Crossing the Atlantic by ship conjures up images of the past with Louis Vuitton steamer trunks, society figures and celebrities dressed to the nines and lounging on the deck with a cup of bouillon and a Burberry blanket.
That nostalgic image of Atlantic cruise crossings is long gone.
Cunard has been the dominant player in this category for years. The Queen Mary 2 does non-stop crossings between Southampton and New York and back again from May through to December in six night stints.
What the other cruise lines offer are known as a repositioning cruises. They usually make one crossing eastbound from the United States and the Caribbean during April and May and westbound from Europe in September, October and November.
The biggest advantage of this type of cruise is having more days at sea and the lower prices. You can sometimes be upgraded to a higher category cabin, such as a veranda or even a suite, for what an inside cabin would cost on a traditional sailing visiting several ports.
Repositioning and transatlantic cruises vary in duration from six days to 14 days with some that take almost three weeks or longer.
More time at sea and less ports of call means activities are plentiful. There are a wide variety of activities offered that cover anything you want to do. From language or cooking classes to private tours of the engine rooms and the bridge, there’s an experience for anyone. In addition, most ships offer a large selection of entertainment with a theatre offering creative shows as well as a cinema that shows current releases.
Take advantage of the latest treatments for looking good and wellbeing in the spa and health centre. No matter what the weather or the temperatures, bring along your bathing suit. Ships have overhead awnings so taking a dip is possible anytime whilst at sea.
For those who are feeling lucky the casino has all sorts of games to play. Everything from poker to roulette will be featured here. There are clubs open until dawn to dance the night away in and this can be a great way to meet new people.
The other draw after partaking in a daily choice of activities is star-gazing. There is nothing like being at sea with the stars gleaming from above.
Just like port intensive cruise holidays, dining is pretty much the same onboard transatlantic or repositioning cruises with traditional dining options plus the many specialty restaurants on board. Those with a sweet tooth will be glad to hear that there might be both a gelato bar and an ice cream bar available as well. Casual food such as burgers are readily available during the day as are the more healthier options.
HOW TO CHOOSE
Apart from Cunard who offer the direct transatlantic cruise there are quite a few cruise lines who offer repositioning cruises and it can be difficult deciding which one to choose. You will need to decide what type of experience will suit you. There are the megaships making the crossing with activities such as rock climbing, bowling and ice skating. Then there are the smaller yacht type of ships oozing with casual luxury but with with elegance and grace too.
Every cruise line’s fleet offers a different style of cruising; it’s up to you the passenger to decide according to your tastes.
CRUISE LINES OFFERING ATLANTIC CROSSINGS
Check out any of these cruise lines as they all offer atlantic crossings in 2015.
- Azamara Club Cruises
- Crystal Cruises
- Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines
- Holland America
- MSC Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Princess Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas
- Royal Caribbean
Is the transatlantic cruise holiday a good fit for every traveller? If you want to get from Europe to the other side of the atlantic in a relaxing manner and at a slower pace, then the transatlantic cruise is the perfect way to do it. However, for those of you who have little interest in socialising and are seeking to visit many places, or maybe you’re not the type to sit about, these cruises may not be for you.
There are still a few ships on the continent heading westbound this year. Now is the chance to see what it’s all about.
Written by Veronica Shine