CRUISE SHIPS MAKE SEASONAL MOVES

Holland America's Oosterdam is sailing from Australia to spend the northern summer in Alaska.
Holland America’s Oosterdam sails from Australia for the northern summer in Alaska.

WITH Australia’s summer cruise season winding down a number of the ships that have spent months Down Under will sail away next month (April) on repositioning cruises to summer in the northern hemisphere.

As australiancruisingnews.com has found the result is a longer cruise on an itinerary that crosses mighty oceans or cuts through iconic canals such as the Suez or Panama.

There are more days at sea and fewer ports of call as the cruise ships cover long distances, with many bound for Alaska’s scenic Inside Passage for the summer there.

Holland America has claimed Alaska as her signature destination since the cruise line started exploring the region over 65 years ago, One of the fleet heading to Alaska is Oosterdam which sails from Sydney on April 13 on a 28-day voyage via New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii and Seattle, hollandamerica.com

Three days earlier Radiance of the Seas sails from Sydney on an 18-night repositioning cruise via New Zealand to the tropical ports of Papeete, Moorea and Bora Bora in French Polynesia before sailing into Honolulu in Hawaii.  Eleven days of the cruise will be at sea so that guests can really get to know the ship, and take part in wide-ranging activities and dining options, royalcaribbean.com.au

Celebrity Solstice, the highest rated super liner to be based in Australia for a summer Down Under is also Hawaii bound on April 11, on an 18-night cruise via New Zealand, and French Polynesia, celebritycruises.com

Rhapsody of the Seas sails from Sydney on April 18 on a 16-night cruise that has nine days at sea with ports of call in New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa before sailing to Honolulu (Hawaii), royalcaribbean.com.au

In other parts of the world cruise ships are also repositioning from the sun-kissed Caribbean to Florida in the US to cruise up the east coast of America to New England and Canada.  Others will sail from Mexico and Pacific ports through the Panama Canal and Central America en route to European ports. Some cruise ships heading from Australian waters will go no further than Singapore that will home port for exploring Vietnam, China and Japan.

The catch? While a repositioning cruise is  great value when compared to a short cruise, disembarkation is at a distant place where a one-way long haul air ticket home can be expensive.

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