Ever wonder when prices on cruises are the cheapest for each cruise line? A new study by CruiseWatch.com shows how many weeks before a sailing when prices are the lowest for 11 different cruise lines.
CruiseWatch.com used artificial intelligence to determine that prices for cruise sailings are greatly reduced on average five weeks before setting sail. However, there are significant differences between the major cruise lines regarding timing and discounts.
Even though cruise lines try to optimize their prices and secure long-term bookings from customers, they usually end up with a good number of unsold cabins close to the sailing date. In order to fill those cabins, they often start reducing prices closer to departure, which means that customers can benefit from huge discounts. These savings are pushed even further by additional ships entering the cruise market.
Cruise price discounts for the major cruise lines (the data for other cruise lines is also available) range from 22% up to as much as 59%. Holland America Line offers the highest discounts at 59%, immediately followed by Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises (each 55%), Azamara Club Cruises (54%), Cunard (52%), and Celebrity Cruises (46%). The club of below-40% reduction includes Royal Caribbean Cruises (36%), Costa Cruise Line (31%), Carnival Cruise Line (25%), Disney Cruise Line (24%), and MSC Cruises (22%).
Essentially, you should always book short-term to get these kinds of discounts, especially when you can get hot deals in the last 10 days before departure (like with Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises).
Discounts are specific to cabin type
Cruisewatch went even further to analyze the discounts offered per cabin type for each cruise line in the study. What they found was that interior cabins feature the highest discounts closer to departure, followed by oceanview and balcony cabins. Suites receive the lowest discounts of all cabin types.
Cruisewatch.com offers a free price drop monitoring system that utilizes big data and machine learning to help customers find the perfect time to book their cruise. Users can get notified automatically when prices are reduced or when good deals are coming up with their free cruise price alerts. They also offer 100% free, automatic forecasts on when to book a cruise for the best price on their website.