The unsightly cost of flights is impacting where and when people choose to cruise.

Several travel agents told Cruise Passenger it’s becoming increasingly difficult to book economy, with the majority being sold out forcing travellers to consider flying in business or first class.

For example, the best price for an economy fare with a departure date of January 10 and a return date of January 2023 is with Etihad and costs $3,318.

For the same travel dates, Emirates’ flight price is $3,405, Qantas will cost $3,707, Singapore Airlines is $3,964 and Sri Lankan Airlines $3,964.

By comparison, the best business class fare is on Sri Lankan Airlines and costs $7,554. Business class on Singapore Airlines costs $10,911, Etihad costs $13, 228, Emirates $13,400 and Qantas costs $14,911,

Sri Lankan Airlines does not sell first class. Singapore Airlines charges $18,853, Etihad $20,725, Emirates $16,850 and Qantas charges $18,061.

Using Qantas as an example, a business class ticket costs four times more than economy with a first-class ticket almost five times more.

A couple of agents we spoke to said that to reduce costs, travellers are booking well in advance for travel in 2023 or 2024.

Traveller Michelle Morris said she was originally going to book a world cruise but instead only booked half the segments because of the cost of flights.

She said “I was planning to book a world cruise in 2024, however I’ve only booked a half world cruise due to the fare increase in the last two months.”

She added that she would have needed to fly to London and then sail back to Brisbane.

Rose Bay Travel agent, Miriam (who didn’t want to give her last name), said that the agency hadn’t booked many cruises.

Neither had Travel Care Agency in St Mary’s.

Landmark Travel joint owner and director Gerd Wilmer agreed that flights were having an impact on cruise bookings. “The higher flight prices are definitely having an impact,” he said. “It does put a brake on some people’s travel plans. I can see from the loadings from cruise lines that nobody is full at the moment.”

“Some of our clients are not travelling and some are delaying their travel until 2023 or in some cases not going.”