To kick off wave season, Hotwire.com, a discount travel site, today announced their first ever Cruise Savings Indicator. An extension of the company’s Travel Savings Indicator, the Cruise Savings Indicator features the top five cruise destinations where prices have dropped the most. This guide is aimed to help cruisers score some of the best deals during wave season, which runs from December through March and is prime booking time as cruise lines are competing to fill cabins far ahead of embarkations.
“Recently, there has been significant shift as to where many cruise lines are sailing causing some stiff pricing competition to destinations that are seeing more traffic. This prompts some significant price drops, and lately we’ve seen them in destinations like Australia/New Zealand, Hawaii and Europe,” said Clem Bason, president of the Hotwire Group. “
1. Australia/New Zealand: The lands down under come in at first place as this cruise destination has seen more than a 35 percent increase in sailings being offered vs. last year. This rise in popularity has driven prices down, leading to double-digit savings on Royal Caribbean. Compared to this year, the average daily rates in 2012 for balcony cabins on Royal Caribbean are down 25 percent.
2. Hawaii: Hawaiian cruises have seen more than a 20 percent rise in sailings in the upcoming year, resulting in deal opportunities. Prices for interior and oceanview cabins on Celebrity Cruises have fallen 25-30 percent for sailings in 2012 as compared to this year.
3. Caribbean: Cruises throughout the Caribbean have remained stable over the last two years, but the prices have not. Travelers can find savings to these islands this wave season with average daily rates down 25 percent versus last year on Norwegian Cruise Line.
4. Pacific Coastal: Pacific Coastal cruises – from California to Canada - offer stellar what Hotwire calls stellar savings. On Celebrity Cruises, there are double digit savings on most cabins, and the average daily rates for 2012 have dropped 20 percent compared to 2011.
5. Repositioning Cruise: These sailings make the price drop list because travelers can book this type of cruise while netting some of the biggest discounts of the year. For 2012, Princess Cruises is offering double-digit savings on all cabin types and average daily rates are down more than 35 percent versus last year.
The Cruise Savings Indicator analyzed six cruise lines – Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The pricing comparisons are based on average prices between 11/30/10-12/4/10 for 2011 sailings as compared to average prices between 11/30/11-12/4/11 for 2012 sailings.