In a new twist on selling last minute cruise cabins, easyCruise announced today it has "partnered" with eBay. eBay users will be able to buy cruises on both an "auction" and "buy it now" basis. While auction prices will start at just 1 GBP ($1.87 according to latest exchange rates) in the U.K., "buy it now" prices will start from 30 GBP ($56) per person, for a two-night break and 39 GBP ($73) per person for a three-night break, based on two people sharing.
You can still troll the easyCruise Web site as well -- it has special offers that are competitive with "buy it now," such as a French and Italian Riviera trip from 39 GBP per person for a three-night cruise. But more typically, fares for those travelers who must plan ahead run about 99 GBP per person for a three-night weekend in the Caribbean.
The offers, right now available only on eBay's main site, will be expanded to the company's more regional sites in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, India, USA and Australia. Itineraries will be expanded to the Caribbean when that season begins for easyCruiseOne.
So far the deals would make even the most parsimonious cruiser's eyes light up -- an inspection of the current "completed" easyCruise auctions on eBay.co.uk showed someone winning a three-night cruise for two to the French Riviera for 1 GBP! But the concept is clearly based on attracting bids from folks who don't need to worry about long-term planning or the need for airfare. That 1 GBP pound cruise fare may quickly escalate when airfare and transportation costs to the port are factored in.
--by Dan Askin, Editorial Assistant