Twice a year, most cruise companies relocate their resources from one warm climate to another. During the move, cruisers can find some great cruise deals with savings from 30-70% less on what are called repositioning cruises.
Finding a Repositioning Cruise
Most of the time, these cruises are not referred to as repositioning cruises in travel literature, but are more creatively given titles like “discovery” voyages, categorized as transoceanic, or given a name that reflects the destination.
To find a repositioning cruise, check regions with very specific annual seasons. For instance, ships that spend the summer in Alaska relocate in September and often feature unique itineraries along the California coast to Hawaii. In the spring they offer the same route in reverse.
Transatlantic cruise ships reposition from Eastern ports like Fort Lauderdale and New York to Europe, and other repositioning itineraries travel to Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Is a Repositioning Cruise for You?
Repositioning cruise itineraries include more sea days than regular voyages and many sailings tend to be long (some up to a month). The length of these cruises often limits them to those who have a lot of vacation time and to retirees.
With fewer ports to visit, repositioning sailings often offer themed activities to give them more appeal. So for those who enjoy the onboard luxury, activities, and food, these sailings make an ideal getaway for the price. However, for some people, spending days on end staring out at the ocean is not relaxing.
The downside to booking a repositioning cruise is that because they begin in one city and end in another miles away, passengers are responsible for the one way flight home. Some repositioning cruises factor in the cost of the one-way-flights but many do not. Factor this cost into trip expenses to see how much you’ll really save before you book.