NEWS: Every fall more than a dozen cruise lines offer repositioning cruises as they move their ships from one sea to another for the winter season. Since this annual migration involves voyages with several sea days, or are not round-trip cruises, cruise lines offer irresistible prices to keep cabins full. Prices can be 30 to 80 per cent off regular rates.
Generally, ships stationed in northern Europe head for the Mediterranean, southern European ships cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean, Alaska cruise ships aim for Mexico and Hawaii, and ships in Asia go to regions further south.
Sailings range from about 10 to 20 days so these cruises are best for passengers who have cruised before, rather than first-timers.
This is also a great opportunity to sail on a six-star cruise line that might otherwise be too expensive during other times of the year.
On a repositioning cruise you’ll enjoy extra sea days for pampering, the opportunity to be immersed in enrichment programs, entertained by special guest lecturers, learn more at classes from cooking to dancing, and enjoy sumptuous dining and impressive entertainment, at the best prices you’ll get all year.
You’ll also find that the ships are less crowded (with few children) and if you choose a ship that has plenty to do on board — more than a dozen restaurants, bars and theatres, as well as features like skating rinks and rock climbing walls — the time will pass quickly. And even if you do nothing at all but lay in a lounge chair, enjoy the people-watching.
The drawbacks are that you may spend more money shopping on board in the duty-free stores, do more gambling in the casino, and eat and drink more than usual.
Some voyages can experience rough weather depending on the ocean you are crossing, but if you have experienced sea legs, repositioning cruises are a great time to relax, learn something new, bond with family, and make new friends.