The plunging Australian dollar doesn’t have to be all bad news for the Australian cruiser.
Going on a cruise is a great way to keep holiday spending in check – particularly if you’ve locked in your overseas holiday at a fixed price.
Book early and book everything at a fixed price is the advice of most travel agents – especially drinks packages and shore excursions.
Or book an Australian homeported ship and pay everything in Aussie dollars.
Carnival Australia spokesman, David Jones told News.com.au: “Cruising can weather a falling dollar better than other types of holidays because the accommodation, transport, meals and entertainment are all included in the fare so that gives holidaymakers peace of mind over the cost of their holiday.”
Mr. Jones also said that by travelling on Australian based lines, you don’t have to worry about foreign exchange shifts.
Carl Frier, managing director of Cruise1st, one of Australia’s leading online specialists, told Cruise Passenger: “I still think overseas packages represent good value, but lock in excursions, gratuities and drinks packages. Three drinks or a bottle of wine over dinner means a drinks package has paid for itself.
“Locking prices in now means peace of mind and you won’t have to worry about a big credit card bill at the end of your cruise.”
There are signs savvy cruisers are doing just that.
Spokesperson for Oceania Cruises said, “We haven’t seen any decrease in sales. In fact, the last fortnight has been particularly strong for us.”
Choosing the right destination is another way of beating currency fluctuations.
Asia and Europe is where the Aussie dollar continues to have strength. The dollar holds up relatively well to the Euro. The endless options of exotic destinations within the euro zone won’t leave you deprived of choice.
According to Traveller.com.au, places outside the euro zone like Croatia, Poland, Turkey, and Russia are also appealing destinations for money savers.
Russia in particular is a great bargain – with its river cruise industry eager for foreign tourists and the Aussie buying 50 per cent more roubles than last year.
Throughout Southeast Asia, the Aussie dollar holds high ground. Recommended destinations are Thailand, Indonesia, China, Singapore, India and Vietnam.
Australian-based cruises, include P&O Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and True North Cruises take Australian dollars.
Homeported ships are already popular. Figures from Tourism Research Australia show that in the last 12 months to September 2014, domestic trips rose by 5 percent to 79.7 million trips.
The getaway can remain a reality by simply applying smart travel tactics.
Skyscanner Australia manager Dave Boyte suggests buying a prepaid travel credit card pre-loaded with foreign currency.
Expedia spokeswoman Amee Evans: “Be flexible with your travel dates to get an off-peak deal.”
Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), Jayson Westbury: “Use cash, and book domestic.”
Tiffany Neidhardt, VP of sales & marketing, Cruises-N-More says to buy dinner packages and spa treatments in advance.
Kevin Weisner, Vice President of CruiseDeals.com suggests packing light to avoid increased cost of checking in bags, and extra expenses on laundry services.
Give us your favourite saving tips at cruisepassenger.com.au