With 2014 slowly but inevitably winding to a close, is it too late to book a last-minute river cruise? Not by a long shot – but there are a few tricks you’ll need to know.
While it’s true that river cruising has never been more in-demand, there are still some sailings with availability for the remainder of this year. Typically, these tend to be the “shoulder” sailings that come prior to the start of the Christmas Markets cruises in Europe, or special sailings themed after the American Thanksgiving holiday in late November.
But Holiday sailings aren’t out entirely out of the question. One such deal is being offered by A-ROSA’s November 30, 2014 Christmas Markets cruise aboard A-ROSA SILVA. Guests can book into the least-expensive Category S stateroom and receive a complimentary upgrade to the highest available category, excluding Junior and Balcony Suites. No doubt that one will go fast, owing to the fact that the start of the incredible Christmas Markets river cruise season in Europe is just around the corner.
AmaWaterways is also offering some frankly unbeatable deals on their own European Christmas Markets Sailings for 2014. All told, 23 separate departure dates between November 22, 2014 and December 28, 2014 are offered in this promotion, which features savings of up to 40 percent over standard brochure fares. You can view the list of departure dates on AmaWaterways’ website by clicking here.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is also offering up to $300 per couple savings on 2014 Christmas Market Cruises, provided that bookings are made and deposited by October 31, 2014. The full list of departure dates and itineraries is available by clicking here.
While other lines may not have specific promotions running for the remainder of 2014, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a look at your favorite itinerary and contact your travel agent to see if there is availability. Viking River Cruises, for example, still has openings on a handful of their 2014 Christmas Market itineraries, in categories ranging from balcony staterooms to full-blown suites.
There are two key factors to success here: flexibility in terms of your departure date, and flexibility in what stateroom you’d like. If you absolutely must have a balcony stateroom and leave on Day X, you’re likely to find yourself disappointed. But, if you say to your travel agent, “I’ll take a balcony or a river view stateroom and I’d like to leave between November 15 and December 1”, chances are good that they will be able to find a sailing that still has the odd stateroom or two left.
Either way, the deals for 2014 are still out there – and the year isn’t over yet!