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A repositioning cruise is an exciting journey full of relaxing days at sea and stops in exotic destinations along the way. These one-way itineraries start in one major cruise destination and end in another.

Typically, these one-way itineraries take place during changing cruise seasons, when ships have to reposition themselves to locations where there’s warmer weather. Repositioning cruises are also called transpacific or transatlantic cruises, and are often more affordable than other cruises that last the same amount of time.

How do repositioning cruises work?

Revolutionized Celebrity Millennium ship exterior

Ships that sail around destinations that have a limited cruise season (such as Alaska and the Mediterranean) usually offer a repositioning cruise itinerary twice a year.

For example, Alaska’s cruise season only runs from May to September, which means that during the off-season months, the ship will be sailing around another region of the world. In April, a few weeks before Alaska’s cruise season takes off, a ship will embark on a repositioning cruise that sails from Asia to Alaska, where it will remain until September. Then, another repositioning cruise will open up, this time heading back towards Asia, where it will stay during Alaska’s off-season.

How long is a repositioning cruise?

Couple inside a stateroom on a cruise

Since repositioning cruises have to travel such long distances, they tend to be one of the longest cruises there is, lasting anywhere from 13 to 19 nights.

It’s also important to know that repositioning cruises often spend several consecutive days at sea (some itineraries spend up to 10 nights).

What is there to do on a repositioning cruise?

If you’re worried about how you’ll be able to fill all those days at sea, there are plenty of entertaining and relaxing activities to engage in while cruising on one of our award-winning ships.

Woman getting a massage on a cruise

Feel like you’ve escaped to a five-star spa resort by getting pampered at the onboard spa, a state-of-the-art facility where you can enjoy oxygen facials, hot stone massages, and wellness and exercise classes.

Elegant and modern interior of SEA Thermal Suite spa

On Edge-series ships, we also offer the SEA Thermal Suite, which consists of eight different relaxation rooms, including a hammam, crystalarium, salt room, steam room, infrared sauna room, float room, rainfall water therapy room, and a traditional relaxation room with heated tile loungers.

Or use those days at sea to learn new skills or take up a new hobby. Sign up for wine classes with a sommelier, visit the computer room and learn how to edit pictures and videos, or take a photography class. You’ll also find culinary lessons, arts and crafts activities, and even mixology classes during your time onboard.

People playing croquet at the Lawn Club on Celebrity

Repositioning cruises are an excellent way to bond as a family. Spend days at sea having fun together in the game room, playing shuffleboard and croquet in the Lawn Club (on Solstice-Class ships), and enjoying meals together at the world-class restaurants onboard.

For a real entertaining time, reserve a night at Le Petit Chef, where the food is served along with an interactive 3-D table show, or head to Eden on Edge-series ships, where a number of sensory experiences and playful performances await.

Where can I sail on a repositioning cruise?

People walking along Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Some of the major embarkation and debarkation ports for our repositioning cruise itineraries include the following:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Cape Liberty, New Jersey
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Miami, Florida
  • Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Singapore
  • Southampton, England
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Vancouver, British Columbia

What are some typical repositioning cruise itineraries?

Here are some examples of our transatlantic and transpacific cruise itineraries:

Florida to Rome

Beautiful Colosseum in Rome

In the spring, some of our ships cruise from Florida towards the Mediterranean. On the Spain, Italy, and Tenerife cruise, Celebrity Edge sets sail from Florida and spends seven nights crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

After luxurious days at sea, you’ll reach Tenerife, where you’ll be able to experience some of the best things to do in the Canary Islands.

After two more nights at sea, Edge stops in popular Mediterranean ports like Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Provence, Florence, and Rome.

Read: Cruises to Europe From the USA

Sydney to Honolulu

Scenic aerial view of Honolulu, Hawaii

If you’re in Australia, you can embark on our transpacific cruise from Sydney to Hawaii, where the Celebrity Solstice will first stop in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands and Auckland, and then sail east until it crosses the International Dateline, where you’ll subtract 24 hours from your current time.

Afterward, you’ll visit the Polynesian islands of Tahiti and Bora and Bora and cruise for five more nights before reaching Lahaina, Maui, and your final port of call, Honolulu.

New Jersey to Dublin

Facade of the old Malahide Castle, Ireland

Watch: Ireland Cruises Aboard Celebrity Cruises

In August, discover Iceland and Greenland while on a repositioning cruise departing from Cape Liberty, New Jersey. Start your trip by visiting Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia, and then head north to Qaqortoq, Greenland.

During your visit, discover some of the best things to do in Greenland, like soak in a natural hot spring, explore fjords, or go fly fishing.

After cruising through the dramatic Prince Christian Sound fjord, you’ll arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland, where you’ll stay overnight. After another stop in Akureyri, Iceland, your ship will sail for two more days before arriving in Dublin, Ireland, where your fifteen-night journey will come to an end.

Read: One Day in Dublin

Vancouver to Tokyo

Night view of Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo, Japan

Travel across the Bering Sea in September aboard Celebrity Millennium or Celebrity Eclipse. On this 15-night cruise from Vancouver, you’ll spend 10 days at sea and visit five ports along the way.

Each ship will first sail to Sitka, Alaska, and then start its long journey towards Asia, where it will spend nine nights at sea. On day 13, you’ll arrive in Japan, where you’ll visit Sapporo, Hakodate, and end with an overnight visit to Tokyo, the city where you’ll disembark at the end of your vacation.

Read: Tokyo 3-Day Itinerary

What should I pack for a repositioning cruise?

Packing for a repositioning cruise is different from packing for a shorter cruise since you’ll experience multiple destinations and climates during your vacation.

Couple hanging out on a cruise balcony

The most important tip when packing for a repositioning cruise is to bring plenty of layers that can be mixed and matched. Layers are key to making sure you’re comfortable during the duration of your cruise.

Breathable t-shirts and long linen pants for tropical or other balmy-weather stops will pair well with cardigans and sweaters for cooler days in ports or evenings out on your stateroom’s veranda.

If you think you may be prone to seasickness during your cruise, pack some anti-nausea medication. Some travelers also find ginger supplements and pressure point bands to be helpful in combating seasickness.

Book Your Repositioning Cruise Today

If you want to spend relaxing days at sea, then you’re ready to book your repositioning cruise today. Remember, the best staterooms and suites sell out early, so it’s wise to book in advance in order to get your first pick of accommodation. If you have any questions, call us at 1-800-852-8086 and speak to one of our cruise experts, who will be happy to help.

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Free Vacation Planning Services