Not every ship has a year round home port. Often a ship will spend a portion of the year in one part of the country…or the world for that matter, and then reposition to another region for the remainder of the year. For example, a ship will travel out of Vancouver and up to Alaska May through September but when that is no longer a viable itinerary due to climate changes, the ship moves south through the Panama Canal and will then journey to warm and wonderful islands out of Florida or San Juan. In the late fall ships that have been cruising from European shores may make a transatlantic crossing as they reposition themselves for a winter of Caribbean sailings. Since it hardly makes economic sense to move an empty ship, cruise lines sell cabins on these “repositioning cruises.” Interested? Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Since this type of cruise does not appeal to everyone, the cost of a repositioning cruise is often significantly less than a traditional cruise. However, before you count up all the money you’re saving on the voyage keep in mind you will most likely need to fly to the point of embarkation or from the port of disembarkation.
There are fewer ports of call on this type of cruise since there is often far to travel in getting from point “A” to point “B”. That being said, the ports included in the itinerary are often more exotic. For example, as the Celebrity Eclipse repositions from Southampton to Miami, it will call on the ports of Paris (Le Havre), Cherbourg, Vigo, and Ponta Delgada.
The length of a repositioning cruise often is prohibitive to many travelers. These days too few people have the luxury of time on their side! Some of these cruises can last as long as 20 days!
Of course longer cruises and fewer ports of call can mean only one thing….lots of sea days! Hours upon hours to relax, read, and enjoy all the amenities the ship has to offer! The library, gym, spa, casino, enrichment programs…
April, May, September, October, and November are the most popular months for repositioning cruises, especially with ships moving between warm and cold climates. Good deals and balcony cabins sell out quickly, so if you see something you like, don’t hesitate in booking it. A well kept secret amongst seasoned travelers, repositioning cruises offer affordable, relaxing vacations worthy of exploration."