These one-way voyages are a great chance to snag a deal, stop at once-in-a-lifetime ports, and just unplug.
Most cruises follow a well-known formula: Get on the ship, see a bunch of ports, head home. But “repositioning cruises”—when a cruise line moves a ship from one corner of the world to another—are something entirely different. These up-to-a-month-long trips aren’t for everyone, but fans of these atypical journeys say that a repositioning cruise is the ultimate way to unplug, slow down, and see places like Greenland or Samoa you’d never get to otherwise. Even better: These are some of the most affordable cruise vacations you can get, with prices, even for luxury ships, starting as low as $60 a day.
Here’s what you need to know before you book one for yourself.
You’ll be relaxing but not seeing it all
Unlike most Caribbean and river cruises, which make frequent stops, you’ll spend most of your time on a repositioning cruise on the ship. Many cruise lines offer enhanced lecture programs and more daytime activities—like cooking demonstrations and language classes—than usual to fill those sea days. “But you could just spend all day reading a book on your expansive balcony,” says Randall Soy, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Just seeing the horizon, all the way around, you feel the power of nature. You’re out there by yourself and, even without the stops, you recognize you’re a global citizen.”
You’re gonna get a great deal
In general, repositioning cruises are cheaper than typical itineraries, thanks in part to the fact that fewer stops mean less spent on port taxes and fees. (You also have fewer shore excursions, whether paid out of pocket or included in your fare.) Here’s one example: A 15-day [Cape Town to Cape Town cruise] this December (https://www.rssc.com/cruises/EXP181222/summary) aboard the Regent Seven Seas Explorer makes eight stops along the South African and Namibian coasts and starts at $17,000 per person. But the same ship’s repositioning trip between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro next January is also 15 days long, makes only five stops (including one at the ultra-remote island of St. Helena) and starts at $10,700, or nearly 40 percent less.
You’ll go to places that are way, way out there
Repositioning cruises can take you places you probably never considered going, like Takoradi, Ghana or Russia’s wild Kamchatka Peninsula. The Norwegian Breakaway takes cruisers on a 14-night journey from Copenhagen to New York in October, with stops in Iceland and the Azores (from $900). Regent Seven Seas’s itinerary on the Explorer from Lisbon to Cape Town in November makes 12 stops along the West African coast over the course of 24 nights (from $17,300). Cunard has a similar route from Southhampton, England to Cape Town on the Queen Elizabeth in January and again in November, though it’s shorter at 16 nights, with just two stops in Namibia and the Canary Islands (from $2,050)….
Join to my Facebook groups