What exactly is an Antarctic sale? Anyone searching for an Antarctic cruise for the very first time will be bombarded with a bunch of options – Early Bird Bookings, Promo, flash Sale, Last minute deals! We have tried to make sense of this all for you in one short blog, and hope that it helps you find the cruise for you!
First you need to decide when to go to Antarctica The season runs from November/March annually and this will help you and help dictate when you can book.
Antarctic Early Birds – These Early Bird deals to Antarctica can be usually booked anywhere from 1 to 2 years in advance. For example, if looking for a cruise in October 2018, you may be presented with options for a cruise for the 2019/2020 or 2020/21 season – People do book a long way in advance for Antarctica so be prepared. For early bird sales the discount can range between 10 – 30% generally. This is often the best time to book, as you will have the pick of the availability and be able to choose the perfect cruise that is right for you.
Flash sale – Flash sales to Antarctica can occur at any time of the year. It is usually a good way for the ship operators to dispose of excess inventory – usually it is a last minute type option but can it does vary. Flash sales are quite rare and there would only be around 1 – 2 in any given year. These are usually done with limited notice, and best to join a mailing list to get access to these deals when they occur. These sales can be quite large (discount wise) and may attract up to 50% discount.
Antarctica Promo – Again, can occur any time of the year, and usually work in conjunction with cheap airfares or general sales. Usually discounts aren’t that high and range in the 10-20% range.
Last Minute Antarctica deals – These usually start occurring for the coming season around August, September and October. They can last until January and February (for late in the season departures). This is perhaps the riskiest time to buy as availability does vary massively season to season with some years being better than others. Choice is very limited and generally you will have to travel last minute (which also has the extra burden of a few thousand dollars per person for flights). Sometimes the rewards can be worth it, but choice and range of departures are not available and you may not get your ideal trip away. Discounts are similar to those found in a flash sale.
‘On the pier” deals – Quite often a travellers tale!, During the height of the GFC there was a lot of excess availability on ships, due to the economic environment. Stories flooded the backpacking community in South America of people paying as little as 1 thousand dollars for a ten thousand dollar trip!.. The days of these are long gone, with some ships filling 12 months in advance. If you do have time to sit in icy Ushuaia for months on end trying to get a bargain, you are welcome – but nothing to do with us if you are still there a year later!
In summary, there is never a bad time to book Antarctica. The key is to book with an experienced operator, who knows the market and knows where to look for the best prices for the ship you are looking at. Quite often it is worth booking land and air arrangements with that operator, as you can benefit from further discounts on the whole package. Antarctica trips are expensive. Make sure you vet who you are booking with carefully, and look for a strong, bonded company where possible.
Ready to book? Then pick up that phone or click on that email, and contact us. Here at Chimu Adventures, we are dedicated and experiences at planning bespoke tours throughout the continent and, if you let us come along, we’ll show you the time of your life. Visit our our Antarctica page for our complete list of Cruises and Specials deals page for our current offers.