Every year more than a dozen cruise lines reposition their ships from one sea to another for the summer or winter season. Generally, ships stationed in northern Europe head for the Mediterranean in winter, southern European ships cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean and Alaska cruise ships aim for Mexico, and vice versa. This migration makes for extra sea days to enjoy pampering, be immersed in enrichment programs and enjoy top-quality dining and entertainment.
Here’s a sample of several repositioning cruises to consider:
CARNIVAL: Passengers can spend two days sailing near Rome on the Freedom on Oct. 28 before heading to the Atlantic Ocean on the way to Miami. The 14-day voyage includes a visit to Livorno, to explore Tuscany, Pisa, Lucca or Florence, and after a day at sea, a stop in Malaga, Spain. Spend another day at sea and call on Funchal in Madeira, before seven sea days en route to Miami. Visit www.carnival.com or call 1-888-CARNIVAL.
CELEBRITY: The Millennium leaves from Barcelona on Dec. 2 for a 14-night crossing to Fort Lauderdale. The Century makes a 17-night crossing from Barcelona to Miami on Dec. 3. The Galaxy travels from Barcelona to San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Dec. 8, with stops in North Africa, the Canary Islands, Barbados, Antigua and St. Maarten. Visit celebritycruises.com or call 1-800-647-2251.
CUNARD: Transatlantic voyages that “cross the pond” have been a Cunard tradition since about the 1840s and the line continues to be the only one that makes regular crossings. Their newest ship, the Queen Mary 2, sails between Southampton and New York City on six-day cruises. Visit cunard.com or call 1-800-7CUNARD.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE: Holland America is another faithful transatlantic cruise line and has several ships coming home from Europe this fall offering 15- to 21-day cruises. The Westerdam leaves Rome on Oct. 5 for Fort Lauderdale.
The Rotterdam sails from Lisbon for Rio de Janeiro on Nov. 1 and the Prinsendam journeys from Rome to Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 3.
At the end of the Alaska sailing season, five ships head south along the Pacific coast, offering three- to five-day trips departing from Vancouver between September 26 and October 7. Visit hollandamerica.com or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL.
ORIENT LINES: The Marco Polo returns to the Americas in style with a 39-day land and sea cruise departing Nov. 5 from Rome and sailing to Buenos Aires. The voyage, also sold in shorter segments, encompasses much of the Mediterranean Riviera, Palma de Majorca, Barcelona and Malaga, Spain; Casablanca and Agadir in Morocco; the Canary Islands; Cape Verde; Rio de Janeiro plus four other ports in Brazil (Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador de Bahia and Itajai), and Punta del Este and Montevideo in Uruguay. Visit orientlines.com, 1-800-333-7300.
PRINCESS CRUISES: The Emerald sails on a 17-day cruise that stops at eight ports, departing Venice on Oct. 8 and ending in Fort Lauderdale. The Sea Princess leaves London on Oct. 13 for a 14-day crossing to Barbados. Royal Princess sets off from Rome Nov. 28 for Fort Lauderdale on a 24-day cruise and the Star offers a 17-day voyage featuring nine ports between Rome and Fort Lauderdale, embarking Dec. 3. Visit princess.com or call 1-800-PRINCESS.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: The Jewel of the Seas leaves Southampton Oct. 30 on a 12-night trip to Fort Lauderdale. Brilliance of the Seas sails Dec. 2 for 15 nights from Barcelona to Miami. Splendour of the Seas heads southwest from Lisbon on Dec. 4, arriving in Santos, Brazil, 14 nights later. Voyager of the Seas heads west from Barcelona on Dec. 8 on a 15-night voyage to Galveston, Texas. Visit royalcaribbean.com or call 1-866-562-7625.
SILVERSEA CRUISES: On Oct. 2, the Silver Shadow slips out of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands for a 15-day transatlantic repositioning to Barbados. The itinerary includes eight days at sea and two ports in the Canaries – Tenerife and Arrecife – as well as Dakar, Senegal; Porto Grande in the Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean islands of Grenada and Bequia. Visit www.silversea.com or call 1-800-722-9955.
Published September 2007