5 Cruises Under $500: Alaska, Brazil, Cuba, and More

by Lauren Dana

5 Cruises Under $500: Alaska, Brazil, Cuba, and More

by Lauren Dana

From Australia to Brazil and everywhere in between, we've rounded up our favorite bucket-list-worthy sailings across the globe. The best part? They're all under $500 per person — and make for an epic, one-of-a-kind getaway.

From Australia to Brazil and everywhere in between, we've rounded up our favorite bucket-list-worthy sailings across the globe. The best part? They're all under $500 per person — and make for an epic, one-of-a-kind getaway.

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Cruise in Alaska / virsuziglis/iStock
Majesty of the Seas in Havana
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5-Night Key West and Havana Cruise on Royal Caribbean

The Cruise: With (slightly!) lower temperatures and smaller crowds, October is a great time to visit Cuba – and there’s no better way to experience this beautiful and historic destination than by with a cruise. If you’re intrigued, consider this five-night itinerary from Royal Caribbean on board Majesty of the Seas, which sails round trip from Fort Lauderdale.

The Details: Sails September 30, 2019; interior cabins from $349 per person, ocean-view from $412.

The Cruise: With (slightly!) lower temperatures and smaller crowds, October is a great time to visit Cuba – and there’s no better way to experience this beautiful and historic destination than by with a cruise. If you’re intrigued, consider this five-night itinerary from Royal Caribbean on board Majesty of the Seas, which sails round trip from Fort Lauderdale.

The Details: Sails September 30, 2019; interior cabins from $349 per person, ocean-view from $412.

Havana, Cuba
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How to Save

Forgo the pricey guided tours and excursions. Instead, explore Havana on your own. If you’re looking for additional savings, consider bringing along a filtered water bottle to use once you’re off the ship.

Forgo the pricey guided tours and excursions. Instead, explore Havana on your own. If you’re looking for additional savings, consider bringing along a filtered water bottle to use once you’re off the ship.

Cruise in San Francisco
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4-Night Pacific Coast Cruise from Vancouver on a Newly Refurbished Ship

The Cruise: Sit back, relax, and take in the ocean views as you cruise on board the recently-reimagined Norwegian Joy, which sails from Vancouver to Los Angeles (and makes one stop in San Francisco). Though the weather will be slightly cool, you can still enjoy the newest onboard amenities, like the two-level race track. Norwegian is currently offering an array of promotions, which include free wifi, airfare, and more.

The Details: Sails October 6, 2019; interior cabins from $319 per person, ocean-view from $379, balconies from $399, mini-suites from $499.

The Cruise: Sit back, relax, and take in the ocean views as you cruise on board the recently-reimagined Norwegian Joy, which sails from Vancouver to Los Angeles (and makes one stop in San Francisco). Though the weather will be slightly cool, you can still enjoy the newest onboard amenities, like the two-level race track. Norwegian is currently offering an array of promotions, which include free wifi, airfare, and more.

The Details: Sails October 6, 2019; interior cabins from $319 per person, ocean-view from $379, balconies from $399, mini-suites from $499.

San Francisco, CA
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How to Save

Though San Francisco is known for being expensive, the city is also home to many parks and green spaces. Perhaps you’ll spend the afternoon picnicking in Golden Gate Park, exploring the street art (we love Clarion Alley in the Mission neighborhood), and hiking in Bernal Heights Park (where you can enjoy sweeping views of the city).

Though San Francisco is known for being expensive, the city is also home to many parks and green spaces. Perhaps you’ll spend the afternoon picnicking in Golden Gate Park, exploring the street art (we love Clarion Alley in the Mission neighborhood), and hiking in Bernal Heights Park (where you can enjoy sweeping views of the city).

Rio de Janiero, Brazil
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4-Night Brazil Getaway on MSC

The Cruise: MSC Cruises’ value-packed, four-night Brazil itinerary sails from Santos to Rio de Janeiro and makes stops in Rio de Janeiro and Ilha Grande (a beautiful island with magnificent beaches and forests). Passengers will cruise on board the MSC Fantasia, which features a casino, piano bar, disco club, and more.  

The Details: Depart December 2, 2019; interior cabins from $409 per person; ocean-view from $469

The Cruise: MSC Cruises’ value-packed, four-night Brazil itinerary sails from Santos to Rio de Janeiro and makes stops in Rio de Janeiro and Ilha Grande (a beautiful island with magnificent beaches and forests). Passengers will cruise on board the MSC Fantasia, which features a casino, piano bar, disco club, and more.  

The Details: Depart December 2, 2019; interior cabins from $409 per person; ocean-view from $469

The Details: Depart December 2, 2019; interior cabins from $409 per person; ocean-view from $469

 

Dois Irmãos
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How to Save

 If you want to experience Brazilian culture (without spending a fortune), head to one of the many markets in Rio de Janeiro, where you’ll find everything from street food to antiques. If you’re more of an outdoor enthusiast, take a hike – we’re fans of the quick and (fairly) easy Dois Irmãos trail.

 If you want to experience Brazilian culture (without spending a fortune), head to one of the many markets in Rio de Janeiro, where you’ll find everything from street food to antiques. If you’re more of an outdoor enthusiast, take a hike – we’re fans of the quick and (fairly) easy Dois Irmãos trail.

Holland America ship in Alaska
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6-Night Alaska Cruise on Holland America

The Cruise: For a bucket-list-worthy summer getaway, consider this Alaska itinerary on board Holland America’s Noordam, which sails from Anchorage to Vancouver. Along the way, you’ll stop in Glacier Bay (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Haines (also known as Skagway), Juneau, and Ketchikan. The ship also cruises through the Inside Passage, where passengers can spot glacier-cut fjords and even rainforests.

The Details: Embark on June 2, 2019; interior cabins from $399 per person, ocean-view from $449.

The Cruise: For a bucket-list-worthy summer getaway, consider this Alaska itinerary on board Holland America’s Noordam, which sails from Anchorage to Vancouver. Along the way, you’ll stop in Glacier Bay (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Haines (also known as Skagway), Juneau, and Ketchikan. The ship also cruises through the Inside Passage, where passengers can spot glacier-cut fjords and even rainforests.

The Details: Embark on June 2, 2019; interior cabins from $399 per person, ocean-view from $449.

Moose in Anchorage
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How to Save

First and foremost, bring along these essentials – that way, you don’t have to buy them upon arrival. In Anchorage, there are tons of budget-friendly sightseeing activities. We recommend renting a bike to explore the local surroundings; visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn more about the state’s indigenous history; and hopping aboard the Anchorage Trolley to spot wildlife.

First and foremost, bring along these essentials – that way, you don’t have to buy them upon arrival. In Anchorage, there are tons of budget-friendly sightseeing activities. We recommend renting a bike to explore the local surroundings; visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn more about the state’s indigenous history; and hopping aboard the Anchorage Trolley to spot wildlife.

Cruise in Sydney
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3-Night Australia Adventure on Princess

The Cruise: Experience Australia and New Zealand like never before on this three-night itinerary from Princess Cruises. Passengers will cruise on board the Sea Princess, which sails from Auckland to Sydney and makes one stop in Bay of Islands (New Zealand). Since this is a springtime sailing, (remember, our fall is Australia’s spring) expect the temperature to be a balmy 60-70 degrees.

The Details: Depart on September 29, 2019; interior cabins from $418 per person.

The Cruise: Experience Australia and New Zealand like never before on this three-night itinerary from Princess Cruises. Passengers will cruise on board the Sea Princess, which sails from Auckland to Sydney and makes one stop in Bay of Islands (New Zealand). Since this is a springtime sailing, (remember, our fall is Australia’s spring) expect the temperature to be a balmy 60-70 degrees.

The Details: Depart on September 29, 2019; interior cabins from $418 per person.

Auckland, New Zealand
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How to Save

In New Zealand, guided tours and excursions are often pricey. Instead, opt for a free walking tour; afterwards, head to a local bar for happy hour specials. In Sydney, there’s an array of free museums that are worth a visit. Some of our favorites include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australia National Maritime Museum, and the Nicholson Museum.  

In New Zealand, guided tours and excursions are often pricey. Instead, opt for a free walking tour; afterwards, head to a local bar for happy hour specials. In Sydney, there’s an array of free museums that are worth a visit. Some of our favorites include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australia National Maritime Museum, and the Nicholson Museum.  

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