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Home » Cruise Travel Insurance » How far in advance should I book a cruise for the best price?

If you’re looking to book a cruise, you may be wondering if you should book your trip as early as possible or wait for a last-minute deal. No one likes booking a holiday and seeing it on offer for a better price shortly afterwards!

If you want to avoid this when you plan your cruise, how early should you make your booking?

Picture shows a woman enjoying the beautiful views from a cruise ship as the sun sets over the ocean.

Should I book my cruise early?

Most cruise lines will announce their planned trips between 18 months and two years before the ship sets sail. Due to the dynamic nature of cruise pricing, this is often when the base price is at its lowest.

One reason for this is because the cost of a stateroom increases as more passengers book – once fewer rooms are left, the prices go up. Booking early also lets you pick your cabin of choice before someone else does.

It’s not only lower prices available when you book early, with many cruise lines offering other incentives for those booking well in advance. For example, you may receive a free upgrade or on-ship credit. In most cases, you’ll only need to place a deposit when booking early, so you can secure your room without paying the total price in one lump sum.

One thing to remember when booking in advance is that aspects of the cruise may change between booking and embarkation, so it’s essential to remain flexible.

Should I book my cruise last minute?

If you’re not looking for a particular stateroom, you might be able to make a saving if you look for cruises leaving in around 90 days.

When booking late, being flexible with your choices is even more critical. Last-minute deals on the more popular ships and destinations are a thing of the past. The nature of cruise pricing means that the cost of the best rooms and ships will go up closer to the departure date, not down.

However, if you’re travelling on a less popular line or if there has been a spate of cancellations, you can still snap up a bargain if you’re lucky.

Generally, you’re better off booking your cruise as early as possible, ideally as soon as the future itineraries are released. This will give you around 18 months to plan and look forward to your cruise! As with all trips, arranging Cruise Travel Insurance is vital in ensuring that your trip doesn’t end up costing you more than planned.

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last Updated: 5 April 2023

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