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‘You can get a three-night cruise at the same price as one night in a hotel’

As fuel prices, airfares and hotels skyrocket in price across the globe, most types of travel are becoming more and more inaccessible as even COVID savings struggle to cover the cost of a holiday.

However, there’s one type of travel that’s as affordable as ever.

Cruise prices are remaining steady from pre-pandemic rates  – and while most cruisers cruise because they love to do, the economic benefits are making getting on the ocean all the more attractive right now.

Indeed, one travel agent told us she got a three-night cruise in America for the price of a one-night stay in a hotel room.

Sharon Summerhayes, owner of Deluxe Cruise and Travel says: “With fuel rising and the huge rise in airfares and hotels right now, cruising is definitely one of the cheaper ways to travel.  Cruising has always has been great value for money, but even more-so now. 

“Thankfully even if you’re traveling overseas, there are fantastic air/land/cruise deals to save you a packet on your holiday.”

Owner of iTravel Penrith Belle Goldie is seeing a similar trend. 

“Current cruise prices are on par with pre covid pricing, I haven’t noticed a significant difference. It’s great value for money.

“Clients are looking for a one stop shop holiday with everything included as to not have to keep dipping into their pockets – especially with kids.”

“Cruising is now become the most popular mode of transport within Europe and the USA due to the price of airfares being so high. There are so many deals right now, it’s a crazy time.”

Ms Goldie has even just been on a roadtrip through the USA and found herself a lot more out of pocket than she is on a cruise ship.

“I have not long come back from a road trip in the USA – I can tell you the cost of fuel – hotels and food is crazy right now.

“I got a three-night cruise in the USA for cheaper than one night hotel stay in Atlanta.”

According to Business Insider through the rest of 2022 there are 45 different cruises sailing at less than $70 a day and deal aggregator Cruise Sheet has seen a 17% in average cruise fares since 2019.

Cruise Sheet has also broken its record number of bookings each of the past three months as demand for last minute cruise bookings soar.

David Crooks, vice president of product and operations told Business Insider: “I tell anyone that’s interested in going on a vacation right now that it’s a great time to go on a cruise, price-wise and because ships aren’t full.

“People are not only getting great value, they’re getting a really good experience.”

Europe price comparison: Tours vs Cruises

While cruising out of Australia is undoubtedly cheaper than heading all the way out to Europe, if you’re going to fly over anyway, what comes out cheaper?

Cruise Passenger has crunched the numbers. Here are some of the prices for a tour more catered to young people with Intrepid Travel, a specialised seniors only tour with Odyssey Traveller and a land tour with Scenic. All of these tours are for 2022 and none of these prices include flights from Australia.

Intrepid Travel – 15 days – Explore Spain & Portugal – From $4510 – $300 per day

Odyssey Traveller – 25 days – Mediterranean Islands Small Group Tour – From $17,850 – $714 per day

Scenic –  22 days Ancient Empires of Greece & Turkey – From $12,075 – $548 per day

Here are some cruise prices for 2022. For larger ship lines such as NCL and Royal Caribbean, as well as the cost of unrivaled luxury with Regent Seven Seas.

Regent Seven Seas – Athens to Lisbon – 13 days – $9263 – $712 per day

Royal Caribbean – Italy, Greece & France Cruise – 10 days – $1455 – $146 per day

NCL – Mediterranean: Italy, Spain and Portugal to Rome – 10 days – $1411 – $141 per day

As you can see, if you opt for absolute luxury, then your price still comes out slightly cheaper than a tour – but you get so much more.  If you’re sailing with a bigger line there’s no comparison. Especially with price per day generally dropping considerably if you aim for a longer cruise.

As well as this, you can get purchase a cruise-and-fly deal, to help manage with rising flight prices as well as get the majority of your travel budget into the same bill.

Kayak puts the average price of a European hotel room at $212 over the past two weeks. Big ship lines like Royal Caribbean, NCL, Princess Cruises, P&O, Virgin Voyages, Carnival Cruises, MSC Cruises and more all have cruises available that cost less than this per day.

Ms Summerhayes shares her best cruise and fly deals.

Celebrity Apex 15 Night air/land/cruise package with 12 night cruise from Amsterdam return to the best of Scandinavia including flights, private transfers and 3 nights 4 Star in Amsterdam from $5523 per person. Cruise departs 25th May 2023.

Norwegian Viva 15 night air/land/cruise package. Includes flights with Emirates, 3 nights/4 star in Athens, 9 night cruise aboard Norwegian Viva taking in the best of Greece, Turkey and Italy, all 4 Free At Sea offers (drinks/specialty dining/shore ex credit/wifi) on the cruise, then 3 nights/4 star in Rome and private transfers.  From $6436 per person twin share.  Cruise departs Athens 12th July 2023. 

Celebrity Beyond 13 night air/land/cruise package. Includes flights with Singapore Airlines, 3 nights/4 star accommodation in Rome, sightseeing tour, transfers and 10 nights aboard Celebrity’s newest ship, Beyond, taking in Italy, Greece, Montenegro and Croatia.  Cruise departs 14th August 2023.  From $5374 per person twin share.

A special cruise-only fare that has caught my eye is the 21 Night cruise aboard Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam departing Rome via Croatia, Greece, Albania, Spain, Portugal and crossing the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale.  Price per person is $3720 per person for a Veranda stateroom.  Cruise departs 29th October 2023.

Ms Goldie says if you really want to strike a deal you should avert your eyes to NCL.“NCL have amazing pricing out right now , to Europe especially –  up to 40% Off on all cruises – all over the world. From glacier-gazing in Alaska to sunset strolls in the Greek Isles to getting your hula on in Hawaii, now’s the best time to book your dream holiday with NCL. The best part, you can also enjoy a Free Beverage Package, Free Specialty Dining Package, Free Excursions Credit and much more! Plus, enjoy US$200 onboard credit. This offer won’t last long, so book today!”