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Cruise holidays popular despite recession

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A new survey shows that people are still keen to take cruise holidays despite the economic downturn.

The worldwide survey by cruise news and reviews site Cruisecritic.co.uk asked cruise travellers how the economy was affecting their travel plans for the coming year. More than 2,000 people responded and only 13% said they would not be going on a cruise because they can’t afford it.

A further 23% said that their cruise holiday plans were completely unaffected by the recession. But most respondents admitted that they were looking for ways to reduce travel costs.

The most popular way for respondents to reduce the cost of a cruise holiday was to sail from their homeport and therefore avoid the cost of air travel, with 32% planning to do this.

CruiseCritic editor in chief, Carolyn Spencer Brown, comments: “It will be easier than ever for UK cruise travellers to avoid airfares with a huge increase in home cruise options available for 2009. There are some great deals to be had and we’re seeing some that are as low as £50 a day (you might even get lucky and find the airfare thrown in)”.

The next most popular way to reduce costs, with a response of 26%, was to wait until the last moment to book in the hope of getting a late deal. A further 23% said they planned to save money on their cruise holiday by drastically reducing the amount they spent onboard.

“Cruise travellers are a determined lot and will go without and seek out all kinds of economies before losing their annual fix on the high seas,” says Brown.

“Of course, the inclusive nature of cruise travel means that it compares very favourably with a land based holiday with a cruise fare typically including accommodation, meals, gratuities, entertainment, transport from port to port, and, in some cases, even airfare,” she continues.

CruiseCritic has a forum which includes tips about how to save on cruise holidays. “The top tip is for travellers to arrange their own excursions and not take those organised by the ship,” advises Brown.

Written by: Nick Purdom