For those not familiar with a “repositioning cruise,” it’s moving a ship from one sailing region to another, like moving from a season in Alaska to a season in Australia. The cruise that takes the ship from Alaska to Australia is a repositioning.
Repositioning cruises are the best kept secret of the cruise industry and also the most undervalued. We asked Facebook fans why they like repositionings, and the answers varied.
William Fraser: We have been on two repositioning cruises across the Atlantic and are very shortly going across the Pacific. Can’t wait for those long stretches at sea. Will the Pacific be that same wonderful blue as the Atlantic, what will it be like to see the South Seas islands that we’ve read about all our lives? Taking a long cruise fits exactly this quote from Glen Dixon on Facebook “Travelling forces you to be in the moment because there’s nowhere else to be.”
Repositioning cruises sail to a variety of exotic destinations like Costa Rica, Australia, Hawaii and South America.
This fall following their Alaska seasons, Volendam and Oosterdam sail exotic repositioning cruises from Canada to Australia, while Zaandam moves from Canada to South America.
Volendam sails a 24-day South Pacific Crossing from Vancouver, British Columbia, or Los Angeles, Calif. (21 days), to Sydney, Australia, departing Sept. 24 and 27, respectively.
Oosterdam features a 25-day South Pacific Crossing from Vancouver or Seattle (24 days) to Sydney, departing Sept. 28 or 29, respectively.
Those looking to explore South America can sail from Vancouver or San Diego, Calif. (18 days), aboard Zaandam on a 22-day Inca Discovery cruise departing Oct. 5 or 9, respectively.
If you’re thinking about taking one of these adventures, there are endless benefits to embarking on a repositioning cruise with Holland America Line. Here are our top five reasons for taking one of these memorable journeys, mixed in with Facebook fans’ comments:
1. Great Value
Repositioning cruises offer per diem rates that are much lower than regular sailings, making them a great bargain and value! Fares start at just $91 per day and include accommodations, food, entertainment, enriching activities, hotel services and much more.
Susan Scott Jackson: We love repositioning cruises. Longer, with ports not visited as much. Did I mention longer? For us a cruise is not worth going on unless it is two weeks. You can feel at home on the ship and do more both on and off the ship. I would always recommend this type of cruise.
2. One International Flight
Prices for one-way flights are no longer as expensive as you probably remember. Not only do you save money with buying one ticket, but you also don’t need to endure two 10+ hour flights crossing over oceans and continents. Another added bonus is that you only have jet lag one way! Instead, Holland America Line’s repositioning cruises enable you to enjoy crossing time zones at a gradual and leisurely pace.
Karen Wagers Michalski: We took a repositioning cruise last year on the Westerdam as it was changing its itinerary from Alaska to the Caribbean. We caught the ship in San Diego and ended in Ft Lauderdale. We actually took the Collectors’ cruise that added on the first sailing in the Caribbean so we were on for three weeks. The pace was relaxed, and we had a wonderful time transiting the Panama Canal and stopping in Cartagena, Columbia. The cruise was a wonderful value.
Sail from Atlantic to Pacific (or vice versa) on a repositioning through the Panama Canal.
3. Exotic Itineraries
Holland America Line’s repositioning cruises offer an abundant variety of ports of calls that you are unlikely to get with other sailings. Guests can enjoy stops at Vancouver and Hawaii as well as Fiji, Ile des Pins and Sydney – all in one trip! Or maybe you would prefer a little more Latin flavor by exploring 10 different port of calls all in one vacation, including the countries of Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru and Chile.
Michael Heemer: Five of our 12 cruises with HAL have been repositioning cruises. They’re a great value and you may get to see some ports that you normally wouldn’t visit.
Why is it that you always seem to need a vacation to recoup from your vacation? This is not the case with repositioning cruises. You have a great balance of amazing port of calls and onboard activities. The best part is that there are no hectic back-to-back calls! Take this time to slow down and enjoy everything that sailing with Holland America has to offer. Listen to music or read a good book in the Explorations Café, lounge on a steamer chair and watch the horizon, take time to slowly savor each meal and forget to set that alarm.
Kathy Stohrer: Two words: Panama Canal! Full transit, en route from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego. There were several engineers among the passengers who must have spent the day in Engineer Nirvana, and a lecturer to tell us what we would be seeing before we got there, and answer questions after we had been through. Plus a lot of fun ashore of course. I’d love to do it again once the new locks open. Zuiderdam barely fit.
There’s so much to do onboard, and enough time to do it on a repositioning.
5. Enrichment Programming
Every day aboard a Holland America cruise ship brings a wealth of cruise activities and indulgences, along with the freedom to partake in as many — or as few — as you please. Whether you want to work out in the Fitness Center, learn yoga, pamper yourself with a massage and spa treatment, attend a lecture, learn about computers at a Digital Workshop powered by Windows, attend a cooking class at the Culinary Arts Center or take part in “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea,” there’s a perfect onboard activity for everyone.
Sallyanne Lewis: We started in Sydney and finished in Alaska and what is great about a repositioning cruise is that we have the sea days and take advantage of all the things to do on board the ship I LOVE IT!! Dancing, movies, shopping, eating, computer classes, swimming, more eating and just strolling around the ship, everything you need on board it is AWESOME!
Have you taken a repositioning cruise? What do you like most about these longer voyages?