So you’ve searched far and wide for the best cruise deals around, but you’re still coming up short. Why not opt for a repositioning cruise? Before casting doubt, hear us out. A repositioning cruise, also called “repo” cruise, is a one-way sailing that takes place on just about every cruise ship in the spring and/or fall of every year. During these transitional times of the year, cruise ships must migrate either north for the summer or south for the winter. Instead of sending their massive vessels out to be repositioned empty, cruise lines open their ships to the public — and at the absolute lowest rates available.
One of major benefits to taking a repositioning cruise is the cost. Cruise lines must discount these repositioning cruises to make them more attractive to potential passengers. In most cases repositioning cruises can average anywhere from $50-$100 a day, including meals and entertainment.
Keep in mind that these unique cruises are not for the average cruiser. Repo cruises typically spend more days at sea than other cruises or they may feature a number of unusual port calls. For most, this is an added benefit, for some it may be a drawback.
Overall, most would agree that length is a second major benefit to taking a repositioning cruise. Repositioning cruises are typically close to two or three weeks. Most of the time is spent at sea, which cancels out those hectic days at port. Instead your days and nights are free for relaxation, pampering and enjoying the ships casinos, bars and shops to the fullest. For many, repositioning cruises simply offer the opportunity to simply sleep in.
There are also a few aspects of opting for a repositioning cruise that some may consider negative. If you love to spend your days in port, then a repo cruise won’t work for you. Also, because the ship will typically embark and disembark from different ports, often thousands of miles apart, this can make airfare more expensive. In addition, depending on how many vacation days you have available, the lengthy voyages may fall outside of your desired vacation length. Some vacationers may not be able to afford to take off 2-3 weeks at a time as well.
If the positives outweigh the negatives for you, then the next step would be to find the right repositioning cruise for you.
The majority of repo sailings occur April-May and September-November. The best place to start looking is Alaska. Ships that spend summers in Alaska will almost always feature a repositioning cruise in the spring or fall. These cruises will typically include Hawaii, the western coast of the Americas, and/or a transit through the Panama Canal.
Another place to look is the Mediterranean or northern Europe. A large number of ships sailing in Europe will cross the Atlantic to the U.S. or the Caribbean in the fall and returning in the spring. A third/fourth place to look is South America and Asia. South American and Asia are quickly becoming hot cruise destinations, so bargain hunters may find repositioning cruises from the U.S. across the Caribbean to South America or across the Indian or Pacific Oceans.
The following list represents only a small fraction of cruise ships offering repositioning cruises yearly:
Silversea Silver Shadow
Holland America Westerdam
Holland America Veendam
Holland America Prisendam
Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas
Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas
Regent Seven Seas Navigator
Regent Seven Seas Voyager
Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2
Visit any of the above cruise ships online to begin your search for the perfect repositioning cruise, otherwise, for a list of repositioning cruise specials follow this link: