Whilst the cost of everyday household items and food increases, it seems that the cost of holidays has dropped significantly. Cruise holidays, once the preserve of the wealthy, have now become affordable and accessible.
Research conducted by P&O Cruises finds that whilst a two week cruise holiday this summer in an ocean view cabin costs £1579 per person, the actual cost of the same holiday ten years ago was £2520.
P&O Cruises managing director, Nigel Esdale said: "The cumulative inflation rate between May 1998 and May 2008 is 32%*, so if cruise holidays had increased accordingly, then our prices should be more than double those in this summer's brochure. In actual fact, this year's prices are more than £900 cheaper per person, almost £2,000 cheaper for a couple than ten years ago."
An ocean view cabin for two people on Oriana this year costs £3158 – 37% less than ten years ago when the same cabin would have cost £5040.
"Compare that to a loaf of bread, which cost 48p and is now £1.08, or a pint of draught bitter which cost £1.70 ten years ago and is now around £3 a pint or even the well documented price of a litre of unleaded petrol which cost 67p per litre in 1998 and is now £1.12. Household expenditure on everyday items has practically doubled, whilst cruise holidays have become more affordable than ever.*
"Considering a cruise holiday today includes accommodation, almost all food, entertainment and even flights, the research proves the exceptional value it provides at a time when the credit crunch is hitting our wallets in every aspect of our daily life.
"Passengers can eat in the restaurant of a celebrity chef, try bungee trampolining and circus skills, enjoy a martini in a contemporary designer bar or see a West End style show at minimal cost."
This view is endorsed by Virgin Holidays Cruises managing director, Robin Deller who said:
"At Virgin Holidays Cruises we have seen a significant increase in cruise sales in 2008. We believe this is mainly due to the fact consumers are now fully aware that a cruise holiday really does provide the best value for money. This trend seems set to continue as more innovative ships appealing to the ‘new to cruise' passenger and to families enter service."