Thursday, July 19, 2007

With dollar plummeting, cruising to Europe makes sense (and cents)

According to a report in today's New York Times, the dollar is now at an all-time low against both the euro (which has climbed to 1.38 against the dollar) and the British pound (which has climbed to 2.05 against the dollar).

This means that every time you spend a U.S. dollar in Europe, it will only buy you about 72 U.S. cents worth of services -- or, when you spend a pound in England, just under 50 cents worth.

That's a decline of about nine to 10 percent for the dollar in the past year alone (and it was already bad last year).

As the Times points out, Americans traveling in Europe are facing astronomical bills for everything from hotel rooms to soft drinks.

Now, consider an American cruise ship passenger, who has already prepaid in dollars for European transportation, lodging, meals, and very possibly a fair amount of entertainment and other activities onboard. Conversion rates become far less important, and you're also likely to face far fewer surprises when the credit card bills come in for your vacation.

Sure, you'll still no doubt spend some money on land, but (unless you go overboard on the shopping) you won't face the necessity of hitting an ATM machine three times a day, either.

More than ever, it makes financial sense to see Europe by cruise ship.

Taormina, Sicilty photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

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