Cruise ships have an enviable lifestyle - they follow the sunshine. In the UK this usually means that the cruise ships near us spend summers cruising around the Mediterranean, and make a mass migration to the warm waters of the Caribbean for the winter.
Other repositioning cruises operate from the USA, through the Panama Canal, to the Caribbean, or from Alaska to Mexico. A few cruise ships move from north to south Africa. World repositioning cruises may head down the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean before arriving the Middle East or Asia.
Good news for bargain seekers: Cruise companies don't like their ships to be empty whilst they make these journeys, so they heavily discount the routes. There really are some amazing prices to be had and you're likely to get more days at sea to enjoy the ship facilities, with minimal ports of call. In addition to the great prices on repositioning cruises, there are often more free activities onboard - anything from photography lessons to dancing.
The possibilities of where you can go on a repositioning cruise are endless! Whether you want to go to Dubai, Sydney, Barbados or the Red Sea, one thing's for sure - it's going to be sunny when you get there!
The most common repositioning cruise offers available to and from the UK run from Southampton to the Caribbean. There are generally only a couple of stops along the way, with Madeira featuring on most repositioning journeys, so expect to spend plenty of time onboard. Look for incentives like extra nights in the Caribbean once you arrive, or you could even hop on another cruise when you get there!
Many ships lay on extra entertainment to keep you busy along the way, with larger ships tending towards big shows and productions, whereas smaller ships usually focus on guest lectures and activities such as wine tasting or photography classes.
Alternatively, you could enjoy a holiday in the Caribbean first before embarking on a repositioning cruise back to the UK, as every spring the cruise ships return.
The whole point of repositioning cruises is that they are great value for money! They are becoming less of a secret though, so planning in advance and getting it booked early is a great idea if you want to pay rock bottom prices. Cruise itineraries can be on offer over a year in advance, so when we mean get organised early, we really mean it!
Holding your nerve and waiting until the last minute can also pay off - with cruise lines happier to get people onboard rather than sailing half full. Just make sure that your flight is included too, as last minute flights are often a lot more expensive.
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Updated 15th February 2017
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