Sunday, April 20, 2008

Move That Ship

When you read the title, many of you immediately thought about a similar phrase "Move That Bus" from the popular television show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition. When the bus moves, a brand new home is revealed to the family. In our case, when the cruise line says "Move That Ship" a fabulous opportunity is revealed. This is an opportunity for you to experience Europe and then return to the United States (assuming Fall 2008) or cruise to Europe from a U.S. port (Spring / Summer 2009). For simplicity, I'll limit our discussion to these two possibilities, although there are others.

Have you ever wondered how a cruise ship can be sailing in Europe one month and in the Caribbean a month later? If you look closely at the ship's schedule, you'll find a Trans-Atlantic cruise just prior to the first Caribbean sailing. Mystery solved!

A Trans-Atlantic cruise is exactly as the name sounds. It's a cruise that originates in some European port city and ends up in a U.S. port (Fall season) or departs from a U.S. port and arrives in a European port of call (Spring/Summer). Another name for a Trans-Atlantic Cruise is a Repositioning Cruise. That is perhaps the more appropriate name since the two ends don't need to be Europe and the United States.
Typically a cruise from Europe to the U.S. has several sea days where the ship is crossing the Atlantic Ocean. These cruises are usually 11 nights and longer, with several ports combined with 6 or more sea days. On average, it takes 7 nights to cross the Atlantic Ocean by ship.

There are several advantages to purchasing a Trans-Atlantic cruise. The cruise is often cheaper than a similar European cruise. There are many reasons why this is true. For example the cabin supply exceeds demand since it is typically harder for people to leave home for that length of time. The cruise line wants to sail with a full ship to cover their costs. For those that dread long flights, this eliminates one long flight from your trip. The cost might even be cheaper for the airfare than a comparable European cruise.

Why not experience Europe and then relax on your way back home? There is no better way to do so then laying out by the pool as the ship sails across the Atlantic. I'd suggest flying to Europe a day or two early to do some sight-seeing and to get used to the time zone change. If going from the states to Europe, I'd also suggest extending your time in your destination port if possible to maximize your flight investment.

In future posts, I'll tell you about a couple of our Trans-Atlantic cruises. That will have to wait however, since I want to give you some other ideas Beyond the Caribbean.

No comments: