For some, the days a ship spends entirely at sea are their favorite days on a cruise. There are no port calls on sea days, so there’s lots of time to sleep in, work out, enjoy a spa treatment, stroll the promenade deck, have a leisurely lunch, read a book, relax in the pool and more.
If you enjoy sea days (or like the sound of them), consider signing up for a repositioning cruise.
Repositioning cruises happen when a cruise line moves a ship from one cruise region to another. For example, some ships that sail in Northern Europe or along the coast of Alaska during the summer move to the Caribbean or the Mexican Riviera for the winter. Rather than sail without passengers, cruise lines make these sailings available to passengers who love a leisurely voyage on the water.
Some repositioning cruises are quite short; for example, a cruise that repositions a ship from Seattle to Los Angeles can be just a few days. But repositioning cruises that cross an ocean can be 14 nights or more. That provides plenty of time to experience all the activities, entertainment, and dining options on board.
The per-night rate for a repositioning cruise is often much less than for a regular sailing, although if the cruise is a long one, the total fare might stretch your budget. Also, repositioning cruises are always one-way: starting in one region and ending in another could mean higher airfare costs.
Most repositioning cruises don’t have many port calls, but the few they have are often in beautiful places that are off the usual cruise path. For example, a repositioning cruise from Barcelona, Spain, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, might call on Madeira and the Canary Islands.
Many repositioning cruises cross the Atlantic, but there are other options. Some pass through the Panama Canal, so you’ll sail in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. Others venture across the Pacific: for example, you could set sail in Vancouver, British Columbia, and end in Yokohama, Japan.
If you’ll embark from a chilly climate and end in a tropical one (or the other way around), plan and pack accordingly. And, because they venture so far from land, repositioning cruises might go through some choppy water; you’ll want to be prepared with your favorite remedy for motion sickness.
There’s more to know about repositioning cruises; for answers to your questions, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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