Repositioning Cruises 2017

Cruise ship balconies

For cruisers, fall and spring mean more than just transitioning wardrobes. These seasons are the prime times of year for repositioning cruises.

Though some ships spend 365 days sailing the same itineraries or sticking to the same regions, many relocate a few times a year -- depending on the season -- from Canada/New England to the Caribbean or Alaska to Mexico, for example. Cruise lines sell these one-way routes (usually at a discount), rather than sail the ships without passengers. These voyages, known as repositioning cruises, are sometimes themed with subjects ranging from theater to wine, while others are enhanced with enrichment options, such as guest lecturers.

Intrigued? Learn more about why you should take a repositioning cruise, and continue reading below for details on several of our favorite repositioning cruises for 2016 and 2017.

Editor's Note: Remember that these are just a few of the many repositioning cruises available. Contact your favorite cruise line or travel agent for more options.

Carnival Vista

Spring 2017

Disney Magic

The Trip: Port Canaveral to Copenhagen, 15-night transatlantic cruise

Departs: May 13

Itinerary: Port Canaveral, Ponta Delgada, Portland (England), Dover, Amsterdam, Copenhagen

The Perks: This two-week transatlantic voyage is great for passengers interested in a Disney cruise without the summer crowds. Although this sailing features a lot of sea days (nine in all!), it offers some pretty incredible on-land adventures too. In-port activities include a visit to the famous Stonehenge, a trip to a pineapple plantation in the Azores and a dinner canal cruise during an overnight stay in Copenhagen. Disney appeals to all ages with its dedicated adults-only areas, spacious standard cabins, top-rated kids clubs and first-run Disney movies.

Who Should Go: This itinerary is ideal for travelers looking for a rare two-week Disney cruise or one that has fewer kids onboard than normal. It's also great for the dedicated Disney Cruise Line fan who wants to try a different itinerary than the line's standard Bahamas and Caribbean.

Rhapsody of the Seas

The Trip: Tampa to Barcelona, 14-night transatlantic cruise

Departs: April 29

Itinerary: Tampa, Key West, St. Maarten, Malaga, Cartagena, Barcelona

The Perks: This international sailing has an interesting mix of tropical and Mediterranean port visits, as well as a large number of sea days as the ship sails the Atlantic. Rhapsody of the Seas, a Vision-class ship (updated with Oasis-class amenities such as an outdoor movie screen and specialty dining venues), is a great place to be if you're spending more than a week crossing the ocean. At-sea activities include wine-tasting classes, dance classes, cooking demonstrations, fitness classes, rock climbing, aerial shows and even salsa dancing.

Who Should Go: This cruise is suited to travelers who thoroughly enjoy sea days, as the itinerary features nine full days at sea, including seven days in a row. And since it sails from one continent to another, it calls for passengers willing to pony up for open-jaw international airfare.

Carnival Legend

The Trip: Vancouver to Seattle, eight-night Glacier Bay cruise

Departs: April 30

Itinerary: Vancouver, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Seattle

The Perks: The month of May marks the start of Alaska season, and this port-heavy itinerary is perfect for passengers seeking a good balance of scenic cruising, diverse wildlife and city stops. Apart from scenic cruising of the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay, this sailing includes two full sea days and full-day stops at some of Alaska's most popular ports.

Who Should Go: People looking for an Alaska cruise with a good amount of port stops will enjoy this action-packed itinerary. Just be aware that the weather can still be chilly in the spring months, and open-jaw airfare into Vancouver and out of Seattle might be more expensive than a round trip out of either city.

Norwegian Dawn

The Trip: New Orleans to Boston, 12-night Central America and Eastern Caribbean cruise

Departs: April 23

Itinerary: New Orleans, Cozumel, Roatan, Cartagena, San Juan, Tortola, Boston

The Perks: The sailing offers a nice mix of sea days and port days; you're never onboard or in port for too many days in a row. Further, April is a great time to visit Caribbean and Central American destinations before the summer heat is in full effect. Norwegian Dawn is one of the line's older ships, but it underwent a huge refurbishment in summer 2016, gaining new restaurants and bars, as well as upgrades on all its cabins.

Who Should Go: This cruise is the perfect Caribbean getaway for passengers living in the Northeast, especially those who can get away with just booking a one-way flight to New Orleans and then driving home from Boston. Beach-lovers will appreciate the tropical port stops on the way up to Boston, too.

Crown Princess

The Trip: Buenos Aires to Ft. Lauderdale, 19-night South America and Caribbean cruise

Departs: March 1

Itinerary: Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Barbados, Martinique, Antiqua, St. Kitts, Fort Lauderdale

The Perks: This long sailing combines an almost even balance of South American and Caribbean ports as the ship sails north from Brazil to the U.S. A whopping 10 sea days will allow you to take full advantage of the ship's many offerings, while overnights in Rio and Buenos Aires mean not having to rush your southern exploration. Onboard Crown Princess, you'll find plenty to do from dining at multiple venues, watching Movies Under the Stars and participating in an array of onboard activities.

Who Should Go: This is a great pick for adventurous cruisers (with the leisure time to take a multi-week voyage) who want to experience a variety of cultures and destinations. Keep in mind that an international one-way flight to Buenos Aires could be pricy, but it may be worth the cost if you're seeking a long, far-flung cruise that visits a diverse assortment of islands and South American cities.

Serenade of the Seas exterior

Fall 2017

Serenade of the Seas

The Trip: Boston to Fort Lauderdale, 12-night Eastern and Southern Caribbean cruise

Departs: October 20

Itinerary: Boston, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Curacao, Aruba, Fort Lauderdale

The Perks: Get ready to explore the Caribbean: Mid-sized Serenade of the Seas, which features 3 acres of exterior glass (plus glass elevators), is a great vessel for taking in endless water views -- even if you didn't spring for a balcony cabin. This sailing has nearly a week of sea days, during which you can enjoy an impressive amount of entertainment offerings for a ship this size. Test your luck in the casino, take a wine-tasting class, celebrate the cruise life in the Champagne Bar or enjoy nightly live music and dancing in the ship's all-glass 10-story atrium.

Who Should Go: East Coast folks, as well as cruisers who want to experience a mix of Eastern and Southern Caribbean ports. This sailing is a good opportunity for Boston- or New York-area residents to cruise south from a port to which they can drive or take the train. (All you need to get home is a one-way domestic flight.)

Explorer of the Seas

The Trip: Seattle to Sydney, 23-night Hawaii, South Pacific and Australia cruise

Departs: October 6

Itinerary: Seattle, Honolulu, Maui, Lautoka, Suva, Mystery Island (Vanuatu), Lifou, Mare, Sydney

The Perks: You'll start in Seattle, head to Hawaii and cross the international date line before journeying to a handful of breezy South Pacific islands on this exotic sea-day-intensive sailing. Love snorkeling and roaming barely touched beaches? This cruise goes to some off-the-beaten-path tropical destinations like Mare, a raised coral atoll, and Lifou. And Explorer of the Seas offers plenty to do during the many sea days on this itinerary, from a TV studio and 3D movie theater to ice skating shows and parades.

Who Should Go: Beach aficionados who like sea days --  this sailing has 15 days at sea and stops at seven different islands.

Ruby Princess

The Trip: Vancouver to Los Angeles, six-night Pacific Coast cruise

Departs: October 1

Itinerary: Vancouver, Astoria (Oregon), San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles

The Perks: Fall foliage meets sun-dappled wine country on this West Coast sailing. Cruisers can explore the beautiful Pacific Northwest during autumn, before heading south to warmer climes. October is an excellent time to visit California's wine regions, and to view the changing autumn colors in Oregon and Vancouver. Further, Ruby Princess offers lots of free onboard dining options and activities, which will help you while away the two sea days on this itinerary.

Who Should Go: With way more port stops than sea days, this cruise is ideal for active travelers who want to explore port cities and go on excursions. Plus, those who love wine might especially enjoy the wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara. And of course, folks residing on the West Coast will likely find it affordable to book one-way flights into Vancouver and out of Los Angeles -- or even drive to one of the ports.

Norwegian Getaway

The Trip: Copenhagen to Miami, 14-night transatlantic cruise

Departs: October 15

Itinerary: Copenhagen, Ponta Delgada, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Miami

The Perks: The bulk of this sailing is comprised of sea days, which will give you plenty of time to try the abundant mix of entertainment and dining options onboard this humongous cruise ship. Getaway has 28 dining spots, a large sports complex, five water slides and even a Broadway musical show. The itinerary includes an exciting combination of Caribbean and European locales, including a stop in the beautiful, wind-swept Azores.

Who Should Go: Cruisers who love big ships. With minimal ports to distract you, this cruise lets you fully experience everything a 21st-century floating skyscraper has to offer without feeling rushed or like you'll run out of time to do it all.

Carnival Legend

The Trip: Vancouver to Honolulu, 10-night Hawaii cruise

Departs: September 12

Itinerary: Vancouver, Hilo, Kona, Kauai, Maui, Honolulu

The Perks: As Carnival Legend moves to Sydney for the winter, come along for part of the ride and sail the open waters of the Pacific. After a spate of sea days, you get to explore five Hawaiian Islands -- and you only have to unpack once.

Who Should Go: September (the start of the school year) is the perfect time to sail if you're looking to avoid the families that frequent Legend. And if you want to explore multiple Hawaiian Islands, taking a cruise is a great way to avoid having to plan your own itinerary with multiple flights and hotel rooms. But keep in mind: You must love sea days, as this sailing features five in a row.

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