Four Reasons Why Cruise Prices May Never Be Lower

We are seeing right now a perfect time for booking a cruise, particularly if you can leave at the last-minute. Obviously that is not feasible for everyone. But retirees, people with flexible work schedules, or perhaps people who were planning on a vacation soon and haven’t quite nailed it down, now may be the time to take a cruise, particularly to the Mediterranean Area. So why is now the perfect time to book a cruise? It is all about supply and demand.

The long-term trend for the cruise industry is going up, and has been since the late 1980s. That’s when the huge cruise ships started to be built-in anticipation of the large demand that this niche of vacationing would bring. They were right, as more ships were built and more areas were covered by cruise lines, more people became cruise-happy. Since 2001 nine or more newly built ships every year have been added just catering to North American clientele. In 2011 more than 19 million passengers worldwide took a cruise.

There are at least four reasons why right now is your optimum time to take a cruise:

  1. Demand is low. There are several reasons for this, but the economy is a big one. People are still leery about spending too much, but all of those cabins have already been built, and the cruise lines want to fill them. They feel if they can get you on board at a rock-bottom price, you’ll spend money voluntarily at the casino or purchasing wine with dinner, normally not covered in your original cost to book. That doesn’t mean you have to make those purchases, and even if you didn’t take the cruise you still would have some cost for food.

The second reason why demand is low is the devastating Concordia tragedy off the coast of Italy last year, and it has gotten more than a few people nervous about cruise ships. Like all disasters that are extremely rare, memories will fade and people will get past those fears and start booking. But for now it means empty cabins.

  1. New ships are being built, meaning discounts on older ships. With these newer ships coming on board and demand in a slump, the older ships are the ones to look for that will have the best deals. Some of these “older ships” just a few years ago were the fleets’ star attractions, and like getting a deal on a late-model used car it will be your best value.
  2. Rising fuel costs. Most analysts predict fuel prices to continue to rise, meaning that in the future the cruise lines will have no choice but to pass the cost on.
  3. The economy will come back. Economies are cyclical, and these more difficult economic times will turn around just as they always have. When they do, cruise demand will increase.