Whether the holidays have left you short on cash or eager to spend your newly accumulated fortune—those cards from grandma and Great Aunt Bessie can really add up—a great cruise deal might just be the thing to help you kick off the new year.
Wave season is the beginning of the cruise industry’s year, when most people begin cursing full work weeks and start daydreaming about summer vacations to come. During this magical time from January to March, cruise lines drop their prices and offer booking incentives such as reduced deposits and shipboard credit.
So, from luxury to mainstream, most cruise lines are offering best-value bargains for those looking to secure cabins early in the year. But, do keep in mind that if you’re looking for deep discounts on cruise fares—rather than overall value in the form of prepaid gratuities or cabin upgrades—you may want to hold off on booking a cruise until closer to your preferred sailing date to get a better price.
Check out some of our favorite wave season cruise deals:
Azamara: Luxury line Azamara is offering $100 in shipboard credit on select sailings of six to nine nights and $200 for sailings of 10 nights or more. Still not enough? You’ll also receive prepaid gratuities and a 50 percent reduced deposit. (Keep in mind that more expensive cruises generally deliver bigger perks.)
Princess: If upgrades are what tickle your fancy, this deal may be the one for you. Book an oceanview cabin on any 2009 Alaska, Europe, Caribbean, or Canada/New England Princess cruise by February 28, and get upgraded to a balcony stateroom for free.
Regent Seven Seas: Looking for the “wow” factor? Search no further. Regent is offering free shore excursions when you book select Alaska, Europe and Asia cruises by March 31.
Oceania: For those who don’t want the hassle of booking a flight and cruise separately, Oceania is throwing them together (along with some impressive discounts) in one easy-to-book (and easy to afford) package with select 2009 sailings on Insignia, Nautica, or Regatta.
Royal Caribbean: Tiny budget? No problem. Royal Caribbean is offering sailings from as little as $209 per person and has even tacked on credits of up to $200, depending on cruise length.
If these tasty tidbits are making you yearn for a delicious getaway, check out all of our wave season cruise deals. And, to help you get the best deal possible, take a peek at our tips for making the most of wave season.