Repositioning cruises can save cruise companies a lot of money, so what’s in it for passengers?
If you can manage the air travel and you’re fine with additional sea days, then a repositioning cruise is right for you. But, sometimes to sweeten the deal, your flights may be included as part of the package.
And to help you choose the best repositioning cruise, here’s a list compiled by Cruise Passenger.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line offers repositioning cruises from Sydney or Brisbane to destinations across the globe such as South Pacific, The Bahamas, and Europe.
Most of Carnival’s trans-Pacific repositioning cruises sail to enchanting beach destinations including Nuku’ Alofa, Moorea, and Bora Bora before you reach your destination (usually Honolulu).
Onboard, you’ll have the opportunity to experience more than 45 activities and enjoy world-class cuisine and entertainment.
Our pick for a Carnival repositioning cruise:
The 25-Night Transpacific voyage from Seattle to Sydney is one of Carnival’s cheapest repositioning cruises.
Scheduled to sail from 6 September 2022, the ticket starts at $103 per night and the flight is included + a night in a hotel.
Choose from 29 itineraries scheduled for 2022/23. Most of Celebrity’s voyages depart from Tampa, Florida and sail to Rome, Italy. But if you’re looking for something closer to home, there are several itineraries that depart from Sydney and end in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Our pick for a Celebrity repositioning cruise:
The 18-night Tahiti, Moorea & New Zealand cruise is scheduled to embark from Sydney in April 2023 and includes eight ports and nine sea days. Prices start at $270 per night. Destinations visited include Bay of Islands (New Zealand), Papeete, Tahiti (French Polynesia), and Maui (Hawaii).
International repositioning cruises with Royal Caribbean means immersing yourself the culture of one destination and culminating with the discovering the rich history of another. For example, you may spend a few days discovering an ancient civilisation in Cozumel, and then end up enjoying the luxurious city of Dubai.
For 2022/23 voyages, Royal Caribbean has confirmed 10+ repositioning cruises cruising from a variety of embarkation and disembarkation ports.
Our pick for a Royal Caribbean repositioning cruise:
In the 10-night Spain & Portugal cruise, you can experience Amsterdam’s beautiful canals or enjoy the intricate displays of plants at the Palheiro Gardens in Funchal, Portugal. Price starts at $96 per night for a departure on 9 September 2022.
Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking has more than 50 repositioning voyages for 2022/23 onboard its top ocean vessels: Viking Jupiter, Viking Orion, and Viking Sky. The fleet’s newest ships – Viking Mars and Viking Neptune – will join the fleet.
Our pick for a Royal Caribbean repositioning cruise:
Sail on Viking Mars for a 16-day Sydney to Bali in March 2023. The ship will visit ports in Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Townsville, Cairns, Thursday Island, Darwin, Komodo Island, and Lombok. Price starts at $352 per night inclusive of nine guided tours.
While the Transatlantic repositioning voyages of Princess Cruises are always departing in the low season, one-way Panama Canal itineraries are considered as repositions if they are in autumn or spring to move a ship to a new port.
They sail from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles during spring, and vice versa during autumn months. Princess’ repositioning cruises are available in South America usually from California to Chile and Brazil (from October to December) and vice versa in Spring.
Our pick for a Princess repositioning cruise:
Due to depart in March 2023, Princess Cruises will offer a 16-day repositioning sailing from Brisbane to Hong Kong. Along the way, the ship docks at Indonesian and Vietnamese ports. Price starts at A$95 for interior room, per person on double occupancy.
Many of the repositioning cruises with P&O are yearly one-way itineraries between some of the most popular cruise destinations in Europe, Southeast Asia, Caribbean and Australia.
Our pick for a P&O repositioning cruise:
Sailing on 24 January 2023, P&O Cruises has scheduled a cruise from Brisbane to Singapore featuring Indonesian destinations. Price starts at $164 per night per person.
Are repositioning cruises cheaper?
They can be!
If you’re booking through a travel agency, such as CruiseAway, repositioning voyages are sometimes offered as a part of discounted fly-and-cruise packages from major cities in Australia. Although, this isn’t always the case.
When it comes to pricing, this is where you can often save. For example, the Carnival pricing mentioned above at $103 per night for the cruise, includes flights and accommodation. This is less than what we’re seeing cruises only going for on the Carnival website.
For example, a five-day sailing from Sydney to Tasmania, return, is listed at $116 per day. In this case, it’s up to 11% cheaper. However, other sailings do start at less than $100 per night – but don’t include flights if you don’t live at your departure port. So, it does pay to compare fares.
What’s the catch with repositioning cruises?
Arranging your air travel from your disembarkation port is a major buzzkill.
Also, a repositioning cruise will likely visit numerous ports of call and have several days at sea.
So expect a lot of sea days – a perfect scenario if you love being at sea. Anyway, most cruises have a multitude of onboard entertainment so you’ll not be bored, and at great prices.
What is a repositioning cruise?
In a repositioning cruise, the embarkation and disembarkation ports are different. With most ocean cruises, you’ll end up in the same port you started. So if you sailed from Sydney, then your final port would be Sydney. But with a repositioning cruise, you may start in Sydney, and end up in Barcelona, Spain.
Repositioning happens if cruise lines are relocating a ship, usually for economic reasons.
Cruise ships do this seasonally, such as when they need to move their ships from Alaska voyages to the Mediterranean, or if the demand is higher compared to one area.
For example, Europe is in high demand during summer, but it becomes challenging in winter, so cruise ships are focusing more on Caribbean voyages.
All prices were accurate at the time of writing.