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Best Time to Cruise
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. Fall foliage enthusiasts, for instance, will find September and October the best time to take that Canada/New England cruise, whereas water sports-lovers (and families) much prefer to sail the region in the summer when school is out and temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summer and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travelers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
First Cruise to the Baltic and Northern Europe: Lessons Learned
The Baltic -- with its marquee ports of St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen -- is a popular bucket-list cruise destination, but that means your first once-in-a-lifetime cruise there is possibly also your last. You definitely want to get everything right on the first go if there's not going to be a repeat visit to learn from your mistakes. To help you out with some Baltic Sea cruise tips, here's a recap of what we learned on our first cruise to the Baltic and Northern Europe.
10 Best Cruise Destinations for Active Travellers
You can get a workout on pretty much any cruise, but to maximize your adrenaline-pumping options, it's best to find the right combination of cruise ship and destination. Active cruise travelers will usually turn up at least a handful of shore experiences to whet their appetites for adventure, but if you're cruising with a sedentary lot, that city bike tour or rainforest hike might get canceled due to lack of interest. Likewise, certain ports simply don't lend themselves to athletic adventures, while others have so many active choices, it's hard to make up your mind. Below, we have listed our picks for the 11 best adventure cruise destinations for those who are active travelers, as well as our suggestions for the cruise lines that make the best matches. Just don't forget to pack your running shoes and snorkel gear.
7 Things to Do Besides Shopping on a Christmas Markets Cruise
If the idea of endless hours of shopping and browsing is causing your spouse or family members to balk at booking that European Christmas markets cruise, never fear. We're here to tell you that cruising Europe during the holidays is a charming proposition, whether you hit up the markets or not. Consider the list below your counter argument for any would-be Scrooges. Here are seven things you can do on a Christmas markets cruise that won't involve carting home a single souvenir.
Best Budget Cruises for Aussies
Cheap cruises from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth are helping to boost the number of Australians discovering this great-value holiday. The local cruise season grows longer each year, and with international ships also sailing to Australia, there are lots of cabins to fill, which means plenty of good deals if you know where to look. To help in your search, we've come up with three categories for those looking to make their dollar stretch further -- budget cruise lines, budget itineraries and budget seasons. With a savvy strategy, you can even find affordable options on upscale cruise lines, so let's start shopping for the best possible cruise within your budget.