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How to save money when booking a cruise holiday

Author: Harriet Mallinson

Published on:

Updated on:

Cruise holiday prices could be set to soar in 2022, experts have warned. Luckily we have nine top tips to help you save when booking cruises next year.

Cruise costs may well rocket in 2022 as the travel industry recovers from the Covid pandemic.

As demand for cruising rises, cruise lines will not need to discount as much as previously, a cruise expert has warned.

The costs of fuel for ships, onboard food and drink, company insurance and staffing could increase - which may, in turn, be reflected in fares.

What's more, holidaymakers themselves may have to pay more while away due to fluctuating exchange rates and rising insurance charges.

Increasing indirect costs, such as the cost of flights to overseas cruise departure points, and taxis and transfers to ports, may further deplete the bank.

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Tony Andrews from specialist cruise travel agency cruise.co.uk said: “With travel continuing to open up, more and more of us are really looking forward to our next cruise.

"Unfortunately, would-be holidaymakers should be aware that some prices on 2022 getaways, in cruise and across all of travel, are likely to be higher.

"There are so many variables that could push prices up, some of which feel almost inevitable, such as food and insurance hikes, and others which may be announced at short notice, such as fuel rises.

Tony urged travellers to book their cruise early before costs rise.

Here are the rest of the cruise.co.uk top tips for saving money on your cruise holiday.

Couple laptop
Cruise holidays: Tony urged travellers to book their cruise early before costs rise. Credit: Shutterstock

How to save money on a cruise

1. Book early

2. Book an inside cabin

3. Book a guaranteed cabin

4. Book an older ship

5. Pre-pay your tips

6. Buy a beverage package

7. Travel off-peak

8. Book a repositioning cruise

9. Book a cruise & tour package

Cocktails
Cruise holidays: Buying a beverage package in advance can help save money. Credit: Shutterstock

Booking early

Early bird prices for cruises can be up to 50 percent less so if you know which ship, itinerary or cabin you want then booking in advance will give you a greater chance of nabbing the lower prices.

Booking inside cabins

Staying in an inside cabin can save you a considerable amount of money. If you're the sort of person who intends to be out and about exploring destinations or making the most of the communal areas then it could work. You won't get a view but the lower price could well make that sacrifice work it.

- READ MORE: How to pick the best cruise ship cabin -

Booking guaranteed cabins

A guaranteed cabin is essentially a mystery cabin - you don't know which one you're in until just before the cruise, with its position and deck number chosen for you. If you’re happy to book on this basis, the majority of cruise lines will offer these cabins at a discounted rate.

Booking older ships

Older ships generally offer cheaper prices than the flashy newer ones but still provide the same level of comfort and fab itineraries. If you’re interested in a particular destination and aren’t too worried about the ship you sail on, it's a good option.

Cruise cabin
Cruise holidays: Booking an inside cabin or a guaranteed cabin can help save money. Credit: Shutterstock

Pre-paying tips

Paying gratuities in advance can work out cheaper than shelling out onboard at the end of the voyage - check with your cruise line what tipping options there are.

Buying a drinks package

Beverage packages often offer good value for money and have varying levels, so you can order and save based on your preferences.

Travelling off-peak

Steer clear of cruises at peak times - such as summer, school holidays, Christmas and Easter. Sailing in the off-peak ‘shoulder season’ months of February, October and November tends to be cheaper.

- READ MORE: Do you need special travel insurance for a cruise? -

Booking a repositioning cruise

A cruise ship will typically stay in one area for a season (for instance, the Mediterranean in the summer), then sail to a different area for another season (for example, the Caribbean in the winter).

When a ship sails from one area to the next in preparation for the new season, these ‘repositioning’ cruises are still open to book up. They will feature a majority of days on-board the ship rather than calling at different destinations, but are available at a reduced cost.

Booking a cruise & tour package

If you're looking to extend your holiday with a stay on land before or after your cruise, take advantage of a cruise and tour package.

Booking everything at once - including flights, transfers, hotel stays and guided tours - is often better value than buying all the elements individually.

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