Thursday, 5 July 2012

Waves and Cycles

Like everything, cruising seems to come in waves (no pun intended!)  The cycle changes from year to year and what is new and fresh one season is old news the next. Popular cruise destinations are no exception.

 It wasn’t more than a year ago when we were seeing cruise lines introduce new ships to their fleets and an added capacity (more than ever before) deployed for European sailings.  It was gamble on part of the cruiselines but one that paid off.  Part of the success may have been contributed to the strong Canadian dollar and the weakening Euro making it an advantageous time for European travel by land and sea.
Here we are in the middle of summer 2012 and the story that unfolds this cruising this season is drastically different.    For Europe, what seems to be the emerging trend this year is that cruise prices are being slashed, cabin upgrades are being offered to repeat and first time cruisers alike and bonus credits toward the airfare are being applied.  What does all this mean?  Well, it’s simple….INCREDIBLE savings on European cruises including the Mediterranean for 2012! 

 Alaska seems to be the cruise vacation of choice this summer and from the increased interest I’ve noticed in my own agency I would agree that Alaska is much in demand.  Cruiselines follow the trends and will move their ships to compete in high demand markets from one season to the next.  Oceania for example, has already indicated that they will reduce the number of sailings in Europe and concentrate more on Alaskan itineraries for the 2013 season.  Fast forward 12 months from now and no one can say for sure if it was a risk worth taking but one thing is guaranteed;  a constant ebb and flow, or waves if you will of popularity.  Sometimes the cruiselines get it right but sometimes not.  When they don’t, it is leaving excellent opportunity for a cruise destination that is offering fantastic deals!  So, make a list of the places you’d like to visit and then speak with a qualified travel consultant.  That agent can see emerging trends, sales and bonus offers and is there to help you plan an unforgettable cruise experience!