(Updated August 30, 7:45 a.m. EDT) -- With an average of 20 days in paid holiday leave each year, Australians have plenty of flexibility to pick up and go on a vacation -- particularly when compared to the workforce in other, more vacation-deprived nations. And that's what P&O Cruises Australia is betting on with a recently-launched last-minute fare called Pack ‘n' Go.
Pack ‘n' Go rates are guarantee fares that allow cruisers to book a cruise “quite close” to the sail date. The fares are available on select sailings only and bookings are made for a cabin category rather than a specific cabin, with full payment required within 24 hours of booking. The actual cabin assignment is made within 30 days of sailing.
Examples of the types of fares on offer can be found on the P&O Australia Web site and currently range in price from (AU)$539 per person on a 3-night Sydney cruise departing September 29, 2012 to (AU)$1,991 per person on a 16-night South Pacific Islands cruise departing October 7, 2012.
“While most of our passengers book their cruise six to 12 months ahead in order to secure their preferred itinerary and their cabin of choice, there are clearly some travellers who make a more impulsive decision to holiday and book quite close to the sailing date,” Don Clark, director of sales for travel agency Complete Cruise Solutions, told Australian trade paper Cruise Weekly.
The Pack ‘n' Go fares are for new bookings only.
The move follows a similar last-minute fare offering in the U.K. by both P&O and Cunard called Getaway, which are sold at deep discounts near to departure dates but come with a number of restrictions.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor; updated by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Content Producer