A study by Cruisewatch, has found that booking the respective cruise destination at the right time can realistically save you up to 71% off your cruise.
The site’s massive study examined 18,983 sailings by region with departures in 2017, and found a surprising trend: as the date of departure approaches, cruise prices fluctuate to a greater extent. Some regions even show up to a 71% price reduction on fares. However, there are huge differences between destinations to keep in mind.
Short-Term Planning Can Really Pay Off
According to Cruisewatch’s intensive data analysis of over 1.8 million data points, many of the world’s 15 cruise regions show the highest maximum price reduction between 75 and 55 days before departure. These include North America (71%), the Middle East (64%), South America (56%), and Southern Europe (59%).
“When booking a cruise, if cruisers are flexible with their cabin choices, they could save significant amounts of money simply by booking their cruise last minute,” explains Cruisewatch CEO and co-founder Markus Stumpe. “In fact, spontaneous travelers could save up to 61% on Hawaiian cruises by booking within 3 weeks of the departure date!”
If you’re wondering when to book a cruise to get the best price, you could soak up both the sun and the savings with short-term booking. Hawaii and Mexico are the best regions for this option. The best time to book Hawaiian cruises is 21 days before departure, and Mexican cruises can offer up to 46% off within 32 days prior to departure.
When to Book Caribbean Cruises for the Best Price
The Caribbean is America’s favorite cruise region, and this popular playground boasts maximum price reductions of 51% off when you book around 59 days before departure. Furthermore, the trend extends to the nearby region of Bermuda, where maximum price reductions of 46% off happen exactly 51 days before cruises set sail. This means that cruise enthusiasts looking for a dose of Vitamin D can save around half off their trip by booking at the right time.
Choose the Right Regions for Long-Term Planning
According to Cruisewatch, some regions maintain fairly consistent pricing.
“For those who like to plan ahead,” says Markus, “regions like Australia (35%), the South Sea (27%), and Alaska (19%) are good choices. These regions see relatively small price fluctuations, and they tend to happen 85 days before departure.”
However, some regions still offer fair price reductions and more planning time. These include:
- Northern Europe (45% off 70 days pre-departure)
- Galapagos cruises (39% off 79 days pre-departure)
- Asia (38% off 84 days pre-departure)
- Transatlantic or Transpacific cruises (41% off 73 days pre-departure)
While these regions may not offer as extreme price drops as Hawaii or the Caribbean, knowing when to take a cruise to these locations can still save travelers a significant amount of money.