For many people, the New Year means a commitment to giving up drinking for a while. It also heralds the start of 'wave season' offers where potential passengers can bag a great-value cruise.
Taking part in Febfast or Dry July -- or abstaining for even longer -- means money saved from giving up alcohol can be put toward a cruise excursion, spa treatment or even a once-in-a-lifetime voyage.
According to the latest information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians spend almost $15 billion per year on alcohol. That's between $22 and $47 per week, although obviously prices of booze vary and some of us drink more than others.
But, using $35 as a weekly average, anyone giving up for seven weeks would have enough to pay for a comedy cruise. Apply that equation to a full 12 months without alcohol and there's funds a-plenty for a two-week European cruise or a week-long voyage on Cunard's elegant Queen Elizabeth.
More than 80 per cent of Febfasters report they are able to save enough to purchase something they couldn't otherwise afford, such as a holiday. With Wave Season deals now in full swing, here are some cruise options that people giving up the booze could spend their money on.
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With wave season deals in full swing, here are some cruise options that people giving up the booze could spend their money on.
Although the $140 (based on a $35 weekly average) saved from successfully making it through Dry July wouldn't be enough for a cruise, it could easily fund a couple of spa treatments; a nice meal for two in an extra-charge ship restaurant, or cover access to the thermal suite on Holland America for a week.
Money saved thus far would pay for a comedy cruise. Go with a mate on a two-nighter from Melbourne to Adelaide, where stand-up comedians perform daily entertainment and run workshops for aspiring comics. An inside twin cabin on Pacific Aria starts at $274 per person, departing March 9, 2020. Lots more comedy cruises are available throughout the year.
Skipping the booze for 13 weeks could fund an inside cabin on a three-night round-trip cruise to nowhere departing Brisbane aboard Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas. Book the cruise departing February next year for $448 per person, twin share.
Teetotallers by now will have saved enough for on Princess Cruises' five-night Australia Getaway cruise, which costs $595 per person, twin share for an inside cabin. Sea Princess departs Adelaide and calls at two Western Australia ports: Albany with its excellent National ANZAC Centre; and Busselton in the heart of Margaret River, before heading to Perth.
For anyone who's planning a trip to Europe later this year, this abstemious endeavour would free up $630, which would fund a week-long cruise to Italy, Spain and France. A six-night cruise on MSC Fantasia departing Genoa with Italy port calls in Rome, Palermo, and Cagliari, plus Palma de Mallorca and Valencia in Spain, and finishing at the port of Marseille in France costs $629 including MSC's upgraded Fantastica benefits. .
Almost six months' savings would be sufficient for a nine-night round-trip South Pacific cruise from Sydney on Carnival Splendor, with days spent exploring the tropical beauty of the Isle of Pines, Lifou, Mare, and Noumea. The cruise operates on various dates with an ocean-view cabin starting at $809 per person, twin share.
Abstaining from alcohol would by now have racked up $945 -- enough to book a seven-night round-trip Queensland cruise from Brisbane with Royal Caribbean. This week-long cruise aboard Radiance of the Seas calls at Airlie Beach, Cairns and sails past Willis Island, which means sea days can be used for stocking up on duty-free bargains at the onboard shops. This cruise departs in January next year and is priced from $898 per person, twin-share, for an inside cabin.
Quitting for 273 days would fund an inside cabin on a 14-night Hawaii and Tahiti cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Jewel, calling at some of the South Pacific's most desirable ports. Begin your journey in Honolulu, then sail on to Kahului, followed by Nawiliwili for an overnight stay, then onto Kona and Hilo on the island of Hawaii before the ship spends a relaxing four days at sea. Following this, the island jewels of Tahiti beckon -- Nuka Hiva, Moorea, Bora Bora -- before the ship docks in Papeete, Tahiti. This sailing is priced from $1,292 for an inside cabin and includes one Free at Sea perk of your choice.
Book a well-deserved, 15-night cruise on Holland America's Noordam from Sydney, taking in Melbourne, Port Arthur, Hobart, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Gisborne, and Tauranga before the ships docks in Auckland. The 25 February, 2020 sailing starts at $1,419 per person, twin-share for an inside cabin or $1,549 for an ocean-view cabin.
Congratulations for going alcohol-free for a year. All that money squirrelled away could buy a luxurious seven-night round-trip Tasmania cruise on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, starting at $1,799 per person, twin-share for a Britannia inside stateroom on the ship's 7 February, 2021 Melbourne departure.
Alternatively, the money saved could fund a 12-night Adriatic Dream cruise on Holland America's Nieuw Statendam. The trip departs Venice and calls at Split in Croatia, Argostoli, Souda and Rhodes in Greece, Kusadasi in Turkey, Valetta and Mgarr in Malta, and Palermo and Naples in Italy before the ship docks at Civitavecchia in Rome. Priced from $1,599 per person, twin-share, you'll have several hundred dollars left over to spend on souvenirs or a spa treatment onboard the ship.