These Are the Most Amazing Cruise Deals of the Year

Your dream voyage doesn't have to cost a fortune.

News flash: It's officially "wave season," the period between January and March when cruise lines slash their prices and offer early-bird bargains ahead of the summer. While this so-called "Cyber Monday of the Seas" happens annually, this year's promotional fares are especially exciting thanks to the debut of many sleek new ships and vessels with full-blown bow-to-stern facelifts. From historic European ports to tropical Caribbean islands and wild Alaskan coastlines, these are the cruise deals and epic voyages you won't want to miss.

Royal Caribbean: Bahamas

Emerald water idyllic beach at Nassau, The Bahamas in a sunny day.

Consider this a great excuse for a fun-filled long weekend getaway. This three-day sailing embarks out of Miami aboard the recently renovated Navigator of the Seas. You'll spend a full day in Nassau followed by a Perfect Day at CocoCay—Royal Caribbean's private island, which features floating cabanas, zip lines, and the tallest waterslide in North America. On Priceline, this vacation starts at $181 per person. Priceline members will also receive benefits like bonus onboard spending credit, deferred deposits, and loyalty rewards on future cruises.

Carnival Panorama: Mexican Riviera

rock arch formations on a beach in cabo san lucas

Carnival's newest ship is built for fun in the sun, which you'll get plenty of on this seven-day itinerary from Long Beach, California. Spend your at-sea days enjoying a suspended bike course, indoor trampoline park, and two Guy Fieri restaurants. Or treat yourself to the serene Cloud 9 Spa before soaking up the rays at Serenity, an adults-only deck. Then, explore the Mexican Riviera with stops at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Cabo San Lucas. The Carnival Panorama trip costs as low as $464 per person.

Norwegian Encore: Canadian Maritimes

sailboat in a harbor in halifax

When Cruise Critic named the Norwegian Encore the "best new ship" of 2019, we knew it would be impressive. But our expectations were blown out of the water with this five-day excursion around Saint John in New Brunswick, and Halifax in Nova Scotia. For just $454 per person, you'll depart from New York City and journey through the Bay of Fundy, noshing on world-class lobster and taking in the wildlife of the Maritimes.

Throughout the year, Norwegian also offers its famous "free at sea" promotion where guests can select open bar, specialty dining, ship WiFi, or excursion credit as added bonuses. Pro tip: One of our favorite ways to save with NCL is through the CruiseNext program. While onboard, make a future cruise deposit, and you'll score major credits for your current cruise.

Holland America: Alaska

alaska cruise ship deck overlooking mountains

Glaciers, whales, and waterfalls are just a few of the breath-taking sights you'll witness aboard Holland America's Alaska cruise. For a seven-day trip, Costco offers fares starting at $539, plus member bonuses ranging from onboard credit to Costco Cash Cards and more. With eight celebrity chefs fueling the Holland America Line Culinary Council, you're sure to dine well on artfully-prepared regional meals. Plus, the all-inclusive live music and entertainment is an incredible way to relax in the evening after a full day exploring Alaska's rugged coastline.

Norwegian Escape: Scandinavia and Russia

Stockholm old town (Gamla Stan) panorama from City Hall top, Sweden

Forget backpacking across Europe. Upgrade your multi-country experience with a wallet-friendly, two-week cruise (we're talking $1,200 total!). You'll board the Norwegian Escape in Southampton (London) and set sail for capital cities like Stockholm, Helsinki, and Copenhagen with an overnight stay in Rotterdam—plus an amazing two full days to explore St. Petersburg, Russia. Considering the brochure price is listed at $3,799, this is a huge discount and a great way to experience Europe for less than $100 a day.

Pro tip: Book this cruise with CruisesOnly, and you'll not only be eligible for Norwegian's usual "free at sea" promotions, but you'll also have access to incentives like CruisesOnly's 110 percent best-price guarantee, loyalty rewards program, and bonus onboard credit.

Virgin Voyages: Key West and Bimini

cruise stationed at a port in Key West Florida

Richard Branson's highly anticipated Virgin Voyages makes its debut in 2020, and although quotas are a bit above average, these adults-only cruises include gratuities, WiFi, and dining at more than 20 specialty eateries. The Scarlet Lady has one of the best itineraries, sailing round-trip from Miami through Key West and the Bimini islands in the Bahamas. It's a steal with Delta's Skymiles Cruises, earning you at least 1,500 bonus Skymiles on a four-day trip and up to $400 onboard spending credit for all sailings this year. Think of how many frozen daiquiris that would cover! While all-you-can-eat may sound awesome, just know that these 15 Chilling Myths About Cruise Ship Buffets Are 100 Percent True.

Avalon Waterways: European river cruise

river in Prague with tourist boats

Solo travelers rejoice! Since fares are usually based on two people per stateroom, cruising can be out of reach for those who prefer to go alone. Thankfully, Avalon Waterways has you covered with this incredible promotion that waives single supplements on select European river cruises. Score a 10-day trip down the Danube River, with two nights in Prague plus full days in historic cities across Austria, Hungary, and Germany.

However, river cruises tend to cost more because of their intimate excursions at each port. Fares start at $2,648, but include WiFi, unlimited cappuccinos, and land tours, so the whole package is actually a steal for singles. If you do want to travel with a partner, book during Avalon's Sales Event to receive airfare credit and major cruise discounts. And for more savvy sailing tips, here is The Best Time of Year to Book a Cruise.

Lori A. May
Lori A. May lives out her suitcase most of the year and her articles have been published in Best Life, Business Insider, Houston Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Time Out. Read more
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