5 of the Top Budget Destinations for Cruise Holidays
By Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter (@kellythekiwi)
Cruise holidays have always looked rather luxurious (and expensive) to me but when you actually look at what you get for your money they can be really budget-friendly. As accommodation, food, entertainment are included, going on a cruise can be cheaper than a holiday on land – plus you get to visit lots of destinations on one trip!
With the arrival of large cruise ships into Greenwich being less than 2 years away, it is definitely time to start considering a cruise for you next holiday. There are lots of ways to ensure that your cruise is within your budget but choosing the right destination is one of the most important factors to consider. Here are 5 of the top budget destinations for cruise holidays.
#1 The Baltic States
Before deciding which destinations to visit on your cruise holiday, do a little research and see how far your pounds will go. The Baltic States of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are all budget-friendly destinations to visit on a cruise holiday. If you’ve got time off the boat, you’ll find that food and drink (especially beer!) is pretty cheap by European standards and much cheaper than in neighbouring Scandinavia. Attractions like the Vilnius Castle in Lithuania and the National History Museum of Latvia are also cheap to enter so you won’t be bored on shore days.
#2 The Mediterranean Sea
It is always worth booking a cruise that leaves from a destination you don’t need to fly to; this will become a lot easier for Londoners when the new terminal opens in Greenwich. The Mediterranean Sea is easily reached on a cruise departing from Southampton. Depending on your itinerary, you’ll get to visit places like Gibraltar, Malaga and Lisbon – the Mediterranean is definitely a destination for the sun-lovers out there.
#3 The British Isles
Many Londoners are guilty of visiting faraway and exotic destinations (Thailand, Australia, etc.) and not ever spending time in their own backyard – so why not take a cruise holiday around the British Isles? You’ll find that you get a lot more for your pound as soon as you get out of London and you’ll have the opportunity to visit places like Guernsey, Inverness, Cork and Lerwick – these are places you probably wouldn’t have thought about visiting before! Another good thing about a British Isles cruise is that there really is something for everyone – rolling hills, medieval towns and castle ruins are just a few of the sights worth mentioning.
#4 The Caribbean
The Caribbean is definitely at the top of my list when I think about luxury cruise holidays – the exotic islands of Barbados, Antigua and the Dominican Republic are just 3 of the destinations that it’s possible to visit. These islands can be expensive, especially in high season, for accommodation, food and drink which is why a cruise holiday is best for your budget – all of this is included. Once you’re there, lazing on the beach doesn’t cost much!
Unfortunately, getting to this part of the world can also be quite pricey so a repositioning cruise can help you stick to a budget. Cruise lines offer hugely discounted rates when they need to move (reposition) their ships from one part of the world to the other, often coinciding with the change of season. So it might be possible to take a cruise on a ship that has spent the summer in the Mediterranean and will be repositioned to be used to cruise the Caribbean during the northern winter. You’ll probably get to visit some destinations that aren’t on regular cruise routes too!
#5 The Fjords
Normally a trip to Norway and the Fjords wouldn’t sound like a budget-friendly holiday but going on a cruise makes this beautiful part of the world accessible, even for those of us on the tightest of budgets. Firstly, you can currently set sail from Southampton meaning that you won’t have to add on the cost of return flights. Also, not having to worry about the price of food and accommodation makes this holiday a lot more accessible.
I hope that now you would consider a cruise holiday for your next break – I know that I’ve got my eye on one or two destinations! If you would rather stay on dry land but still need a holiday that is perfect for the whole family then let this post be your inspiration. And don’t forget to have a read of my top 50 budget travel tips to make sure you come home with pounds in your pocket.