As we’ve now spent more than a half year (189 days) in total living as passengers aboard twelve different repositioning cruises, we love explaining these unique cruises to other travelers. Yet upon first mentioning the concept of these seasonal one-way voyages, we’re often asked:
What is a Repositioning Cruise?
So we’ve written this detailed article to explain exactly what repositioning cruises are. We’re here to dish out all the comprehensive info and reveal all of our repositioning cruise travel tips from first-hand experience of regularly utilizing these lengthy oceanic voyages to journey around the globe.
We have a true passion for taking repositioning cruises, as they have become our primary means of transportation when traveling from one continent to another. We find it to be a fantastic method of slower travel, all while indulging in affordable luxury and visiting exotic ports along the way.
In fact, we even traveled entirely around the world without flights, by instead using repositioning cruises, and did so on a surprisingly low budget of about $60 per day! After all, repositioning cruises are regularly found at highly discounted rates that can be an ultimate travel bargain. We hope you’ll see throughout this article what a great travel deal repositioning cruises can be. That is… if you know how to find the deals and when to book. We’ll get to all that!
Repositioning cruises can actually be somewhat of a complex concept. But we’re here to break it all down and explain all the info you need to know about repositioning cruises.
- ❓ What Is a Repositioning Cruise?
- 👍 Benefits of Taking a Repositioning Cruise
- 🗓️ When Is the Best Time to Take a Repositioning Cruise?
- 🌍 Where Do Repositioning Cruises Go?
- 🤔 Common Misconceptions of Repositioning Cruises
- 💰 How Much Do Repositioning Cruises Cost?
- ⚠️ Potential Drawbacks to Repositioning Cruises: How to Overcome
- 💡 Travel Tips for Taking a Repositioning Cruise
What Is a Repositioning Cruise?
A repositioning cruise is a one-way voyage that a cruise ship takes when it moves from one region to another for seasonality changes or other logistical reasons.
Rather than move an empty cruise ship from one location to another, the cruise lines create a repositioning cruise by offering passengers a chance to join these unique voyages.
As the cruise line transfers a ship to the next region, they are repositioning the cruise ship from one area to another. Hence the etymology of repositioning cruise. Repositioning cruises are also known as “repo cruises” and are occasionally referred to as “relocation cruises.” It’s all the same thing.
Repositioning cruises are typically offered at a discounted rate and can be an affordable way to travel between different regions or continents. The routes of repositioning cruises are almost never direct cruises. Instead, there are typically interesting ports scheduled along the way, in an effort to make them more enticing to prospective passengers. These one-way repositioning cruises tend to be long (2+ weeks) in order to have time to cross an ocean or change hemispheres.
There are inevitably a number of consecutive sea days during repositioning cruises, which may not give such cruises as broad of an appeal as a packed Caribbean cruise that stops at a different island each day. Although we love repositioning cruises, they’re certainly not for everyone. Therefore, with a lack of demand, prices for repositioning cruises tend to drop to very attractive rates.
Cruise lines always attempt to fill their ships to capacity. So when repositioning cruises aren’t selling, prices often become slashed to attract passengers who may further spend on drinks, in the casino, and in the shops onboard.
Understand: How & Why Repositioning Cruises Are Formed
Repositioning cruises are formed when one of the following situations requires a cruise ship to move a significant distance:
- Seasonal changes (most common)
- Logistical reasons (less common)
- Transfer of new ships
- Move ships to/from dry dock refurbishments
Relocating Cruises to Seasonal Vacation Destinations
Seasonal shifts are the most common cause for repositioning cruises, creating an abundance of repositioning cruise routes in the midst of every spring and fall, in advance of summer and winter cruise seasons.
For example, during winter months, Caribbean cruises are very popular. So cruise lines logically have a number of their ships serving Caribbean itineraries during the winter months, when it is too cold to cruise in locations such as Alaska and Northern Europe.
But in Spring, as the summer months approach, cruise lines want to move their ships to locations such as Alaska and Europe, both very popular summer cruise destinations. Relocating the ships between these regions can be a costly and time-consuming process. That’s where repositioning cruises come in. Passengers are able to enjoy the unique lengthy voyages that are created out of the need to move the ships.
After the summer cruise seasons subside, the cruise lines want to relocate their ships back to their winter locations. So another seasonal shift occurs.
For example, during fall, we’ve regularly used the route from European locations to Florida across the Atlantic. Yet as cruise lines don’t want to leave their ships in Alaska over the winter, we’ve also utilized repositioning cruise voyages from Alaska to warmer locations in Asia, where the ships will remain over winter.
Those are just a few examples, but we’ll review all the common seasonal repositioning cruise routes later in this article.
Logistical Reasons Can Also Create Repositioning Cruises
Logistical situations are another reason that sometimes creates repositioning cruises. One instance of this is when new ships are launched from a shipyard, they need to be moved to what will eventually become their home port.
A ship’s inaugural voyage is often a repositioning cruise! When a brand new ship is repositioned like this, it doesn’t necessarily follow the seasonal shifts that other repositioning cruises do. It’s more about the timing of the shipbuilding and the location the ship will be serving.
For example, we took a repositioning cruise when the Norwegian Bliss was first launched. The ship was built at a German shipyard, where it was launched in April. Yet this new ship needed to make its way all the way to Alaska to begin its summer itineraries. So the Bliss formed a series of repositioning cruises to cover that great distance.
We embarked on the sparkling brand-new ship in Europe and took it on a transatlantic voyage to New York City. During April, seasonal repositioning cruises are usually headed to Europe – not away from Europe. So this was an unusual circumstance that provided us with a great opportunity to be among the first passengers to experience this brand-new 5-star ship.
One final reason that repositioning cruise routes are created is when cruise ships need to be moved for major refurbishments.
When this happens ships typically go into dry dock for extended periods of time, usually about a month. The dry docks where these refurbishments are performed are usually located in Europe or Asia. So ships need to be temporarily relocated to these locations, accordingly.
A Brief History of Repositioning Cruises
The concept of repositioning ships for seasonal demand dates back to the early days of ocean travel. However, the concept of a repositioning cruise as a leisure activity on cruise ships is a more recent development.
Many popular repositioning cruise routes can perhaps be traced back to the golden days of ocean liners. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, ocean liners were the primary means used to travel long distances between continents. Transatlantic crossings were a common route during that period, which remains the most popular repositioning cruise itinerary today.
Yet to trace the origins of modern repositioning cruises, we need to go back to the 1960s. This is when regular long-distance commercial flights became more commonplace, and demand for ocean travel decreased.
Although ocean liners were losing favor to air travel, this actually helped give rise to the modern cruise industry that pushed forward in the 1970s and beyond. In fact, Carnival Cruise Line’s first ship, Mardi Gras (1972-1993), was actually a former transatlantic oceanliner, Empress of Canada, that had regularly traversed between the continents during the decade before it was reformed into a Carnival leisure cruise.
But as companies like Carnival and Royal Caribbean emerged in the 1970s, they were not using their cruise ships to cross oceans, as is commonly done with repositioning cruises today. Instead, these cruises were composed of closed-circuit itineraries with amenities and activities that appealed to a wide audience, just as most cruises still are today.
It wasn’t until major cruise lines started increasing their fleets and expanding their routes, that the concept of repositioning cruises as a distinct type of cruise experience really took off.
At first, cruise lines would sail their ships with crewmembers only, and no passengers, when repositioning their ships to new locations. But cruise lines began to recognize that they could maximize the use of their ships by offering longer, one-way itineraries between different regions of the world while also maximizing the ship’s profitability. Hence, the birth of repositioning cruises as we know them today!
Over time, the popularity of repositioning cruises has only continued to grow, as more and more passengers have discovered the unique benefits of this type of cruising experience.
Benefits of Taking a Repositioning Cruise
Many curious or doubtful travelers often ask “Why would anyone want to take a repositioning cruise?”
Well, there are many benefits of repositioning cruises!
Benefit: Excellent Value of Repositioning Cruises
Part of the appeal of repositioning cruises is undoubtedly the fantastic bargains they can present. Because repositioning cruises often have highly-discounted rates, they can present an affordable possibility on what are otherwise pricey luxury cruise ships.
We’ve taken lengthy two-week-long repositioning cruises for just a few hundred dollars, on 5-star ships that normally cost thousands of dollars for a regular weeklong sailing! On ships that normally have rates around $400/night, we’ve paid less than $50/night.
Although paying significantly less than normal, the amenities, level of service, and cuisine on the ship remain exactly the same as a regular full-priced sailing. So repositioning cruises can provide a luxury experience that may otherwise be out of reach.
It’s like a floating luxury resort that transports you across the world. Prices are inclusive of dining, entertainment, activities, port calls, and so much more. It all adds up to exceptional value!
Later in this article, we’ll go into further detail about the costs of repositioning cruises and where to find these deals!
Benefit: An Interesting Alternative to Flying
If needing to travel long distances between continents, repositioning cruises can be a great alternative to air travel. Repositioning cruises are often priced about the same as, sometimes even less than, a coach ticket on a cramped redeye flight between the same locations.
Yet while a flight simply gets you from point A to point B in a slightly reclining seat, a repositioning cruise transports passengers between the same two locations all while sleeping in spacious staterooms, dining on decadent dinners, and stopping into exotic locations.
For anyone who doesn’t like flying, repositioning cruises can be a great consideration to avoid taking a plane when traveling one way. Personally, we’re indifferent to flying in general. But we will always prefer spending a few weeks on a luxury cruise voyage rather than suffering through an overnight flight in a coach seat.
Benefit: Exotic and Desirable Itineraries
Repositioning cruises can be a great opportunity to reach far-flung destinations that aren’t regularly served by cruises. For example, we’ve been fortunate to visit the stunning Azore Islands on repositioning cruises crossing the Atlantic.
Meanwhile, transpacific itineraries often include exotic islands in the South Pacific or rarely-visited ports on Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. While crossing the Indian Ocean, we loved being able to stop into the Maldives, Seychelles, and the overseas French territory of La Réunion. These far-off locations would cost a fortune to visit using a series of flights!
In addition to such rarely-visited destinations, many repositioning cruises also stop at popular cruise ports too. For example, transatlantic repositioning cruises will regularly still include a wide assortment of popular Mediterranean ports, Caribbean ports, or sometimes both! When taking westbound northern transpacific repositioning cruises, the cruise lines have always been generous to form a weeklong Alaskan cruise before crossing the Pacific.
And let’s not forget about the interesting transit opportunities. Repositioning cruises have brought us through the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, Alaska’s Inside Passage, and Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay. These scenic cruising days are events unto themselves!
For travelers like us, it is such a huge benefit of repositioning cruises to be able to experience these many different destinations and their cultures all in one big long voyage!
Benefit: Following Good Weather
For those who are nomadic or on a grand long-term trip, repositioning cruises can be an ideal mode of transportation to follow good weather.
When one part of the world becomes too cold, cruises move to warmer climates. So moving around the world by taking repositioning cruises can always lead you to nice weather on the other side!
Benefit: No Jetlag on Repositioning Cruises!
When traveling on eastbound or westbound itineraries, you’ll inevitably cross several time zones. When crossing several time zones on a flight, jetlag can be horrible. You arrive at your destination exhausted.
But when taking a repositioning cruise across these time zones, the shift in time is nice and gradual. Time zones may change every day or every other day. The gradual shift can be so much easier to deal with, arriving at your destination refreshed and ready to explore!
After several consecutive days of setting back the clocks (or moving the clocks forward), your internal clock may feel a tinge that something’s not quite right. But it’s never severe as transiting across 8 timezones all at once on an overnight flight.
Personally, we always prefer westbound repositioning cruises to eastbound routes. During westbound repositioning cruises (more prevalent in the fall), every day or so you get an extra hour of sleep! It’s a phenomenal little perk to repositioning cruises! We tend to find ourselves waking up earlier than normal yet feeling well-rested.
We’re typically not early risers. Yet with all the extra hours of sleep on westbound voyages, we’re often awake to catch the many impressive sunrises while crossing the world’s oceans!
Benefit: Unique Onboard Experience of Repositioning Cruises
Often repositioning cruises will transit passengers across vast oceans. These grand voyages tend to bring out the romanticism of yesteryear, traveling by sea. There’s something so peaceful and relaxing about being in the middle of the ocean.
But it’s not boring. There’s so much to do on repositioning cruises, besides all the fun ports. Many of these large ships are like mini-cities, full of recreation, bars, theatres, libraries, pools, activity centers, gyms, spas, shops, and more.
We’ve been on repositioning cruises with rock-climbing walls, surfing waves, ice-skating rinks, and bowling allies! In addition to all that, most cruise lines bring on extra entertainment and lecturers to help fill the added time at sea.
There’s also more time to connect with crew and other passengers that you’ll see again and again throughout a lengthy repositioning cruise journey. We’ve found that people who take repositioning cruises often have the same mindset as us when it comes to travel, so bonds are easily formed with this mutual interest. We’ve made lifelong friends on repositioning cruises.
Outside the ship, repositioning cruises can present rare opportunities for photography and wildlife viewing out in the middle of the ocean. For example, taking a repositioning cruise across the North Pacific, we spotted almost unimaginable amounts of whales – hundreds of them! Another memorable moment was waking up to see a volcano outside our window while cruising near Russia.
Passengers aboard repositioning cruises also have the opportunity to complete an assortment of unique maritime feats. It’s quite the experience to entirely cross one of the world’s oceans by sea. That’s bragging rights! Most cruises send personalized certificates to passengers’ staterooms to formally document the feat of a full oceanic crossing.
Depending on the route, you may also cross the Equator, hence immediately going from fall to spring or vice versa. Or you can cross the International Dateline, in which you lose or gain an entire day. When crossing these lines, most cruise ships will put on special events to make a big deal about the occasion. Maritime superstitions are strong and there are some fun traditions that occur onboard during these events.
Seasonality of Repositioning Cruises
Most repositioning cruises operate seasonally, with routes that follow the same patterns every year. There are a few months during the year when repositioning cruises are in much greater abundance, whereas at other times of the year repositioning cruises are nonexistent.
It’s important to understand the narrow time windows when seasonal repositioning cruises make their regional moves and where these routes are commonly found.
When is the Best Time of Year to Take a Repositioning Cruise?
The best time to take a repositioning cruise is when these one-way cruises are actively running. This only occurs a few months each year.
Seasonal repositioning cruises are most active during the change in seasons:
- Spring and
These seasonal repositioning cruises occur in the greatest abundance twice per year, peaking around late March and well into April, and then again peaking again in October and November.
So those are generally the best months to take repositioning cruises. Although there are seasonal repositioning cruises that depart a bit earlier than average (March in the Spring, September in the Fall) and some repositioning cruises that depart later than average (May in the Spring, December in the Fall).
Meanwhile, repositioning cruises are very uncommon January-February and are exceptionally rare from June-August.
Because these seasonal shifts dictate the timing of repositioning cruise voyages, prospective passengers need to time their transits accordingly for spring and fall months. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to just pick any time of year you want to take a repositioning cruise. You must be on repositioning cruises’ schedule.
Where Do Repositioning Cruises Go?
Repositioning cruises generally travel on northbound and westbound itineraries in the spring while reversing course to voyage southbound and eastbound in the fall. The exact routes vary greatly by season.
Common Repositioning Cruises Routes in the Spring
The most common trend for Spring repositioning cruises is for ships to be relocated towards:
- European ports for Europe’s summer cruise season and
- the Pacific Northwest (specifically, Vancouver & Seattle) for Alaska’s summer cruise season.
Spring (April-May) repositioning cruises generally voyage Northbound and Westbound, with a few exceptions. To help remember, use this mnemonic device: spring repositioning cruises “spring up, spring forward.”
These are typical repositioning cruise routes during the spring months:
- Northern Transatlantic: Florida (and US East Coast) ➡️ Europe
- Southern Transatlantic: Argentina & Brazil ➡️ Europe
- Panama Canal: Florida (and US East Coast) ➡️ US Pacific Coast
- TransAmerica Panama Canal: Chile ➡️ Florida
- Southern Transpacific: Sydney & Auckland ➡️ Hawaii, California, & Pacific Northwest
- TransAmerica Pacific: Chile ➡️ California & Pacific Northwest
- TransAsia: Asia (usually Singapore) ➡️ Europe
- MiddleEastern: Middle East (usually UAE) ➡️ Europe
- TransAfrica: South Africa ➡️ Europe
Common Repositioning Cruise Routes in the Fall
During Autumn, cruises are repositioned away from Europe and Alaska. Most commonly ships are moved to Florida and US East Coast ports to do Caribbean cruises during winter months. But cruises are also repositioned to Asia and locations throughout the southern hemisphere.
Fall (October-November) repositioning cruises generally voyage on Eastbound and Southbound itineraries, with a few exceptions. Mnemonic device: fall repositioning cruises “fall down and fall back.”
This is where cruise lines tend to reposition their cruise ships in the Fall:
- Northern Transatlantic: Europe ➡️ Florida (and US East Coast)
- Southern Transatlantic: Europe ➡️ Argentina & Brazil
- Panama Canal: US Pacific Coast ➡️ Florida (and US East Coast)
- TransAmerica Panama Canal: Florida ➡️ Chile
- Southern Transpacific: Hawaii, California, & Pacific Northwest ➡️ Sydney & Auckland
- TransAmerica Pacific: California & Pacific Northwest ➡️ Chile
- TransAsia: Europe ➡️ Asia (usually Singapore)
- MiddleEastern: Europe ➡️ Middle East (usually UAE)
- TransAfrica: Europe ➡️ South Africa
- Canadian Maritimes: US East Coast ⬅️➡️ Quebec, Canada
Common Misconceptions of Repositioning Cruises
We regularly hear so many misconceptions about repositioning cruises. When people hear about us getting a good deal on a repositioning cruise, we regularly get comments like, “you must be washing the dishes.” I assure you we are not.
Repositioning cruises are NOT stripped-down versions of a cruise. They are full-on cruises, with all the same great complimentary dining options, entertainment, activities, and high standards as their regular itineraries.
We want to debunk these myths and tell you what repositioning cruises are really like.
Repositioning Cruises Are Full of Days At Sea
Repositioning cruises do usually have more sea days than a regular cruise itinerary. But repositioning cruises also usually make many stops throughout the voyage, for passengers to get off the ship and explore.
We’ve already mentioned how one of the best benefits of repositioning cruises is their exotic itineraries. Yet many people don’t fully realize the full potential of interesting destinations along the way during repositioning cruise itineraries.
Many people envision weeks at sea over expanses of open ocean. Sure, there is a bit of that. But there are also fascinating dots of land along the way that you may have never realized.
Most repositioning cruises make several port calls throughout their voyages, as this will appeal more to potential cruisegoers. Often the ports during repositioning cruises will be exotic remote destinations that aren’t typically reached by cruises.
Transatlantic repositioning cruises often stop in the Azore Islands, the Canary Islands, and Bermuda, in addition to Caribbean and European ports. These mid-Atlantic islands help to minimize what would otherwise be lengthy stretches of sea days. And while you’ve probably heard of Bermuda and the Canary Islands, you may not realize what a beautiful and fascinating place the Azores are!
Meanwhile, transpacific repositioning cruises often create exotic South Pacific itineraries to include an assortment of South Pacific islands, including the likes of Fiji and Hawaii. We’re particularly big fans of the northern transpacific routes, which almost always include an assortment of intriguing Japanese ports, beautiful Alaskan ports, and scenic cruising, like in Glacier Bay – wow!
Other routes can be even more packed with ports, such as Asia repositioning cruises or repositioning cruises to/from South America. On a Panama Canal repositioning cruise we took from Florida to Chile, the ship stopped at amazing Latin American ports nearly every other day as we journeyed down the western coast of South America.
Meanwhile, a two-week repositioning cruise we took from Hong Kong to Singapore only had three sea days during the entire trip! On that voyage, we actually wanted a few more days to relax in between so many busy port days. It all just goes to show that repositioning cruises are not all boring cruises completely filled with sea days every single day.
Cruise lines know that potential customers won’t be attracted to boring repositioning cruise itineraries. So they almost always plan many interesting ports along the way.
There’s Nothing To Do on Repositioning Cruises
Many people falsely believe that since the cruise is being repositioned, there is a lack of entertainment and things to do onboard. It’s actually the opposite.
For example, on one of our last repositioning cruise journeys, we didn’t have any time to watch to even begin the first episode of the series we downloaded on our laptop that we intended to watch during the voyage to Japan. Instead, we were too busy taking advantage of the many fun activities, learning the basics of the Japanese language, going to cooking demonstrations, listening to navigation talks, watching awesome performances, attending parties, and soaking in the many intriguing lectures.
While the thought of attending lectures may sound boring to some, we find the quality of lectures on repositioning cruises makes them very worthwhile. Take Celebrity’s “Beyond the Podium” lecture series for example, which usually brings on 2-3 speakers to give talks on various topics. But since this was a lengthy repositioning cruise, they packed the agenda with 6 different speakers, each with their own expertise.
This included the first British woman to reach the North Pole (Sue Stockdale), a former F1 racecar driver, a Buddhism and meditation expert, a naturalist explaining the aquatic life around us, an expert on Marilyn Monroe, and a neuroscientist showing us how to unlock secrets of the brain. We departed the ship much wiser than we arrived!
After working out our minds, we try to squeeze in a bit of exercise into the day. Although there are always great gyms onboard with ocean views, we favor fresh air and walking around a lower deck while whale watching and putting into practice what we learned at the naturalist lecture.
Then there are all the different deck games and challenges. We’ve gone to putting competitions, bean bag toss, bingo, and even archery at sea. But we just enjoy the pub-style trivia and are part of a trivia team that meets each afternoon. This progressive competition is fun in itself. But it doubles as an opportunity to meet, mingle, and get to know our teammates and new friends.
Come night, there’s always a big production show in the theatre, from Broadway-style shows to musicians to Cirque du Soleil-style performances. We particularly enjoy if there’s a rock concert or a good comedian.
Finally, the late nights on repositioning cruises usually wind down with a live game show and/or a full-on theme party. On our last repositioning cruise, there was a Motown party and a “Latin Sizzle” fiesta, complete with professional dancers in costume.
Meanwhile, there are all features and shipboard amenities that these megaships offer that go way beyond shuffleboard. Instead, there are rock climbing walls, go-kart tracks, surfing waves, ice skating rinks, laser tag, water slides, and more. There’s usually so much to do! Even on repositioning cruises with many sea days, we often find ourselves scrambling on the last few days trying to experience all the things we haven’t done yet.
And during repositioning cruises, there are almost never any lines or waits for these activities that are otherwise packed during the single sea day of a regular cruise itinerary. I once learned to surf on Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider because no one else was ever using it, so I had it all to myself. I also got real good on NCL’s go-karts since they never had a line.
And if that all isn’t enough, there are even more social activities organized by passengers on sites such as CruiseCritic. During one of our first repositioning cruises, we participated in a multi-day Amazing Race-style competition organized by fellow passengers, which turned out to be a highlight of that two-week voyage.
With all that there is to do, we sometimes find it necessary to schedule downtime to relax by the pool or watch a movie. Otherwise, we have a bad habit of packing our schedule during sea days with activities nearly every hour.
Rest assured, you will not go bored on a repositioning cruise.
…Unless, of course, you want to, and that’s okay too!
The Seas Are Too Rough in the Open Ocean
While the seas can be rough in the middle of the ocean, this is not always the case. Modern cruise ships are becoming so large and stable that it’s often difficult to even feel like you’re on a boat during a moderate chop. But if the seas do get rough, most ships have what’s known as stabilizers, which greatly lessen any rocking sensation.
The exact route and time of year of each repositioning cruise will impact your chance of rough seas too. If you’re on a transatlantic repositioning cruise at the end of September, this is the height of hurricane season. But that still doesn’t necessarily mean that the open ocean will be rough during that time.
All ships will steer far clear of a storm of such magnitude. Still, hurricanes still have the capacity to churn up the sea hundreds of miles away. So this is something to keep in mind. But the middle of the ocean can also be remarkably calm.
Our ocean crossings have been mostly calm and often surprisingly flat seas in the middle of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. In nearly 200 days aboard repositioning cruises, we’ve experienced only a handful of days with some motion, but it was never bad enough to cause us to become seasick.
How Much Do Repositioning Cruises Cost?
Repositioning cruise deals can vary greatly in cost, based on purchasing trends, the timing of the purchase, the popularity of the ship, and the appeal of the exact itinerary.
That said, it is regularly possible to find luxury repositioning cruises that cost less than a ticket for a coach seat on a cramped redeye flight between the same two points.
Ok, so exactly how much does a repositioning cruise cost?
A decent deal for a two-week oceanic crossing can range from around $400-$800 per person. That breaks down to about $30-$60 per person, per night! Personally, we try to shoot for repositioning cruise prices under $50 per person, per night. Occasionally, we’ll go above that threshold for a great itinerary or if extra perks are included.
That should give you a general idea of how low in price repositioning cruises can be. But understand that they can be much more expensive than that. Factors such as great itineraries and sought-after ships will certainly help to drive up the prices for repositioning cruises. Purchasing trends also affect pricing. It’s not uncommon to see repositioning cruise fares at $1,000 per person and much higher.
Yet supply and demand for each particular voyage can help drop repositioning cruise prices very low. So how low can they go?
The lowest price we’ve ever seen for a long-distance repositioning cruise was $159 per person for an inside cabin on the Pullmantur Monarch. That came out to only $12.23 per person, per day, as we wined and dined while crossing the Atlantic for two weeks! Yes, for a mere twelve dollars per day! And this voyage even included an unlimited beverage package! It’s hard to believe but it’s true.
We couldn’t afford NOT to go! So how was this super cheap repositoning cruise? While we still enjoyed that extremely inexpensive voyage, it was on a 3-star ship on a European cruise line. Although we appreciated the fun umbrella drinks, comfy confines, and steak dinners, that particular repositioning cruise wasn’t exactly luxury. You can read our full review of our $159 Pullmantur Monarch cruise here.
Often, the cheapest repositioning cruises can be found on older 3-star ships. For example, there are usually a good assortment of MSC ships making the repositioning cruise voyage between Brazil and Italy for rates of $30 per day, or less. We once took a long repositioning cruise on one of MSC’s 3-star ships. While it definitely wasn’t our favorite, we still had an enjoyable cruise. Yet reviews on those sailings can be mixed.
So what does a 5-star repositioning cruise cost?
In the past, we’ve found two-week repositioning cruises on 5-star ships for as low as $300. In 2023, the least expensive repositioning cruise we’ve spotted is $446 for a 13-day late April voyage from Miami to England on the 5.5-star Celebrity Silhouette.
It’s a great ship and this particular sailing has a decent itinerary including Bermuda, Ireland, France, and England. But keep in mind that the least expensive repositioning cruises can sometimes be cheap for a reason, either a poor itinerary or an undesirable ship. There’s a good chance you’ll be spending more than $500 per person, for the repositioning cruise you desire.
That said, every year you can typically find at least several dozen repositioning cruises for under $1,000 and dozens of repositioning cruises priced below $50 per person, per night (based on double occupancy).
To provide you with some recent examples of low-priced repositioning cruises, check out the repositioning cruise deals below for 2023 and 2024.
Do note that prices are always changing, so the deals listed below certainly can change or be gone by the time you read this. The list below is intended simply to provide some idea of how inexpensive 2023 repositioning cruise prices can be. That said, if you see a repositioning cruise deal you like, click the link to see up-to-date availability and pricing through our trusted affiliate partner at CruiseDirect.
Examples of Cheapest Repositioning Cruise Deals 2023:
- Cheapest Repositioning Cruises:
- Cheapest 5-Star Repositioning Cruises:
- Cheapest Longer (3+ weeks) Repositioning Cruise:
- Cheapest Repositioning Cruise with a Balcony Stateroom:
- Cheapest US-Europe Transatlantic Repositioning Cruise
- Cheapest Transpacific Repositioning Cruise
- Cheapest Panama Canal Repositioning Cruise
- Cheapest Other Route Repositioning Cruise Route
Search CruiseDirect to find many more repositioning cruises that meet your ideal criteria. We’ve booked many cruises with CruiseDirect and found they often have the best deals and promos. Search repositioning cruises on CruiseDirect.
Potential Drawbacks to Repositioning Cruises: How to Overcome
These repositioning cruises sound great. So what’s the catch?
Really there is no big catch. Repositioning cruises are truly fantastic travel bargains. Yet there definitely are some challenges that repositioning cruises present that prospective passengers need to be aware of.
Consider: The Time of Year of Repositioning Cruises May Not Work
Most repositioning cruises occur in mid-Fall and mid-Spring when the seasons change, as already discussed. If you want to take a repositioning cruise outside of those narrow windows of time, it’s usually not possible.
For example, let’s say you’re able to take some time off in the month of June and want to take a repositioning cruise in June. Sorry, there usually aren’t any repositioning cruises happening over the summer months.
How to Maximize the Narrow Time Windows of Repositioning Cruises:
- Try to plan your travels around repositioning cruises, if possible.
- Travel in the Spring and Fall.
In doing so, you not only take advantage of a great repositioning cruise deal, but you’ll arrive in a destination that is in shoulder season. This is the period between the high season and the low season. During this time weather tends to be nice yet the overcrowding and higher accommodation rates haven’t yet gone into effect.
Consider: The Need for a Return Ticket
Most people will still need a flight to return back home after the repositioning cruise Sometimes one-way international flights can be costly. If you are not continuing to travel onward, the repositioning cruise may not be financially practical.
How to Lessen the Expense of a Return Flight After a Repositioning Cruise:
- Use travel hacking techniques and/or redeem points to book a return flight for cheap or free.
- There are some great budget airlines with inter-continental flights. Example: it’s now easily possible to score flight deals between Europe and the US for under $500.
- If you have the flexibility, you can just continue traveling. (That’s the solution we take!)
Yet even if you don’t have the flexibility of time to continue traveling, these cruises are still bargains even with the added cost of a return flight, perhaps just slightly less so.
Consider: Length of Voyage of Repositioning Cruises May Be Prohibitive
The average transatlantic repositioning cruise takes about two weeks, while transpacific cruises and other routes can take three weeks or even longer. The longest repositioning cruise we’ve taken was 30 days, from Italy to South Africa.
We’re fortunate to have the flexibility of time when planning our voyages. Yet many working Americans only get about two weeks of vacation time per year, so such a crossing may not make sense or be logistically possible. It could be completely illogical to spend two weeks crossing the Atlantic, only to then immediately take a flight back home.
How to Take Advantage of Long Repositioning Cruise Voyages
Repositioning cruises may not be ideal for people with limited vacation time. If you’re not in a position to take an expanse of time off from your job, you may want to reconsider taking a repositioning cruise.
So who can take advantage of repositioning cruises?
- Location independent professionals,
- long-term travelers,
- people on sabbatical or a gap year,
- those who are relocating from one region to another,
- digital nomads, and
- retirees (which leads us to the next point).
Consider: Repositioning Cruises Attract a Mature Crowd
Retirees have long known about the travel secret of repositioning cruises. Many savvy seniors rightfully take full advantage of these one-way cruise deals.
If you’re below the age of 60, you’ll likely be among the youngest 5% of passengers on a repositioning cruise. This may be a turnoff for Gen X, Millenials, or Gen Z passengers.
How to Find Your Tribe on Repositioning Cruises:
Enjoy everyone! We took a dozen repositioning cruises throughout our 30s and we loved meeting interesting people regardless of whether they were one of the few passengers on repositioning cruises our age to the 80-year-olds on the cruises and everyone in between.
Besides, 60s are the new 40s! While repositioning cruises typically attract a more mature crowd, they certainly aren’t a floating geriatric retirement center.
The people who go on repositioning cruises tend to be adventurous souls who like to have a good time. Many older repositioning cruise travelers have done a heck of a lot more traveling than we have. They have some incredible travel stories to share! They’re often savvy travelers too and understand great travel value, so we always share that in common with our fellow repositioning cruisers and swap tips.
These adventurous cross-ocean cruise itineraries tend to attract fun-loving groups and many of them can party harder than we can. Just think about your crazy drunk uncle or your fun aunt. There are lots of them onboard, and they are awesome!
And there’s always at least a handful of other people onboard who are around our age. They stick out, just like we do, so the younger people are easy to spot. Being among the only younger passengers on the ship, you’ll have something to immediately bond over. After two weeks at sea together, you may have just developed a lifelong friendship.
Consider: Waiting for Cheapest Rates on Repositioning Cruises Can Be a Gamble
Sometimes it takes a bit of knowledge and watching rates to score a highly discounted price on a repositioning cruise. Repositioning cruise rates fluctuate greatly based on supply and demand. So it can be tricky to score a repositioning cruise bargain at the super-cheap prices we’ve touted in this post.
It’s often a good strategy to wait until the last minute to score a bargain. Yet you run the very real risk of prices rising or a repositioning cruise selling out. It’s a gamble.
How to Snag Great Deals on Repositioning Cruises
- Be thorough when you search for repositioning cruises
- If you find a great repositioning cruise with a price within your budget, just book it. Booking far in advance to secure a low price can be a good bet.
- Book a refundable cruise fare. Then keep an eye on the price. If it drops, have your fare adjusted or cancel and rebook the cruise. Or book a different cruise if you discover something else, and cancel your refundable repositioning cruise.
- Yet if you’re flexible with the cruise line and exact itinerary, the gamble of waiting usually pays off to snag last-minute deals on common repositioning cruise routes. The more flexible you are, the better. If you can be brave enough to wait until a month or so before the departure and book a non-refundable fare, this is often the best time to book a low-priced repositioning cruise on common routes.
Consider: Solo Travelers Are Hit with Heavy Single Supplement Fees
Solo travelers can have a difficult time finding great deals on repositioning since cruises tend to impose a single supplement fee. It’s usually at least 50%-75%, but is more often double the price – ouch! Therefore repositioning cruises, or cruising in general, can often become cost prohibitive for solo travelers.
How Solo Cruises Can Try to Avoid the Single Supplement Fee on Repositioning Cruises
- Sometimes repositioning cruise rates go so low, that they’re still affordable even when having to pay a single supplement. For example: if you find a $400 repositioning cruise with a 100% single supplement fee, the $800 fare can still be a great deal for a 2-week voyage.
- Try to find a travel buddy to join you.
- Some cruise lines are nice enough to waive a single supplement fee. Seek these out! We’ve found that Norwegian tends to be the most generous at waiving single supplement fees and some NCL ships even have solo cruiser cabins and lounges.
Consider: The Wifi on Repositioning Cruises Can Be Slow and Costly
For those who need to stay connected for work or other responsibilities, repositioning cruises can become problematic. Wifi during repositioning cruises tends to be slow and very expensive. Often the cost to have unlimited wifi during the voyage can exceed the cost of the entire repositioning cruise itself. It’s that expensive!
Wifi usually runs on a satellite signal. So while out in the middle of the ocean, it can become extremely sluggish or will go out entirely. Yet as cruise ships upgrade to more reliable wifi technology, like Starlink, this should become less of an issue.
How to overcome expensive wifi on repositioning cruises:
For those who need some minimal connectivity, like us, repositioning cruises can still be very feasible.
- If you’re able to take a digital detox without having work obligations, it can be so refreshing to disconnect for a few weeks.
- If not, then whenever in port, visit cafes with free wifi or use your phone to connect if it has an international data plan.
- Buy small internet packages to take care of crucial tasks while at sea.
- And be sure to use all our Cruise Wifi Hacks.
Consider: Extra Costs Add To the Total Price of Repositioning Cruises
Wifi isn’t the only item that’ll add a significant expense to a repositioning cruise. First, understand that the prices you see listed online usually don’t include port fees and taxes, which often tacks on an extra few hundred dollars to the total cost of the cruise.
In addition to those fees, once onboard, you’re charged an additional $10-$15 per person, per day for gratuities to the deserving waitstaff and cabin steward. For a two-week repositioning cruise that can add up to an extra $400 for a couple to your total cruise expense.
Additionally, alcoholic drinks are often pricey cruises, as are shore excursions to take while in port.
Minimize and Budget For Additional Repositioning Cruise Fees and Expenses
- Take taxes and port fees are unavoidable. When searching cruises, see the full cost including these fees.
- Research the gratuities on your ship and budget accordingly for them.
- Don’t throw money away in the casino.
- When in port, go ashore independently to avoid expensive group tours offered by the cruise line.
- Limit your drinking while on repositioning cruises and take advantage of our 25 Best Ways to Get Free and Cheap Drinks on a Cruise.
Consider: The Best Repositioning Cruise Deals Are For Interior Staterooms
The best deals are usually for interior staterooms (meaning, no balcony or window). To enjoy the luxury of waking up to the ocean breeze in your stateroom, you’re likely going to need to pay more than the prices we’ve mentioned throughout this article.
But not necessarily. Inexpensive veranda rooms are possible on repositioning cruises. We’ve regularly seen balcony staterooms on repositioning cruises for less than $1,000 per person, per sailing. On rare occasions, we’ve even managed to score deals in which the cruise was selling balcony staterooms for the same price as interior staterooms!
If the price is right, it can certainly be worth it to upgrade to a balcony stateroom during repositioning cruises, given all the extra time at sea.
How to Find Inexpensive Balcony Staterooms on Repositioning Cruises:
- If a balcony room is important to you, filter your search accordingly and sniff out the cheapest repositioning cruises with balconies.
- After purchasing an inside or outside cabin, bid for an upgrade to a balcony.
- Read our comprehensive article detailing: 10 Secrets How to Get a Free Balcony Upgrade on a Cruise
Travel Tips for Repositioning Cruises
Choose the Best Cruise Line to Fit Your Repositioning Cruise Desires
We’re often asked, what’s the best cruise line for repositioning cruises? The answer is highly subjective.
Personally, we like to focus on the best itineraries and the best values. That has led us to cruise on most major cruise lines and even a few more obscure lines. While we’ve definitely enjoyed some cruise lines more than others, we have no favorite to suggest to a wide audience. We’re often easy to please whenever on a repositioning cruise that has a great itinerary at a low cost.
But other travelers can be much more particular about their preference in choosing a cruise line for a long voyage like a repositioning cruise. All cruise brands are different. So if you’re going to call the ship home for several weeks, it’s a good idea to ensure the cruise line is a good fit for you. Your experience on a repositioning cruise can be greatly affected by the cruise line you choose.
Here are our personal opinions having taken repositioning cruises on the following lines:
- Carnival – Casual, we enjoy the “fun ship” but the party atmosphere may not be for everyone
- Costa – Caters to European travelers, excellent Italian food, subpar amenities, and entertainment
- Celebrity – Lives up to its “modern luxury” branding, great dining, elegant yet still fun
- Holland America – Refined yet relaxed, great dining, older crowd, fantastic enrichment, best itineraries
- MSC – Experience varies by ship with older 3-star ships being subpar yet we’ve still enjoyed, can be a largely international crowd depending on the repositioning cruise route
- Norwegian – Casual, focus on flexibility, more areas to spend $ than other lines, fantastic entertainment
- Royal Caribbean – Casual and fun, good all-around experience, lots of onboard activities
Research Ports Before Your Repositioning Cruise
If you like to explore, ensure to do research on your ports before you embark on your repositioning cruise. Or download travel articles and ebooks about the destinations to read during sea days.
It can be nice to arrive at a port with a solid plan of what you want to do with the minimal time you have there. If you’re comfortable traveling independently, exploring on your own will help save significantly on costs in comparison to purchasing the ship’s pricy shore excursions. Just be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get back to the ship so you don’t get left behind!
Research popular points of interest. Determine the best ways to reach attractions, whether that be by walking, public transportation, taxi, or a local tour.
Take Full Advantage of the Entertainment and Onboard Amenities
Most of the amenities, activities, and entertainment on repositioning cruises are free. Don’t be a homebody and sit in your stateroom during the sea days. Get out there and take advantage of all the fun things to do on the ship itself.
Get out of your comfort zone and try something new, even if it’s not something you typically enjoy. Participate in progressive trivia, which can be a great way to make new friends. Go to the enrichment lectures to learn about the destinations you’re visiting. Make it a point to attend the shows in the evening and get a front-row seat! Eat all the food and do all the things!
Important Things to Do on the First Day of a Repositioning Soon
There are a few things you should consider doing on the first day of any repositioning cruise to help ensure you’ll be comfortable throughout the long voyage.
Here’s a checklist of tips for things to do on the embarkation day of any repositioning cruise.
🕒 1) Get with the program – A daily program always awaits new passengers. Check it. While other passengers could be clustering at the buffet for lunch, this lets you know what other complimentary restaurants are open to enjoy. It also helps to plan out the rest of the day. Start your repositioning cruise off right and be informed. Know when the muster drill is, where to go for the sail away party, and what time you can make dinner reservations.
🍽️ 2) Make dinner reservations – We always forgo traditional set dining times in favor of “anytime dining,” to have the flexibility to eat whenever we want. The drawback to this is sometimes there are popular periods, in which walk-ins can incur waits. This is particularly true on the busy first night of a cruise. To avoid this and waltz right into the main dining room, simply make a reservation soon after boarding the ship.
🛳️ 3) Explore every nook – Repositioning cruises are on ships that are often enormous! We’ve found that cruises tend to have many hidden venues and quiet nooks. Get to know this place that’ll be your home for several weeks. We like to get our bearings by walking the length of all major decks, plus going up & down the bow and stern stairs. In doing so, we’ve discovered many awesome spaces that we’ll retreat to throughout the voyage.
⚖️ 4) Weigh yourself – There are so many indulgent dining opportunities while cruising that many people say they pack on 5 lbs during each week of a repositioning cruise. With such an abundance of delicious food, a lengthy cruise can be dangerous to the waistline. So we like to keep track of that. We’ll always order dessert. But if the scale starts tipping too far in the wrong direction, we’ll know it’s time to start making healthier choices.
📚 5) Get to the library – Most cruises have a healthy stocked library. But on long repositioning cruises, the best books can get swooped up quickly. Those planning to do some reading at sea must act fast!
💆♀️ 6) Enter the Spa Raffle – On most ships, the spa usually has a raffle on the first day of the cruise in which they’ll give away spa passes and free treatments. You must be present to win. Find out when it is and then take 20 minutes to listen to their offers and enter the raffle. You may win spa access for the length of the cruise or a treatment during a slow sea day.
🧳 6) Unpack and unwind – This may seem obvious, but when staying in hotels for 2-3 nights at a time it can be counterproductive to unpack everything. We don’t. But lengthy cruises offer the simple luxury of closet space! It’s something to fully take advantage of during a multi-week stay on these floating hotels. This can be the final embarkation day chore before fully slipping into vacation mode.
Stay Active during Sea Days
We’ve found it can get easy to feel sluggish during a long stretch of sea days during a repositioning cruise. But it can feel good to stay active! Hit the gym and then give yourself a good excuse to have a second dessert.
Personally, we love to simply walk laps around the outer deck during repositioning cruises. It’s nice to get those fresh ocean breezes and listen to the endless swells while watching for marine life and getting a bit of exercise.
Ensure to Stay Safe By Having Medical Coverage on Your Repositioning Cruise
When traveling great expanses across the ocean, a travel insurance policy is an absolute must-have. We never take a repositioning cruise without travel insurance. Sure, travel protect the investment of the repositioning cruise itself. Yet, more importantly, travel insurance can help keep you safe in the event of any illness or unfortunate accident during a repositioning cruise.
The shipboard doctor visits on cruises are notoriously expensive should you need their services. A good travel policy will help to cover the hundreds of dollars of your shipboard doctor visit if you were to get a cold. But what you really need to have travel insurance coverage for is in the instance of something really serious happens and you’d need to cover the hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical evacuation and/or repatriation. Without proper travel insurance, such an unfortunate occurrence would be financially devastating.
Thankfully, we’ve never had to be medically evacuated from a cruise ship. But travel insurance has covered our medical bills and has even lost luggage when flying in to catch a repositioning cruise. In that instance, I was allotted $800 to buy new clothes, so we got to go on a shopping spree before our cruise! Needless to say, travel insurance can pay for itself.
Find a policy and coverage that fits your needs. As for what travel insurance coverage to buy for your repositioning cruise, consider the following plans, depending on your coverage needs. (We’ve used each of these for different coverage needs.)
- Safety Wing – A travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads. Low-cost coverage can be used as a safety net to cover critical medical needs that may arise. Covers most nationalities, up to age 69. Get a quick quote.
- World Nomads – More comprehensive coverage, including adventure sports, higher medical coverage limits, trip cancellation, and more. Covers most nationalities, up to age 70. Get a quick quote.
- CruiseSafe by VisitorsCoverage is comprehensive travel and medical insurance, that includes trip cancellation and medical evacuations. Typically more expensive, but offers comprehensive coverage that is specific to cruise travel. Covers up to age 99. Get a quick quote.
Pack for Versatility on a Repositioning Cruise
It’s possible that you’ll need formal wear and beachwear for a repositioning cruise. Given that you’re changing regions, you may also need to pack for tropical climates and cold weather climates all in the same trip.
Pack light, but bring layers for varying weather conditions. Do your best to pack versatile clothes that can be repurposed.
Be strategic in how you pack too! If traveling from a cold weather climate to a warm weather climate, pack the warm-weather clothes on the bottom of your luggage. Then once in a warm-weather location, stuff your jackets, gloves, and scarves into packing cubes like these so they don’t get in the way of the warm-weather clothing you now need.
When it comes to formalwear on repositioning cruises, packing can be a challenge. Many repositioning cruises have a few formal nights throughout the long voyage when most passengers dress up and a dress code may be imposed in the dining room. This can pose a problem for nomads and long-term travelers who aren’t roaming the world with suits and cocktail dresses in their packs.
So there are some different strategies to use for formal nights on repositioning cruises:
- Choose a cruise line, like NCL, that doesn’t have a formal night.
- Don’t participate in formal night and hit the buffet instead.
- Go to a thrift store to buy cheap yet acceptable formalwear. Then donate it after the cruise, so you don’t have to continue to carry it in your luggage. (We’ve often done this.)
- See if you can get away with business casual or semi-formal.
- For men, jackets are often the norm but I’ve been greeted in the main dining room on formal night wearing slacks, a collared shirt, and a tie.
- For women, pack a versatile dress that can be dressed up or down.
For more packing tips or inspiration on what to pack, read our Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist and Packing Tips for World Travel.
Have a Plan for Laundry on Repositioning Cruises
Repositioning cruises are lengthy voyages, so you may have a need to have your clothes washed. Laundry service is available on repositioning cruises, but it tends to be quite pricy. Be sure to have a plan.
Here are a few ideas for doing laundry on lengthy cruises:
- Just pay for laundry on the cruise and budget accordingly.
- When on the ship keep an eye out for sales on laundry service.
- Pack enough clean clothes to last the entire voyage.
- Hand wash laundry in the sink. Pack a small bottle of Woolite or these travel packets of SinkSuds.
- If you have a long or overnight port call, get your clothes washed for cheap on land.
- Self-service laundry is increasingly rare on cruises, but some ships still have laundry facilities. If your ship does, plan according.
Enjoy The Unique Repositioning Cruise Journey!
Repositioning cruises are a different type of travel. Take some time out of your day to appreciate this unique mode of transportation as you ply the seven seas! Soak in the endless views, catch the endless sunsets and sunrises, and get into the relaxing rhythm of the ocean swells. Enjoy!
More Cruise Tips to Save Money on Your Repositioning Cruise!
Are you intrigued about repositioning cruises? Don’t stop reading now! We’ve still got lots more to spill. Be sure to check out these articles below for further reading all of our best cruise tips:
🚢 Be sure to check out all of our favorite cruise tips in our latest article about cruising: Top 50+ Cruise Hacks to Save You Money, Hassle, and Weight Gain.
🚢 Want a balcony stateroom, but can only afford an inside cabin? You need to read our: 10 Secrets to Get a Free Balcony Upgrade on a Cruise.
🚢 Have some fun drinking on a repositioning cruise without breaking the bank: 25 Best Ways to Get Free and Cheap Drinks on a Cruise.
🚢 And see how we used a series of repositioning cruises to string together an entire Cheap World Cruise on A Budget.
Conclusion: Travel Guide to Repositioning Cruises
Okay, I know that was a lot to take in. Thank you for reading our Ultimate Guide to Repositioning Cruises! If you’ve skimmed your way to the end of this post or think you may need to refer back to this post later, then consider bookmarking this page to refer back to.
We hope that this article has given you a thorough understanding of what a repositioning cruise is, how it came to be, and the many benefits of taking one.
Repositioning cruises offer a unique and affordable way to travel the world. If it’s an intriguing travel idea that is feasible for you, we’d encourage you to consider taking one on your next adventure. With our guide, you now have all the tools to plan the ultimate repositioning cruise experience. Hopefully, our tips and tricks will help overcome any challenges so you can make the most of your repositioning cruise.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time cruiser, we hope that our guide has been helpful in your quest to explore the world on a repositioning cruise.
If you have any other questions about repositioning cruises that weren’t covered in this guide, please ask them in the comments section below. Other readers may be wanting to know the same thing! We’ll be sure to respond back and may even add the info to our guide as we update it in the future.
-John & Heather
Shailesh Chandarana says
Excellent information in Great detail.obviously it seems more for the American people but we Europeans do appreciate it
Thank you so much
Very informative information but our goal is to take a re positioning ship to Europe ( Spain, Italy or any similar Mediterranean port or country) but being claustrophobic (meaning I can’t fly) what we’re trying to do is take a ship across to Europe “one way” and spend whatever amount of time is necessary exploring parts of Europe (example: 2 to 3 months but we’re flexible ) and then take a re positioning ship back to the USA’s east coast (preferably Florida but not imperative) but I can’t seem to get clear information if this is available…
Cordially Ray and Rose
John Widmer says
Yes, you most definitely can do that. Florida happens to be one of the best places to do it from. But you may find it necessary to spend at least 4 or 5 months exploring Europe in order to get the timing right. You need to book two separate cruises. Most repositioning cruises from Florida to Europe go in April (with a few at the end of March and beginning of May). So you’ll likely arrive in Europe around sometime in May. Cruises returning from Europe to Florida begin around mid-September which really comes to an apex in October and lingers into early November. So if you were able to find an early May repositioning cruise to Europe and then a mid-September cruise returning, that would give you four months in Europe to explore over the summer. If you’re flexible to stay a little longer on either end, you’ll have even more options. Hope that helps!
We have a trans-atlantic cruise booked for April 2016 – looking for a map that we can print or get e-mailed to us of the route – my husband wants to keep track of each day – doing ft. lauderdale to azores (horta & ponta delgarda) then spain, france, belguim, netherlands and fly home from cophegan. don’t know which rt. holland america will use.
John Widmer says
Hi Pat, We also love having the cruises route to keep track of exactly where we’re going. I would recommend going to the Holland American website. Once their you can search for your exact cruise which will have the map route for your exact itinerary. Hope that helps!
My friend and I are in our early 70’s and want to cruise a lot! Any tips for how to search for repositioning cruises would be great. Thanks, Bev in Utah
John Widmer says
Hi Bev! Be sure to see our next post in this series which provides our step-by-step strategies for exactly how to search for repositioning cruises. Its at this link here:
There tends to be a lot of fun active retirees around your ages on the ship, so you’ll be in good company. Hope you find yourselves the perfect cruise and enjoy!
Diana G. says
I really love your blog and this post is pretty cool! I also have a blog, so I read a lot of travel blogs… so far you are the best! Really great tips and insights… and you write so well! you should’t have 1000 followers, but 100.000!
John Widmer says
Thanks for stopping by and for such the kind words, which are very encouraging! Looking forward to following along your blog as well. We’re in Portugal now! (Azores)
I agree with your post that there are a lot of fun activities we can enjoy if we go for repositioning cruise.For the cost, we can ask if there are also onboard credit or any great cruise deals because there are some limited promotions that we might avail.