Repositioning Cruises – Great Deals
Last week I was having lunch with a couple of friends when the conversation turned to repositioning cruises. Not being familiar with the term, I asked them to tell me more.
“They’re the absolute best cruise travel deals available!” my one friend insisted. And she proceeded to educate me.
Some ships sail the same itinerary – or at least stay in the same region – year round. Others switch routes with the seasons, requiring them to reposition the ship from one home port to another, which is by necessity a one-way trip. Rather than sail without passengers the cruise lines sell these repositioning trips at a significant discount. Although these cruises require travelers to arrange for more expensive one-way airfare, they also visit more ports of call because they are not limited by the round-trip requirement. Further research turned up some intriguing examples:
- Cruise West’s Spirit of Oceanus is a small, luxury ship that departs from Anchorage, Alaska on September 10, 2009 for an 18-night Bering Sea crossing dubbed the Ring Of Fire. On its way to Kobe, Japan, the ship visits the Alaskan, Russian, and Japanese ports of Seward, Kodiak, Shumagin Islands, Dutch Harbor, Kiska Island, Attu Island, Petropavlovsk, Atlasova Island, Kuril Islands, Kushiro, Matushima, and Ise. The per person price of $8049 can be reduced an additional $800 by booking before May 8th. While I wouldn’t classify this as a “steal” it is seemingly a good price for this type of vessel.
- The Prinsendam, also by Holland America, offers a 24-Day European Farewell, sailing between Athens and Ft. Lauderdale. The ship visits Gabes, Valletta, Gozo, Trapani, Sardinia, St. Tropez, Toulon, Almeria, Seville, Portimao, Lanzarote, Santa Cruz, and Funchal prior to making a leisurely Transatlantic crossing. ThisÂ cruise departs November 1, 2009 and is priced from $2,599 per person for an inside cabin.
- Holland America‘s Zuiderdam sails from Vancouver on September 26, 2009. This 18-day “Fall Panama Canal” itinerary includes Vancouver, Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco, Puerto Quetzal, Corinto, Panama Canal cruising, San Blas Islands, Santa Marta, Half Moon Cay, terminating at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The price for an inside cabin is $1,599 per person.
- Looking for steal? If you can travel at the last minute, Celebrity X Cruises is offering an inside cabin on their Transatlantic Eastbound Cruise for $649 per person. The 14-day itinerary includes Madeira (Funchal), Portugal; La Coruna, Spain; Paris (Le Havre), France;Â Dover, England; and Amsterdam, Holland. But it leaves in three days, on April 25th!
To learn more, visit TheCruiseCritic.com, who seems to be an expert on these things, where you can plug your requirements into their Find a Cruise search engine, or contact your favorite cruise line directly for more information.