Royal Caribbean International, Oasis of the Seas, exterior
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Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International | Oasis of the Seas
Relaxing on Deck
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Photo Credit: iStock.com / Moussa81 | Relaxing on Deck
Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Breakaway, Bermuda
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Photo Credit: Norwegian Cruise Line | Norwegian Breakaway in Bermuda
Hilo, Hawaii, Mauna Kea volcano
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Photo Credit: Hawaii Tourism Japan | Mauna Kea
Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Millennium, Hubbard Glacier Alaska
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Photo Credit: Celebrity Cruises | Celebrity Millennium at Hubbard Glacier

Repositioning Cruises

Deck Sun Lounger Photo credit: Seabourn Cruise Line | Deck Sun Lounger

Many cruise ships follow the warm weather, spending the summer in Alaska before moving to Asia for the winter, or going from winter in the Caribbean to summer in the Mediterranean. Instead of sending the ship across the Atlantic or Pacific empty, cruise lines offer special ocean-crossing trips called repositioning cruises. The length of each varies, but these voyages usually last about one to two weeks and include many consecutive days at sea.

What We Love

The Price: These one-off itineraries tend to be greatly discounted, since they're not as popular as other cruises.

Traveling the Old-Fashioned Way: Being out to sea, with no obligations at all, will make you slow down and relax. 

Best Known For

Long Days at Sea: If you love the idea of being in the middle of nowhere for days on end, these itineraries are for you.

Great Lecturers: Most ships doing long repositioning cruises have a roster of expert speakers on board giving talks on a variety of topics, from politics to science, travel, and many other subjects.

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Best Ports

St. George's, BermudaThis historic island is the oldest surviving English settlement in the New World. The highlights are walk-able from the cruise docks, including 17th- and 18th-century buildings like St. Peter’s Church and Fort St. Catherine. This may be a port of call on ships repositioning between Europe and the Caribbean.

Hilo, The Big IslandVolcanoes National Park is the place to see the world’s most active volcanoes — Kīlauea and Mauna Loa — and their lava tubes, moonlike surface, and streams of red-hot oozing lava. Ships repositioning from Alaska or the Mexican Riviera to Asia may stop here.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

You May Encounter Rocky Seas: Crossing large bodies of open water puts you at risk for substantial swells and waves, so consider seasickness remedies.

Heidi Sarna

Heidi Sarna is a Singapore-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today.

Find a Cruise
Find the best Deal

Is any passenger?

Special residency rates

Find a Cruise
Find the best Deal

Is any passenger?

Special residency rates