When is the Best Time to Cruise?

Posted March 15th, 2012

One of the most common questions we get asked at Cruiseabout is “When is the best time for a cruise?”

This question may seem simple to the naked eye, but in fact there is no easy way to answer this. There are many variables that influence an answer to this question.

Some factors are personal, for example water lovers prefer the heat of summer over the Autumn season, some simply just want to escape the winter blues. If you've got family you have to think about school holidays, if you are working full time you have to think about when and how much time you can take off work. Then you got to think about budget. Personal "Criteria" will influence which season is your best time to sail!



Now that the personal factors are out of the way, there are some general guidelines you can take into consideration. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season). Summer months are generally peak seasons, regardless of the weather at home or in the region. Cruises during the peak season will need to be booked far in advance. Some cruise lines limit the number of children per sailing during this season, so families especially need to take note of this and get in there early! During shoulder and low seasons, you will generally find more bargains. Some low seasons have shrunk in many areas, and thanks to the growth in cruising holidays and new cruising destinations, some places have opted in for pricing all seasons as "in season".


Below are a list of popular cruising destinations and their high and low seasons.


New Zealand
High Season: December to February
Low/Shoulder Season: May to August




South Pacific
High Season: July to August
Low/Shoulder Season: November to April


High Season: December to April
Low/Shoulder Season: June to August


High Season: June to August
Low Season: May and September




High Season: March to April, June to August, holiday Weeks
Low/Shoulder Season: August (except holiday weeks), November, May


The Caribbean
High Season: Late June to  August, Christmas & New Year's week, February - Mid April
Low/Shoulder Season: Late April to May, September to  early January (except holiday weeks)


Mexican Riviera
High Season: Late January to mid April. June to August
Low/Shoulder Season: Early January and May, October to November


Eastern and Western Mediterranean
High Season: May to August, Spring and Autumn sailings
Low/Shoulder Season: March to April, September to November, Some year-round sailings


Southern Mediterranean
High Season: May to September
Low/Shoulder Season: Winter months


Northern Europe
High Season: June to August
Low/Shoulder Season: Early June, September


Athens - Pantheon


High Season: June to August
Low/Shoulder Season: April to May, September to October


Canada and New England
High Season: September and October
Low/Shoulder Season: July and August


Looking for more information on Cruises, Cruise holidays or Cruise tips? Call a cruise holiday expert at a Cruiseabout store nationwide on 0800 22 11 14.

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