World's Most Expensive Cruise: Guests show off their suite

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Cruise holidays have seen a surge in demand over the last few months, with some cruise lines reporting record bookings, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). However, cruise holidays don’t always come cheap, and as demand increases, pricing could also rise in tandem.

When booking a cruise, it is easy to think only of the cost associated with time spent onboard the ship, however, if you are departing from an overseas port, you will need to factor in the price of flights too.

There is plenty of evidence to show that flight prices go through a weekly cycle, and even though the cost of your cruise holiday will remain static, being flexible about when you fly could make for some sizeable savings.

Speaking to, Peter Hodge of cruise deals comparison website HelloCruise said it is “always worth checking” flight prices in the days leading up to your port departure.

He said: “You can be cheaper by a few hundred pounds to fly out a few days before your cruise and spend a few nights in your departure port extending your holiday.”

The aviation industry’s price fluctuations started as a way of “capitalising on business travellers”, according to Paul Melinis, managing director of APT & Travelmarvel UK & Europe.

Though this doesn’t happen within cruises, Mr Melinis points out that flights are “more often than not, part of the holiday experience”, so cruise passengers could be hit with additional costs depending on when their holiday departs.

He explained: “[Business passengers] would tend to fly outbound early on a Monday morning and back late on a Friday evening, but now airlines charge more for the convenience of leisure travel at the weekend.”

According to an analysis by Skyscanner, the lowest prices are made available earlier in the week, and the highest prices are offered later in the week.

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Mr Melinis explained: “As such, cruisers will pay less for the airlift element of their holiday if it begins or ends mid-week.”

Mr Hodge added: “This may not necessarily save you money as such, because you will spend what you save on the flights on accommodation and expenses. However you get more bang for your buck.

“For example, our website has a host of cruise and stay offers which have these types of saving where you can spend two nights in Rome, Barcelona or Venice before your Mediterranean cruise, and it doesn’t cost you any more money than just the cruise as travel agents have packaged it up for you.”

If you’re willing to be even more flexible, Steve Williams, director of sales at MSC Cruises UK and Ireland, recommended double-checking the other departure ports listed for your sailing.

He explained: “For example, at MSC Cruises in the Mediterranean we offer five different embarkation ports on a seven-night cruise so you could start your holiday in Barcelona or Naples.

“It’s always worth checking flight prices to different destinations or extending your holiday by a few days to enjoy a land-based stay in the departure city.”

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