I have never been on a cruise. *GASP* I know, I feel like the only person who hasn’t. And I would have never figured I could get on cruise to continue my round the world trip. But there is a way anyone can cruise the Seven Seas, and save a tremendous amount of money to boot.
Cruise lines have what they call “repositioning cruises” in the spring and fall. This means the ship moves to warmer weather when the sailing season for one part of the world is over.
For example, a ship that normally cruises the Mediterranean for the summer may go to Florida or South America to avoid the European winter and cruise the Caribbean or Brazil. A ship that tours Alaska may head out to Hawaii, the California coast or the Mexican Rivera for the winter and go back to Alaska when things thaw out.
There are even trans-Pacific repositioning cruises – from Vancouver to Beijing!
Cruise lines HAVE to move their ships regardless. So they cut prices to fill the ship for a ONE-WAY voyage.
These ships still make stops at ports of call along they way. Look at the end of the post for examples.
Most IMPORTANT – These trips are ONE-WAY
You’ll need to get a ticket back to your point of origin if you are not continuing on from the ship’s final stop. Depending on where you are trying to return to, you could get a cheap plane ticket or find some other means home.
Repositioning cruises can be LOOONG
As in 10-24 days long, with many of those out at sea. If you’re going from Barcelona to Florida, that’s at least 6-7 days crossing the Atlantic with nothing but open water and your fellow passengers to look at. If you think you might go crazy, this is not for you.
As @WhyGo on Twitter said – worth it since I was RTW traveling without a RTW ticket (cheaper than 2 weeks of food/lodging/flight) mind-numbing though
The ships need to move after the cruise season end or the winter begins. You’ll rarely find a repositioning cruise at the height of the cruise season.
Great option if you’re on a RTW trip
If you’re in Brazil in March you can catch a cruise to Europe. If you’re in London in October you could get to the Caribbean or Florida. You just need to time things correctly. Sick of flying? A cruise to the next continent may be a welcome break and a new way to save on a round the world trip.
Significant savings can be had with a repositioning cruise
Cost per day can be as low as $50. A ten day cruise for $500US. A three day cruise for $200US. Yes there are three day repositioning cruises.
But make sure you know what is included when you’re on board the ship. If meals and drinks are extra, make sure you know that beforehand or you could be paying more than you expected to. The cost should ideally be all-inclusive.
As @sing4mike on Twitter – Its not for everyone. I define this as a vacation which is totally different from what I consider “traveling” to be.
Whether you’re on a round the world trip, or looking to break or your routine for a few days, or have 3 weeks to cruise from one continent to another, a repositioning cruise may be what you’re looking for.
You’ll find some upcoming cruise examples, prices and ports of call here.
Have you been on a repositioning cruise? How much did you save? Would you do it again? Let us know in the comments below.
- Best Travel Deals and News – March 30, 2010 – Repositioning Cruises 2010, Airplane Repos, Madrid on a Budget, Virgin Galactic, Cruises for Solo Travelers
- Best Travel News and Deals – February 22, 2011 – Tips for a First Cruise, What To Do If Your Pilot Is Drunk, Escape the Cold in Hawaii, Repositioning Cruises
- Best Travel News and Deals – February 23, 2010 – Amazing Race Alternative, Avoiding Travel Scams, Stories From Around the Globe, The Ugly American
- Best Travel Deals and News – August 9, 2011 – How To Save Money On Cruises, Vacation Like a US President, Using Priceline to Buy Travel, How to Hire A Travel Guide
- Best Travel Deals and News – January 25, 2011 – iPhone Apps for Cruises, Best Travel Gadgets, Avoid the Single Supplement When You Travel Solo