Repositioning Cruises

Traveling Cruise Ship

Repositioning cruises are one of the best deals around, provided you can be flexible with your travel plans. Cruise lines often need to move ships from one area to the next when the weather changes in spring and fall. This is when you can score discounted sailings.

About Repositioning Cruises

Like many sea creatures, the change in temperatures during the year causes cruise ships to move from region to another. The movement of these ships from one area to the next is called repositioning. However, rather than move an empty ship from Alaska to Hawaii, for example, cruise lines often offer one-way cruises at a discounted cost.

Most companies that feature Alaskan cruises move their ships from the 49th state each fall to the warmer waters in the Caribbean. Then, in the spring, these ships once again offer repositioning cruises back to Alaska. The same occurs with European cruises. Northern Atlantic travel is not desirable during the winter months, but by moving these ships to the Caribbean or other tropical areas, the cruise lines may continue to operate.

Pros and Cons

Repositioning cruises are very popular with frugal travelers because cruise lines often offer reduced fares. The cost of repositioning cruises is far less than a traditional voyage. Most repositioning cruises are also longer, generally lasting more than a week. Repositioning cruises will also include more days at sea rather than stops in various ports of call. Some people enjoy this because it gives them more time to relax and take advantage of the things to do onboard the ship.Before you book one of these cruises, keep in mind there are some negative factors to deal with as well, including:

  • One-way: You will likely need to fly back from your point of disembarkation. This can be a bit more costly in some instances. Compare costs before traveling.
  • Fewer ports of call: For those who want to make more port calls, this is not an option. Most of these ships do offer a few stops, but far fewer than a traditional cruise.
  • Expense: Because you are on board the cruise ship longer, it is likely you will spend more money at casinos, restaurants and shops.
  • Length of cruise: Some repositioning cruises last as long as 18 days. This may be difficult for some people to plan around.

Booking Repositioning Cruises

You can book repositioning voyages up to the last minute, however, they are growing in popularity and do fill-up quickly. The following companies offer repositioning sailings:

Royal Caribbean International: The company offers repositioning cruises throughout the world. Options include Eastern Caribbean, Dubai, New England, Singapore and Bermuda. Check out a Royal Caribbean schedule to see if they have a repositioning trip that fits your budget.

Norwegian Cruise Lines: This company offers several repositioning voyages. Some are as short as one day while others are several days long. Options include Caribbean, Hawaiian and Europe. Call the cruise line directly for details.

Disney Cruise Line: One repositioning trip takes visitors to Vancouver from Los Angeles in early spring. Other options are available. You can find a schedule of available Disney cruises on the company's website.

Repositioning Cruises