You don’t have to remortgage the house to live the high life on a luxury cruise. We asked the experts for their top tips for getting the best deal
Michael Steffl, Head of International Sales, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
“Planning your trip and booking early can pay dividends with a five per cent discount on Europa 2 (if it’s made 210 days before and three per cent off your next voyage if you make it on board). We often have special offers for selected cruises on our website such as a 50 per cent discount for the second person sharing a cabin for two. Europa 2 is a smaller ship and can call at more exclusive ports and, along with a pool party with entertainment on each cruise, there is no surcharge for speciality restaurants and no set seating times. Guests have more space, flexibility, choice and freedom.” (hl-cruises.com)
Andy Harmer, SVP Membership & Director, CLIA UK & Ireland
“Getting the best from our holidays is an important consideration, so many cruise guests choose to upgrade their experience. There are many ways to do that, for example, in higher graded rooms, with drinks packages or extended stays. The wave period in spring also sees cruise lines offering their best deals for cruises throughout the whole year. This can include free cabin upgrades, onboard spending and great savings, so it’s also a great time to bag a deal. The best advice is to book early and plan ahead, and check with your travel agent for the best opportunities.” (cruiseexperts.org)
Dominic Keely, Senior Marketing Executive, Scenic
“On an all-inclusive river cruise with Scenic a lot of the typical upgrades come as standard — all-inclusive dining and beverages, your own personal butler and included daily excursions, just to name a few. With three deck levels to choose from on Scenic you might think it’s only the view that changes, but by selecting a suite on the Diamond Deck – usually only £100 to £200 more for exactly the same suite – you will receive a few extra treats. These range from complimentary laundry concierge to exclusive invitations to dine at Table La Rive, Scenic’s six-course restaurant. They can make all the difference to your cruise.” (scenic.co.uk)
Carly Perkins, Marketing Manager, Seabourn
“There is so much already included on a Seabourn cruise, however there are some extra values we can offer on board. For example, dining in our new The Grill by Thomas Keller is complimentary on Seabourn; at Keller’s restaurants in the US one would pay Michelin-star prices for a meal – just make sure to reserve once on board. We recommend guests book our Ventures by Seabourn excursions early too, as these immersive expedition-led kayak tours sell out quickly. The best thing to do is to keep an eye on the website for seasonal offers.” (seabourn.com)
Giles Hawke, CEO Cosmos Tours and Cruises, Avalon River Cruises and Archers Holidays
“With Avalon, the best way to secure the best deal on the cabin you want is to book early. Right now we have unlimited mileage on our VIP home pick-up service. Booking early also secures the stateroom you want in the part of the ship that suits you best. We do ometimes have late spaces available and it is worth keeping an eye out for deals close to sailing, but the choice is more limited and often the rise in flying costs closer to departure can make the holiday expensive.” (avaloncruises.co.uk)
Read part one of How to Upgrade Your Cruise.
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