Repositioning cruises are, as implied, cruises that reposition ships from one region of the globe to another. Cruise ships need to be relocated to fit the demands of the cruising seasons, and it is an added bonus that a cruise line can charge passengers to come along for the relocation. This much was covered in our article on the basics of repositioning cruises, which are also called “repo cruises” and “transitional cruises.” We also covered the discounts available for repositioning cruises, as well as explained the type of people who can take one of these unique vacations. But this still leaves a gap in our coverage: how can you actually book a repositioning cruise? You might know that you want to and can take a repositioning cruise, and you might even know which type you want to take, but still not know exactly how to book one. As a consequence, we have explained below how to book a repositioning cruise.
First, we should briefly mention what has been implied by our other articles on this topic: if you are taking a repositioning cruise, booking the cruise itself is only one of several arrangements necessary to make. In addition to the regular preparations required by any cruise, you need to arrange a way to get home after your voyage, which will of course start in one region of the globe and end in another. Unless you live by a port, you always need to figure out a way to get home, but the problem is obviously amplified when taking a repositioning cruise. You can’t simply book a round-trip domestic flight to, say, Florida, supplying you with a way to and from the port of departure; rather, you’ll have to book (to continue the example) a one-way flight to Florida, and then a one-way ticket back home from wherever you end up. This is all obvious, but worth mentioning just the same. The cruise is not your only concern.
That said, how do you book the cruise itself? As is the case with virtually any vacation, you can handle the matter yourself or outsource it to a travel agent. As we’ve mentioned many times before, travel agents are overlooked in the internet age, but partially without reason. To be sure, it is easier to book a vacation now than it was even 10 years ago, but this doesn’t mean you’ll always find the best prices. Moreover, despite the abundance of readily accessible information online, it still takes a considerable amount of time to arrange a vacation. These two considerations, combined with the fact that travel agents tend to charge relatively modest fees, may make the prospect of using an agent attractive. This is especially true if the repositioning cruise is part of a larger travel agenda, as is often the case. Don’t forget the old way of doing things just because there is a new way of doing things.
But suppose you want to book the cruise yourself – what then? There are a couple different obvious places to start. One of the more helpful sites we’ve come across for repositioning cruises is the appropriately named RepositioningCruise.com. In addition to listing hundreds of upcoming repositioning cruises, which you can arrange by criteria like price and departure date, the site has a wealth of information related to this often overlooked slice of the cruise industry. It is definitely a great first place to look if you are considering repositioning cruises. At the very least, you’ll get a sense of what is available and how much it will cost, and if you feel like booking directly through them, you can call their toll-free number (which is never far from your field of vision on their website). The same advice applies, mutatis mutandis, to other cruise deal sites, although interestingly the biggest sites for booking vacations (e.g., Travelocity and Expedia) do not directly market “repositioning cruises.” This is actually true of the websites of the cruise line’s themselves. Rarely are there pages strictly dedicated to repositioning cruises and the discounts associated with them.
As you can see, booking a repositioning cruise is slightly different from booking a regular cruise. Some of the same methods can be applied, but since repositioning cruises only constitute a small percentage of the total number of cruises per year, not a ton of light is shed on them. Certainly travel agents know all about them, and plenty of information can be found online, but setting one up might require slightly more effort than arranging your standard, week-long cruise to the Caribbean. However, the prices of repositioning cruises are hard to beat, so any extra effort required to book one is probably worth it.
If you want to learn more about repositioning cruises, check out the rest of the articles (that are not already linked to above) in our series about them: