Overseas Airfare

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#1
1,401 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
I'm at a loss of how to make a European cruise affordable. While I can find cruise prices I consider well within my budget, the astronomical cost of flying overseas is making me think this is a luxury I cannot afford.

Boggles my mind that the cost of airfare would be two-three times the cost of the cruise.
#2
647 Posts
Joined May 2010
We are in the same shape..would love to do a Med/Greece cuise, but I can do 2 or 3 cruises from Galveston, just for the price of the airfare. I would like to hear good info from anyone who has been also.
#3
Raleigh NC
24,462 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
We have done European cruises the last three years and yes, airfare is expensive. One thing we do is take longer cruises so we get to see as much as possible with only one flight. Another thing is to check surrounding airports that you are willing to go to for a flight. An example, we are 3 hours from Dulles but drove there to fly to Paris because we saved $600 / pp (and there are three of us). It is not ideal but $1,800 goes a long way. My rule of thumb is if I can get close to $1,000 / pp, I book the flight.
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#4
Wasilla, AK
821 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Certain cities are much more expensive to fly into, so make sure you check other cruise ports. Often Rome, Venice and Athens offer similar itineraries but Rome is MUCH cheaper to fly into. Being flexible with airports in the states and dates can save you $600-1000. I flew to Venice and back though from Orlando never for more than $1300 (included high season of summer and Christmas and other times of the year, my DH lived near there for two years). Athens is SUPER expensive to fly into even from Europe so I'd definitely try an Italian port if you're trying to go there.
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#5
14,119 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Agree, cities such as Barcelona and Venice are always priced higher. Rome usually a much cheaper city to fly into and out of.

If you can cruise before summer vacation starts or in the early fall, you are going to find cheaper airfare. You cannot compare the cost of the cruise with the airfare to get there; they are two different things.
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#6
QueensCreek, Arizona
2,121 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
I know your situation very well but time and patients can pay off. The wife and I have done four Medditterean cruises over the past ten years and I think the most we ever paid for airfare was $850 per person. Timing is everything. Try to pick a 12 day cruise sometime in May before the summer hike in airfares. It is common knowlegde that summer airfares in Europe (June through August) are very pricy. We have cruised out of Barcelona twice and Rome twice. Barcelona is probably the best place for a first European cruise. I say this because Hotels in Barcelona are reasonbly priced when compared to Rome. Also it is easy going getting to the Port in Barcelona compared to Rome. Note: Romes port is 60 miles from the city and can be inexpensive if you use the train system ($20 Euros). The ships transportation will fun about $80 to $90 Euros per person. Private transportation will run a minimum of 160 Euros or more. Don't take a taxi unless you are prepared to hand out more than 280 Euros. Barcelona from the Airport to the cruise port is 30 Euros for two people excluding tip. If you do fly into Barcelona and it is May make sure it is not during the week of the Spainish Grand Prix when getting a hotel can be expensive. I think you can get a reasonably priced hotel four star Hotel in Barcelona for around $100 Euros. Don't give up go to "Kayak" and run airfares for the month of May and see what you can come up with. With persistance you can get an airfare under that $1000 mark. My rule of thumb is if the airfare exceeds the price of the cruise its a no go. For a first time cruiser to Europe alway plan to stay at least two days before the cruise. I hope this informatinl helps. Tim
#7
17 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I have been able to see some wonderful cities in Europe, and kept the airfare affordable, by going on transatlantic cruises. You can purchase one way fare to London and cruise out of Southhampton or Dover. Pick a cruise with some good European stops before it heads across the Atlantic back to the USA. One year I got a $500 one-way flight to London, took a transatlantic cruise with stops in France, Spain, Portugal, and ended in Houston. The domestic flight from Houston to home was very affordable. Best of luck to you.
#8
midwest
4,164 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by vivian02
I know your situation very well but time and patients can pay off. The wife and I have done four Medditterean cruises over the past ten years and I think the most we ever paid for airfare was $850 per person. Timing is everything. Try to pick a 12 day cruise sometime in May before the summer hike in airfares. It is common knowlegde that summer airfares in Europe (June through August) are very pricy. We have cruised out of Barcelona twice and Rome twice. Barcelona is probably the best place for a first European cruise. I say this because Hotels in Barcelona are reasonbly priced when compared to Rome. Also it is easy going getting to the Port in Barcelona compared to Rome. Note: Romes port is 60 miles from the city and can be inexpensive if you use the train system ($20 Euros). The ships transportation will fun about $80 to $90 Euros per person. Private transportation will run a minimum of 160 Euros or more. Don't take a taxi unless you are prepared to hand out more than 280 Euros. Barcelona from the Airport to the cruise port is 30 Euros for two people excluding tip. If you do fly into Barcelona and it is May make sure it is not during the week of the Spainish Grand Prix when getting a hotel can be expensive. I think you can get a reasonably priced hotel four star Hotel in Barcelona for around $100 Euros. Don't give up go to "Kayak" and run airfares for the month of May and see what you can come up with. With persistance you can get an airfare under that $1000 mark. My rule of thumb is if the airfare exceeds the price of the cruise its a no go. For a first time cruiser to Europe alway plan to stay at least two days before the cruise. I hope this informatinl helps. Tim

Thanks for the great information. Appreciate you taking the time.
#9
Texas
822 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
This is a GREAT thread. The Mr. & I would love to do a cruise to Europe next summer. (It really doesn't matter where, since we've not traveled in Europe at all!) I have been pricing it out like we were going this year and like the OPs have said, have found airfare quite steep! Sadly, going in the 'cheaper' season is not an option. As a teacher, I really need to vacation in the summer months. (Another good reason to look forward to retirement! )

This summer we are doing an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle. I booked our airfare in October and already it has doubled in price! I'm wondering if I booked our summer 2013 cruise this summer if I'd be able to find some good prices on airfare. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks for letting me 'chime in' with my question on this thread. I love CC!
#10
South Carolina
399 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Teacher_91
This is a GREAT thread. The Mr. & I would love to do a cruise to Europe next summer. (It really doesn't matter where, since we've not traveled in Europe at all!) I have been pricing it out like we were going this year and like the OPs have said, have found airfare quite steep! Sadly, going in the 'cheaper' season is not an option. As a teacher, I really need to vacation in the summer months. (Another good reason to look forward to retirement! )

This summer we are doing an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle. I booked our airfare in October and already it has doubled in price! I'm wondering if I booked our summer 2013 cruise this summer if I'd be able to find some good prices on airfare. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks for letting me 'chime in' with my question on this thread. I love CC!
I doubt you'll find cheap airfare to Europe in the summer, regardless of how far out you book. I've been searching for years and it's always high in the summer. As you say, wait for retirement
#11
106 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by roomwithaview
I have been able to see some wonderful cities in Europe, and kept the airfare affordable, by going on transatlantic cruises. You can purchase one way fare to London and cruise out of Southhampton or Dover. Pick a cruise with some good European stops before it heads across the Atlantic back to the USA. One year I got a $500 one-way flight to London, took a transatlantic cruise with stops in France, Spain, Portugal, and ended in Houston. The domestic flight from Houston to home was very affordable. Best of luck to you.
If you are flying one way, most of the airlines will charge you for a round trip. One exception to this is Aer Lingus, the Irish airline. You can book a true one way flight to Europe. The only catch is that you will have to fly into Ireland and spend a delightful time in either Dublin or Shanon airport. Then catch a connecter to Heathrow or other English stop.
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#12
Virginia Beach,VA
731 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
We have been to Europe six times the last 5 years on cruises and land vacations and airfare has always been expensive even though we vacation in the spring and the fall. Will be going again on a cruise in October RT Venice /Greek Isles and post cruise to Milan. The airfare is still around $1250 per person when I checked earlier today. I doubt it will go lower than that. But I want to go on this cruise/vacation so will have to bite the bullet...
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#13
106 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by celyvabeach
We have been to Europe six times the last 5 years on cruises and land vacations and airfare has always been expensive even though we vacation in the spring and the fall. Will be going again on a cruise in October RT Venice /Greek Isles and post cruise to Milan. The airfare is still around $1250 per person when I checked earlier today. I doubt it will go lower than that. But I want to go on this cruise/vacation so will have to bite the bullet...
Try checking the price via the cruise line as this might be cheaper (i.e., Cruiseair for Royal or Celebrity). You will need your booking number to access the site. Ask your TA for the exact instructions.
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#14
Virginia Beach,VA
731 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by Marveagle
Try checking the price via the cruise line as this might be cheaper (i.e., Cruiseair for Royal or Celebrity). You will need your booking number to access the site. Ask your TA for the exact instructions.
Last cruise in November on Celebrity we booked thru Cruise Air. It was about $900.00 (Istanbul / Barcelona) including bus transfer to airport. At this point it is not available for our RCL sailing yet. Will continue monitoring prices.
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*Carnival Dream April 2019-7 days Carib- New Orleans RT- Honduras, Belize, Cozumel
*NCL Pearl Oct 2018- 5 days Pacific Coastal- Vancouver to LA- Victoria BC, Astoria Oregon
* HAL Eurodam Feb 2018- 7 days W. Carib- FLL RT- Half Moon Cay, Jamaica, Cayman, Key West
* Carnival Sunshine June 2017-5 days Bahamas- Norfolk RT- Nassau, Freeport
* Carnival Sunshine Oct 2016- 8 days Carib/Bahamas-Norfolk RT- Nassau, Dominican Rep, Turks & Caicos
* Carnival Splendor May 2015- 5 days Bahamas- Norfolk RT- Nassau, Freeport
* Celebrity Millennium Feb 2014- 14 days S.E. Asia- HK- to Singapore- Macau, Lantau Is, Vietnam, Thailand, 3 weeks side trip to Philippines
* RCL Splendour OTS Oct 2012-7 days Greek Isles-Venice RT- Bari, Kusadasi, Corfu, Santorini, Katakolon, side trip to N. Italy, Prague, Austria, Germany
* Celeb Constellation Nov 2011-14 days Holy Land-Istanbul to Barcelona- Kusadasi/ Marmaris Turkey, Athens, Rhodes, Israel, Valleta Malta
* Star Princess Aug 2010- 11 days Baltic-Copenhagen RT- Sweden, Finland, St. Petersburg, Estonia, Poland, Norway
* RCL Enchantment OTS May 2010-6 days Bermuda- Norfolk RT- Bermuda
* HAL Eurodam March 2010- 7 days E. Carib- FLL RT- St Thomas, San Juan, Turks & Caicos, Half Moon Cay
* Carnival Imagination Nov 2009-3 days Bahamas- Miami RT- Nassau
* RCL Voyager OTS Oct 2007- 7 days W. Med- Barcelona RT -Monte Carlo, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sicily
* HAL Maasdam Dec 2006-11 days S.Carib -Norfolk RT- St Thomas, San Juan, Dominica,St Kitts, Barbados, HM Cay
* HAL Zuiderdam Aug 2006 - 11 days Alaska Cruisetour /Yukon
land tour from Anchorage to Denali, Fairbanks, Yukon, Skagway; cruise Skagway- Vancouver
#15
148 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I second the suggestion of looking at the air options provided by the cruiseline, even though there are downsides to buying their group tickets (lack of flexibility, no ability to reserve seats ahead of time, etc.). For me it made my Western Med cruise possible as I was able to get fares under $1000/pp to Barcelona through Madrid on Iberia (def. no frills, but we made it!).
#16
Maine
809 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I second the idea of using Aer Lingus. Two years ago we did a TA ending in Rome. Aer Lingus was the only cheap tickets I could find. We flew out of Rome in early April to Dublin. Stayed there a couple of days, then had a second ticket from Dublin to Boston. Probably could have just set the tickets up for a couple of hours apart and stayed at the airport but I tend to worry about missing flights and I saw staying in Dublin as a plus.

Total cost was about $1400 for two people which was about half the cost of other airlines.
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#17
Houston
317 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
This is the only thing that cruising solo has it's advantages. I may pay double for the cruise but at least have only 1 airfare. I took a TA in 2007 and only had to pay the airfare back from London. I will be looking for bargains next year for my Europe cruise.
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#18
Seattle, WA
7 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by april47
This is the only thing that cruising solo has it's advantages. I may pay double for the cruise but at least have only 1 airfare. I took a TA in 2007 and only had to pay the airfare back from London. I will be looking for bargains next year for my Europe cruise.
If cruising solo was and option for me, financially I'd do it in a heartbeat. But having a SO means paying for two people, so we've been reading over Traveling on a Budget and we've learned a few good tips and compared overseas flights using the fare compare option. There are so many resources out there, honestly, it's made our budgeting a lot less stressful than it used to be.
#19
Texas
822 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by AmberR108
If cruising solo was and option for me, financially I'd do it in a heartbeat. But having a SO means paying for two people, so we've been reading over
Originally posted by AmberR108
Traveling on a Budget and we've learned a few good tips and compared overseas flights using the fare compare option. There are so many resources out there, honestly, it's made our budgeting a lot less stressful than it used to be.


I've added this link to my favorites. I'm always looking for another research tool! Thanks!
#20
new york , USA
34 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
search thru different sites like vayama, expedia, then the airline directly. i book from nyc to barcelona and back from venice to nyc for $1100 per person making a stop.