Bargain Cruises

Believe it or not, cruises are considered one of the least expensive types of vacations around, mainly because just about all of the fun and entertainment can be found underneath one “roof.â€? However, just because a 12-day cruise to Europe may be cheaper than a trip to Europe by air, doesn’t necessarily mean regular cruises are cheap. The good news is — bargain cruises are and they are readily available, if you know where and when to look.

So what exactly is a bargain cruise? Depending on the individual, “bargain cruise� can mean a number of things. Some people feel that a cruise costing less than a week’s salary is a bargain, while others define it as a cruise that costs $100 or less per day. However you define bargain cruises, there are many ways to find the very best deals.

One of the first things to consider when searching for bargain cruises is season. If your travel times are flexible, the winter season is (hands down) the best time for bargain hunters to book a cruise. Some of the top bargain destinations during the winter months include: Athens, the Bahamas, Budapest, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Ireland, London, Paris, and Portugal, to name a few. In addition to amazing discounts on these winter cruises, passengers that book well in advance will enjoy even bigger discounts.

While booking winter cruises in advance can lead to deep discounts, booking last minute on other types of cruises can also work to your advantage. During other times of the year, such as the summer, cruises tend to fill up quickly. During the spring and fall months, cruises can fill up fast but they may not fill up as fast as summer cruises. This means, empty cabins that need to be filled (last minute), and surprise, surprise — deep discounts!

If you’re willing to wait it out, book several weeks before your cruise and you may get up to 75% off on your cruise vacation. It’s best to contact a cruise specialist to help you find your last minute cruise deal as they have access to dozens of last minute cruise deals at their fingertips.

For no-frills types or those looking for a unique cruise experience, there is another type of cruise that offers amazing discounts — freighter cruises. Freighter cruises, also known as cargo cruises, offer more than just thin crowds and a very informal, but comfortable atmosphere. Freighter cruises also offer major discounts on travel — sometimes for as little as $80 a day — all-inclusive! A great place to start your search for freighter cruises is with Freighter World Cruises, Inc. Visit www.freighterworld.com or call 800-531-7774. You can also check with your local travel agent for other cargo cruise options.

In addition to freighter cruises, another cruise type that offers deep discounts to amazing locations is a repositioning cruise. Cruise lines have to relocate their ships during certain times of the year and they offer huge discounts (and even credits) on these voyages. Prime time for repositioning cruises is during the spring and fall months.

The duration of the repositioning cruise can vary from as little as eight days or less up to 23 days or more. Try a 15-night Panama Canal repositioning cruise where you may visit places like Cartagena, Cabo San Lucas, and Grand Cayman, to name a few. Or, take a 23-night Scandinavia/Russia Trans Atlantic repositioning cruise while exploring Paris, Lisbon, Cork or Helsinki — all for less than $2,900.

Most cruise lines offer repositioning cruises, but a few of the popular lines in the bunch include: Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. You can contact any of these cruise lines directly or check with your local cruise travel agent to find the perfect repositioning cruise.

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