The short answer is: Yes, you can! But it requires a fair bit of digging around, a stroke of luck and some flexibility. Once a deal's unearthed, it's advisable to book straightaway, as these bargains don't hang around for long -- as we found when researching this article. It's not surprising they get snapped up -- we all know cruises are great value for money…a cruise for around £75 a day is even better.
There's no magical formula to reaching the £75-a-day mark. We found deals on long cruises, short cruises, fly cruises and ex-UK cruises. And whilst special early bird prices and onboard credit offers are available for early bookers, the cheapest, inside cabins are often discounted at the last minute -- perfect for people who can go at the drop of a hat.
Many cruise lines throw in extra added-value enticers, such as onboard spend, or money off multiple itinerary bookings, which brings the overall cost of the cruise down. Older ships often have cheaper itineraries -- but then again, lines can do special deals on brand new ships.
Prices fluctuate daily -- sometimes several times a day -- so these examples are a guide only. Here are our tips for bagging a cruise for around £75 a day.
Book Last Minute
For those who aren't choosy and who simply want a well-priced getaway, last-minute bargains for around £75 a day can often be found.
A last-minute Amsterdam Spring Break, departing five days after the time or writing onboard Cruise and Maritime Voyage’s Magellan, from Tilbury in May, was discounted by up to 70 percent, with new prices down from £279 to £99 per person for an inner twin cabin, working out at £50 a day. A twin ocean view cabin, discounted from £389 to £119 per person, worked out at less than £60 a day.
Marella Cruises had a massive £683-per-person discount for an inside cabin on all-inclusive ship Marella Discovery 2's seven-night Adriatic Splendours cruise to and from Naples, calling at Split, Venice, Dubrovnik and Sicily, departing five days after our search. At a new price of £658 per person, the daily rate worked out at just over £90. We’ve included it in our round-up because, if you take off what you’d pay for drinks, tips and flights (all covered in this offer), the cruise price would work out at below £75 a day.
"Last minute", by the way, doesn’t have to mean departing within a couple of days or weeks. We found an offer on a 12-night Princess Cruises' British Isles itinerary aboard Crown Princess, departing Southampton on June 30 2019, two months after our search. Inside cabins were priced at £921 per person -- working out at £76.75 per night. An online booking discount of £10 per person with Iglucruise.com brought the price down to just over £75.
Which leads us to our next top tip...
Book With a Specialist Cruise Travel Agent
Online travel agents' sites list up-to-date deals for all the main players, making it easier than trawling through individual cruise line's websites.
A quick search of Iglucruise.com came up plenty of options, including a seven-night Western Europe sailing on P&O Cruises' Azura departing Southampton within eight days, from £499 per person. That's just over £71 a day.
A 10-day cruise-and-stay option combining seven nights onboard Costa Cruises' Costa Fascinosa, departing within 10 days and calling at Ibiza, Palma, Majorca and Sicily, was discounted at £699 per person, including flights and a two-night Barcelona stay. This worked out at just under £70 per day.
Iglu also had a 14-night Canary Islands with Strictly Come Dancing cruise out of Southampton on P&O Cruises' Ventura, departing April 4, 2020. Inside cabins cost £1,127 per person (£69.85 per day). For a family of four, the price was £3,460 (£61.78 per person). If you want to go slightly over budget, an outside cabin costs £1,127 per person (£80.50). Online bookings qualify for an additional £10 discount and free on-board spend is offered.
Pick the Right Destination
Popular destinations -- and nearby destinations -- are your best bet for securing a cruise deal for under £75 per day. It doesn't get much closer than a round-Britain cruise, and a number of lines offer these at very reasonable prices. Slightly further afield, a number of lines will offer short cruises to France and Holland, often at the start of the cruise season in late April/early May.
And remember popular destinations, such as the Canary Islands and the Western Mediterranean, will always have competitive fares due to the number of cruise lines calling in at these ports.
But, don't forget to search for your dream destination. You might be surprised by what you find.
Look to Entry-Level Cabins on Big-Ship Cruise Lines
First things first: When searching for a £75-per-day, per-person cruise fare, look toward the cruise lines that offer these sorts of fares on a regular basis. While we'd all love to sail on intimate, luxurious yachts for £75 per day, it's never going to happen.
Instead, look at the cruise lines that have a lot of 2,000-plus-passenger ships in their fleets and sail to more varied destinations. Fred. Olsen repeatedly earns accolades for best value cruises because rates are low on average, and a lot is included in your cruise fare. You can also find inexpensive cruises on lines like Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Costa, Norwegian, Princess and even Celebrity and Holland America.
At this price point, you're most likely looking at windowless inside cabins or ocean-view rooms with a porthole or picture window but no balcony. You certainly won't be getting the fancy suites you might see in cruise line ads. On the flip side, some entry-level cabins can sleep up to four people, and with third and fourth passengers generally paying reduced rates for their bunk bed or pull-out sofa accommodations, you can bring everyone's base price down by sharing a cabin.
Travel During Low Season or Shoulder Season
If you're willing to travel in the shoulder season, you'll often score lower prices. For example, late April/early May is the beginning of the Med's cruise season, so you'll find less expensive fares then, as well as at the end of the season, as soon as the schools go back from early- to mid-September.
If you're after winter sun, you'll find a number of cruise lines offering excellent deals to the Canary Islands, including Saga Cruises, P&O Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Marella and Cunard.
And if you are willing to forego warmth, you can often snag terrific cruise deals in the autumn and even the winter when some lines including Viking Cruises, Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises still offer sailings in the region.
For example, we found a seven-night Western Mediterranean roundtrip cruise from Marseille, France, on MSC Grandiosa for just £50 per person, per day, in early December. Another seven-night option in November is an Eastern Mediterranean cruise on Costa Deliziosa, sailing roundtrip from Venice for just £75 per day.
Look At Early Saver Deals
Early saver deals can bring the price within the £75-a-day target, even on longer cruises. P&O Cruises' Aurora's Caribbean and America Discovery calls at an impressive 23 ports over 55 days, for less than £70 a day. After leaving Southampton, Aurora ports at Madeira before crossing to the Caribbean with Barbados the first stop in the archipelago.
Hot favourites such as St Lucia, Antigua and Jamaica are mixed with lesser-visited gems such as Tobago, Tortola, Grenada and St Kitts. There's a stop at Mexico before the ship heads to US ports including New Orleans, Miami, Charleston, before heading back to Southampton, via Bermuda and the Azores. Early savers on this mammoth trip, which leaves on January 4 2020, start at £3,875 per person – that’s just £70.45 a day!
Add On to a Long Haul Trip
If you're already planning a long-haul holiday, adding a cruise is a good way to get the most out of a destination. A huge amount of US cruise lines operate out of Florida, with cruise-only deals available within the £75-per-day mark.
New ship Carnival Panorama launches in December 2019 and has a seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise departing January 11, 2020. The trip from Long Beach, California, calls at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan ad Puerto Vallarta with three fun days at sea. Prices start from £499 per person for seven nights in an inside stateroom with all meals and port taxes plus a $400 onboard credit per stateroom. This offers brilliant value for money -- seven nights on the Mexican Riviera on a ship that is less than one month old. You’d be hard pressed to find a hotel of that quality for £71 per person per day!
Don't Forget About Transatlantic Crossings
Targeting short-cruise deals is a clever strategy, but don't skip a search of longer voyages -- especially transatlantic repositioning cruises. These voyages are often discounted to fill the ship that's switching from one cruise region to another (crossing the Atlantic to move from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, for example) for the next season.
We found a 15-night itinerary on Celebrity Silhouette departing Southampton in October and calling at Boston, New York, Bermuda and Fort Lauderdale for just £57 per person per night -- including return flights!
Consider Older Ships
The fact is, £75-per-day cruises are generally found aboard older ships, and the UK has no shortage of those. Lines such as Marella, CMV and Fred. Olsen operate ships which average more than 20 years afloat; even P&O Cruises older and smaller ships such as Aurora turns 19 this year. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Mainstream cruise lines do an amazing job of keeping their ships updated and refurbished, but you should know that the product you're sailing for £75 or less per day probably won't have all the bells and whistles of a brand-new ship.
The bottom line here is that you should take the time to search for your dream cruises to see if there's a chance of finding a deal with a per diem of £75 or less. If the right elements align, you just might find yourself an amazing cruise deal.