Holland America Is Offering Standby Fares for Some of Its Cruises

Would you take a cruise for $49 per day?

Cruise Ship
One cruise line is trying something a little different.
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There’s a long tradition of travelers seeking out more inexpensive or flexible ways to see the world. This can apply to anything from flying standby to seeking out discounted hotel rooms. There have even been some forays into offering relatively affordable private jet flights. One form of travel that hasn’t necessarily fallen into the “savvy travelers seeking discounts” option are cruise ships — but for one provider, that’s all about to change.

Holland America recently announced its Standby List program. The details, as explained on its website, are relatively simple: the cost is very affordable — just $49 per day. Holland America will let people who’ve signed up for a standby spot know if they will, in fact, be traveling between two and seven days before the ship leaves port. There are some caveats, including the fact that travelers won’t get to select the type of room or its location.

Writing at Condé Nast Traveler, Jessica Puckett has a good overview of the ups and downs of Standby Line. Much of her analysis points to the challenges associated with booking fares of this type. If you’re not picky about where on the ship you sleep and your schedule is flexible enough to make this work, this could be an excellent way to head out on the high seas. If not, you might be better off going the more traditional route.

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Puckett also points out that there are some comparable non-Standby List fares for certain voyages that offer more flexibility. Doing your research ahead of time can pay off — literally, in this case.

Many — though not all — of the routes covered by Standby List are in Alaska, New England and Canada. That’s also a big factor in the appeal of Standby List: if you have no interest in any of the routes involved, a $49 fare per day — plus taxes, port expenses and fees — may not be enough to get you on board.


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