The old saying goes that the best things in life are free and there is a cluster of cruise agents around the UK that couldn’t agree with this sentiment more.
Some of the country’s largest cruise specialists offer clubs that customers can join to access all sorts of perks. They’re free to sign up to and deliver extras from free magazines to special offers and even cash back.
Cruise clubs are open to everyone from first time cruisers to veterans of the sea, making them pretty popular with those in the know -- some have thousands of members.
Here’s our list of the best UK-based cruise clubs.
1. Bolsover Cruise Club
How to join: Filling in a simple form with the details of your name, address, phone number and email address is all it takes to join Bolsover Cruise Club. Once you’ve completed this form, you’ll be directed to a webpage where you’ll get to select your preferences so Bolsover Cruise Club can send you the deals and information that are most relevant to you. You can select the types of cruises you’re most interested in, the cruise lines you’re most partial to, and the destinations that you’ve got at the top of your wish-list.
If you can’t complete the form online for any reason, you can sign up over the phone by speaking to a Bolsover Cruise Club agent.
About: Over the past fifty years Bolsover Cruise Club has grown from a family business to one of the UK’s largest cruise agencies, selling cruises with everyone from P&O and Fred Olsen to Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
It claims that its staff have experienced more than 17,000 nights at sea collectively and has a string of awards in its trophy cabinet, from Best Cruise Holiday Retailer 2018 from to British Travel Awards to Favourite Cruise Travel Agent 2019 at the Wave Awards. In addition to selling cruises online and over the phone, Bolsover Cruise Club has bricks and mortar shops in Sheffield.
Perks: Bolsover Cruise Club’s club gives customers a free bi-monthly copy of "Into The Blue" cruise magazine, cruise deals by both post and email, exclusive cruise packages and introductory cashback offers.
2. ROL Cruise Miles
How to join: To join ROL Cruise Miles you just have to fill in a basic form with your name, address, email address, date of birth and details of whether you’re a first-time cruiser or have cruised before.
About: ROL Cruise was established more than 20 years ago and its Cruise Miles club now has more than a quarter of a million members. Independently owned, the company has won more than 50 cruise awards and it claims that its staff have a collective experience of more than 1,000 years in the travel industry. ROL Cruise sells cruises with all the big names, from Cunard to Holland America Line.
Perks: You instantly earn 1,000 cruise miles when you sign up to Cruise Miles and every mile is worth a penny against your next booking. If you book a cruise with ROL, you’ll earn another mile for every pound you spend. Cruise Miles can be redeemed against everything from pre-cruise hotel stays and stateroom upgrades to cruises themselves.
3. Sovereign Cruise Club
How to join: As with Bolsover Cruise Club and ROL Cruise’ Cruise Miles, you simply have to fill in an online form to become a member of Sovereign Cruise Club. The form asks for your name, address, phone number and email address and includes an area to leave comments.
You can also sign up to use Sovereign Cruise Club’s Wish List facility, which allows you to cherry pick your favourite offers and keep them in an online scrapbook while you deliberate. To sign-up to this, you just need to fill in a form with your name and email address and create a password.
About: Set up in 1998, Sovereign Cruise Club is a cruise agent that specialises in luxury cruises to destinations from the Galapagos to Micronesia and from the Amazon to St Tropez. In 2019 it won the UK Cruise Award for being Seabourn’s Largest Agent.
Perks: Becoming a member of Sovereign Cruise Club gives you access to cherry-picked deals by email. Sovereign also offers a Price Guarantee on all deals, saying it will beat any offer, made in writing, from any other ABTA travel agent.