Cruising might not have resumed just yet, but that’s not stopping the flood of eye-popping cruise deals via this year’s “wave season.” This three-month-long annual bonanza of the year’s best cruise deals traditionally kicks off in January and runs as late as March. During this period, cruise lines of all types offer up everything from discounted fares to free perks, like spending credits for the ship, cabin upgrades, beverage packages, prepaid gratuities—and even hotel stays and greatly reduced airfare.
During the industry-wide event this year, cruise lines are looking to reel in travelers with some serious pent-up wanderlust. You’ll find these incentives for sailings embarking later in 2021 and into 2022 (and beyond). Need more reason to book now? You’ll get first dibs on the best cabins, too. Here are 11 wave season cruise deals we recommend, to help you nab one of the most value-packed cruise vacations of the year.
All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This article was last published in January 2020. It has been updated with new information.
AmaWaterways is offering a free pre- or post-cruise land package (valued at up to $3,000) on select European river cruise bookings. The three- or four-night land-based add-ons, which include luxe hotel accommodations, breakfast, and guided excursions, are on offer in places like Lake Como, Italy, and Spain’s Basque Country. Additionally, the line is betting that cruisers are going to want longer, more immersive cruise vacations to make up for lost time. Accordingly, another deal (which you can combine with the first) on select European cruises, offers 10 percent off the second sailing for any back-to-back river cruise bookings. Book by January 31, 2021, for land package deal; consecutive sailing discount is valid through March 31, 2021.
Azamara is offering savings of up to 40 percent off on 88 select sailings—including to destinations in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and beyond—for embarkations between March 20, 2021, and May 13, 2022. Bonus: Guests booking an oceanview-category stateroom or higher get free Wi-Fi, too. Book by March 31, 2021.
Celebrity Cruises is offering its biggest-ever wave season airfare deal. When booking a cruise, guests get summer 2021 round-trip flights (scheduled between May and September, and some in October) to Alaska- and Caribbean-cruise embarkation ports from just $99 per person, from 20 major U.S. cities; flights to European ports start at $499 per person. Cruisers flying out of other U.S. airports can also save $200 on airfare through the deal. Note promotional airfares, which include taxes, must be booked by the cruise line’s airfare department. Book by January 31, 2021.
Cunard is offering reduced fares (from $1,049 per person) and onboard credit of up to $2,000 per stateroom (credit varies by voyage duration and cabin category). Plus, required deposits are reduced by 50 percent and past passengers receive special discounts of up to $1,200 per stateroom. Guests booking higher-tier Grill Suites will get a complimentary drinks package and included gratuities, too. The deals are offered on all three of Cunard’s ships on 250 featured itineraries (embarking in 2021 or 2022) that include sailings in popular spots like the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Book by February 25, 2021.
Holland America’s deal offers lots of combined perks on most sailings through 2022, including a stateroom upgrade, beverage package, and specialty dining voucher. Plus, guests get 10 percent off on-shore excursions and half off deposits. Families with children can take advantage of free or reduced kids’ fares, too. Book by February 28, 2021.
Princess Cruises lets guests rack up a whopping five perks—a complimentary drinks package, unlimited Wi-Fi, prepaid gratuities, a stateroom location upgrade (excluding suites), and a specialty dining voucher—via its substantial wave season deal for all sailings in 2021 and 2022. Book by March 2, 2021.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas is promoting a complimentary two-category suite upgrade (up to a Penthouse-level suite) for all future voyages (excluding world cruises and “grand voyages”). Or, guests booking a Concierge suite can opt to forego the stateroom upgrade in favor of a complimentary one-night hotel stay with the deal. Deposits are additionally reduced by 50 percent for Penthouse suite guests. Book by February 28, 2021.
Seabourn sweetens the pot on select sailings in 2021 and 2022 across its five-ship fleet (soon to be joined by the line’s first expedition ship, launching December 2021) with major incentives. The deal includes a complimentary category upgrade from an oceanview suite to a veranda cabin (or up to three category upgrades when booking a veranda suite); up to $1,000 in shipboard credit per cabin (or up to $2,000 if you book a penthouse or premium suite); an internet package; and half-off on the required deposit. Plus, guests can save 10 percent on select cruises when paying their booking in full by February 1, 2021. Book by March 1, 2021.
Silversea’s sale touts up to 20 percent off select voyages to the Mediterranean, Alaska, Asia, and beyond in 2021 and 2022, when bookings are paid in full by February 28, 2021. Plus, deposits are reduced to 15 percent on select 2021 voyages. Book by February 28, 2021.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Known for smaller ships that resemble floating boutique hotels for the Millennial-minded traveler, Uniworld’s Cruise Back Into Travel special includes up to 30 percent off select itineraries, including a 10-day sail around northern Italy, with stops in Milan and Venice; and a 12-day sail down the Nile, from Cairo through the Valley of the Kings. Book by March 31, 2021.
Virgin Voyages cruisers can nab 10 percent off cruise fares in 2021 and 2022, along with up to $400 in onboard spending credit, thanks to the new cruise line’s wave season deal. Guests also get an additional $100 toward their bar bill, with the purchase of a $300 prepaid bar tab. Book by February 9, 2021.
Windstar Cruises is offering this “Pick Your Perk” promo: Choose from $200 to $1,000 in shipboard credit (the amount varies based on cruise length and cabin category); an unlimited Wi-Fi package; or, for guests cruising Europe, a one-night pre- or post-cruise hotel stay. Guests booking premium suites can also choose from a beverage package. Bonus: Deposits are reduced to just 5 percent of the booking price, and single supplements are knocked down to 20 percent on select sailings. Book by February 28, 2021.
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