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Ships on sale: Repositioning cruises are a bargain this fall

By Diane Tierney
Travel, Cruising Photo
September 27, 2016 - 0 comments

Every fall more than a dozen cruise lines reposition their ships from one sea to another for the winter season. Since this annual migration involves voyages with several sea days, or are not round-trip cruises, cruise lines offer irresistible prices to keep cabins full. Prices can be 30 to 80 per cent off regular rates.

Generally, ships stationed in northern Europe head for the Mediterranean, southern European ships cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean, Alaska cruise ships aim for Mexico and Hawaii, and ships in Asia expand their itineraries further south.

Sailings range from about 10 to 20 days so these cruises are best for passengers who have cruised before, rather than first-timers.

This is also a great opportunity to sail on a six-star cruise line that might otherwise be too expensive during other times of the year. For example, on October 31, the Crystal Symphony sails from Miami to San Diego, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, in 16 days for U.S.$4,695 instead of U.S.$14,490. So celebrate Hallowe’en by dressing up as a king and queen because on this cruise line you’ll be treated like royalty. (Price source:

On a repositioning cruise you’ll enjoy extra sea days for pampering, the opportunity to be immersed in enrichment programs, entertained by special guest lecturers, learn more at classes from cooking to dancing, and enjoy sumptuous dining and impressive entertainment, at the best prices you’ll get all year.

You’ll also find that the ships are less crowded (with few children) and if you choose a ship that has plenty to do on board —more than a dozen restaurants, bars and theatres, as well as features like skating rinks and rock climbing walls —the time will pass quickly. And even if you do nothing at all but lay in a lounge chair, enjoy the people-watching.

The drawbacks are that you may spend more money shopping on board in the duty-free stores, do more gambling in the casino, and eat and drink more than usual.

Some voyages can experience rough weather depending on the ocean you are crossing, but if you have experienced sea legs, repositioning cruises are a great time to relax, learn something new, bond with family, and make new friends.

Here’s a list of repositioning cruises on ships I have experienced, although there are about 80 voyages from October to December to discuss with your travel agent:

Azamara Journey

Oct. 7: 17-day Rome to Dubai

Nov. 3: 14-day Dubai to Madras, India

Nov. 17: 13-day Madras, India to Singapore

Nov. 30: 10-day Singapore to Hong Kong

Celebrity Summit

Oct. 16: 6-day New York to Puerto Rico

Costa Favolosa

Dec. 3: 17-day Transatlantic (Savona to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe)

Crystal Serenity

Oct. 25: 14-day New York to Fort Lauderdale

Holland America Eurodam

Oct. 28: 22-day Transatlantic (Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale)

Holland America Noordam

Oct. 5: 19-day South Pacific (Honolulu to Sydney)

Holland America Oosterdam

Nov. 3: 15-day Transatlantic (Rome to Tampa)

Holland America Zuiderdam

Oct. 7: 12-day Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale

MSC Poesia

Nov 20: 20-day Transatlantic (Genoa to Fort de France, Martinique)

Norwegian Epic

Oct. 30: 13-day Transatlantic (Barcelona to Port Canaveral)

Norwegian Gem

Oct. 15: 8-day New York to Puerto Rico

Crown Princess

Dec. 4: 17-day Los Angeles to Santiago

Dec. 21: 10-day Santiago to Buenos Aires

Regal Princess

Oct. 27: 10-day New York to Fort Lauderdale

Royal Caribbean Mariner

Oct. 7: 10-day Shanghai to Singapore

Royal Caribbean Navigator

Nov. 10: 13-day Transatlantic (Southampton to Miami)

Royal Caribbean Voyager

Oct. 18: 14-day Singapore to Sydney

Seabourn Odyssey

Dec. 7: 12-day Lisbon to Fort Lauderdale

Windstar Star Pride

Oct. 28: 12-day Lisbon to Barbados

Windstar Wind Star

Nov. 12: 13-day Lisbon to Barbados

Diane Tierney is FYI's chief cruising correspondent. To follow Diane on her voyages, click

See Diane's previous blogs for FYI:

World cruises offer 120-day winter escapes

Sweet Greek Isles on the Seabourn Odyssey

Upgrades to the Carnival Miracle enhance its delightful whimsical decor

New cruise ship sails above the rest

Hawaii: Where the wild things are

Cruising never sounded so good

Time for Tahiti treat you've always dreamed of

Small ship cruising reaches hidden gems


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