Cruise prices are way up as operators meet surging travel demand

Carnival and Royal Caribbean are setting ticket prices higher than pre-pandemic levels and are indicating they may raise them further

Oct 10, 2023

According to data from Cruise Critic, a cruise review site owned by Tripadvisor, the average price of a five-night cruise in the Caribbean for December of this year is $736, roughly 37% higher than the average price a year earlier. Compared to 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic decimated the cruising industry, December ticket prices are up 43%.

Key takeaways

  • Aaron Saunders, a senior editor at Cruise Critic, said part of what’s driving the price surge is the comparison to high airfares;
  • With travelers facing higher costs across the broader sector, and considering cruises typically include additional amenities such as meals and entertainment, consumers are likely to gravitate in that direction;
  • While in a pre-pandemic world, last-minute bookings meant cheaper deals to secure a cabin, the prices are now so high that they’ll only increase more as the vacation date nears.

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