Monday, April 23, 2007

Get your Hawaii cruise bargains while they last

Norwegian Cruise Lines, which has invested heavily in beefing up its Hawaii cruise operation in recent years, is now cutting way back on it, with plans to remove two of its four fulltime ships there within the next year. NCL has announced that the Norwegian Sun will leave Hawaii as of October 2007 and its Pride of Hawaii will pull out as of February 2008 (sounds like a name change may be in order).

Right now, with available cabins still plentiful, NCL's Hawaii cruises are terrific bargains. For instance, I just checked the Internet discounter, which is featuring oceanview cabins on NCL's Pride Of America -- departing Honolulu April 28 and stopping at the Big Island, Maui, and Kauai before returning to Oahu a week later -- for just $549 per passenger, double occupancy. That's a staggering 88 percent off the brochure price. Balcony cabins are going for just $949, an 82 percent discount. Hurry!

If that's a bit short notice, many subsequent sailings have deals almost as good. The Pride of Hawaii is sailing a similar week-long itinerary with a May 28 departure and oceanview cabins at $699, which is 77 percent off the brochure price. Or you can get an inside cabin for $549 per passenger.

Once Norwegian cuts its Hawaii fleet in half by next year, however, there's a very good chance that prices will go up -- based on the law of supply and demand. With fewer cabins available, incredible bargains like these will become harder to find.

So if you're thinking about cruising to Hawaii in the future, you might do well to think "near future."

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