$Dollar Up + Air Down = Europe Cruise Now
We talk about Costa Cruises from time to time, mainly in reference to their unique Caribbean sailings that offer a truly European cruise experience without going far from home. We like that Costa does not modify what they do around the world for North Americans, instead offering us with a true Italian sailing experience. It’s a way to see what the onboard ambience of a European cruise would be like for some, an easy way or Americans addicted Italy to get a dose of their obsession and a totally different cruising experience for others. But what if time allows a trip to the Mediterranean this summer? This could be the time to sail Europe now.
The price of airfare is down, the $Dollar is as close to being on par with the €Euro and you have time to go. It’s a perfect storm of wonderous summer travel because right now we have an additional factor to throw in. Costa has new ‘Flash Fares” that can bring a European vacation with rates starting at $499 per person + tax.
“With great deals on exciting itineraries, the strong U.S. and Canadian dollars, and affordable international airfare, this summer is a great time to take a Costa cruise,” -Scott Knutson, vice president of Costa Cruises North America.
Costa Cruises knows it’s never too late to plan a fantastic Europe cruise summer getaway, and with “flash fares” for North Americans on select European cruises now is the time to book an Italian-style cruise. Several Costa ships are sailing throughout the European region for the 2015 summer season on cruises that visit as many as eight countries in 11 days, on a number of interesting itineraries. Let’s take a look:
Costa neoRiviera Western Mediterranean
Costa neoRiviera’s 11-night itineraries offer the epitome of an Italian summer among picturesque western Mediterranean islands and Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The ship will cruise roundtrip Savona, Italy, and call at Toulon, France; Propriano, Corsica; Olbia, Sardinia; Trapani, Sicily; Portoferraio, Italy; La Valletta, Malta; and overnight at Salerno and Capri, Italy. Rates start at $749. Departures are June 25; July 6, 17 and 28; and Sept. 10 and 21.
Costa Deliziosa Eastern Mediterranean Europe Cruise
Costa Deliziosa’s seven-night itineraries feature calls at Bari, Italy; Corfu, Mykonos and Santorini, Greece; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Rates start at $549. The ship sails roundtrip Venice July 12; and Aug. 9, 16, 23 and 30.
Costa Pacifica Northern Europe
Costa Pacifica’s northern Europe itineraries feature eight different countries in 11 nights. The ship departs Kiel, Germany, Aug. 5 and 27, and calls at Gdynia, Poland; Klaipeda, Lithuania; Riga, Latvia; Tallinn; Helsinki; Nynashamn or Stockholm, Sweden; and an overnight at St. Petersburg. Rates start at $749.
Costa Luminosa Summer Baltics
Familiar with Costa Luminosa from their sailings to the Caribbean? Try the Jewels of the Baltic itinerary, a first of its kind for Costa. Book-ended by overnights at Stockholm, Sweden, and highlighted by an overnight at St. Petersburg, Russia, the seven-night sailing calls at the popular Baltic ports of Tallinn, Estonia, and Helsinki, Finland.
Rates start at $499. Departures are June 6, 20 and 27; July 4, 11 and 25; and Aug. 1 and 8.
Costa Diadema Queen of the Mediterranean
Cruise on Costa Diadema, Costa’s new flagship, with seven-night sailings in the western Med. The “Queen of the Mediterranean” calls at Marseille, France; Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Naples and La Spezia, Italy. Rates start at $499. Departures from Savona include June 20; July 18 and 25; Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; and Sept. 5, 12, 19 and 26.
Costa Fascinosa Balearic Islands
Costa Fascinosa’s seven-night itinerary is highlighted by an overnight at summer hotspot Ibiza in the Balearic Islands. The itinerary also calls at Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Palermo, Sicily; and Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona. Rates start at $599. Roundtrip departures from Savona are July 12, 19 and 26; Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; and Sept. 6.
Costa Mediterranea Croatia and Greece
Costa Mediterranea’s seven-night itineraries call at Venice; Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Argostoli and Corfu, Greece. Roundtrip departures from Trieste, Italy, are May 30; June 13 and 27; July 4, 11, 18 and 25; and Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. Rates start at $449.
Costa Favolosa Norway
Costa Favolosa’s seven-night northern Europe itinerary is an exploration of Norway with five calls in the country: Hellesylt, Geiranger, Bergen, Kristiansand and Oslo. The ship also visits Warnemünde (Berlin), Germany. Rates start at $849. Roundtrip departures from Copenhagen, Denmark, are July 11 and 18; and Aug. 1, 8 and 15.
Europe Cruise Variable Pricing Too Good To Pass Up, We Checked
It’s one thing for a cruise line to offer great lead-in pricing, they all do that. But present that great price with a variety of other variables that seem to support an even better overall value, now that’s quite a claim and one worth of investigating. We did just that, testing one of the 7-night sailings of Costa Diadema sailing round-trip Barcelona; a standard first cruise in the Mediterranean for many.
First, checking the conversion rate of $Dollars to €Euro that close comparison observation noted is still accurate. Traveling today, it would feel like goods and services purchased over there cost about 10% more when traveling within countries of the European Union. Not all that long ago it felt like things cost a third more, a sizeable difference.
Looking at airfare too, there are deals out there to be had without looking very hard. Depending on where travelers begin their flight, round-trip air to Barcelona can be had during the promotional period Costa is pushing for as little as $600 round-trip. That’s as much as half off what it was not long ago.
Waiting until the last-minute to book is a normally a risky planning strategy that we don’t often condone. Looking far into the future gives us time to prepare for travel in many areas. Still, every once in a while an offer comes along that causes a great amount of interest; it’s just too good to pass up. For those who have a flexible travel schedule, this is one of those moments.
Booking Information To Note
All cruise-only fares are per person, double occupancy, and do not include government taxes and fees. Departures from alternate embarkation ports available on select itineraries.
For reservations and more information on Costa’s summer cruises, call your travel professional or 800-GO-COSTA, visit www.costacruise.com or check out the line’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/costacruises.