European Cruising: The Best Time to Set Sail

European Cruising: The Best Time to Set Sail

A European cruise is an opportunity for escape — an escape from the responsibilities of day-to-day life, a break from bills, mundane work, and personal stress. Whether you embark on a culinary-focused food and wine tour of France or an art-lover’s jaunt to Italy, your days and nights will be filled with relaxation, exploration and rich experiences. This infographic, which looks at average cruise prices, underscores that, with some careful research and planning, your unforgettable experience needn’t empty your bank account.

Cruises prices vary not only based on destination and the number of nights booked but are also dependent on the season you set sail and how far in advance you book. The same cruise itinerary can cost you a lot less per person per day if you book your ticket for the right season and the right number of months in advance. This infographic can help you figure out the best time of year to go on a european cruise by highlighting prices by season. On average, prices rise from early spring to late summer, then precipitously decline in late fall, rise again in early winter, only to bottom out in February. The peak season from March to August is matched by increasing prices which range from $157 in March, $174 in April, $193 in May, $212 in June, $226 in July and $229 in August. As temperatures begin to cool and people tuck in for the winter, prices decline with an average of $193 in September, $166 in October, and $145 in November. As the frost takes hold and Christmas cruises set sale, prices average at $173 in December, $139 in January and a cool $135 in February.

Another factor you should be aware of when purchasing a European cruise is how far in advance you should book to get the best deal. While intuition may lead you to believe that planning months and months in advance is the most prudent method, this is not always the case in an industry directly affected by seasonal changes. This infographic reveals that when it comes to European cruises, it’s wise to plan about two months in advance. In fact, buying tickets more than two months in advance may cost you more than a spontaneous last minute purchase. For instance, if you book one month ahead, the average European cruise will cost you $196 per person per day, while booking two months ahead will save you eleven dollars by coming in at $185. Buying a cruise prior to two months in advance, however, will actually cost you slightly more with $187 at four months and six months in advance, $191 at eight months in advance, $203 at ten months in advance, $211 at twelve months in advance, and $208 at fourteen months in advance.

The only question that remains is what you will do with the money you save? There will be no shortage of options, from taking in an opera in Venice to indulging in an extra crème brulee in sight of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Opportunities on the cruise itself will also abound, including couple’s massages, specialty drinks packages, and cabin upgrades. The next time you are thinking of a cruise holiday, remember these seasonal and advanced booking tips, and prepare to be whisked away to adventure.

The data and infographic have originally been posted on

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