Travel experts have revealed why October is the best time of year to both take and book a cruise vacation.
Luxury cruise specialists at Panache Cruises have named ten reasons why holidaymakers should prioritise taking a cruise in October.
Whilst October provides the perfect combination of incredible scenery, mild weather, warm seas, fewer people and some incredible offers, it is also the perfect time to book a cruise regardless of the month of travel.
James Cole, Founder and Managing Director at Austin (Texas) based Panache Cruises explained:
“With the hot summer months behind us in the Northern Hemisphere and the warmer temperatures of spring still yet to arrive in the Southern Hemisphere, an October cruise allows us to experience the best that cruising has to offer.
“Given that the main summer vacation period is over, passenger numbers on-board are much lower and stateroom grade availability is normally much higher.
“In Northern climes, the sea in early autumn is also at its warmest making it the perfect time for watersports. Seas are typically calm and the comparatively small number of insects make for a comfortable cruising experience.
“Whilst there are a great many cruise itineraries in October to choose from, there are some regions that really stand out including the Mediterranean, the New England coastline and the Japanese and Hawaiian archipelagos.
“After the peak summer months, cruise lines often cut prices dramatically on their October sailings to stimulate demand. Consequently, October can be one of the least expensive months to cruise. Given the many advantages of cruising at this time, some of the offers available at the moment represent incredible value.
“However, October cruise promotions often extend far beyond the end of the month. With the onset of Christmas and the associated retail spending which this encourages, cruise lines often release some remarkable promotions to boost bookings in the run up to the festive period.”
Panache Cruises’ 10 Reasons Why October Is The Best Time To Cruise:
Autumn is widely regarded as the most spectacular season thanks to the glorious colors which ‘Mother Nature’ displays as a prelude to winter. A coastal cruise in October is often the best way to experience this amazing natural wonder. Whilst itineraries along the New England, New Hampshire and Maine coastlines promise some incredible scenery, many people overlook Japan’s fall foliage cruises which can also be breathtakingly beautiful. It is also possible to see the ‘Northern Lights’ (aurora borealis) in October by visiting Iceland and the North Cape of Norway. This can be the perfect time to visit before the weather becomes too cold.
For many people, the Northern Hemisphere’s peak summer months are oppressively hot and humid. Throughout many of the cruise sector’s most popular regions, the weather in October is usually pleasantly warm and perfectly suited for more active exploration on land.
Although slightly wetter, October is the start of the cruise season in the Caribbean. Despite the risk of hurricanes still being present, the prospect of your holiday being affected are much reduced. The southern Caribbean islands such as Barbados and Tobago are rarely affected at this time. Thanks to fewer visitors In October, you may well find that perfect Caribbean beach for your own exclusive use.
Avoid The Crowds
In the Northern Hemisphere, tourist numbers in October are typically less than half that of the summer’s busiest months. Although some tourist attractions are beginning to wind down in preparation for winter, most remain open with reduced opening hours. There should be very little queuing for attractions and there is no need to pre-book popular restaurants when going ashore. Embarkation and disembarkation at each port of call is often much faster too due to fewer passengers.
The Seas Are Warm
Given that water retains heat for much longer than land mass, sea temperatures are at their highest at the end of the summer months. In the Mediterranean sea temperatures in October regularly reach 77F (Farenheit) and therefore provide perfect conditions for snorkelling, scuba diving, paddle boarding and other forms of watersport. Similarly, ocean temperatures in the Caribbean and Hawaii also reach their peak in September and October.
The Kids Are Back At School
Whilst taking a cruise with little people can be a lot of fun, a child free cruise can offer several benefits. With children back at school, the availability of interconnecting staterooms and other facilities on-board is much higher. October is also a time when obtaining a private table within cruise ship restaurants is much easier. Menu choices and entertainment programmes at sea will also be much more geared towards adult clientele. Check school calendars for the mid-fall break however as this may increase prices and passenger numbers during certain weeks.
The Best Time For Foodies
The summer harvest brings with it an abundance of fresh produce and October is the perfect time to take advantage. For food and wine lovers this can have many advantages both on-board and ashore where local markets are awash with the best ingredients. From fresh truffles in Italy to the grape harvests of Sicily, the Mediterranean in fall has many treasures to savour. In North America, seafood aficionados will welcome the abundance of seafare in October, the quality of which comes to a peak as the seas start to cool.
Incredible October Festivals
The month of October plays host to a large number of world famous festivals, many of which can be easily accessed by cruise ship. Germany’s infamous Oktoberfest (held in Munich and other cities throughout Germany) is one such example which can easily be enjoyed on a European river cruise. Other autumnal festivals in Europe include the Sitges Wine Harvest and the Cavatast Festival in Barcelona.
In the run up to the holiday season, savvy people will start their Christmas shopping early. With the same global brands in shopping malls across the US, it can be refreshing to find gifts which are just not available in our home country. Buying Christmas gifts overseas can be really rewarding and the strength of the US Dollar allows for some amazing bargains to be found. Furthermore, there are no weight restrictions when transporting gifts back home on a cruise ship making overseas shopping trips by sea an attractive proposition.
Lower Cruise Prices
After the peak summer months, cruise lines often cut prices dramatically for their October sailings to stimulate demand. Consequently, October can be one of the least expensive months to cruise. Given the many advantages of cruising at this time of year, some of the offers available presently represent incredible value.
A Great Month To Book
Most people assume that the best time of year to book a cruise is January through March. Commonly referred to as ‘Wave Season’, this is a period where cruise lines release a wide variety of promotions in the post Christmas period. Few people realise though that the month of October also sees the release of some incredible offers. Throughout Europe and the US, October has affectionately become known as ‘National Cruise Month’. Look out for free stateroom upgrades and exceptionally generous free on-board spend bonuses too.
Find out more about luxury cruising by visiting the Panache Cruises website.