Saturday, February 21st, 2009
Recession in the UK and the United States has resulted in a sharp fall in the number of people taking holidays in the Caribbean, the fall of the pound has also meant that many of the most popular Caribbean islands like Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua that peg their currencies to the US dollar are not as cheap as they once were and then there is the recent scandal involving the Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford.
It is almost as if a mini tourism tsunami has hit the Caribbean this year, so much has gone wrong for this group of islands that are so dependant on sun-seeking holidaymakers visiting them. But because of this there are plenty of excellent Caribbean holiday deals to be had as tour operators begin either slashing their prices or offering what’s called “added value” so for example free nights (ten for the price of seven), or adding the meals at no extra cost when they normally charge on the basis of room only or bed and breakfast.
Example Caribbean holiday deals
I took a quick look at some of the most popular tour operators and here are some of the best deals on Caribbean holiday packages in 2009 that I could find:
Virgin Holidays: Virgin Holidays Special Offers
One of Virgin Holidays specialities are holidays in the Caribbean and they currently are offering a site wide deal saving you 10% if you book you Summer 2010 holiday on-line. If you are after something a little sooner they still have some good deals including:
7 nights at the 3 star Silver Sands hotel in Barbados in September for £549 (was £ 649) Departing from London Gatwick or Manchester airports.
Located in Little Bay which is quiet and secluded with 14 acres of gardens beside the beach.
Facilities include: Weddings, Hot tub, Frequent Virgin Club, Tennis, Scuba Diving, Swimming Pool, Fitness Centre and Windsurfing.
Kuoni, the luxury holiday tour operator have extended their beach holiday sale up until March the 16th, as well as offering a further 5% off for on-line purchases:
7 nights at a 3 star St Lucian By Rex Resorts hotel from £624 (Save up to £575)
This holiday is being offered at almost half price and is right on famous Reduit Beach, located in the Rodney Bay area of St Lucia.
The price quoted is if you fly from Manchester in February or march. prices rise a little if you fly from London.
Lastminute.com: Worldwide holidays on Lastminute.com
Lastminute.com are one of my favourite Tour operators and they almost always have some sort of a deal on, so why not try something a little different:
A 4* Full-Board Ocean Village Caribbean Cruise that departs from Barbados, arriving back 7 nights later that includes flights from London Gatwick or Manchester from only £795 (this includes a 5% discount), is incredible value.
A cruise is an excellent way to see a variety of the Caribbean islands, without adding more travelling costs to your holiday:
A Typical itinerary:
- Day 1: Fly from the U.K to Barbados where you will be met and transferred to the Ocean Village ready for embarkation and set sail from Bridgetown at 20.00
- Day 2: Enjoy a day cruising
- Day 3: Arrive in Tortola at 08.00, departing at 13.00
- Day 4: Arrive in St Barts at 08.00 departing at 18.00
- Day 5: Arrive in Antigua at 08.00 departing at 17.30
- Day 6: Arrive in Martinique at 08.00 departing at 17.00
- Day 7: Arrive in Grenada at 08.00 departing at 18.00
- Day 8: Arrive back in Barbados at 08.00, ready for disembarkation and a return flight back to the UK.If you are on the 14 night cruise, you have the day to discover Barbados.
- Day 9: Enjoy a day cruising
- Day 10: Arrive in St Kitts at 08.00, departing at 18.00
- Day 11: Arrive in St Maarten at 08.00 departing at 18.00
- Day 12: Arrive in Guadeloupe at 08.00 departing at 18.00
- Day 13: Arrive in St Lucia at 08.00 departing at 18.00
- Day 14: Arrive in Dominica at 08.00 departing at 17.00
- Day 15: Arrive back in Barbados at 08.00, ready for disembarkation and a return flight back to the UK.
You can also add on nights in Barbados before the start or after the end of your cruise.
For more details on this Caribbean Cruise
Cheap Caribbean Holiday Tips:
Other than these deals here are a few points to keep in mind to make sure that you keep the cost of a holiday to the Caribbean as cheap as possible:
Travel outside of the Peak Holiday Season
The summer here is the low season in the Caribbean and this is when holiday prices much lower than that during the peak winter months. Because the prices are already being reduced, who knows what is going to happen this year, but because the islands are struggling for business even now during high season, they are probably going to be really desperate during the off-season months, so chances are there will be even more incredible Caribbean holiday deals to be found.
Avoid the islands when they are playing international cricket
Cricket is huge in the West Indies and not only to the local fans. Travelling fans will fill up the local hotels and thus drive up the prices of not only accommodation, but also flights as well. So try to avoid an island that is hosting international cricket during your stay, that is unless you wish to watch it! England are currently touring the West Indies until April 2009 so take a look at the England in West Indies 2009 – Schedule before you book.
Book your Caribbean holiday through an on-line tour operator
The major on-line tour operators are likely to offer the best rates as their overheads are less than their shop front versions. They are also geared up to offering deals to entice holiday seekers. They also often make it much easier to compare the prices at different times of the year, for example Kuoni’s website, www.kuoni.co.uk, who have a beach holiday sale up until the 16th of March and are offering a further 5% off on-line also has an excellent calendar showing the prices of a specific holiday on different departure dates. You can see at a glance that, by staying at Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa in Jamaica on April 21 instead of April 4, you would save over £500. Lastminute.com also have this great feature.