Cruise holidays are a relaxing and luxurious way to see the world. There’s no slumming it in hostels, backpacking between countries or eating 2-minute noodles for dinner. Instead, glide from one port to another – stopping off to spend up to a day or more in each new location, dining on the finest cuisine and enjoying the type of high-octane entertainment that Broadway itself would be proud of.
It might not come at backpacker’s prices but for what you get in return, cruise holidays represent excellent value for money. And given the sheer number of cruise operators and liners in today’s market, it’s also possible to book cheap cruises on many different itineraries, especially around the ever-popular Mediterranean.
Many major tour operators either have their own cruise liners or act as a travel agent, booking seats on specialist liners – for instance, when you book Thomas Cook cruises you will be travelling on ships under such brands as Royal Caribbean International and P&O Cruises. Each company and liner differs enormously, so you can choose between the offerings to decide what suits you and your budget.
Perhaps the best way to secure a low-cost cruise is to book at the last minute and snap up a real bargain just a couple of weeks before the departure date. Like package holidays, tour operators prefer to see cruise cabins go for peanuts rather than risk having empty spaces, so you can usually enjoy huge discounts on cruise holidays by booking late. Or for the best range of choice and availability, book well in advance – as soon as the brochure hits the shelves – and take advantage of early bird discounts as well as the chance to pay off the cost in installments.
Whatever type of cruise you go for, you’re in for a real treat.