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  >  Cruising   >  Why you should book a repositioning cruise from Australia

Clever local sailors know that booking a repositioning cruise from Australia (or a repositioning cruise to Australia) can offer huge savings on the rate per day you’ll pay for your cruise holiday. When ships swap hemispheres, move to another region or head into dry dock for refurbishment, this type of one-way voyage is called a repositioning cruise. Whether you’re boarding a repositioning cruise from Hawaii to Australia, sailing from Australia to Tahiti or heading from Sydney to New York, there are plenty of reasons to consider a repositioning cruise from Australia for your next holiday.

Azamara Quest does repositioning cruises

Find a bargain and cruise for longer

The great thing about repositioning cruises is they’re cheaper and go for longer, which does not suit every traveller but is a bonus for those with the time (or leave) to spare. Repositioning cruises from Australia to Asia (and beyond) usually depart in March or April, and from the ones from Asia to Australia mainly leave in October or November. For repositioning cruises from Australia to Hawaii, these depart in March or April, with reciprocal cruises from Hawaii to Australia beginning in September. You’ll have plenty of sea days to chill or do activities on board and lots of reading or socialising. It’s also a great way to experience some of the best islands to visit on a cruise.

Celebrity Edge - Veranda Stateroom showing Infinite Veranda
Celebrity Edge sails to and from Australia

Plan ahead and get to your most desired destinations

There is probably an endless list of must-do destinations, but a few standouts on repositioning cruises are Hawaii, French Polynesia, and Easter Island. For Asia, you have Komodo Island, Phuket, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). There’s no need to limit yourself to the Asia Pacific region, as you can also reposition via the Middle East, South America, the United Kingdom, and the USA. A repositioning cruise can take you from Southampton near London to San Francisco or Dubai via the iconic Panama or Suez Canals.

Bora Bora
Bora Bora in Tahiti

Save on airfares as it’s only one way or leapfrog around the world

Repositioning cruises from your home port or your preferred overseas departure port only require a one-way airfare, which can save you thousands. But remember to check the price of any flights before you hit the booking button, as some one-way airfares can be as expensive as a return journey. This is also important if you’re thinking of travelling at the last minute as, unlike cruises, airfares tend to get more expensive the closer they are to their departure date. You might also want to look at leapfrogging to your preferred destination like Tahiti on a cruise via Fiji to squeeze more value out of your holiday.

Ovation of the Seas FlowRider in Alaska
Ride the FlowRider on your way to Alaska

Trans-Pacific or Transatlantic repositioning cruises

Trans-Pacific or Transatlantic repositioning cruises are a are great ways to beat jet lag and arrive fresh at your destination. On Transatlantic cruises from Europe to the United States, the ship’s clocks are set back by one hour every second day while you’re at sea and visa versa in return. By the time you arrive at your destination, you’ve already adjusted to the local time zone and are well-rested, with no jetlag. The same applies for Transpacific cruises with clocks adjusted accordingly, but remember the international date line could mean you’re adding or subtracting days. This is a much more enjoyable way to travel long distances and is far more enjoyable than trying to sleep on a plane, with speciality restaurants, shows and lovely islands or ports to stop in along the way.

Megaships are mega fun or choose a line with included specialty restaurants

It’s essential to look at the ship that’s repositioning carefully so you can choose the right one, as there are often a lot of sea days. You can maximise your fun by looking at a ship with loads of onboard activities like Quantum of the Seas or Ovation of the Seas and a repositioning itinerary with loads of sea days. With activities like skydiving, rock climbing, bumper cars and a surf simulator, you’ll have loads of time to enjoy and even master things like the iFly skydiving tunnel or hanging ten on a surfboard on the FlowRider. For a more subdued and refined experience, the lines such as Oceania, Regent and Viking Ocean have refined cuisine and most specialty restaurants included in your fare. Best of all, most high-end lines are generally all-inclusive, so you can savour every moment and not have a big bill at the end.

iFly on Quantum of the Seas

Meditation, fitness and reading on your cruise

With plenty of sea days and all the facilities like gyms, fitness classes and personal trainers on tap, there is an opportunity to create a new you. If you feel the world is closing in, take a break on a repositioning cruise with meditation classes, yoga, and lots of sea air, and perhaps drop into a tropical island on the way. For bookworms, you’ll finally have time to lose yourself in a good book. Whether you prefer political thrillers or a juicy romance novel, repositioning cruises are great for catching up on your reading, so pack some novels or download a selection on your iPad or Kindle before you leave.

Pacific Adventure gym
Hit the gym

Visit unusual cruise destinations and try new things

One aspect of repositioning cruises is that the small ports and places where the ship stops are often overlooked by regular cruises and give you an excellent opportunity to see and do many different things like food, excursions, and adventures. On our cruise across the Atlantic, we spent a day at the island of Funchal in Madeira, Portugal, an archipelago comprising four islands off the northwest coast of Africa. We tried the famous fortified Madeira wine in the place where it originated. We also had the fun and excitement of travelling down a big hill in a sled that looked like a basket. Picture a sled guided down steep roads by two big gents. Yep, it was exciting, and we wouldn’t have known it existed unless we did a repositing cruise and some research before we arrived.

Funchal in Madeira, Portugal Downhill Basket Ride
Getting ready for a downhill basket ride

Repositioning cruises for solo travellers

More cruise lines are catering to solo cruisers, and repositioning voyages are superb for socialising and meeting fascinating people as these journeys attract a well-travelled clientele. The great news is that cruise lines often waive single supplemental payments to fill empty cabins. The newer or refitted ships often have single cabins in various configurations, from insides to balconies. Onboard, the daily program will often include a solo meet and greet with hosted drinks and nibbles to get everyone relaxed and mingling, which is perfect for long sea days at sea. Another inclusion is a solo travellers’ table at many of the onboard restaurants. With these longer itineraries, there’s time to get to know people and form meaningful friendships and possibly even relationships or you’re looking for someone new.

Want more great cruise advice? Check out our tips for choosing the perfect cruise, cruising with grandchildren, cruising with tweens and cruising with kids of all ages, solo cruising, the best activities on Ovation of the Seas, doing a Transatlantic cruise with kids, cruising in Australia or Papua New Guinea, Iceland cruise tips, cruising on a megaship, scoring a bargain cruise fare, cruising the Mediterranean, making the most of a cruise ship kids club, luxury cruising with kids, and the Byron Beach Club onboard P&O Cruises. We have also reviewed Disney Wonder, Pacific Adventure, Celebrity Edge, Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, Pacific Encounter, Carnival Splendor, Voyager of the Seas, Nieuw Statendam, Viking Helgrim, Pride of America, Coral Expeditions in Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef, Celebrity Solstice, and Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.

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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.