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Massive Cruise Industry Sale Starts October 17

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CRUISE
AP

Bargain hunters, start your engines!

If you're even thinking about taking a cruise next year, you may find your dream voyage on sale for a limited time. The entire cruise industry, some 25 companies, is putting 2012 departures on sale in a promotion called "The World's Largest Cruise Sale." This includes conventional cruise ships, riverboats, tiny yacht-like vessels carrying a few people, tall ships, the priciest ships in the world and those charging under $75 per person, per day.

Scheduled for October 17 through 23, the sale is sponsored by Cruise Lines International Association, or CLIA, which represents more than 95 percent of the North American cruise industry, with some 5,000 travel agencies across the U.S. participating.

For the public this means potential savings of $100 to $5,000 or more in some cases, credits for shipboard spending valued at $50 to over $300, upgrades to suite accommodations or other incentives such as complimentary shore excursions, deposit waivers and more. Among the outstanding offers: Three- to five-day Caribbean cruises starting at $249, six- to eight-day sailings starting at $429; $2,000 savings per couple on a river cruise through Burgundy and Provence; and two-for-one fares with free airfare plus up to $5,000 in bonus savings on sailings in Europe or the Pacific.

All of CLIA's cruise line members are participating. Incentives can be found across all cruise categories, from the major cruise brands to ultra-luxury companies to niche market and adventure cruise lines, including river cruises in Europe and Asia. Participating CLIA member cruise lines include: AmaWaterways, American Cruise Lines, Avalon Waterways, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Hurtigruten, Louis Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Windstar Cruises.

Anne Campbell is editor of ShipCritic Blog and Cruising From New York.