According to several cruise line CEOs, cruise prices may have reached their low point and may be poised to head upward. If that's the case, now is the time to book that incredible cruise deal before it's history. Don't wait until it's too late.
Speaking with a group of cruise writers last weekend, Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan stated that, "The pricing has started to show limited signs of moving in the right direction." According to Sheehan, the market bottom for cruise prices has been reached. "We haven't seen any deterioration (in pricing) in the last couple months," Sheehan said.
Cruise prices dropped precipitously last fall as a result of the economic crisis and have remained at extraordinarily low levels throughout the spring and summer. This is particularly true for Alaska cruises, which are very low this year. Some 7-night Alaska cruises are currently running at $349 per person for the least expensive inside cabin.
Last month, Carnival Corporation CEO Micky Arison indicated that rock-bottom cruise prices may be on their way up. "We have started tweaking pricing on a variety of brands, said Arison. "Pricing is being taken up." In its June conference call with Wall Street analysts, Carnival executives stated that third and fourth quarter cruise prices are still much lower this year than they were a year ago. They indicated that demand for cruises is beginning to improve, however, and expected that prices have already started to go higher.
So what does this all mean? If you've been dreaming about taking a cruise, now might be a good time to lock in that deal. This is particularly true for Alaska cruises, since cruise rates are very low this year and there will be fewer ships deployed to Alaska next year. Given supply and demand considerations, cruise experts believe that Alaska cruise prices will be much higher next year.
If you're looking for cruise sales and specials from major cruise lines, talk with your favorite travel agent and take a look at sites such as VacationsToGo.com, Cruise.com, CruisesOnly.com, Cruises.com, as well as major online booking sites like Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz. Auction sites, such as SkyAuction, sometimes have some good deals. At CruiseCompete.com, you can allow cruise agents to bid for your business.
Specialty cruise lines and smaller companies are also offering great deals, such as those listed below:
2-for 1 Greek Isles Cruises: Variety Cruises' Zeus Casual Cruise Line is offering a two-for-one cruise special, valid on selected sailings through September 17, 2009. This deal is available on the following 2009 sailing dates: July 16 & 23, August 6, 13 & 20, and September 3 & 17, 2009. The 7-night cruises depart from Rhodes Town and visit Nissiros, Kalymnos, Kos, Halki, Symi and Lindos. Fares begin at $872 per person, per week (not including port charges and shore excursions.) For more information, visit www.varietycruises.com or call 1-800-319-7776 in the United States.
50% Off River Barge Cruises: ROW Adventures is offering 50% off on select river barging departures in France and Ireland. For example, the July 26th departure of the Shannon Elizabeth II is available for 50% off and river barge cruises in the Luciole & Burgundy region of France is $1000 off per person through the end of July, 2009. For more information, visit www.rowadventures.com or call 800-451-6034.