Canny cruises to Caribbean

As the seasons change in the northern and southern hemispheres, flexible travellers can find bargains on a variety of unusual cruises in the “repositioning” season. From late October to early December, numerous ships head west from Europe across the Atlantic to spend the winter plying the warm waters of the Caribbean or South America. To help offset the cost of relocating the ships, cruise lines get paying passengers on these one-off journeys by offering discounted fares. On these longer voyages – usually about two weeks – the daily cost can work out at less than half that of a regular cruise.

For example, with US line Celebrity Cruises, a 15-night repositioning cruise from Southampton to Miami at the end of November works out at just over £60 (about R800) a person a day (including flight back to the UK), compared with £187 a person a day for a one-week fly-cruise in the eastern Caribbean in January.

LIFE ON THE OCEAN WAVE: Cash in on cheap cruises in the 'repositioning' season. PICTURE: AP. Credit: AP

Repositioning cruises are popular with regular passengers who want to spend more time on a favourite ship, and good for people who want to rest and enjoy looking out at the open sea. Some repositioning voyages have a theme, such as dance, or offer the chance to learn a language.