This winter a handful of cruise ships will be calling Florida home as the European and Alaskan season start to wind down. With all these ships heading to Florida mean great deals for cruise passengers looking for that affordable and longer-than-normal voyage.
Why is there such a value on these repositioning cruises? Travel writer Chris Owen, tells us, “Cruise lines base some ships in different parts of the world on a seasonal basis. A ship based in the Mediterranean for the summer, for example, may move to the Caribbean for the winter. Getting those ships from one home port to another takes a lot of days at sea. Not everyone likes days at sea so the cruise lines will offer these sea day-heavy sailings at a reduced price.” He went on to say, “Another reason for the sometimes low price is that cruise lines commonly do a soft dry-dock sort of remodeling on those sailings: like change out carpet in meeting rooms that are not used during the voyage or paint things that might cause minor service disruptions.”
So what cruise ships will Florida see during the winter months?
Carnival Miracle will be coming from NYC and hope porting in Fort Lauderdale doing alternating 8-night Southern and Eastern Caribbean cruises.
Carnival owned and Italian branded Costa Cruises will sail Costa Atlantica over to Florida this winter. She’ll be coming from the Mediterranean and heading to Miami, offering passengers 10-night cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, coining the sailings “Mexican Magic” cruises.
Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam will also be coming from the Mediterranean, home porting in Fort Lauderdale and offering passengers 7-14 night cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
Another Italian line, MSC Cruises, will home port MSC Poesia in Florida. The Poesia will be sailing 7-nights Caribbean voyages out of Fort Lauderdale.
Norwegian Epic, the entertainment Mecca, will be heading back to Miami in the winter months for 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.
Norwegian Sun will be heading back to Port Canaveral for a second year offering passengers 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings.
Norwegian Pearl will return to Miami from October 16, 2011 to April 8, 2012, sailing seven-day Western Caribbean cruises.
Navigator of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s Voyager-class ships and has spent the summer in Rome. Navigator will be heading back to Fort Lauderdale this fall offering 7-night Caribbean voyages.
Princess Cruises will offer many sailings out of Fort Lauderdale this winter season. Ruby Princess, Crown Princess, Island Princess, Emerald Princess, and Grand Princess will have voyages to South America, Caribbean, and Panama Canal.
Both the Alaska and European cruise seasons run between May-September, depending on the cruise line.
Check with your local travel agent or cruise line website for discounted repositioning sailings.
Photo Credit: Doug Parker