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Top 10 Cruises for Budget Travellers

A common myth about cruising is that it is expensive, but if you keep an eye out for early-bird specials, back-to-back cruise discounts and last-minute offers, you will be surprised how inexpensive it can be. No cruise line wants empty staterooms so there are some great deals out there, especially when ships are repositioning to other ports. Itineraries are usually for last minute sailings and are often not advertised for long due to their discounted rates, so you just need your bags at the ready and passport in hand before quickly snapping up those specials. To never miss a hot cruise deal again, you can sign up to our e-newsletter.

Cruises for Budget Travellers

1. Carnival Cruises

Carnival, the world’s largest cruise line with 24 ships, offers value-for-money cruises with great deals and repositioning rates. Three to 16-day cruises are offered to destinations including Australia, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and New England, Europe and Bermuda. Look out for their short 72 Hour Sales with cruises typically under $100 per person, per night!

2. Royal Caribbean International 

Royal Caribbean has 22 ships including the world’s largest, Allure and Oasis of the Seas, cruising around the world so there are lots of opportunities for specials. Always check the fine print on deals as some exclude port taxes and fees which need to be paid. Similar to Carnival, Royal Caribbean has 72 hour sales with huge discounts on their last minute Australian sailings. 

3. P&O Australia 

P&O Australia often has 24 & 72 Hour Sales pushing last-minute itineraries as well as exclusive offers such as onboard credit that can be used on spa treatments, shore excursions and other extras. P&O has 5 ships based permanently in Australia and offers Cruises between 2-21 days in length, departing from every capital city (excluding Darwin) throughout the year.

4. Uniworld

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises offers early bird cruise fares as well as last minute discounts up to 50% off the brochure price! Uniworld is renowned for it's 6-star, luxurious, river cruise ships & service, so take advantage of these fantastic offers when you can. Fly Free Offers to Europe can also be expected.  

5. Holland America Line

Holland America Line offers specials that often include discounted airfares to ports, which are always attractive inclusions as well as free internet minutes and onboard credit offers. Itineraries range from two to 115 days and visit every continent. Onboard stateroom credit is also an incentive for those looking for the best deals on their ships.

Budget Cruises

6. Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara Club Cruises, known for its service and off-the-beaten-path itineraries, offers a deluxe cruise experience and you can often snag discounted tickets on its two ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Each holds just 694 guests and 93 per cent of staterooms have oceanviews. Savings for singles and last-minute deals are often available.

7. MSC

MSC offers discounted fares regularly and children under 13 cruise free when they share a cabin with their parents. It is the largest European cruise operator in the world – MSC will match your benefits from any other cruise line’s loyalty program and are known for their discounted deals.

8. Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has deals and last-minute specials as well as incentives such as oceanview to balcony upgrades and onboard credit that can be used on spa treatments, shore excursions and other extras. Princess has nearly 100 itineraries ranging from seven to 102 days, sails to all seven continents and calls at 280 ports. They also have two ships based permanently in Australia, the Dawn Princess & the Sun Princess and a total of 5 ships that sail down under each year.

9. Norwegian Cruise Lines 

Norwegian Cruise Line offers excellent deals across its 13 ships. It is the only cruise line to offer year-round Hawaiian itineraries so there are often good deals at quieter times. Norwegian Cruise ships depart from many mainland US ports, and in the northern summer sail the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas.

10. Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises offers last-minute deals and balcony upgrade offers with itineraries to Alaska, Australia and New Zealand, the Bahamas, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Europe, the Galapagos, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, South America and trans-Atlantic journeys. Watch for repositioning cruises which are always cheaper.