How to Cruise for Less Money

Repositioning cruises offer travelers an exciting and cost-effective way to travel around the globe. This happens when cruise ships make a move from one seasonal port to the next, often in response to weather changes or increased demand. Read further to see how to cruise for less money.

What is a Repositioning Cruise

A repositioning cruise refers to a cruise which moves from one port to the next. These cruises usually last longer and offer more varied itineraries than standard cruises, which allows travelers to discover new places. There are two types of repositioning cruising: transatlantic crossings or repositioning in the Pacific. Transatlantic crossings are between Europe and Americas. Repositioning cruises within the Pacific, however, are between Asia and the Americas.

Repositioning cruises might journey to uncommon and even exotic ports of call as a cruise ship relocates to a new region. They are available most months of the year and include itineraries such as Alaska to Hawaii, Alaska to the Mexican Riviera and transatlantic sailings between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Some sailings transit the Panama Canal.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria –

For example, Alaska’s cruise season only runs from May to September, which means during the off-season months, the ship will be sailing around to another region of the world. In April, a few weeks before Alaska’s cruise season takes off, a ship will embark on a repositioning cruise sailing from Asia to Alaska, where it will remain until September. Subsequently, another repositioning cruise will open up, this time heading back towards Asia, where it will stay during Alaska’s off-season.

The Benefits of a Repositioning Cruise

The benefits of taking a repositioning cruise are numerous. For starters, repositioning cruises are often significantly cheaper than traditional cruises, making them a great option for travelers looking to save money. Ships sailing short seasons in Alaska, South America, Canada/New England and Europe will always be repositioning at least twice a year.

Additionally, repositioning cruises frequently offer longer itineraries which allow travelers to spend more time exploring new destinations. These itineraries also may include visits to ports of call not typically included on traditional cruise itineraries.

Another advantage of taking a repositioning cruise is the opportunity to travel during the off-peak season. During this time, cruise ship crowds are significantly reduced, making it easier to enjoy the on-board amenities and activities. Furthermore, because these cruises are typically longer in duration, they provide a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, which can be a great escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Further Advantages of a Repositioning Cruise

Additional opportunities may be:

• They are affordable, because cruise lines prefer to drop their rates instead of sailing empty ships.
• They are less crowded, because families with school-age children usually only travel in the summer.
• You receive the same level of service, fabulous food, and entertainment options you would find on a regular cruise.
• There is no shortage of activities to keep you from boredom.• You may visit several fascinating ports before the actual cruise even commences.
• You change time zones gradually – an hour every day or two – making disembarkation seamless for your system.

Booking a Cruise

It takes some research to plan a repositioning cruise. It is important to think about the experience you want when choosing a cruise ship and line. Certain cruise lines are more suited to families. Others cater more to solo travelers or couples. You should also be familiar with the route and ports of call. These details will help you plan your shore excursions and determine which attractions and activities you would like to enjoy during your trip.

Tenerife, Canary Islands –

Repositioning cruises can be tricky to find on booking sites. They may be referred to as repositioning cruises or transatlantic or transpacific cruises. When ships reposition between ports in the U.S. and Canada, the one-off, one-way itineraries might not be labeled anything special beyond Caribbean or Pacific Coast cruises

Using the Internet is the best way to find these cruises. This site offers 25 cruises where you can choose the cruise line, the specific ship, dates of the cruise, length of the cruise, ports of departure, and ports to visit. Simply plug in your wishes and create your own itinerary.

Another choice is to look at the top seven repositioning cruises. This site gives extensive descriptions of the cruises and also ranks them; however, you may have to do some digging to find their repositioning cruises. An alternative is to use a travel agent who may have more detailed information.

On Board Your Cruise

Since repositioning cruises have to travel such long distances, they tend to be lengthy cruises, lasting anywhere from 13 to 19 nights. On the other hand, some ships travel a straight course to their destination without making any stops. For the longer cruises, you will have ports-of-call along the way.

On a transatlantic sailing, port stops could be in Spain’s Canary Islands or Portugal’s Azores Islands. A repositioning cruise from Southern California to Vancouver before the Alaska cruise season might sail up the Pacific Coast and visit cities like San Francisco and Astoria, Oregon.

Portugal’s Azores –

Some people love cruises which have numerous stops so they can quickly check off a list of countries and only unpack once. But if you think of sailing as leisurely, lazy days, a trans-oceanic repositioning cruise might be your best choice. This huge stretch of time is a great opportunity to crack open books you’ve been meaning to read, launch into a knitting project or, finally, have time for daily workouts.

Further Considerations

Once you have selected your cruise line and ship, it is time to book your accommodations. The type of room you choose will have a significant impact on your overall experience, so it is important to consider factors like location, size, and amenities. Some repositioning cruises offer the option to book a suite, which provides additional space and luxury.

The on-board experience during a repositioning cruise is often different from a traditional cruise, as the focus is more on relaxation and rejuvenation. However, there are still plenty of amenities and activities to enjoy, including dining and entertainment options, as well as shore excursions and other activities. It is important to research the specific cruise ship you will be traveling on to get a sense of what to expect.

Ponta Delgada, Azores –

There are also challenges to consider when taking a repositioning cruise. The length of the journey can be a significant factor, as some repositioning cruises can last up to several weeks. Additionally, the limited number of port calls can be a drawback, as travelers may not have enough time to explore each destination. Seasickness and motion sickness can also be a concern, particularly for those who are prone to these problems.


A repositioning cruise offers as much if not more than a standard cruise offers, yet at a reduced cost with the possibility of visiting fewer common ports of call. These cruises can be shorter or longer than regular cruises, but they still offer the same amenities to a smaller size passenger list. The next time you desire a cruise, consider the off seasons and find a repositioning cruise. You won’t be disappointed.

Fact: On a repositioning cruise, you can save up to 75% of the cost of a standard cruise
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