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Repositioning Cruises - Overview

Spring and Fall Cruise Deals


Cruise ship docked
Richard Cummins/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Twice a year, you might clean out the garage. Maybe you visit relatives in the winter and summer.

If you run a cruise line, you must reposition many of your ships twice a year, too.

Because there isn't big demand for cruising the fjords in January, your ship that spent the summer in Scandinavia might find more profitable waters in the Eastern Caribbean during the colder months.

Alaskan cruise liners might winter in San Diego, a base from which to explore the Mexican Riviera as Sitka shivers.

Come spring, the process reverses. They're known as repositioning or "repo" cruises in the travel industry.

Trivia, you say? Perhaps. But you can bet the people who move those ships want as many paying travelers aboard as possible. Savvy travelers book those cabins and take trips they otherwise could not afford.

Maybe it's time for you to "reposition" your thoughts on cruising.

Consider a typical repositioning cruise that took passengers from Genoa, Italy, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 16 days.

The first week, ports-of-call included Genoa, Italy; Marseille, France and St. Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands. Not bad!

But four of the first seven days on that cruise, there were no stops.

This is not standard fare for most traditional itineraries. Bring reading material and an appreciation for the open sea.

The ports you do visit might not see cruise ships at any other time of year. You'll find rare opportunities to visit African or South American cities off the usual tourist paths.

Because the trips are longer in duration, the total price might equal or exceed what you'd expect to pay for a standard cruise. But when you begin to divide money into days, the per diem costs are attractive.

A repositioning trip might cost as much as $3000 USD/per person. But remember that the daily costs fall because you're spending more time on the ship and traveling a greater distance.

More information: What to expect on a repositioning cruise.

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