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According to the readers of Cruise Critic, eight out of ten people dream of taking a European cruise, but half don’t think they can afford it. The Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) travel agency Cruise One/Dream Vacations says that this isn’t so. They’ve compiled a list of why now is the time to experience Europe from an ocean cruise, or river cruise.
1. Affordable Airfare
Travelers looking for the best value will typically find it during the fall season, where airfare is discounted both domestically and internationally. Additionally, many airlines have specifically cut prices on flights to Europe this year, in an effort to stimulate the European economy.
2. Cruise Line Promotions
Following the summer travel boom, the travel season dies down and this means that cruise lines will be offering better pricing for fall and winter cruises. For river cruises, CLIA travel agents are also finding that guests can plan a fall escape with great rates, with promotions that include free airfare, making first-time European cruisers look more closely at taking that dream vacation.
3. Avoiding the Crowds
There are two great reasons to visit Europe during autumn: it’s a beautiful time of year there, and most European destinations will be far less crowded with tourists. Those taking advantage of off-peak season will enjoy a more relaxed vacation, and the great weather and reduced crowds will lend itself to a better sightseeing experience.
4. Far-Reaching Dollar
The US dollar is exchanging for higher rates right now in many European countries than in the past. This means converting currency is more favorable for American travelers, giving them more bang for their buck.
5. Upcoming Events
Europe is alive with lots of spirited celebrations and events during the fall and winter months. For example, the world’s largest Volksfest in Munich, Oktoberfest, happens from September to November. If Christmas is more your thing, travelers can take a river cruise stopping at the famous Christmas Markets in Nuremberg as early as late November, and these cruises are proving pretty popular already this year. Other events including the illuminated Brussels Light Festival offer guests a chance to partake in special cultural events around Europe.
Would you consider taking a European river or ocean cruise in the near future? Why or why not? Let us know!
Information courtesy of CLIA