If you have been waiting for the predicted "fallout" of cruise prices as a result of the Costa Concordia accident you can be pretty sure that now is as good as it will get. Princess Cruises is holding a special one day "Leap Day Sale" while Carnival has a "leap year" sale that ends on March 1. Two cruise agencies are offering cruise reservations with no deposit required. Finally, Viking River Cruises has a two - four - one sale that also ends on the 29th.
The Princess Cruise Lines Leap Day Sale
Princess Cruises is marking February 29 with a special one-day-only sale that offers you additional discounts over the current wave season prices for Alaska Cruisetours. The One-day discount is equal to a free day in Alaska plus as much as $100 onboard credit. A "Cruisetour" is a seven day cruise combined with a land tour by coach to Denali National Park, the land portion usually lasting three or four days.
The discounts and the Princess Alaska cruise tours are equal to the cost of one day of your seven-day cruise, meeting you get one day free. In addition to per diem (daily) discounts, passengers booking balcony staterooms or above can also get onboard credits of $100. Interior or oceanview staterooms can receive an onboard credit of $50. All onboard credits are offered per stateroom.
Examples of Cruisetour fares during the Leap Day Sale include:
- 10-day On Your Own cruisetour: $1,438 balcony (Regular Fare was $1,798)
- 13-day Denali Explorer cruisetour: $1,930 balcony (Regular Fare was $2,298)
- 16-day Off the Beaten Path Kenai cruisetour: $2,509 balcony (Regular Fare was $2,698)
All fares are per person based on double occupancy.
The Leap Day Sale runs from 12:01 am to 11:59 pm PST on February 29, 2012. Sale prices are available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Deposits made under this promotion are non-refundable and non-transferable.
The Princess also has several top cruise deals available, especially for last-minute cruises sailing in March to May, 2012. You can see those here
Carnival's Leap Year Sale
Touting this sale as "offers you may not see for another four years," Carnival is offering a "Leap Year Sale" with free upgrades, cash back and great rates. If you book a 3 to 4 day sale you will get $50 back, a 5 to 6 day cruise comes with $100 back, a 7 to 16 day cruise comes with $200 back and any cruise of 12 days or longer sailing to Europe, transatlantic, receives a $400 cash back bonus. Each of these offers comes on a "per stateroom" basis.
This is actually a very good cash back offer for a seven-day cruise. It is far more typical to see savings of just $100 rather than $200 on seven-day cruises. Here are some of the better seven day cruise bargains Carnival is offering right now, and keep in mind that you must book before March 1.
You can get a six day cruise on Carnival freedom leaving from Fort Lauderdale for just $509 per person in a balcony stateroom. This cruise leaves September 30, 2012.
You can sail on the Carnival Miracle from Los Angeles on a six day cruise leaving December 1, 2013, for just $459 per person in a balcony stateroom. Carnival Miracle is a new ship of the Carnival Dream class with all of the latest features such as FunShip 2.0 comedy and game shows and new food offerings such as the Guy Fieri hamburger. This is an excellent price for a Mexico cruise going to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.
Surprisingly enough, these Carnival offerings are cheaper than so-called "last minute" cruise bargains. Right now if you want to sail as soon as April the best deal you will find on a six day Caribbean cruise is $659 on Carnival freedom sailing from Fort Lauderdale. These prices indicate that for Carnival Cruise Lines, at least, the expected Concordia effect crash in cruise prices is not materializing.
CruiseOne and CruisesInc "No Deposit Required" SaleThese two cruise agencies, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc are both running a "no deposit required sale." Although I have read news reports that say the offer is good through the month of March, the web sites of each agency say the offer is only good through the end of Leap Day, so I would call today and double check.
Of course - you will have to pay the full fare for the cruise eventually, but they are offering you the chance to make a reservation without having to put any money down at the time. This offer is only good for cruises sailing between 6/8/12 and 2/28/13 and for new bookings only. The amount of the deposit is limited to $500 per booking, and the guest must pay the difference for anything higher. The pre-paid deposit amount will be due when you make your final payment. The offer does not include cruise Lines that require final payment at the time of booking, non-refundable fares such as Carnival Early Saver and Holland America Flash Rates, land reservations or river cruise line bookings.
Viking River Cruises Leap Day SaleViking River Cruises is also offering two for one cruise pricing, up to two for one round-trip international airfare and complimentary white onboard European River cruises if you book before March 1. You must mention offer code 01W to receive this special offer.
Some of the cruises included with this special sale sail in 2012. Included are the Romantic Danube and the Danube Waltz cruises. Some of the dates that are still available for the Romantic Danube (and most of these summer dates are already sold out) are in late 2012 in November and December, and these are the dates that come with two for one airfare savings.
For example you can sail a seven-day Danube River cruise for as little as $1656 and receive two for one airfare pricing, just remember to give them the 01W discount code.
The two for one airfare brings the price of flying from New York to Budapest down to $647 per person. This is much better than the $1800 I paid personally last summer to fly in August from Phoenix.
And that's it for Leap Day sales. Check out the websites linked above and remember to act quickly. Happy cruising!