|Photo by joyt/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images|
In response to a Cruise Critic poll finding that eight out of 10 respondents want to take a Europe cruise but half think that it is unaffordable, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and CruiseOne / Dream Vacations have released the top five reasons why now is the best time to cruise to Europe. These reasons include affordable airfare, cruise line promotions, avoiding crowds, the far-reaching dollar and upcoming events.
According to Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of CLIA, “European cruise travel has never been quite as attainable as it is right now and cruise travelers are at an amazing vantage point in a climate primed for European travel.” She added, “Now is a perfect time for travelers to connect with a cruise-certified travel agent to book the European vacation of their dreams.”
In terms of airfare, the fall season typically lends itself to discounted airfare both domestically and internationally, making transportation to a variety of cruise ports more affordable than other times of year. In addition, in an effort to stimulate the European economy, many airlines have cut prices on flights to Europe this year, making airfare towards European cruises the cheapest it will be/has been in a while.
Regarding deals, cruise lines tend to offer the best pricing to travelers during the fall and winter after a summer travel boom. CLIA’s agents are also finding that travelers can plan Autumn trips with great rates including excellent promotions on river cruises including free airfare, making the European getaway more attractive and affordable to first-time cruisers.
Taking a trip during the fall allows travelers to avoid crowds because the time of year is typically Europe’s off-season, though it is still said to be one of the most beautiful times of year to explore the area. The autumn weather and reduced crowds also often lead to better sight-seeing experiences and traveler excursions.
Currently, the U.S. dollar is exchanging for higher rates than in the past for many European destinations, making converting currency more favorable for the American traveler. This of course helps travelers and cruises do, see and shop more in European ports of call.
For travelers looking for experiences unique to the fall season, September through November offers the iconic Oktoberfest in Munich, the world’s largest Volkfest. In the spirit of the holidays, many river cruises stop along the famous Christmas Markets in Nuremberg starting as early as late November. The illuminated Brussels Light Festival is another opportunity cruisers have to experience during Europe’s off-season. CLIA’s agents say that consumers are already booking European holiday river cruises for the end of this year.