With only a few cruise seasons under its belt, easyCruise is still breaking every cruising tradition and inventing a few of its own. Its latest departure from the norm is a partnership with eBay, allowing would-be cruisers to bid for cruise vacations.
Local eBay sites in the U.S., U.K., Italy, Switzerland, Austria, India, Germany, and Australia will allow users to either bid on a cruise or book one directly at a set price. Auction prices start at an astonishing $1.88. Buy-it-now prices start at $58 per person for a two-night trip and $73 per person for a three-night trip (prices based on double occupancy).
I’m pretty sure that more conventional cruise lines wouldn’t deign to sell cruises on eBay, though travel agents and other sellers do list cruises on the online auction site. Then again, with cruise ships selling out for most sailings, traditional lines don’t need an alternate sales tactic. I’d be curious to see if easyCruise can start bidding wars on eBay and drive up the prices, or if some lucky Web users will be sailing in the Caribbean and Europe for just a few bucks a night.
If you’re interested, go to eBay’s website, click on “Travel,” and then “Cruises.” Scroll down until you see the easyCruise orange logo—searching for “easyCruise” doesn’t yield results. You’ll notice that the auction items are for last-minute departures, so Europeans will have an easier time making use of the low fares than Americans. However, if you can get a last-minute plane ticket or already plan to head overseas, you can take advantage of eBay to purchase an 11th-hour cruise. Should you win a bid but can’t find a cheap flight to Europe or the Caribbean, don’t fret. You’ll only have lost two dollars.