Repositioning Cruises

Combining relaxing days at sea with the chance to visit ports of call in beautiful destinations, repositioning cruises offer the chance to enjoy the perks of ocean travel on a slightly different adventure. Here you'll find useful information on what a repositioning voyage is, what to expect and which cruise lines offer these exciting itineraries.

repositoning cruise

What is a repositioning cruise?

A repositioning cruise, also known as relocation or “repo” cruise, is when cruise ships travel long distances to spend several months offering sailings in another destination. This is often seasonal, with places like the Caribbean being popular in the winter, and the Mediterranean in the summer. Because of this, spring and autumn are the times of year when you are most likely to find a repositioning cruise. Popular for being a good chance to get a cheap cruise bargain and see destinations off the beaten track, these sailings can become big events in their own right.

Types of Repositioning cruise

When it comes to relocation cruises, there are a few that you can choose from:

  • Transatlantic Repositioning Cruises- one of the most popular relocation cruises, this is where cruise ships offer a one-way sailing across the Atlantic, often in pursuit of the warm weather of the Caribbean.
  • Transpacific Repositioning Cruises- with destinations such as Alaska having a set season, ships will relocate across the pacific to places such as Hawaii, Australia and Asia.

While these are the most common repositioning cruises, there are more to choose from, including itineraries from North America to South America, where traversing the world-famous Panama Canal is a destination in itself, and journeys through the Suez Canal when relocating from Europe to Asia.

transatlantic repositioning cruise

What to expect on a repositioning cruise

Spending more time at sea and being less port-intensive than other itineraries, repositioning cruises are a unique opportunity to soak up the experience of being on the open ocean. Here are a few things to expect:

  • Fewer Ports Of Call- as these cruises cover long distances, often travelling between continents and oceans, guests won't be able to explore as many destinations as on other itineraries so if you love a sea deay, this is for you.
  • Sea Days- perfect for relaxing, on a relocation cruise guests will be able to spend hours admiring the sea views and making the most of the onboard activities. This can be particularly great on cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line which are packed with fun entertainment options.
  • One Way Journeys- as these ships are relocating for a season, the itineraries will only be one way, so be sure to remember that you'll likely have to fly one leg of the cruise.

Best Repositioning Cruise Lines

With many cruise lines offering these sort of cruises, here are our pick of some of the best lines for relocation cruises:

caribbean repositioning cruise

P&O Cruises

Offering a winning combination of British style, exceptional cuisine and ships which are packed with activities, you'll find no shortage of ways to stay entertained during a repositioning cruise with P&O Cruises.

Typical Itinerary: make your way to the Caribbean where you'll meet your ship in Barbados before spending around two weeks sailing back to Southampton. You might just get to stop at destinations including Antigua and Azores as you cross the Atlantic.

Marella Cruises

If you're looking for a repositioning cruise that's packed full of dazzling entertainment, a variety of restaurants and plenty of opportunities to relax by the pool and get pampered in the spa, Marella Cruises is the perfect choice.

Typical Itinerary: starting off in the Mediterranean, departing from Malaga, you'll spend 2 weeks sailing to the Caribbean, with stop offs in Madeira, Antigua and the Dominican Republic.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Known for offering mega ship adventures with endless onboard activities, including laser tag, ziplines, surf simulators and more, there's no need to worry about spending too much time at sea on a Royal Caribbean repositioning cruise.

Typical Itinerary: another cruise line to relocate across the Atlantic, Royal Caribbean offer repositioning cruises from New York. Fly out to meet your ship in the Big Apple before making your way back across the ocean to Southamtpon, with ports of call in Azores and Ireland.

Princess Cruises

Offering voyages around the world for guests of all ages to enjoy, it's no surprise that Princess Cruises are popular when it comes to repositioning cruises. Whether you want to relax, wind down and let the hours pass by as you lounge by the pool, or get involved in enriching activities and classes, you can spend your time onboard however you wish.

Typical Itinerary: after a season in Alaska, meet your Princess Cruises ship in North America before making your way through the Panama Canal to South America.

Celebrity Cruises

Combining the fun-packed experience of being on a large ship with the luxury cruise experience, Celebrity Cruises is ideal for those looking to travel in complete comfort and style. From the moment you step onboard expect world-class service, fine dining and breathtaking evening entertainment, all with the backdrop of exceptional ocean views.

Typical Itinerary: while not as common as transatlantic relocation cruises, try something different with a transpacific repositioning voyage. Embarking from Tokyo, Japan, you can spend 2 weeks sailing to Vancouver, with ports of call in Japan, Russia and Canada.

If you like the sound of a relocation voyage, and can imagine yourself crossing vast swathes of ocean as you make the most of the unique entertainment and activities onboard whichever ship you choose, be sure to browse our repositioning cruise deals.