The biggest ship in the world has cruises to Europe available at bargain rates
If you have never been on either the Oasis or Allure, you are missing one of the greatest cruise experiences on the high seas. These ships are so extensive in amenities you would be hard pressed to see everything even once during a typical seven-day Caribbean cruise that normally starts at well over $100/day on these ships (in any category).
But, what if you could spend 12 straight days on Oasis of the Seas with no distractions, for just $55/day? ($649 per person). Now that is a bargain and it is still available if you act quickly. Here it is at the Royal Caribbean web site. It sails on September 1st. $649 is the price for an inside cabin, although there are not many of them on Oasis. Still, there are plenty of balcony cabins and those are currently priced at just $974 per person. That is about what you would pay for a 7-night Caribbean cruise on this ship.
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What’s “the rub?” – Well, you end up in Barcelona – but the good news is that you get there for far less than the average plane ticket. You could then spend a couple of weeks in Europe – or for that matter, you could stay until October 15 and just take Oasis back to Florida for about the same price as the first cruise.
Surprisingly, this famous and very popular “largest cruise ship in the world” currently has some of the lowest prices listed for transatlantic cruises – and it is the ONLY ship going eastward (toward Europe) in September (except for the Queen Mary 2, of course, which is a real ocean liner).
The ship is going to Europe mostly as a test drive, I believe, so Royal Caribbean can “test the waters” and see what kind of demand she can generate with the European audience. But she won’t be there for long, just long enough to do a few 5-night cruises between Barcelona, Rome and Naples and one 7-night cruise from Barcelona to Malaga and Vigo (Spain) and to Rotterdam.
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There is a newer (third) iteration of Oasis, currently on order and scheduled to arrive in 2016, and a fourth also on order, scheduled to arrive in 2018. When those ships (yet to be named) come out there is a very good chance that one will go to Europe (either Barcelona or the U.K.) and the other will likely go to Asia; which is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after travel markets in the world.
New Markets for Cruise Ships
Unfortunately for the U.S.-based cruise lines, the U.S. desire to cruise is not keeping pace with the building of new ships, and so new markets must be found. One recent gamble by several cruise lines has paid off handsomely. In 2012 several cruise lines decided to send ships to Australia. It seemed as if so many ships were going “Down Under” that there would be more berths than the 22-million people who live in Australia.
But the Aussies responded admirably. Cruising has become one of the most popular vacation options down there, and more Aussies per capita choose to cruise than any other nation in the world, with cruising growing by some 8% year after year. (It’s down to only 3% growth in the U.S. right now). Europe is not too far behind Australia with about 5 to 6% growth.
However – China is now the “new” Australia, and several cruise lines have been moving their ships over there, especially Royal Caribbean which made the surprising move of choosing to send the brand new Quantum of the Seas (yet to be delivered in Nov. 2014) to Shanghai in May of 2015.
For the sake of the cruise lines – who have several more large ships coming online in the near future, there will be enough demand overseas that they will be able to relieve some of the pressure to sell cabins in the Caribbean, currently suffering with a glut of capacity that is keeping the price of Caribbean cruises much lower than what the cruise lines would like to get.