What is Wave Season?

what is wave season for cruises
Make your money go farther by capitalizing on the best wave season deals. - Photo by Andrii Vodolazhskyi

Frequent cruisers are well versed in cruise lingo, but a few words and phrases, like “Wave Season”, still spark confusion and uncertainty. When we asked our members what they thought it meant, some people thought that it had something to do with the time of the year when you're most likely to encounter rough seas, while others thought it referred to waving goodbye to the port as your ship sails away. Let's set the record straight:

What is Wave Season?

Wave season is a three-month period from (approximately) January 1 to March 31, when cruise lines and travel agents book a very large number of cruise cabins. Think of it as a “wave” of bookings; it’s kind of like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but it lasts for three whole months.


Why January to March?

This is the most popular time for cruise bookings. The stress of the holidays is over and winter is in full swing, meaning more people than ever are looking for a getaway. Plus, this is the time that tax refunds start rolling in and people tend to have a little extra cash to spend on vacations.


What can Wave Season do for me?

Wave Season is a great time to book a cruise! Now, this isn’t because the fares themselves are cheaper than usual (though you might find some great deals if you sign up for our price alerts). Instead, beginning in late December or early January, the cruise lines tend to roll out their biggest and best promotions of the year and only offer them for bookings made in the next 60 to 90 days.

When you book during wave season, you can get free drink and dining packages, free internet, free onboard credit, and more when you book your cruise. Similar offers may be available at other times of the year, but they’re rarely as rich as what you’ll find in January.

The cruise lines want to fill as many cabins as possible early in the year so they don’t have to drop prices 30 or 60 days before sailing, so they make compelling, amenity-rich offers to get you to book.


What are the best Wave Season deals for 2018?

We thought you’d never ask! We reviewed Wave Season offers from the major cruise lines and think these are among the best. Book fast, as many of the deals are only eligible until the end of January 2018!


Celebrity Cruises: Onboard Credit & More

  • The first two passengers in a stateroom can receive up to $150 in onboard credit, a classic beverage package, prepaid tips or unlimited internet.
  • Guests in oceanviews can book two perks while suite guests receive all perks, along with $400 savings and a premium beverage package.
  • Can be applied towards cruises from February 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019.
  • Book by January 31, 2018

Princess Cruises: Free Dining & Onboard Credit

  • Receive up to $600 in onboard credit per cruise, plus free specialty dining. Can be applied towards sailings from summer 2018 through spring 2019.
  • Book by February 14, 2018


Azamara: 50% Off Second Fare & Free Internet

  • Book a Club Oceanview stateroom or higher cabin category and get the second cruise fare half off.
  • Free internet for the entire cruise.
  • A variety of Europe and Med sailings. 
  • Book by February 28, 2018


Cunard: Free Cabin Upgrades

  • Receive a cabin category upgrade, free of charge, when you book your next Cunard cruise.
  • Past passengers also prepaid tips, and Grills Suite guests get a free beverage package.
  • A variety of sailings to destionatins like  the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska & more. 
  • Book by February 28, 2018



Join the discussion

Do you always book during wave season?

1 Comment

Posted by travelcruise

when will you have the 2019 specials posted?

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