One-Way Voyages to Unique Destinations
Expand your horizons with a repositioning cruise, visiting multiple regions, continents, or coastlines all in one trip. These unique, one-way itineraries carry ships from one part of the world to another during the changing cruise seasons. When seasons change, cruise ships typically relocate to seek warmer climates. For example, a ship that previously operated in the Mediterranean might make its way to the Caribbean. These end-of-season cruises, also known as repo, one-way, transition, relocation, or transoceanic (transpacific or transatlantic) cruises, offer passengers the extraordinary opportunity to embark on an unconventional route, often at a lower cost than the average cruise.
A repositioning voyage provides a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life because they often have numerous days at sea, providing a more tranquil and relaxing holiday without the rush of continuous ports of call. Long stretches of time in the midst of nowhere are not always for everyone, but repositioning cruises offer unparalleled opportunities for exploration and incredible value. Our Cruise Travel Advisors are here to answer any questions you may have about relocation cruises and to unearth incredible deals so that you can set off on an unforgettable journey.
An Inside View into a Transatlantic Crossing
A Video from Cunard
Benefits of a Repositioning Cruise
⚓ They’re Incredible Value
Repositioning cruises boast an irresistible advantage in terms of the great deals they provide. These cruises often come with heavily discounted rates, making luxury cruise itineraries surprisingly affordable. Imagine setting off on a two-week one-way cruise for just a fraction of the usual price, all while still enjoying the same incredible amenities, impeccable level of service, and delectable cuisine offered on regular full-priced sailings. This type of cruise itinerary allows you to indulge in a luxurious experience that might otherwise seem out of reach. It’s a benefit that many take advantage of these days.
⚓ An Alternative to Flying
When it comes to long-distance travel from one region to another, these transition cruises stand out as a fantastic substitute for air travel. Not only are they often priced similarly to, and sometimes even cheaper than, a coach airfare on a cramped redeye flight to the same destinations, but they offer a host of advantages that surpass those of flying. While flights merely transport you from point A to point B, forcing you to settle into a slightly reclining seat, repo cruises provide a remarkable transfer between the same two locations. Picture yourself sleeping in spacious accommodation, relishing decadent dinners, and exploring exotic ports of call, all while leisurely making your way to your destination.
⚓ Visit Exotic Destinations
Repositioning cruises are a unique opportunity to explore remote destinations that are not typically visited by regular cruises. Think the stunning Azore Islands, hidden gems along Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and paradises such as the Maldives, Seychelles, and the French territory of La Réunion. You can sail through the spectacular Panama Canal, and experience the wonders of the Suez Canal. Discover Alaska’s awe-inspiring Inside Passage or Vietnam’s breathtaking Ha Long Bay. A relocation cruise is a wonderful opportunity to visit far-off locales that would otherwise be out of reach.
⚓ Chasing the Sun
Repositioning cruises are the perfect means of transportation if you’re chasing a constant summer. As certain parts of the globe turn chilly, these cruises effortlessly carry you to balmy destinations. By booking yourself on a transition cruise, you can be assured of endless sunshine wherever you go.
⚓ Unique Onboard Experiences
One-way cruises offer an incredible voyage across vast oceans, evoking the romanticism of yesteryear. There’s nothing quite like the tranquility and relaxation of being in the middle of the ocean. But don’t think for a moment that repo cruises are dull.
These voyages are filled with endless possibilities and exciting activities beyond the fascinating ports you’ll visit. Imagine being on a ship that resembles a self-sufficient city, complete with entertainment, bars, theatres, libraries, pools, activity centers, gyms, spas, shops, and more. From rock-climbing walls to surfing waves, ice-skating rinks, and even bowling alleys, your days at sea will be endlessly filled with fun and entertainment.
Downsides of a Repositioning Cruise
A Repositioning cruise is not the right cruise experience for everyone. The long days at sea and endless views of the ocean can be overwhelming for some people. And for others, some of the pros can also be cons. Here are a few things you should be aware of when deciding if a relocation cruise is for you:
⚓ They’re Seasonal
Repositioning cruises are mostly available at the very end and the very beginning of season changes. If you’re looking for a cruise outside of these specific time frames, this type of cruise might not work for you.
⚓ One-way Flights Can Be Expensive
You’ll still have to factor a flight into your expenses – either to meet your ship or to get home after your cruise. Consider the financial feasibility of adding a one-way international flight to your budget.
⚓ They’re Lengthy Journeys
Transoceanic and repositioning cruises often span a period of two weeks or longer. Such lengthy crossings may not be feasible for those who still work.
⚓ Single Supplement Fees May Apply
Solo travellers may find the cost too much as cruise lines often impose a single supplement fee on these itineraries.
⚓ Internet May Be Unreliable
If you need to stay connected for work or other responsibilities, this can be problematic. Wi-Fi on board tends to be slow and costly (if it’s not included).
Repositioning cruises can come with some challenges and just like with any cruise, this type of sailing is not right for everyone. But if these considerations aren’t a problem for you, they still offer incredible value for money which makes them hard to resist.
Best Cruise Lines for a Repositioning Cruise
With so many cruise lines offering unique itineraries as they relocate their vessels at the end of each season, the best cruise line for you is the one that matches what you’re looking for in a cruise holiday – the onboard vibe, the amenities, and the entertainment opportunities. Of course, the ports of call are important too, but with the prospect of so many days at sea, the last thing you want is to feel bored when you’re sailing far away from the next departure port.
If you’re an active person, you’ll enjoy cruise lines like Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and Norwegian Cruise Line. If you’re seeking a more laid-back atmosphere then consider Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, or Holland America Line. For the ultimate ocean-crossing cruise experience, Cunard is a classic choice that never disappoints.
If you’re willing to splurge, indulge in one-way sailing with a luxury line like Silversea or the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. And if no kids onboard sounds like your idea of heaven, Virgin Voyages offers cross-continental journeys, leaving from their homeports in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are repositioning cruises cheaper?
Repositioning cruises typically offer much lower per day rates compared to “regular” sailings. This is mainly because they tend to have a more specific appeal, but also because it helps the cruise line offset the expenses of relocating the ship from one port to another. But keep in mind, that you will also need to budget for your airfare to meet the cruise, or return home afterwards.
How to Find a Good Repositioning Cruise Deal?
The seasons define the dates for repositioning cruises, so you will only find them during select times of the year. Typically, repo cruises from Australia depart our waters between February and March each year, at the end of our summer cruise season. For the return trip, you will usually find these are available in September up to December, as ships return to our warmer climates.
To find a cheap repositioning cruise deal, you will need to keep an eye out for regions with specific seasonal patterns. For instance, ships that spend their summers in Alaska will relocate in the autumn, often presenting unique itineraries along the California coast, across the Pacific to Hawaii, or through the Panama Canal. These same ships then reverse their routes in the springtime to head back to Alaska.
If you’re interested in an ocean-crossing cruise, keep an eye on cruises departing from U.S. East Coast ports such as New York and Fort Lauderdale, to start a new season in the Western Mediterranean or Northern Europe. They then return for Caribbean, Bahamas, and Bermuda sailings during the colder months. Other itineraries may take you on a voyage to the Middle East, South America, or Africa, and some cruise lines break up their crossings into smaller itineraries so you don’t have to cruise for the entire passage.
Is there a Difference Between Transatlantic and Repositioning Cruises?
A transatlantic cruise is a fantastic voyage that takes you across the mighty Atlantic Ocean, typically when a ship is relocating. One popular example is when ships cruise through the warm Caribbean waters during the winter months and then make their way to Europe for the summer season. But it’s worth noting that not all ocean-crossing cruises are solely for repositioning purposes. Cunard’s magnificent Queen Mary 2 crosses the Atlantic numerous times throughout the year, offering passengers a remarkable ocean-liner experience. The cruise liner isn’t crossing the Atlantic to start a new season in a new region but simply does regular crossings. Similarly, you can have a relocation cruise that is not a transoceanic crossing, such as a ship finishing a season in Alaska, and sailing from Vancouver to Miami to do a Caribbean season.
There are certainly cross-overs between the two types of cruises, but they are not always one and the same.
What’s it like on a repositioning cruise?
Repositioning itineraries are light on ports of call, heavy on sea days. You’ll spend multiple days at sea at a time, so if you enjoy the idea of leisurely and relaxed days at sea, then this type of cruise might right up your alley. During this lengthy stretch of time, you can finally dive into those books you’ve been meaning to read, engage in a new knitting project, or even dedicate time to daily workouts. It really gives you the opportunity to take a break from your daily life and dedicate the time to rest and relaxtion.
Of course, you’ll also find an array of activities and entertainment to keep you entertained while at sea. Comedy nights, fitness classes, boutique shopping, art auctions, wine tastings, and evening shows are just some of the exciting options available. In fact, you may be able to experience even more than you normally would on other cruises because you won’t be rushing off the ship to explore a different port every other day.
Embark on a repositioning cruise and embrace the tranquility and unique opportunities it offers. Whether it’s relaxation, entertainment, or indulgence, there’s something for everyone.
When is repositioning cruise season?
The majority of repositioning sailings take place at the end of the ship’s main cruise season – typically in spring and fall – as the ship transitions between their summer and winter destinations. Springtime, in particular, is a favorite among travellers as ships move from the Caribbean towards Alaska and Europe. Likewise, in the fall, these ships sail back south, venturing towards the warm tropics.
It’s important to note that each cruise line operates on its own independent schedule, allowing for some variations from the above standard. However, with a degree of flexibility, you’re likely to find a repositioning cruise operating somewhere on the globe at any given time of the year.
How long do repositioning cruises last?
Repositioning cruises are known for their extended durations, as they cover vast distances across the open waters. These voyages can range from six days to well over a month, although most typically span from seven to 18 days. It’s important to note that due to the long distances covered, these cruises often allow for less time in port and more days navigating the sea. While this may be an advantage for some, it can occasionally be seen as monotonous by others.