Do you want to save big on your next cruise and spend an extended period of time on the high seas? If that idea floats your boat, a “repositioning cruise” may be the way to go.
In this article, we’re going to explain what a repositioning cruise is and how you can save a lot of money by booking one.
We’ll hear from travel expert Clark Howard as well as Clark.com Travel Editor Clara Bosonetto on why repositioning cruises appeal to budget-conscious cruise passengers.
But first, let’s get into the basics of repositioning cruises to see if one might fit your needs.
What Is a Repositioning Cruise?
A repositioning cruise is one whose itinerary is set for ships that sail or “reposition” from one region to another.
For example, a ship that has been in the Mediterranean one year could reposition to the Gulf of Mexico for the next.
Rather than reposition an empty ship, cruise companies realize they can make money by offering these one-way routes at what are typically lower fares.
Is a Repositioning Cruise a Good Deal?
Clark says repositioning cruises can save you money — but they may not be for everybody.
“Repositioning cruises are a fantastic deal If you have the time because the cruises are a lot longer than a normal seven-night cruise,” Clark says.
Clark reasons that these types of cruises would appeal more to passengers who enjoy the amenities of the ship, rather than the journey’s natural surroundings.
“They’re great for you if you don’t mind not going to port, because generally with a repositioning you’re just at sea,” he says.
“My family tends to not get off at any port because what they enjoy is the cruise itself — not the ports of call. So, if you’re someone who’s not itchy about getting off the ship after so many days at sea, a repositioning cruise usually gets you a lower price for the cruise and a bigger immersion into cruising.”
Clara says repositioning cruises are hard to beat when it comes to value — again, if you have the time.
“If you have the luxury of lots of vacation days, repositioning cruises are the best values on the sea,” she says. “And you will be spending many days on the sea — typically six to 10 days on a typical Atlantic crossing.”
If you’re thinking about booking a repositioning cruise, here are some pros and cons to consider:
Pros and Cons of Repositioning Cruises
|Discount fares||One-way only|
|Long voyage allows you to fully relax||Airfare to return may be expensive|
|Access to all of the ship’s amenities||More time at sea, less at ports of call|
|See different parts of the world|
Cruise site Cruisecritic has a list of repositioning cruises for 2020 that you can check out to learn more.
The site also says you should concentrate on the spring and fall seasons. This is when repositionings most often take place.
While Clara agrees that travelers can save big money with a repositioning cruise, here are a few tips before you book:
Bring your own entertainment: Clara says that “shows, clubs, bars, and fun activities abound on ships, but it might be wise to load up your devices with music, movies, and books to pass the time since satellite Wi-Fi can start from $15/hour.”
Do your homework to find a cheap flight back: “Although the one-way cruise can be a deal (as low as $50 a night, per person), keep in mind the cost of one-way air travel from Europe to the United States for example,” she says.
As always, if you’re looking for the best travel deals, visit ClarkDeals.com!