Ever wondered what is the best time to book? We did, and looked at more than 4 million price changes to find out. According to our new comprehensive study, there are many factors at play when it comes to price. The cruise line, the actual cruise, and the time you book. During 2016 we analyzed 3,000 cruises on a cabin level. And focussed especially on how many days before departure the best prices could be found.
The results of the study, with over 4,000,000 data points gives a pretty clear view of pricing strategies of the cruise lines. Giving us a strong indication of when to book to get the best cruise deals.
For 56% of cruises, booking within 100 days of departure brought the best prices. For 19% booking early was the best option. Only 25% of cruises were found to have their best price between these two times.
Nina Stumpe, a cruise enthusiast and our co-founder gives us some valuable tips…
“It is worth knowing which cruise lines offer better value if you book shortly before departure. Sign up for cruise deals and price alerts. Then you’ll know immediately when deals have been released.”
“However, if you have your heart set on a particular cruise and a certain type of cabin then it’s best to book early. Only book late if you are prepared to be flexible. Once you have booked, it’s wise to still keep an eye on the prices. Keep checking them. If they fall after you’ve booked, many cruise lines will offer you the difference in on-board credit if you contact them.”
Book Carnival in advance for best cruise deals. Book Windstar and Holland America later
There are surprisingly big differences between the pricing strategies of the different cruise lines. Crystal Cruises and Disney are almost never at their cheapest during the last 100 days before departure.
However, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity all usually have their best deals within the last 100 days.
Some companies offer their best prices just 50 days before departure. If your nerves can take it you can get some great deals. These companies include Costa, Norwegian, Holland America and Windstar.
Finally, there are the companies that offer the best prices somewhere in the middle of these time frames. These include MSC, Seadream (which seldom reduces prices) and Oceania.
“Transparent prices are key to booking the best rates. We offer our customers free automatic notifications of price changes and re-available cabin types. We also provide an overview of the historical price development per ship and cabin type. ” says Nina Stumpe.
Price History by Cruise Ship
We are also offering detailed insights into the price history on an individual ship level. Simply navigate to your favorite cruise line via the menu above, select your ship and click on the tab “price history”.
Next generation cruise search with Cruisewatch.com
Our search engine Cruisewatch.com offers consumers free price drop monitoring and processes massive amounts of data. We use intuitive software that will help consumers find the perfect cruise at the best price. Users can choose to receive automatic alerts when prices are reduced or when good deals are on the horizon.
“Cruise lines invest massive amounts of resources into revenue optimization. We are leveling the playing field and offering consumers up-to-date technology. This helps them make the right decisions,” says our co-founder.
We live up to our motto… RIGHT CRUISE. RIGHT TIME. RIGHT PRICE.
You can find more valuable resources on our website. For instance, have you ever wondered if it is cheaper to go on a cruise than to have a stay-at-home vacation? You can find the answer here. Consumers often wonder how far in advance to book their cruises. We answered that question in this blog post. Surprisingly, there is one day of the week when you can find the best prices on cruise tickets. Find out which day it is by reading this post. You are interested in getting up to 65% cruise price reduction by choosing the right cruise line? See more.
See all current Price Drops