Incentives reel us in

Make no mistake, cruise lines want you to cruise. And if ever there is a time to give you a nudge along, it is immediately after the silly season. With the fading of the festive glow and a return to the practicalities of life and its pressures, we are now all susceptible to the dream of travel.

Recognising this, cruise lines are unveiling a gamut of bargains to bring their shiny temptations a little closer in to view.

Seabourn, Sea Cloud Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Princess Cruises have recently released their new brochures, packed with alluring destinations and savings to be had if you act now.

Seabourn has gone so far as to launch the Seabourn 2012 Signature Savings Event, which offers benefits and special amenities for those who book early on voyages throughout 2012 and 2013. Depending on the sailing, guests can nab savings of up to 50 per cent, receive complimentary suite upgrades and pre- or post-cruise hotel stays, acquire US$1,000 shipboard credit on premium suites and make additional savings of up to 15 per cent when combining back-to-back cruises.

And while voyages to exotic Caribbean or Mediterranean ports on a 19th century-style sailing ship decked out with all the luxuries of modernity are already indubitably enticing, the cost of such journeys is usually prohibitive. Sea Cloud Cruises, however, is now reeling us in with significant savings on its windjammer Sea Cloud II’s sailings between October 2012 and January 2013, but only if you book before June 30. Earlybirds can, for example, snatch up a €4,985 12-night cruise from Valencia, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for €2,995 – a saving of €1,990.

Azamara Club Cruises is considering your airfare considerations and offering flights from Australia to Europe starting from AU$499 when combined with selected cruises in Oceanview staterooms or higher bookings on Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Silversea Cruises has unveiled saving incentives in its recently released 2013 VoyageCollection that include onboard spending credits of up to $1,500 per suite.

At the other end of the incentive spectrum is Princess Cruises, which has just launched a new blog called “Inspired to Cruise: A Year of Reasons to Get Away From the Everyday” at www.InspiredToCruises.com. The blog will post stories from long long-time cruisers and first timers in which they share their inspiring cruise tales.

Cruise addicts beware.