous festivals take place. Most of these incredible attractions can be experienced on a cruise. These include Germany’s Oktoberfest which is best explored on a Danube river cruise. October is also a popular month for some incredible festivals in Japan and Spain.

James Cole, Founder & Managing Director of Panache Cruises

8. The Best Time For Foodies

The summer harvest brings with it an abundance of fresh produce and October is the perfect time to take advantage.

October Cruise Food

For food and wine lovers this can have many advantages both on-board and ashore where local markets are awash with the best ingredients at very attractive prices.

From fresh truffles in Italy to the grape harvests of Sicily and Corsica, the Mediterranean in autumn has many treasures to savour.

In North America, seafood aficionados will welcome the abundance of seafare that has been harvested from the ocean, the quality of which comes to a peak as the seas start to cool.

9. Lower Cruise Prices

After the peak summer months of July and August, cruise lines often cut prices dramatically for their October sailings to stimulate demand.

As a result, October can be one of the least expensive months to cruise. Given the many advantages of cruising at this time of year, some of the offers available presently represent incredible value.

After the peak summer months of July and August, cruise lines often cut prices dramatically on their October sailings to stimulate demand. Consequently, October can be one of the least expensive months to cruise. Given the many advantages of cruising at this time of year, some of the offers available at the moment represent incredible value.

James Cole, Founder & Managing Director of Panache Cruises

Suggested read: These Are The Best Times Of Year For Cruise Discounts

10. A Great Month To Book

Most people assume that the best time of year to book a cruise is January to March. Commonly referred to as ‘Wave Season’, this is a period where cruise lines release a wide variety of promotions in the post-Christmas period.

Wine served on a cruise

Few people realise though that the month of October also sees the release of some incredible offers. Throughout Europe, October has affectionately become known as ‘National Cruise Month’. Look out for complimentary cabin upgrades and generous free on-board spend bonuses too.

The promotions for October sailings often extend far beyond the end of the month. With the onset of Christmas and the associated retail spending which this encourages, cruise lines often release some remarkable promotions in October to boost bookings in the run up to the festive period.

James Cole, Founder & Managing Director of Panache Cruises

If you’re interested in booking a cruise for October, or for any month, why not check out the latest packages and offers from Panache Cruises?

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Cruise Mummy

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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