It’s official: Cruise fares down by 22%

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It’s hardly news that the cost of cruising has been falling for several years, but now we have concrete proof. A study by an online travel agency has calculated that the average fare has been cut by almost a quarter since 2008.
Cruise specialist www.bonvoyage.co.uk gathered information by taking account of statistics from its own website over the past three years and by polling 1,274 people who had been on a cruise five years ago and had booked another for this year or next.
The data revealed the average fare now is £1,248, a full 22 per cent less than the £1,600 paid in 2008.
One significant reason, says Bonvoyage, is that cruise lines have developed more ways to increase onboard spending opportunities – such as specialty restaurants and sophisticated spa treatments.
This led to 46 per cent of those questioned believing they would be wary of added costs. Despite the fare reductions, however, 35 per cent commented that they had noticed improvements to the quality of food and entertainment during the past five years.
Lower fares have, naturally, attracted new-to-cruise customers, with 24 per cent giving them as a reason for booking.
Steph Curtin, Cruise Development Manager of Bonvoyage said:
“Historically, future bookings made more than a year in advance of sailing were very popular and there was always a definitive trend of when these bookings were made.
“This has dropped dramatically and we have a seen a huge surge in ‘last minute’ deals that are booked any time from six months to two weeks prior to sailing because cruise lines have to reduce prices to counteract the lower number of future bookings.”
The survey demonstrates just how much of a problem the cruise companies face in restoring fares to their previous levels, and in persuading customers to book early.
It will be interesting to see how they address these issues in the coming months.

By | 2013-08-02T08:40:07+00:00 2 August 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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