Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Strong Wave Season Spurs Price Increases

March is Final Month of Wave Season
Last Chance for Special Deals

Traditionally, the early months of the year are when the majority of cruise travelers book their vacations at sea. The holidays are a faint memory.  The chilly weather gets the mind wandering to warm, sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and relaxing in the sun.   Before you can say Jack Frost, your dream trip is all arranged and the countdown begins.

Between January and March, the major cruise lines offer incentives for passengers to complete their vacation plans.   This period is known as "Wave Season" in the cruise industry.  Many of the offers have been extended through mid-March and some offers end at the end of the month.   This is the final opportunity to take advantage of the free perks and special cruise fares.

Wave Season Results - Spur Price Increases

Bookings have been strong this Wave Season prompting the first price increase announcement.   Norwegian Cruise Line announced it plans to hike fares by as much as 10% on April 1.  Norwegian Cruise Lines Wave Season Promotion includes free cabin upgrades and on-board credits.

In announcing the fare increase, Norwegian said it would extend its current "Free Upgrades For All" sale through March 31. The offer provides up to a four-category upgrade on select sailings, along with e-coupons for on-board savings of up to $400.

"We've seen exceptional demand spurred by our Wave Season promotion, particularly for the popular summer destinations," CEO Kevin Sheehan says in a statement. "Based on this demand, we will increase our fares on April 1. We wanted to give consumers and travel agents the opportunity to take advantage of these offers before the price increase."

Demand for cruising continues to rise with the Cruise Lines posting strong fourth quarter earnings.  Cruise prices have remained low since the economic down turn in 2008.   The Norwegian Cruise Line increase is the first one announced this year.  We expect the other lines to make similar announcements.

What happens if I missed Wave Season?  Cruise lines will hold plenty of last-minute, three-day or extra-value sales throughout the year for you to find great deals. Unlike the Wave Season sales, you won't have advance notice of them.   To make sure you don't miss out on these deals,  sign up for our eSavers Newsletter and also Like our Facebook Fan Page.   We will notify our subscribers about these special deals as they become available.

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