Repositioning Cruises Offer Unique Values
With the change in seasons come
changes in cruise destinations—especially in the spring and fall.
When cruise lines move their ships from one destination to another,
it's called a repositioning, and the voyage is called a
repositioning cruise. "Repositioning itineraries offer
cruising experiences that are available only once or twice a year,"
says Cruise Lines
International Association (CLIA).
Common repositioning routes include
the Caribbean to Europe or Alaska, and back again. An Alaska
repositioning cruise may include highlights from eastern, western,
and southern Caribbean sailings, as well as from the Panama Canal
and the Mexican Riviera. Repositioning cruises from the Caribbean to
Europe across the Atlantic can include stops in the Canary Islands,
Portugal, and exotic Morocco.
By no means are repositionings
just between the aforementioned locations. For example, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) offers a
repositioning cruise in the fall from Boston to Charleston, South Carolina and the
Caribbean, and vice versa in the spring. Repositioning
cruises are generally longer than normal cruises (because there is
more water to cover), and they can offer unique ports of call. As an
example, the Seabourn Pride crosses the North Atlantic
via Reykjavik, Iceland.
addition to providing unique itineraries, repositioning cruises
offer great value. For the most part, repositioning cruises cost
significantly less per day than other sailings of the same ship.
Much of the value stems from the time of year; repositioning cruises
operate on the shoulder seasons and rarely operate during peak
travel times in the summer and winter months.
President of Berkshire Travel in Newfoundland, NJ, says, "Cruise
lines offer very attractive packages on 'repo cruises' to ensure
that their ships sail as full as possible. Pricing is sometimes 50
percent of the normal per diem on a regular itinerary. Depending
upon the cruise line, pricing can be anywhere from $50 to $400 per
day, per person."
Furthermore, cruise lines will at times
include bigger savings on these sailings by offering free airfare,
and/or two-for-one pricing. All cruise lines feature repositioning
cruises in their brochures; you can check with a travel agent to
find out about these offers.
Unlike on conventional cruise
itineraries, passengers might not visit as many ports during a
repositioning voyage—meaning more days at sea. Nonetheless,
passengers still enjoy the same accommodations and services that
travelers on more popular cruise itineraries
Relaxing Sea Days or "Tai-Chi At
Basically, repositioning cruising is an authentic
cruise experience. It has a certain romantic aura about it. Devotees
of trans-Atlantic crossings aboard Cunard Lines'
Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE 2) will attest to their preference of
slowly navigating the time zones in luxury rather than being
subjected to the jetlag of air travel.
Many travelers just
love the atmosphere of being at sea, and they prefer ship activities
instead of the stress associated with non-stop ports of call. "In
our hectic-paced world, a 'repo cruise' will definitely soothe the
savage beast," says Hirleman. "It's like Tai Chi at sea," she adds. An abundance of sea
days leaves plenty of time for enhanced onboard entertainment and
activities. Often cruise lines schedule theme events such as cooking
classes, wine tastings, guest lectures, and
It's also a time to enjoy more hedonistic
pleasures such as breakfast in bed, spa treatments, and hunkering
down to read a good book. "A repositioning cruise offers long,
restful days at sea," says Linda Coffman of CruiseDiva.com.
She adds, "If you see yourself sitting lazing in a deck chair
sipping morning coffee while gazing at the endless horizon, a
repositioning cruise may just be your ticket."
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