When Is the Best Time to Book a Cruise?

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Dec 05, 2017

What’s the best time to book a cruise – when it first goes on sale or just before the departure date? Kate Phillips quizzes two experts.

LAST MINUTE

Fiona Dalton, Managing director, Uniworld

“Booking last-minute works for a younger demographic: time-poor professionals who suddenly have a chance to travel but may not have the time to address the individual components of their trip, such as booking hotels, restaurants and tours. A cruise is a one-stop shop that sorts all of those aspects for you. Sure, you might not get the cabin you wanted. But if you can get on, say, our Amsterdam-to-Bucharest cruise, which goes to nine countries, without any planning, you won’t be complaining. Booking last minute may – may – help you score a discount but it’s not guaranteed.”

MONTHS OUT

Lisa Bolton, General manager of product, Scenic Cruises

“Booking ahead is all about getting what you want: the destination, the vessel, the cabin. You just don’t get the choice if you leave it to the last minute. It also gives you more time to prepare for your trip, particularly if you’re going somewhere like Antarctica or Greenland, so you can enjoy yourself to the fullest. It’s also about making sure you’re physically well and fit enough to undertake such a journey. Booking ahead helps you plan your budget, too. The cruising demographic is older and they love to plan.”

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