Why the best holiday bargains this summer are on board cruise ships

/, Cruise News/Why the best holiday bargains this summer are on board cruise ships

Continuing pressure to keep fares low in order to fill its ships has forced Carnival Corporation – parent company of Cunard, P&O and Princess Cruises – to slash its financial expectations this year.
The company warned that earnings per share are likely to be around $1.45-$1.65, compared with its earlier guidance of $1.80 to $2.10.
Carnival shares, which are traded on the London and New York stock exchanges, fell by as much as 15 per cent in early trading today – going in the opposite direction to the FTSE index which has reached its highest level since 2000.
In recent months, Carnival Cruise Line has suffered a succession of events that have conspired to deter US passengers, its largest market by far. Last week it announced it would have no ships sailing in Europe during 2014 – largely because not enough Americans are prepared to fly across the Atlantic for their holidays.
In addition to adverse publicity from fires and power failures on Carnival Triumph and Carnival Dream, the company has pledged to spend up to $700 million on installing improved back-up systems on its 24strong fleet.
The company’s tribulations are having a knock-on effect on other cruise lines, as the continuing availability of unprecedentedly low fares for this summer’s cruise holidays demonstrates. Voyages to Iceland and the fjords are particular bargains – perhaps Brits fed up with months of grey weather are looking for guaranteed sunshine instead.
Among the latest deals are:

  • A 14-night cruise on P&O’s Arcadia departing from Southampton on July 7 and heading for Dublin, three ports in Iceland, and a further three destinations in Norway. Fares from £699 per person.
  • A seven-night cruise on Thomson Spirit, departing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne on June 2 and visiting Bergen, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Olden and Flam. Fares from £449.
  • A 14-night cruise on Celebrity Eclipse, departing from Southampton on July 6 for Reykjavik and Akureyri in Iceland, Klaksvik in the Faroes and Geiranger, Flam, Stavanger and Kristiansand in Norway. Fares from £799 including all-inclusive drinks up to the value of £250.
  • An 18-night cruise to the North Cape and Russia’s White Sea on Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Discovery. Departing from Harwich on June 16 and visiting Bergen, the Lofoten Islands, Honningsvaeg, Kirkenes, Archangel, Tromsø and Florø. Fares from £1,399 for the first passenger; the second travels free – in effect less than £39 per person per night.
  • A seven-night Fjords and Waterfalls cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria. Leaving Southampton on June 30 and calling at Stavanger, Olden, Geiranger and Bergen. Fares from £529.
  • Or head south in August for a 14-night cruise to the wine regions of France, Spain and Portugal. Quest for Adventure leaves Dover on August 1 and visits St Malo, Guernsey, L’Orient, an overnight stay in Bordeaux, Bilbao, Gijon, La Coruna, Oporto, Lisbon and Malaga. Fares from £1,799 include flight back to UK and VIP chauffeur-driven car from airport to home.
  • And in the Med, a seven-night cruise on MSC Splendida. Fly from a London airport to Genoa on June 15, then cruise to Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Palermo and Civitavecchia (for Rome). Fares from £699.
  • With fares like this, it’s almost impossible to understand why 65 per cent of British holidaymakers are planning a summer staycation in the Lake District, Cornwall or Devon, according to a survey commissioned by Travelodge.
    Show me a Travelodge which includes entertainment and unlimited meals in its daily rates – as cruise ships do – and I’ll treat you to dinner there.

    By | 2017-06-15T15:59:33+00:00 21 May 2013|Cruise Deals, Cruise News|0 Comments

    About the Author:

    John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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