A repositioning cruise or a repo cruise is the nomad of cruise ships because it gives passengers the opportunity to purchase a one-way ticket to one specific location, then sail on a new ship on an entirely new route to a different destination — kind of like a one-way flight to your destination of choice.
Usually cruise lines relocate their ships to different ports in the spring and fall, therefore opening up the opportunity for you to embark on these one-way voyages — many of which are sold at an attractive low price.
Repo cruises are less common than the majority of other cruises because a repo cruise embarks and disembarks at two different ports, while the final destination of most cruises is the same as their starting point. While this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it may be a fun adventure for you, especially if you have a gypsy soul and just want to explore without having too much of a plan. Maybe you just want to relax at sea without having to worry about what’s next.
With a repo cruise, you can sail to one destination, decide where you want to go once you get there, then sail to your next destination. You can go away for however long you want or fly home at any time, once you’ve reached a destination. Choose a long voyage or a short one. It’s all up to you.
On a repo cruise, you may travel an entire coastline all at once or see many continents on one trip. While this sounds hectic, it’s actually quite the opposite. Repo cruises give you the opportunity to see lots while also relaxing on your vacation. Some ships stop at multiple ports along the way as well, so you can experience many different destinations and cultures.
Repositioning cruises are really quite laid back, depending on which kind of cruise you choose. There are no back-to-back port calls to worry about, and there are more days at sea. Kick back and lounge around on deck in between meals. However, there are also active cruises with lots of activities if you aren’t looking for a laid back relaxed atmosphere.
While most repositioning cruises last from 6-18 days, or longer, two and three night repo cruises are usually available, which allows you to try one out and see if it works for you. If you do enjoy your shorter repo cruise, seek out a longer one. There are many different cruises to choose from, so don’t rush yourself when booking one, before really doing your research.
Usually repo cruises are much lower in price than other cruises because they don't appeal to everyone and ships are being relocated to different locations anyway, so they’re sold at a reduced price for guests who want to sail along. Repo cruises are almost always more cost-effective than normal cruises.
In the winter time, many ships are relocated from places like Alaska and the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. Yes, these will be offered at a generous discount, so jump on board and grab them while you can.
Find a ship that works for you. You want an onboard vibe, entertainment offerings and activities that you can enjoy. Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean are known as more active cruises, while Princess, Celebrity and Holland America offer a more laid-back atmosphere. You can even choose a cruise line that has themes.
If an active environment is not your forte, consider sailing on a smaller cruise ship, which many guests enjoy like passenger Tim Elliott, who sails on Windstar cruises — “The nice thing about Windstar is it’s small enough where you can meet new people.” On smaller ships with less people, passengers also have the benefit of getting to know the crew, and therefore have a more personable, fun and enjoyable experience.
When you hear about new cruise ships being built, it’s exciting. You hear all about the accommodations, activities and other unique experiences they have to offer, and you want to try it out for yourself. However, many of these cruise ships are booked months in advance and are oftentimes very expensive. Try a repo cruise to experience a new ship, at a discounted price, with less passengers onboard. The deals are incredible, as an all-inclusive deal can cost as little as $65/day per person.
A great benefit is that there are less people on a repo voyage, therefore you’ll likely be able to enjoy a more relaxing cruise. Since many repo cruises are much longer than normal cruises — many of them more than two weeks — not everyone can get off that much vacation time to be away for that long. So this creates a less congested adventure for you to enjoy, especially when you stop at ports because of the off-season.
You can’t find the unique itineraries, great values and relaxed time at sea you can find with a repo cruise on any other cruise. Start and end your voyage at different ports and experience new places along the way. Meet new people while you relax and enjoy onboard activities. This unique travel experience is one you should definitely try because you have nothing to lose.