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Aussie dollar drives cruise bookings

As the Aussie dollar tumbles against the US dollar, the cruise industry emerges as the one to weather the storm, writes John Pond.

Cruiseabout general manager Jarrod Pask said travellers take currency shifts into account when booking their holiday and respond to volatile conditions by focusing their attention on options that offer stability and certainty.

“Cruising is a popular way to keep a holiday budget in check when the dollar is unstable, especially when the onboard currency is Australian dollars. Cruising offers travellers’ greater predictability for their expected travel costs because the price includes accommodation, transport, meals and entertainment, giving holidaymakers greater peace of mind compared to land-based holidays that are more susceptible to currency fluctuations,” Mr Pask said.

Cruising on ships trading in AUD on-board has proved to be the preference for many travellers given the current climate. “Our bookings for the first quarter of 2016 indicate cruise lines such as P&O and Carnival, where the on-board currency is Australian dollars, are the top pick for travellers, with bookings for these cruise lines growing this year.”

Cruiseabout reports bookings taken so far in 2016 are up by 30 per cent for P&O compared to the same booking period last year, while Carnival Cruise Lines is up 25 per cent and Princess Cruises up 8 per cent. “Travelling on these cruise lines ensures passengers can head overseas without having to worry about foreign exchange shifts, meaning they can bypass the headache of overseas transaction fees and being short changed when converting from Australian dollars. “The value really becomes apparent when we look at the per-night cost of equivalent holidays.

“For example, a 10-night Pacific Islands cruise costs about $120 per person a night, while a five-night stay at a three-stay resort in Fiji with flights costs around $243 per person per night, but that doesn’t include expenses like meals and entertainment, all of which would be subject to exchange rates and international transaction fees.”

Do you find cruising an affordable way to travel? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Alana Lowes

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