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Great Fall Travel Deals
for Cruises and Skiing

As the world cautiously reopens for business, and vaccination rates continue to rise, so too is confidence among travelers who are eager to get away for a much-needed vacation. As summer travel comes to an end, travelers can find great travel deals this fall for cruises and skiing, explains Emma Patch, Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

Cruises

This summer, cruise ships started sailing again. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ships with at least 95% of both crew and passengers fully vaccinated don’t have to require masks or maintain physical distance. And on cruises that don’t meet the vaccination minimum, operators can establish certain sections of the ship that are only accessible to fully vaccinated passengers. But a number of cruise operators are requiring that guests be fully vaccinated before boarding. Norwegian Cruises, for instance, announced it would do so through at least Oct. 31.

The cruising destination to keep an eye out for this fall is Alaska, says Aubrey Dunn, of Cruise Critic. The fall foliage will peak in Alaska in September, and as animals gear up for winter, they are very active, which means wildlife sightings may be more frequent. And shorter days means a better chance of seeing the northern lights.

Although the cruising season in Alaska typically ends in September, many lines are extending their dates through October, including Holland America, Princess and Norwegian Cruises. Discounting will also be common: A seven-night cruise leaving from Seattle in early September on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas recently started at $601 for two people, down from $883.

European cruises this fall should also be a good bet, particularly for vaccinated travelers. Cruises in October have been available at 40% less than their usual rate; Oceania Cruises’ 10-night trip from Venice, with stops in Naples, Rome, Florence, Monte Carlo, Provence, Palma de Mallorca and ending in Barcelona, was recently available at $170 a night, which is 51% lower than usual, according to Cruise Critic. Visit www.cruisecritic.com or www.shermanstravel.com/cruises for more deals.

Ski for Less

Ski season is months away, but it’s a good time to lock in a deal. The Epic Pass, which offers access to more than 80 resorts worldwide, including Vail, Breckenridge, Park City and Whistler Blackcomb, will cost 20% less for the 2021–22 season ($783, down from $979 last season). The price for the Epic Pass hasn’t been as low since the 2015-16 season, when the pass offered access to only 11 resorts in the United States.

Note, however, that prices tend to increase for skiing the closer you get to the start of the season, so snag this deal early. The pass prices tend to go up around Labor Day, but it could be sooner; monitor updates at www.epicpass.com.

Despite the financial impact of the pandemic on the ski industry, prices at resorts are down, and resorts are getting new lifts and new trails – both upping capacity and making skiing more accessible to beginners and intermediate skiers. For example, Beaver Creek in Colorado will open a new 250-acre terrain designed for beginner and intermediate skiers this season.

Editor’s Note: Emma Patch is a staff writer for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, wwww.Kilinger.com.

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