For those of us who are international house sitters we are always looking at ways of traveling between our assignments in a cost effective way. This can make or break a decision to take a house sitting assignment. Repositioning cruises may be the answer.
We have used buses to travel between our house sits in Mexico, France and Panama and flights between Australia, Ecuador, Mexico and Nicaragua.
What about if you want to travel between Europe and Central America?
You can fly, but can you cruise?
We were in Spain last September and needed to be in Panama for a 3-month house sit commencing in October. On average flights from Spain to Panama one way are between USD700 – USD900 per person. This depends on the season, and whether you want to take a direct flight or travel for 15+ hours with stops.
That could work given it’s a three-month assignment. However we looked at the cost of sea travel as an alternative. Container ships are not cost effective and do not provide Wi-Fi which is essential for nomadic digital lifestyles.
Enter repositioning cruises!
The idea of repositioning cruises started to appear during chatter in house sitting groups about 16 months ago.
Originally we were going to travel with Pullmantur “MV Monarch” in May 2016 from Panama back to Europe, however, we returned to Australia for a few months instead!
What is a repositioning cruise?
Cruise Liners need to reposition their ships from continent to continent for the new cruise season, e.g. from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, or the Middle East to the US or Canada at different times of the year.
What are the downsides?
Although the fares on offer are cheaper, there are many nights at sea crossing oceans, and so the ports you visit are limited. You may also experience some renovation works whilst enjoying the cruise, but from our experience there was no lack of service, food was excellent, and we had great entertainment.
After completing the Mediterranean season, Pullmantur Cruise Company (a Spanish cruise company) needed to relocate their ship the “MV Monarch” back to the Caribbean for the season starting in October 2016.
The timing was perfect for us, with our arrival in Colon, Panama, starting the day before our house sit in Boquete, Panama.
How much will it cost me?
For 15 nights we were wined, dined and entertained on the ship. Here is the breakdown of costs:
- USD $237.50 per person for 15 nights at the 55+ age rate
- USD $210.00 per person – government taxes
- USD $447.50 per person total costs for cruise
- Additional costs – Tips: USD $175 per person
Total Cost per person USD $ 622.50
or USD $ 41.50 per night
When you compare the costs of an airfare, accommodation and meal costs for the same period, the repositioning cruise becomes a cost effective way to travel.
There are Wi-Fi packages available and it depends on your requirements and usage, but it can be slow at times.
HOW TO FIND A REPOSITION CRUISE
We used vacationstogo.com – located under “Reposition Cruises”.
Jane Dempster-Smith, Travel Guru and Co-Founder of To Travel Too
Over the past four decades, Jane’s passion for travel has taken her to over 44 countries. She has lived and worked in Australia, the UK and Singapore, and has extensive experience in all aspects of travel, from airport ground staff, to air hostessing, retail, corporate and group travel. Jane has also enjoyed flying in two-seater planes, hot air balloons and even on Concorde. Jane now offers her skills to baby boomers who want to change their lives – to travel light and travel far.