The Costa Concordia shipwrecked off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy on Jan 13, taking the lives of 32 passengers. Needless to say, business turned sour for cruise companies in the weeks following the disaster as vacationers have — understandably so — shied away from booking cruises. As a result, both Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) and Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL) — parent company Costa Crociere (operator of the Costa Concordia) — have had bookings drop by percentages in the mid-teens.
Since then, the industry has been focusing on reassuring potential customers about safety rather than promoting sales. However, since this the most crucial booking time for cruise lines — almost one third of all cruises booked during the first quarter of the year — the industry is starting to ramp up its sales effort to salvage lost revenue.
Cruise deals on Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), have jumped 60% compared to the same time last year, and Travelocity has recently extended its Cruise Super Sale through the end of February.
If there’s any time to find a great deal on a cruise, now is the time.
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– Andrew Lander, InvestorPlace @andrewlander