Experienced Cruise Lines
Budget cruises are often run aboard older cruise liners that sail shorter routes. Don't let their age fool you though, these cruise liners are often every bit as grand and luxurious as newer ships - just with extra character. Look out for older ships from cruise lines that own newer bigger ships, as these can often yield great bargains. This means that all the major cruise lines have the potential for great budget cruises.
Finding a budget cruise in peak season is rare, and there's no reason why you can't have as good a time at the start and end of the cruise seasons. For example, take an Alaskan cruise in less popular September, and you could witness the other-worldly Northern Lights and pay much less for your cruise than the high season cruisers.
Repositioning cruises are sold as budget cruises as cruise lines must move their vessels to a different region for the start of a new cruise season. More days at sea and fewer stops make these cruises cheaper, but if you're on a five-star cruise liner you probably won't even mind. Remember to factor in travel costs to and from each port that could include two one-way airfares. Repositioning transatlantic cruises or transpacific cruises, at a bargain price is what all budget cruises should aspire to.
Cheap River Cruises
River cruises are run all year around. Avoid school holidays and peak holiday times including public holidays and you could be on to a winner. You could take a Murray River cruise and sample some of Australia’s best wine regions. Pick a less popular time of year for a cheap river cruise and you’ll have plenty left to stock up on some vintage.