What is a repositioning cruise?

Some ships spend 365 days a year sailing the same itinerary, many relocate a few times a year depending on the season.  Cruise lines must reposition their ships from to new home ports as the seasons change.  Most cruise ships that spend their summers in Europe will cross the Atlantic in the late fall to spend the winter months in the Caribbean and then reverse the process the next spring. Repositioning cruises link you to an array of fascinating destinations that aren’t normally available on a single voyage.  So now that we know what a repositioning cruise is, how will it help us?

The ship has no choice but to relocate and when it relocates the staff stays on the ship. Its more cost efficient for the cruise line to keep the ship staffed then to send the crew to other ships for a brief time.  With the crew on board, it makes perfectly good sense to fill the cruise up with passengers. That’s where repositioning comes in, a one way trip on a cruise ship with plenty of days at sea.  I have seen 18 night transatlantic repositions for as low as $699 (Remember the cruise line is going to sail regardless with only one passenger or sold out!)  The spring and the fall is the best time to look for repositioning cruise. Some cruise line websites actually have a search designated for repositions, others you can search through trans atlantic crossings or one way trips.

My only downside to a repositioning cruise is the air fare.  You have to fly to the embarkation port and then fly back to your home city upon disembarkation.  Just make sure you have the time off .. some of the journeys last upwards of a month.

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