Cruise holidays can make for quite the luxury break with plenty of value for your money.
After all your accommodation, food and entertainment is all included, while some cruise packages also encompass gratuities and drinks.
There are packages to suit every budget whether you’re after a cheap mini cruise or considering the trip of a lifetime to the Caribbean.
Sometimes, you want to book early to bag a spot on popular cruises, but if you’re flexible it’s worth holding out for an offer to make your budget stretch that little further.
We’ve put together a handy guide on finding the best deals and discounts across the biggest cruise lines, including our top pick of deals you won’t want to miss.
We’ve also got a dedicated Mirror Cruise website with plenty of extra perks such as all-inclusive offerings, handpicked hotel stays and plenty more.
Happy holiday hunting!
What’s included in our guide?
- Last minute cruise deals
- Where to find the best cruise holiday deals
- River cruise deals
- Top money-saving tips when booking a holiday
Last minute cruise deals
Europe from £799pp : Royal Caribbean is offering seven nights on board Explorer of the Seas with ports of call including Barcelona, Valencia and Gibraltar. Based on two people sharing a cabin.
Caribbean from £699pp : Mirror Cruise is offering an 18-night sailing across the South of France, Canaries and Caribbean on board Costa Luminosa. Price includes your return flights and a free centrally handpicked hotel stay. Upgrades available. Based on two people sharing a cabin, with a November departure.
Canary Islands from £725pp : Marella Cruises is offering seven nights on board Marella Dream with ports of call including Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.
All-inclusive inaugural Saga sailing : Saga is offering an all-inclusive deal on the inaugural sailing of new ship Spirit of Adventure to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallin and Visby. Prices from £4,704 for 17 nights, based on two people sharing.
Croatia and Italy from £719pp : P&O Cruises is offering seven nights on board Oceana with ports of call including Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar and Venice. Based on two people sharing, with an April departure.
Where to find the best cruise holiday deals
Jetline has a dedicated late deals page where you can find plenty of last-minute offers on itineraries ranging from the Mediterranean to the Canadian Rockies and even Alaska.
The company also highlights exclusive packages whether you’re looking to explore the best of the Caribbean beaches, discover new cities in the USA or opt for a no-fly cruise around Europe.
It’s also worth subscribing to their magazine Cruise Ahoy! where you can find more exclusive deals and packages, including discounts tailored to the destinations you’re after.
Royal Caribbean consistently leads the way when it comes to cruise sales, with plenty of weekly deals as well as extras such as free spending money, even when cruise season is well and truly in full swing.
That includes offers on new ship Symphony of the Seas which sets sail this year, but other great ships include:
Independence of the Seas – Departing from the UK, these Northern Europe sailings including the stunning landscapes of Norway.
Jewel of the Seas – Western Mediterranean sailings, starting from the historical and culinary hotspot of Rome.
Vision of the Seas – Sailings from beautiful and lively Amsterdam, plus new Western Europe itineraries.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve searched out some of the brand’s best deals of the week – and here are our top picks…
East Coast of America from £699p: Discover the East Coast during a 13-night US. Translantic sailing onboard Navigator of the Seas. Sail from Southampton and discover Boston, New York, Port Canaveral and Miami. Book your place here .
Northern Europe from £699pp: Discover the beautiful coast of Northern Europe with stops including Cherbourg, Paris, Oslo, Amsterdam and Bruges, on this nine-night Northern European Coastal cruise onboard Navigator of the Seas. Interior staterooms start from £699pp but you can upgrade to a Balcony stateroom for an additional £200 per person. Book your place here .
Western Caribbean from £499pp: Spend 7 nights on Oasis of the Seas exploring United States Labadee®, Haiti Falmouth, Jamaica Cozumel, Mexico. Departing from Port Canaveral (Florida), United States. Book your place here .
To book a cruise or find out more about the promotions, visit Royal Caribbean International .
P&O Cruises often hosts some great offers across the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Europe. To find out more visit their cruise deals page.
They’ve also got a handy late deals section, with their best and cheapest offers on last minute European and international cruises.
Book your next holiday with a £50 deposit
P&O Cruises is currently offering passengers the opportunity to book your next holiday with a £50 deposit per cabin – and extra guests sail from £1. The offer applies to new bookings on departures from 22nd March-29th December 2019. Book by 3rd December 2018 when the offer ends.
To give you an extra dose of inspiration, we’ve searched out some of the cruise line’s best late deals below…
Madeira and Caribbean from £999pp: This 14-night cruise sails from Southampton, heading to sun-soaked areas including Madeira, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Antigua and Grenada, before disembarking in Barbados for flights back to the UK. Book your place here .
Germany, Denmark and Norway from £749pp: This 10-night cruise offers stops in Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Amsterdam and Bruges, and will include plenty of festivities to mark the Christmas season. Based on a 6th December departure, round-trip from Southampton. Book your place here .
Spain and Portugal from £666pp: Explore the delights of La Coruna, Cadiz, Gibraltar and Lisbon on this 9-night cruise onboard Oceana. Departing from Southampton. Book your place here .
Fred Olsen lists a number of its best cheap late deals every week, departing nationwide to Europe and beyond.
They appear to have a much larger variation of European destinations, so if you’ve already been on enough holidays to Spain , why not check out Croatia and Venice , the German Waterways or even the Lochs of Scotland.
If you’re looking for a bargain this summer, then make sure to check out their summer sale on travel dates from June to December .
In the meantime to give you a dose of travel inspiration, we take a look at some of the top deals still available now…
- France and Belgium break from £299pp: This 3-night cruise will take you to the picturesque city of Bruges, the impressive Great War battlefields in Ypres, historic sites including the Menin Gate Memorial and Flanders Fields Museum, as well as the Boulogne-Sur-Mer port. Book your place here .
- Scotland from £499pp: This 3-night cruise makes the ultimate Scottish Winter Warmer with stops in Invergordon, Edinburgh and Dundee. Book your place here .
- Caribbean from £599pp: Spend 16 nights exploring the best of the Caribbean with stops including Funchal in Madeira, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and Barbados, on a round trip from Southampton. Book your place here .
Voted the best cruise line of 2017 , Princess Cruises continues to be a firm favourite with holidaymakers.
Boasting an impressive 17 ships – and another one planned for 2019 – the cruise line offers a wide array of holidays whether you’re after plenty of adventure or looking for a relaxing break.
Princess has a dedicated cruise deals page on its website , and you can also sign up to its newsletter to get the latest offers and news ahead of the rest of the pack.
Their offering of destinations is seriously impressive too, with locations across Europe, Africa, the USA, Australia, the Caribbean and much, much more. Check out the full list here .
The holiday giants also caused a stir after unveiling that new boutique ship Spirit of Discovery will be reading in 2019 – click here to take a sneak peek at what you can expect !
Oh, and if you book your place now, you could stand to save 5% off for reserving your place .
Virgin Holidays are currently giving away savings of up to £900, plus free drinks, on selected cruises (although you can “search by deal” to only see cruises included in the deal).
Other deals include free spending money on board and reduced deposits when you book online. See all their deals here.
Mercury Holidays offers brilliant all-inclusive river cruises across destinations including France, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary and many more.
Part of the TUI Group, Marella Cruises offers plenty of family and budget-friendly cruise holidays. In summer 2018 the new ship Marella Explorer will set sail, boasting plenty of impressive features including 10 restaurants and 10 bars, as well as an indoor cinema and a Sport & Family Deck.
You can find all the latest deals and details on itineraries here .
River Cruise deals
A river cruise can be a brilliant way of exploring Europe’s prettiest regions with stops in iconic cities and picturesque towns that may not have been on your immediate radar.
We take a look at the top places where you can find great deals and seriously tempting sailings…
Fred Olsen is renowned for offering glamorous itineraries across Europe whether you want to explore the sights along the Danube or discover new towns along the Rhine.
Emerald Waterways offers river cruises across Europe, southeast Asia, Russia, Egypt and Jordan as well as a host of Christmas market breaks.
Leger holidays is all about scenic river cruises and has a wide variety of sailings on offer.
Top money-saving cruise holiday hacks
We asked bookings website Cruise Nation , for some top tips on how to make the most of your money on your next holiday.
1. Be date savvy
If you have the availability, try and play around with your dates as flexibility is important when trying to get a better deal.
Booking a Mediterranean cruise in mid-September compared with one a month earlier can save you hundreds! You should also pay attention to the day of the week you fly out, with Tuesday and Wednesday usually the least expensive days to travel.
2. Keep an eye on the currency rates
It’s always worth looking at the latest currency exchange rates before you choose your cheap holiday destination, especially with sterling so weak against the Euro and dollar.
Remember that if you’re off exploring a port you can always return to the ship for lunch, which is of course included, and go ashore again.
3. The deals are real – so don’t forget to check!
Many people don’t think to check the deals section of travel websites. It’s always worth taking a look, especially if you’re searching for a last minute holiday. Operators will often have stock they need to sell so, if you keep an eye out, you can bag some incredible deals.
4. Book sooner rather than later
It’s often the first question on a traveller’s mind – should I book later or earlier? Unfortunately, there’s no hard or fast rule, especially in the travel industry.
While there are plenty of great late deals available to customers, the cruise industry often has some of its best deals months in advance.
Going forward, cruise lines are looking to change the way the booking system works so the prices go up closer to the departure.
If you’re looking to try out a cruise in the future, it’s more likely that the best bargains will be found up to a year in advance of the departure. But for now, reap the benefits of a last minute break away!