Demand is down for many destinations, notably Alaska, where "we're seeing a lot of last-minute deals," said Melissa Baldwin Paloti, managing editor of , a consumer information site. But you don't need to sail on short notice to save. High-end lines are already putting late 2009 and 2010 voyages on sale, bringing them within reach of some middle-class travelers. "If you've ever considered luxury, this is the time to make the jump," Paloti said. In a weeklong sale that ends Monday, the Yachts of Seabourn, a small-ship line known for its open bar and fine dining, dropped fares for several cruises below $300 per person per day, double occupancy. Another luxury line, Silversea Cruises, has offered early-booking incentives of 60% off for 2010 plus, for certain cruises, free round-trip airfare from the U.S. to Europe, Africa and other embarkation points.
AP photo by Ben Margot
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