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dcherry

wow, airfare to Europe (Venice) almost twice the cruise cost

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I'd love to book one of the Greek Isle cruises but the airfare is so expensive. Any tips or advice?

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You might want to consider flying into Rome and taking the train. It is what we did as we were on FF points and USAirways didn't have any seats on their flights directly to Venice. It was fairly easy, let my Mom see some of the Italian countryside and we made stopped in Florence on our way back to Rome for our return flight.

 

 

Of course, you could probably find even cheaper fares to Frankfort or London but depending on the train fare, it might wipe out any savings.

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Next month? Next year? Flying from Boston? Boise? Bemidji?

 

Was looking at a cruise next summer. I'd be leaving from the D.C. area.

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Next summer covers a long period of time. Right now, RT airfare from IAD-VCE for next June ranges from ~$1157 to $1552. For the dates that are available for next July so far, it's even higher; not much lower than $1557. Even looking at May instead, with the exception of leaving May 22, 2012, which for some reason, the fare is only $777 on Turkish Airways, it's about the same price.

 

I don't see it any cheaper flying to FCO instead, or changing to other departure airports (such as PHL). Also flying to Frankfurt or London instead, and taking a LCC to VCE, is not going to save you anything at today's prices.

 

IME, if you can get a fare that time of year for your routing at $1100 or less, you are doing well.

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I'd love to book one of the Greek Isle cruises but the airfare is so expensive. Any tips or advice?

 

I have not checked the viability of this option but have you considered cruising TO Europe and then cruising IN Europe?

 

DON

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It's too early to expect competitive fares for transatlantic flights to Europe for next summer. The airlines have no way of knowing what the price of fuel will be, or relative currency valuations, so they just set fares high enough to create a hedge. Plus which, they'll have your money for almost a year, earning returns on it (instead of you doing likewise.)

 

As a cruiser myself and a part-time (very) TA, I'm always struck at how early cruisers tend to book their cruises and flights. The cruise industry is unique among travel providers in accepting reservations so far in advance; you can't book airline tickets farther out than 11 or 12 months (depending on the airline) as it is. It's true that in some extraordinary circumstances the cabin grade/location on some sailing you want might be sold out months and months before the cruise date, but it's really quite rare. More often, cruise prices - like airfares - will come down after the initial booking phase, as the cruise lines and airlines have a better sense of how a given product is selling, what the economy is looking like, etc.

 

So my recommendation is to hang tough and wait and see how airfares move over the next few months. I suspect that even if you wait until the late autumn or early winter, you won't see much change in airfares (or even cruise prices) and in the meantime you can be earning some princely interest earnings (ha ha) on your money, instead of the cruise or airline companies doing the same. Just my opinion, of course, YMMV.

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Was looking at a cruise next summer. I'd be leaving from the D.C. area.

 

That's the bulk of your problem; you are trying to fly to a popular tourist destination in the peak of tourist season.

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You should certainly check fares to Milan. it's an easy train ride from there to Venice.

 

Further away but often much cheaper to fly into are Zurich and Munich. Both of these cities have fairly easy train connections to Venice. This Sept. we found it almost $500 cheaper to fly into Zurich than into Venice.

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We are flying to Venice for our cruise next month and no matter who we spoke to they told us that you're most likely NEVER going to get a cheap fare to Venice. It's just not a hub airport and there aren't a ton of flight options so you're going to pay more. The cheapest we could get booking 2 months out was about $1100 (including taxes and fees). I don't think that is terrible at all, but it still makes the cruise that much more expensive.

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Personally, I have never found cheaper fares to Milan, and agree that Venice is also expensive. IME, it has always been less expensive to fly into Rome, but sometimes not enough to bother with, when you add on the cost/time to get from there to Venice.

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