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Travel agents: Cruise lines unveiling "shocking" deals for Wave Season Печать E-mail
Новости - Зарубежные новости
Автор: Newsmaster   
08.01.2009 20:31
If ever you wanted to book a cruise, now's the time to do it. Travel agents say Wave Season has kicked off with some incredible deals.

"Now is definitely the time for budget-conscious travelers to book their cruise travel," says travel agent Bob Miller of Cruise Holidays of Alexandria in Virginia. "These incentives are bringing even luxury cruises within the budgets of many previous mass market and premium cruisers."

Miller says he's seeing "tremendous" bargains at high-end lines like Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas and Crystal Cruises as the companies offer unusual incentives to boost slumping bookings.

"Our leading seller, Oceania Cruises, by this time in past years would have sold through 80% or more of the year's Europe offerings," he notes. But this year, "with people waiting longer to book their travel, Oceania Cruises still has great availability on 2009 Europe cruises, and for the first time ever, has lowered its rates."

DEAL WATCH: A Europe cruise for under $40 a day

Cruise lines are hoping a strong Wave Season — the period between January and March when many cruisers book their voyages for the year — will make up for the sharp decline in bookings since September, and they're flooding the market with incentives to help things along.

Miller notes Oceania is offering $1,000 per person discounts on many 2009 Europe cruises. Regent Seven Seas, meanwhile, is throwing in free airfare and shore excursions for people who book select Europe cruises. And Crystal just announced a "Save Now, Save Later" incentive that gives customers who book select European voyages by March 31 up to a $1,500 per person discount.

Other cruise lines that traditionally don't discount heavily such as Royal Caribbean also are offering some hefty discounts, says travel agent Michele Keeley of Travel Leaders in Eden Prairie, Minn.

"Last week I booked a seven-night Southern Caribbean cruise on Adventure Of The Seas for just $566.00. .. including airport-to-ship transportation and all taxes & port charges," Keeley notes. "That breaks down to just $80 per person, per day — a fantastic value."

Keeley says Norwegian Cruise Line, in particular, is offering some "shocking" deals, particularly for the upcoming winter months. And she just booked a customer on a last-minute, 10-night Southern Caribbean cruise on a Celebrity ship, in premium Concierge Class, for just $1,138 per person — or $114 a day.

The best deals, no doubt, are for soon-to-depart voyages, says travel agent Diane Santana of Cruise Holidays at The Ranch in Colorado. For example, she says, she just booked a family for a seven-night spring break trip in March on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas for $419 per person.

"Prices seem to be low for last-minute dates, but we haven't noticed much difference in prices for cruises for dates that are more distant," she notes. "It seems the cruise lines are keeping prices steady for later dates for now, waiting to see how the economy looks and whether the ships will fill up."

Readers, what sort of deals are you seeing in the marketplace? And are the deals getting you booking? Share your finds below.

Найдено в интернете: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~r/UsatodaycomTravel-TopStories/~3/DHG8PFRuONk/2009-01-08-wave-season-deals_N.htm

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