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The Best Times to Book for Cruise Savings, by Destination

[st_content_ad]According to research from Germany-based Cruisewatch: “Booking the respective cruise destination at the right time can realistically save you up to 71 percent reductions off your cruise.”

While you see all sorts of reports about the “best time” to buy air tickets, you don’t often see comparable data for cruise savings. That’s a bit of a surprise, because a cruise can easily cost a lot more than an air ticket.

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To overcome this information deficit, Cruisewatch mined its data base and came up with some potentially useful figures. The reduction amounts from the standard brochure price and the best dates to score these reductions vary by region. Here’s when to book for the best cruise savings, depending on where you’re headed.

Best Times to Book for Cruise Savings:

  • North America: 71 percent reductions for bookings made 55-75 days in advance.
  • Middle East: 66 percent reductions for bookings made 55-75 days in advance.
  • Hawaii: 61 percent reductions for bookings made 21 days in advance.
  • Southern Europe: 59 percent reductions for bookings made 55-75 days in advance.
  • South America: 56 percent reductions for bookings made 55-75 days in advance.
  • Caribbean: 51 percent reductions for bookings made 59 days in advance.
  • Mexico: 46 percent reductions for bookings made 32 days in advance.
  • Northern Europe: 45 percent reductions for bookings made 70 days in advance.
  • Transatlantic or Transpacific: 41 percent reductions for bookings made 73 days in advance.
  • Galapagos Islands: 39 percent reductions for bookings made 79 days in advance.
  • Asia: 38 percent reductions for bookings made 84 days in advance.

cruise savings cruisewatch

The report suggests cruise savings are not as substantial for Alaska, Australia, and South Seas cruises, but does suggest that the best time to buy is 85 days in advance.

How far in advance do you usually book your cruise? Comment below.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuse every day at SmarterTravel.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on MyBusinessTravel.com, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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