According to Cruise Critic readers, eight out of ten dream of taking a European Cruise but half of those polled think it's unaffordable. Not true, according to Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) Certified Travel Agency, CruiseOne/Dream Vacations. From unprecedented affordability to seasonal events, CLIA experts reveal why now is the time to experience Europe from the comforts of an ocean or river cruise.
“There has never been a better time for travelers to take advantage of the European travel deals and the far-reaching dollar to cross international destinations off of their bucket lists. A European cruise is the perfect way to do so,” said Drew Daly, General Manager of Network Engagement & Performance, CruiseOne/Dream Vacations.
Top Five Reasons Why Now is the Time to Cruise to Europe:
1.) Affordable Airfare: Travelers looking for the best value are in luck as the fall season typically lends itself to plenty of discounted airfare both domestically and internationally, making transportation to a variety of cruise ports more affordable. Furthermore, in an effort to stimulate the European economy, many airlines have also cut prices on flights to Europe this year.
2.) Cruise Line Promotions: Due to a less populated travel season and following the summer travel boom, many cruise lines offer the best pricing to travelers in the fall and winter. CLIA Certified Travel Agents are also finding that travelers can plan an Autumn escape with great rates, including excellent promotions on river cruises that include free airfare, making an inaugural European getaway both attractive and more affordable to first-time cruisers.
3.) Avoiding the Crowds: While Autumn is one of the most beautiful times to travel through Europe, many European destinations are less crowded with tourists and travelers. Those taking advantage of the off-peak travel season may expect less foot traffic allowing for a more relaxed and intimate vacation experience. Additionally, the autumn weather and reduced crowds may lend itself to a better sightseeing experience for travelers enjoying excursions.
4.) Far-Reaching Dollar: In many European destinations, the U.S. dollar is exchanging for higher rates than in the past, making converting currency more favorable for American travelers. Getting more for the dollar helps travelers cruisers do, see and shop more in their European ports of call.
5.) Upcoming Events: There is no shortage of spirited celebrations and events in Europe during the fall and winter months. For example, from September through November, Europe plays host to the iconic Oktoberfest, the world's largest Volksfest in Munich. Travelers hoping to get in the early holiday spirit can take a river cruise stopping at the famous Christmas Markets in Nuremberg as early as late November. According to CruiseOne/Dream Vacations travel agents, many consumers are jumping at the chance to book Christmas market river cruises this year. Other upcoming events, including the illuminated Brussels Light Festival, offer travelers a chance to partake in cultural events across Europe.
“European cruise travel has never been quite as attainable as it is right now and cruise travelers are at an amazing vantage point in a climate primed for European travel,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “Now is a perfect time for travelers to connect with a cruise-certified travel agent to book the European vacation of their dreams.”
Travelers can connect with a CLIA cruise specialist travel agent at http://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder.
About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – One Industry, One Voice
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. The association has 15 offices globally with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 23 million passengers who cruise annually and is dedicated to promote the cruise travel experience. Members are comprised of the world's most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and cruise line suppliers and partners, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. The organization’s mission is to be the unified global organization that helps its members succeed by advocating, educating and promoting for the common interests of the cruise community. For more information, visit www.cruising.org or follow Cruise Lines International Association on CLIA Facebook and Twitter pages.