Millions of people take a cruise each year. There are specific times of the year when cruise traveling is at its heaviest and other times when the volume of travelers is much lower. Knowing these patterns can help you book your cruise at the perfect time.
If you’re planning a cruise vacation, booking at the perfect time can mean fewer crowds, beautiful weather, and more affordable rates.
Where Are You Going?
Before we can tell you the best time to travel, we need to start with where you’re planning to go.
Some places let you cruise year-round. This includes more tropical locations like the Bahamas, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean.
Other places have a specific time when you can go. This includes northern Europe, Alaska, and other itineraries with extreme climates.
- Alaska, Canada, and the Arctic: late April to September
- Northern Europe: late May to August
- Antarctica: November through March
What Is Your Budget?
The budget you’re working with can affect when you decide to go on your cruise. For destinations that have limited seasons, you can go at the beginning or end for lower rates than those during peak season.
For year-round destinations, there are peak travel seasons that are the most expensive. If you’re on a budget, try going in the offseason. These fares will be significantly less.
As a general rule, cruises that are during the middle of winter in January or February are the most affordable. Summer months, when school is out, brings higher cruise costs.
Consider The Weather
Consider a winter cruise in the Caribbean if you want to get away from the cold for a bit. You’ll also avoid the hot summer temperatures.
If you’re hoping to snorkel, though, summer is the best time of year. The water will be warm, and the tropical reef sea life will be most active.
Alaskan temperatures can get quite cold. So if you book your cruise at the very beginning or end of the season, you risk experiencing cold and unpredictable weather. Booking more towards the middle of summer will ensure you have a comfortable temperate climate, plenty of sunshine, and the best opportunity to see wildlife.
Who Do You Want To Cruise With?
If you’re headed to a shorter length cruise in the springtime, you can expect to be cruising with college spring breakers. Decide to go during the summer, and you’re more likely to be surrounded by families with children. If you want to avoid sailing with kids, try to pick a month when school is in session.
Choose the Best Time to Go on a Cruise
By considering these factors, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and decide on the best time to go on a cruise. Start by figuring out where you want to go and what your budget is. This will help you determine the available season and when you can afford to go.
Browse all of your different port options to help narrow down when you should go on your cruise.