What is a Repositioning Cruise?

Written by jennifer gregory
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What is a Repositioning Cruise?
(Gregory Runyan)

If you are looking for a unique cruising experience, you might be interested in a repositioning cruise. Repositioning cruises offer cost savings and unique ports of call. Because repositioning cruises are very different than typical cruises, make sure that the cruise fits your needs. With some planning and research, you can find the right repositioning cruise for your family.

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Function

Cruise ships need to be in warm water during the cooler months. Cruise lines move their ships located in Alaska to the Caribbean during the fall. In the spring, they must move these ships back to Alaska. In addition, European ships must be moved to the Caribbean in the fall and back to Europe in the spring. Because the cruise lines do not want to sail with an empty ship, they offer repositioning cruises when they move the ships in the spring and fall. These cruises offer the same on-board amenities as typical cruises, but do not have as many ports of call. The cruises are often longer than typical cruises and offer more at sea days.

Benefits

One of the main benefits of a repositioning cruise is cost savings. The rates are significantly reduced from the high season rates. Because the cruise has more days at sea than typical itineraries, there are often more on ship activities, such as guest speakers and themes. Because you are not visiting many ports on a repositioning cruise, you have more time to enjoy the on-board amenities.

Considerations

Although the price of the cruise is cheaper, consider extra costs involved in a repositioning cruise. Because you are on the ship for additional days, your bar and casino bill might be higher than it would on a typical cruise. The airfare might also be more than on a typical cruise because you will be flying one destination to embark on the cruise and then ending the cruise at a different destination.

Misconceptions

Many people assume that repositioning cruises do not have any ports of all. Some cruises have at least one port of call. For example, fall repositioning cruises from Alaska to the Caribbean often have ports of call in Hawaii.

Identification

To find a fall repositioning cruise, check ships that spent the summer in Alaska or Europe. Contact the cruise line and find out the details on the cruise. For a spring repositioning cruise, check ships whose summer schedule include Alaska or Europe. You can also see the expected repositioning cruise schedule on About.com (see Resources).

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