Reposition Me

repositioning cruises plus + minus[trip style = cruising]

I recently saw a repositioning cruise that made me salivate: a 43-day adventure from Vancouver to Sydney, stopping in the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji and New Zealand before ending up in Oz. What a way to get from Vancouver to Australia - a trip I'm planning on taking in the fall! But alas, I won't be booking because... a) the wireless charge for the month-and-a-half voyage would probably cost more than the cruise (and it would likely be slow), b) the Holland America ship doesn't have a flowrider - an on-board amenity that made me particularly fond of Royal Caribbean, and c) 43 days is a long time on a ship.

Repositioning Pluses & Minuses Many people see repositioning cruises as the cruise industry's 50% off sale rack with oversized shirts and ill-fitting pants, or a lesser excuse for cruise itinerary. But it's not, and it's become a big business. If a ship is going to reposition anyway, take advantage of its discounted price tag, unique voyage and interesting ports.

Pluses - an fun alternative to flying - can be economical considering on-board amenities, food and destinations - visit places you might never plan to see - can take you off the beaten path

Minuses - you're not going on a round-trip, so you'll need to book additional travel - sometimes the unique itineraries offer fewer to no ports of call - communication with the outside world is expensive and challenging for longer journeys

Repositining Cruise Booking Resources Owned by the - one of the largest cruise discounters on the web - is the most comprehensive repositioning resource online, offering a long list of cruise options to and from interesting destinations. What I like about the website is the ability to sort its list based on ports, dates, cruise lines, etc. Here are a few neat repositioning itineraries I found (to access the list of cruises, you must join their website by clicking on "show me the deals"):

  • Vancouver to LA: 4 days. Departs Sept 26. No stops. $249 (that's the same price as flying, and you get to eat 3 meals a day)
  • Amsterdam to New York: 19 days. Departs Aug 19. Stops in Scotland, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. $1,899.
  • Anchorage to Beijing: 16 days. Departs Sept 18. Stops in Japan, Russia, South Korea and China. $1,299.
  • Buenos Aires to Barcelona: 20 days. Departs Mar 15, 2011. Stops in Uruguay, Brazil, Cape Verde, Canary Islands and Spain. $2,299.

Go Direct Another way to reposition yourself at sea is by visiting your preferred cruise line's website and searching for repositioning cruises. Most cruise companies offer these special itineraries themselves, and one bonus of booking directly with the supplier is loyalty. If you're already part of their program, cha-ching, you'll just be adding another reason for them to appreciate your patronage.

Have you ever done a repositioning cruise?

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