Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
If you believe in buying low and selling high, then now is the time to invest in a cruise. The economy’s doldrums have hit the leisure travel business – just like any other industry — and cruise lines are responding with the best promotions ever seen.
The unprecedented deals are phenomenal. Crystal Cruises, for example, just announced savings up to $1,500 per person on most of its 2009 European sailings. For cruises booked before Monday, December 15, Seabourn Cruise Line offers savings of 60 percent off the brochure fares for seven voyages of seven to 14 days aboard the intimate Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend between April and August of 2009. Discounts on other cruise lines are up to 85 percent. Even the most dedicated bargain hunters will have to admit that today’s offers are some of the most attractive ever from the cruise lines.
Even sailings on some of the industry’s hottest new ships, such as the Celebrity Solstice and Ruby Princess, are available at bargains.
Cruise lines also are offering enticements such as discounts on air travel to and from the cruise or requiring smaller deposits. Silversea is offering free air on 16 new voyages to Europe; Crystal has a new premium air option on cruises to Northern Europe; Windstar Cruises is offering “Half The Deposit, All of the Luxury”; and SeaDream has created a “Cancel for Any Reason” program for travelers who are concerned about what’s lurking around the corner.
All of this combines to make now a perfect time to cruise — even abroad. Europe, which has been excruciatingly expensive for Americans, is now cheaper than it has been for quite a few years. The dollar has made significant gains against many foreign currencies.
Moreover, many Americans are now questioning their materialistic habits of collecting more and more possessions. The experiential value of traveling with friends and family will always be – as the MasterCard campaign says – priceless.
In any economic climate, cruising is going to be the best overall vacation value, providing a comprehensive combination of transportation, food, lodging and entertainment, at a price that is fixed prior to departure. Cruising is an exceptional choice, allowing travelers to avoid unexpectedly expensive surprises at hotels and restaurants. On a cruise, of course, the ship is the hotel and the primary restaurant.
Most of all, the cruise lines are reminding people that life is too short to spend it worrying about the unknown or the uncertain. Don’t put yours on hold. Explore, dream and discover; the world awaits.
Buy low. Sail high.
If you enjoyed Mark Twain’s pithy observation about travel, you also might appreciate these:
- “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller
- “Let your memory be your travel bag.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn
- “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.” — Fitzhugh Mullan
- “They change their climate, not their soul, who rush across the sea.” — Horace
- “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” — St. Augustine