|Oceania Nautica on the Indian Ocean|
|Ruby Princess on the Pacific Ocean|
|Sailing from Vancouver, B.C. - sunny, but cold|
What was similar was the fact they were ships being repositioned from one part of the world to another for a new sailing season. The Princess ship, for example, was moving south from its summer Alaska sailings to California, and warm-weather destinations for the winter season.
Thus, the name “Repositioning” cruises; and offered in the spring and fall when ship’s are being moved. The cruise line offers deals so that they make some money while moving the ship and passengers benefit from the deals they offer to fill the ships.
After I posted on the TravelnWrite Facebook page about our little cruise, I had so many questions that I thought it time to highlight them again. They’ve been the subject matter of several posts in recent years because they are among our favorite cruise types; so much so, that I wrote about them for the Seattle Times.
Short Pacific Northwest Getaway cruises
We’ve taken a number of short getaway cruises on the ships that sail the waters between Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, BC and Alaska during the summer months. They range in length from overnight to four- or five-days.
|Our mini-suite on the Ruby Princess|
We rented a car in the Seattle suburb, Bellevue, WA for $60 and dropped it off in Vancouver, B.C. We were traveling with another couple, so it was cheaper to rent the car than to pay for four Amtrak train tickets. We returned home to Seattle from LA on Alaska Airlines for $99 per person. We spent a night in Vancouver but could have driven up the day of the cruise, saving the cost of the hotel and meals.
Note: It is important to factor in these additional costs when considering cruise deals because they do add up. In the case of our Oceania cruise, entry visa costs for various countries added to the cost calculations. India, for example is $369 per person while Turkey is $20 per person.
Exotic Ports of Call and Days At Sea
|Yangon, Myanmar, a port of call on Oceania's Nautica sailing|
The affordable, reduced, price and extremely generous on-board benefits ($1,800 in on-board spending, pre-paid gratuities –a savings of about $800 -- and daily unlimited internet – saving about $900 )-- when coupled with an array of exotic ports of call were what enticed us to take the Oceania Nautica last spring.
We visited 10 countries, unpacking at the beginning of the cruise and packing at the end – no hauling bags, no airports, no muss, no fuss. We were able to experience a high-end cruise line and visit a number of places that would have been both difficult and expensive to reach had we gone to them on our own. Some we need not return to, but others are now on our list for a return visit and longer stay.
|Celebrity Solstice in Sydney, Australia's harbour|
Note: Again we were able to visit multiple places including three South Pacific islands and New Zealand en route to Australia while not having to deal with air travel (and its cost), packing and unpacking at each stop.
Getting to and from Europe
|Canary Islands - a port of call on repositioning cruises|
One of our favorite types of repositioning cruises is transiting the Atlantic Ocean, either going to or returning from Europe. Any number of cruise lines offer these sailings; we’ve crossed on Holland America and Celebrity ships. The ports of call usually include one or two stops on the United States side of the Atlantic and three or four on the European side with six or seven days at sea. One of the best deals we nabbed was a balcony room for $125 per night.
Note: The plus side of these cruises are the stops in places like the Canary Islands and Madeira – destinations that would require expensive and long flights and multiple connections for travelers like us, living in the Western United States.
Long Days At Sea and Weather Considerations
|Repositioning cruises involve long, lovely days at sea|
NOTE: Cruise lines go overboard (pun, intended) in lining up activities, events, classes, lectures, promotions, games, music and dance to keep passengers busy on those days. Some, like us, prefer to laze away the time with a good book and watching the waves.
If you are not able to deal with days at sea and being confined to the ship, you might want to think twice before taking a repositioning cruise, no matter how good the deal.
Weather on these shoulder season cruises can be good, bad, or a bit of both. Our first day out of Vancouver was a blustery rainy and windy day and our second day allowed us to bask and burn in California sunshine. You'll want to check weather sites and pack accordingly.
“The Scout’s” Deal Finder
“The Scout” is credited with finding all the repositioning cruises we’ve taken. He uses a number of cruise web sites. We booked our three-day cruise using Vacations To Go. They have a link to repositioning cruise deals. CruCon Cruise Outlet is our usual ‘go to’ site as they’ve often offered benefits that tip the scale in their favor, even if the cruise price has been the same as offered elsewhere.
That’s it for today. If you have specific questions, ask them in the comment section below or shoot us an email. Hope it is smooth sailing ahead for you and your family until we see you back here. We’ll return to tales from our repositioning spring cruise with a stop in Mumbai, India.
Linking up with:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening
Mersad's Through My Lens
Photo Friday - Pierced Wonderings