What are Repositioning Cruises and How to Find Them?


A repositioning cruise passing a town

A repositioning cruise – is a one way cruise that has different embarkation and disembarkation ports of call. 

There are a few reasons why cruise lines offer repositioning cruises:

  1. Changing ship location due to weather conditions
  2. Changing ship location due to touristic season
  3. Changes in ship itineraries
  4. Paying off the cost of moving a ship to another location

Why to move an empty ship? Relocation for a huge ship a big expense and cruise lines cover a part of it by offering repo cruises to those who want to travel cheap.

Pros and Cons of a repositioning cruise

Main features of repositioning cruises - infographics
Simple Cruise Infographics

This is really tempting to grab a repo cruise deal but sometimes it can cost you more. Here are the reasons:

Disadvantages:

  1. One way trip. Think of it. You look for the closest port to save on travel costs to the ship. You google for “cruises near me” or drive to the port to save money on flights for a family of 5. If you go by ship one way, you will have to get an airplane ticket one way which is more expensive than both ways. Last minute repo cruises are cheap but last minute air tickets back home are not.
  2. Not much fun and entertainment outside of the ship or special itinerary planned for tourists. It is just the things you can get along cruise line’s own plan and schedule. Your schedule will be built around them. Especially if you go to Alaska or Cuba (restricted now) where your goal is to see the most beautiful places of that destination. And some day you will have to pay again to go there and to see it all.
  3. Wi-fi is really bad and expensive during repo cruises. It is not an option if you need to work and be online during your traveling.
  4. Attractive price on cruise lines’ official websites does not include taxes, port and other fees. Do not get excited too much until you see the final price. Gratuities are still required as on any other cruise.
  5. Dates will be very specific. Which is difficult for those who work and have vacations only during certain months or weeks.

Advantages:

  1. Yes, it is still a deal and a lower price. It is cheap. No hidden costs or marketing tricks. If you plan a wise itinerary you still can fit into a nice budget, especially for a long term or world travel.
  2. More ports of calls to visit or to see. When a ship goes there and back, to see the same place twice. In a one way trip you see more. Not really more if it is a Trans-Atlantic or Trans-Pacific cruise as a big part of it is just an endless ocean.
  3. A cheap way to get a luxury cabin. Even if you end up paying more because of a one way air ticket and other expenses during your vacation, thanks to a good deal of a repo cruise you can get a better room and a view. Time to afford some luxury.
  4. Though the price of a repo cruise is low, everything is still functioning on the cruise. Nothing is closed or empty. All the fun on the ship is available.
  5. You have a chance to get to a remote port that is not a popular touristic destination. Just perfect for those who are looking for something different.
  6. Repo cruises are not crowded. Not everyone has time for a Trans-Pacific or Trans-Atlantic one way cruise. Or money for Europe vacations and one way tickets back.
  7. Some repo cruises are so cheap that traveling solo and paying doubled price still looks cheap. What is more, some cruise lines even waive single supplement rate.

The most popular destinations for repositioning cruises

  • Alaska to the Caribbean and Florida
  • Mediterranean to the Caribbean and Florida
  • Europe to the Carribbean and Florida
  • Alaska to Asia (through Pacific Ocean)
  • Asia to Australia and New Zealand

Things to remember before buying a repo cruise

* Number of ports of call in a repo cruise itinerary may change a lot. Make sure you get what you want. To hang out in the sea for 2 weeks or to visit as many ports as possible. This will help to avoid disappointment.

* Most of cheap repositioning cruises happen in spring and fall. If you want to use this great deal, you will have to plan your vacation for these seasons. Which is quite difficult for families with school age kids.

* If you decide to go on a Trans-Atlantic repositioning cruise, try to go in Spring, when the ocean is calm and less waves. Though, all modern ships are big enough and have stabilizers, it still can be pretty wavy and scary in a hurricane season.

* Repo cruises are very popular among senior travelers. They are the ones who have more time for long term and world traveling. Don’t be surprised to be surrounded by elderly people and use it as a great opportunity to listen to some interesting life stories and enjoy the ship without crying babies and running around kids.

Repositioning cruises cost

To start with – all repositioning cruises cost different. It depends on season, location, length, popularity, cruise line and ship name. But you all want real numbers, right? As a travel agent I am aware of the prices and can look them up for you any time. Just let me know if you need help with finding and booking a repositioning cruise. Currently, the prices for existing and closest to today dates are:

  • Barcelona to Miami 14 days – about 700$ (Norwegian Cruise Line)
  • Rome to Miami 16 days – about 1000$ (Norwegian Cruise Line)
  • Barcelona to Tampa 14 days – about 900$ (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line)
  • Rome to Fort Lauderdale 13 days – about 800$ (Holland America)

In general, prices per night at most cruise lines are in range from 40 to 60 dollars. Prices go up with Australia and New Zealand itineraries. Those are about 80-100$ per night. 

Remember, prices may change and article get old, contact us for updated prices and available itineraries. In case with cheapest rate – it is unpredictable. You can book way in advance and get a good price or you can wait till last minute and grab an “almost free” offer. Follow us in Facebook to be aware of the best deals.

Repositioning cruise quote
Cruise Quotes

Frequently Asked Questions

How and where to find cheap deals for repo cruising? 

Repo cruise – is not something hidden or excluded from marketing plan of this or that cruise line. You can see the latest deals on cruise lines official websites or just contact me for help 🙂 The only thing that can take time – is watching the prices jumping up and down. If you want to catch the best price you will need to spend time for it.

What is considered to be a good price for a repositioning cruise?

If you find a 500$ cruise for 2 weeks it is considered to be really good.

What months to take repositioning cruises from Europe to US?

You really don’t have much choice as usually it happens in spring or fall. Both seasons are nice in Europe for vacations. If you want to swim in the Mediterranean sea, it is better to pick fall. Sea is cold in spring.

How to book repositioning cruises?

If you see a good price – get it. Prices change a lot. In a couple of days pricing can go up a lot. When booking a repo cruise you will have to take decisions fast.

In conclusion

Have you even been on a repositioning cruise? Did you like it? What were the pros and cons of this type of vacation? Share your experience and reviews in comments, feel free to ask questions. Our main page with cruise booking services is here: https://travelrows.com/cruises/ Please visit it if you need help with choosing the best cruise option for you and your family.


16 thoughts on “What are Repositioning Cruises and How to Find Them?”

    1. Hi Jack! Alaska’s season is very short – June, July and August. You can find repositioning cruises to Alaska in May and from Alaska in September.

    1. Hi Lisa! You can definitely find some travel deals search engines but when it comes to jumping prices there and back, it is better to look for them on cruise lines’ official websites. Then you will be able to see the price right there right now. No bad surprises.

  1. Please help me to find a good cruise deal to Europe. We are students and looking for some cheap cruise offers with Europe backpacking after it.

    1. Transatlantic cruises usually take about 2 or 3 weeks, depending on the destination city in Europe and ports of call in total. Please contact me for details with your requirements and I will help you to pick the best for you.

  2. I have never been on cruise as I am low on budget. Repositioning cruise is a chance for me to try it out. Do you think it is a good idea?

    1. Hi Rick! If you never tried a cruise, getting something trans-ocean for 2 weeks can be too much for you. First time it is better to go on a short cruise. Not everyone likes cruises.

    1. That’s right, Denise. Though, I would not call it “worst”. It is the cheapest inside cabin without a window. When it comes to repositioning cruises it can be an advantage! As I have mentioned above – repo cruises happen in spring and fall and weather outside can be freezing. You won’t enjoy your balcony much on some itineraries. So why to pay more?

    1. Hi George! Small ships – bumpier ride. It is not dangerous or life threatening to cross the ocean but you will have a higher chance of seasickness.

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