Repositioning Cruises: Everything you need to know
What we know as a typical cruise vacation is a round journey starting in one port, making stops in various destinations only to return to the default same port it sailed from. The reason behind it is mainly convenience – if you live in Barcelona, you can simply embark on your cruise there and come home without even having to book any flight, or if you need to book flights for the departure/arrival port, it’s probably cheaper to buy a two-way ticket rather than a one-way. However, that’s not the only possibility – you can also set sail on repositioning cruises, which are as exciting as they sound. In this post you will find out more about what repositioning cruises actually are, what to keep in mind when planning one and also how to book them (and complimentary things you need to book as well).
What are repositioning cruises?
Repositioning cruises are exactly very intuitive – they sail from port A and arrive for their final destination in port B. In other words, they “reposition” the ship from one route to another. This kind of operation is widely used in between of cruising seasons. For example, during the summer, a particular ship might be cruising around Mediterranean, yet when season ends and it starts getting colder, it’s time for the ship to get to Caribbean to spend another season routing around the hot islands.
Of course the ships could keep sailing around the same routes, yet some people choose their cruise vacation based on the ship, so alternating them in between destinations is a common practice to attract more clients to new itineraries and bring them more variety.
Relocating the ship from one continent to another obviously takes a lot of time (days, sometimes weeks) and a lot of resources (including the crew), so instead of just moving the ship around without passengers, cruise lines choose to offer special deals on repositioning cruises for those guests who would like to go on a longer journey from port A to port B (just like Titanic, which was supposed to get from Great Britain to America).
In comparison to regular itineraries, repositioning cruises include more navigation days (days at sea without docking anywhere), but also visit ports that wouldn’t be accessible on usual, in-season journeys (and extend in between various continents, which makes it even more exciting).
Perks of choosing repositioning cruises
Repositioning cruises are way cheaper than the regular ones. Why? Because of the inconvenience of having to fly out from a different port than the one of departure, but also because of the higher number of navigation days.
However, if you don’t mind grabbing an additional flight and you enjoy sea days as much as days in port, you will get to LOVE repositioning cruises because of their affordability. The prices can get up to 3 times lower than the usual fare and their duration amounts to double or sometimes even triple the length of your normal route.
Like I just mentioned, they last longer than the usual cruise, going on from 9 to 18 days on average. That’s a perfect option for those who would love a longer vacation. Some people who want to extend their holidays to 2 weeks instead of one may choose to book Back2Back cruises (2 journeys on the same ship, one after another, to the same exact destinations), but visiting the same places twice might get boring. Repositioning cruises allow for having longer cruises without doubling the visited places!
Less crowds, more relax
It’s very unusual for repositioning cruises to be completely filled with passengers. Not so many people choose this option, but since the ship has to reposition itself for the season anyway, cruises depart even with half the cabins occupied. That allows the ship to feel less crowded and you can relax on the sea/ocean in peace.
Things to keep in mind when planning repositioning cruises
The first and probably most important part you need to consider while planning repositioning cruises are FLIGHTS.
Before you go on and decide to purchase that holiday bliss, research the flights to the departure destination and from the arrival port. Most of the time, you will be able to find at least some connecting flights that will be affordable. But not always. Sometimes you might find some, but they would be too expensive to purchase them and the cruise fare altogether. Most of the time the problem lays in less known port destinations, so make sure to check out all of your options and itineraries for the repositioning cruise you want. And don’t be discouraged – it only takes a few minutes to check your flights, and the perks of your holiday will really reward them 🙂
PS. Some cruise lines (like Msc for example) sometimes also offer cruise+flight packages, this way you wouldn’t have to be booking the flights on your own. This however only applies to certain destinations, airports and dates.
When leaving for a repositioning cruise, you need to have all of the necessary DOCUMENTS to enter and reside in the destination country until your comeback flight.
It might seem obvious, but you need to remember that some countries will require a visa or a travel permit from you to disembark the cruise in them. Make sure to research what do you need to obtain & bring to avoid legal problems upon disembarkation. If by chance you don’t have the required documents you are legally obliged to have, you will be the one covering all of the costs related to that negligence, and not the cruise line.
If you are an eager explorer who wants to discover a new place everyday, a repositioning cruise if probably not for you due to LESS VISITED PORTS in comparison to a regular one.
You need to keep in mind that the main purpose of the cruise line at that time is to bring the ship from point A to point B, which sometimes means having to pack more navigation days and sacrifice some ports. That doesn’t mean however that the ship doesn’t stop anywhere – it does, but not as often as it would during the season. For some, spending more than 2 days on the sea might seem a challenge, but most of the people will find it a wonderful opportunity to relax and take advantage of the various amenities and pools that the ship offers.
Last but not least, if you suffer from SEASICKNESS, think twice before you book it.
Just like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, you are going to spend more than 1 day on the open sea/ocean without stepping on land, so if you are really affected by seasickness it might not be a suitable kind of holiday for you. You can of course use various remedies to control it, but it’s better not to be stressed about this situation on holiday. If you are suffering from seasickness but would like to cruise regardless, I would rather advise you opt for regular cruises with daily ports, preferably on bigger ships, since the bigger the ship – the less motion you can feel.
How to book repositioning cruises
Booking repositioning cruises doesn’t really differ from booking regular cruises. You can find them in most of the cruise booking websites, the most affordable being this one —> LINK. There you can request a free cruise quote so that you can get an idea of what your chosen cabin would cost.
However, when it comes to booking repositioning cruises, you need to think about more than just your fare.
So before you book your cruise, make sure to research and book your flights and consider booking hotels pre/post flight to avoid stressful hurry.
A well-organized repositioning cruise can be the most incredible lifetime experience that will allow you to sail literally around the globe. I myself have one repositioning cruise booked this November (from Spain to Martinique) and can’t wait until my dreams can finally come true!
If you have any questions regarding booking or organization, I am always willing to help all of my readers personally! 🙂 You can catch me on Instagram @milenacorleoneofficial, Instagram @ship.me.there, Pinterest @lenacorleone or Twitter @milenacorleone. Don’t hesitate to contact me, I’m actually friendlier than I look 😀
Check out also:
- 15 types of cruise ship cabins –> LINK <–
- Embarkation day cruise tips –> LINK <–
- 43 cruise cocktails recipes –> LINK <–
- Life of the cruise ship officer’s wife –> LINK <–
- Greek Cruise Ports –> LINK <–
- Working on a cruise ship –> LINK <–
- Cruise excursion alternatives –> LINK <–