Travel Plans Apr 05, 2024

Crossing the Atlantic: a guide to transatlantic and repositioning cruises.

Transatlantic and repositioning cruises are perfect for Sailors looking to level up their voyage.

Virgin Voyages

Maybe you’ve cruised before, but you’ve probably never cruised like this. Forget the typical 5- or 7-day cruise, and embrace your inner explorer on one of our epic transatlantic cruises. Didn’t think that was even an option? Well, think again. Sometimes our ships change their home ports – from the Caribbean to Europe, for example – which means they need to make a pretty long journey across the ocean. Since sailing an empty ship is no fun, we offer repositioning/relocation cruises to allow our Sailors to join us for the crossing. It might not require as much planning as a 6-month world cruise, but it still takes more planning than the typical week-long voyage – and in our opinion it’s totally worth it. Here’s everything you need to know about our transatlantic and reposition cruises.

What is a transatlantic cruise?

The most important thing to keep in mind about transatlantic cruises is that they’re one-way voyages, crossing the Atlantic from east to west, or west to east. That means your port of embarkation will be different from your port of disembarkation, making for a truly legendary adventure. 

How long are transatlantic cruises, and where do they go?

Our transatlantic cruises range from 14 to 16 nights, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the open ocean as well as some stellar ports along the way. We have several itineraries sailing from Miami to the Mediterranean, and from Rome to Miami.

What is the best month to take a transatlantic cruise?

Luckily, the transatlantic cruise season is coming up. Our Miami to Med voyage sets sail in April, while our Miami to Casablanca & Barcelona cruise departs in May. You can also head back across the Atlantic in November on our 16-night From Rome to Miami cruise.

What are the main differences between transatlantic and repositioning cruises?

While there’s usually a lot of overlap, repositioning and transatlantic cruises aren’t technically the same thing. Transatlantic cruises are just that – transatlantic cruises. Repositioning cruises are cruises that are changing home ports. Much of the time, a ship is repositioning across the Atlantic, from Europe to the Caribbean (or vice versa), but not all repositioning cruises are transatlantic. 

  • Travel Cost - Besides the ticket cost of a longer voyage, the biggest financial consideration for repositioning and transatlantic cruises is airfare. Unlike most cruises, you’re not simply flying round trip to the same destination, but rather booking one-way tickets to/from different ports. 
  • What to Pack - Since you’ll be sailing for a longer period of time, and a farther distance, chances are you’ll need to pack with more versatility. That means more clothes to last the length of a transatlantic cruise, and perhaps even clothes to suit a variety of climates.
  • Sailors on board - There might not be as many people onboard a repositioning or transatlantic cruise, compared to shorter sailings. But that’s not a bad thing! It means more room to relax, and a little more peace and quiet.
  • Days at Sea - While typical cruises might offer one or two sea days, transatlantic and repositioning cruises usually have several. That means plenty of time to kick back and enjoy the open ocean.
  • Embarkation Ports - The great thing about these cruises is that they’re different every time. They usually start and end in different locations than previous voyages, meaning each one is its own unique adventure.
  • Ports of Call/Itineraries - Since you’ll be traveling across the Atlantic, rather than simply staying within the Caribbean or Mediterranean you’ll have the chance to see ports of call that many Sailors don’t.
  • Shore Excursions - …and once you’re in those ports, you’ll have access to unique Shore Things as well. Check out everything you can do on shore.

What are the benefits of transatlantic & repositioning cruises?

Transatlantic and repositioning cruises are the perfect way to take your cruising experience to the next level. Whether it’s having more sea days, visiting more ports, or just having more time onboard to enjoy our many luxurious amenities, these voyages simply give you more.

  • More Time to Explore the Cruise Ship - On most cruises, Sailors only get to scratch the surface of actually exploring the ship before the cruise is over. On these cruises, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the entire cruise ship and get intimately acquainted with every nook and cranny. 
  • Visit more destinations and explore more - Transatlantic and repositioning cruises open up new ports that you otherwise might not have seen. Islands like the Azores and Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean aren’t typically visited by cruise ships, making these unique voyages a great opportunity to see them.
  • More time to make connections on board - More time onboard means more time to make friends. From shipwide bar crawls to communal seating in Gunbae, our Korean BBQ, and The Manor Nightclub, there are plenty of opportunities to meet other Sailors and Crew.
  • More time to enjoy our 20+ included dining options - With over 20 complimentary dining options onboard, it’s almost impossible to try them all – unless you’re on a repositioning or transatlantic cruise. Use your ample time onboard to visit all our eateries.
  • More time to Rejuvenate and Enjoy Your Voyage - Spending more time onboard gives you more time to enjoy all the services offered in our Redemption Spa. Whether it’s spending time in our hot and cold plunge pools, mud room, or booking a treatment, a long voyage is perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating.

What types of travelers usually take longer cruises?

Transatlantic and repositioning cruises aren’t for everyone. So, who usually does take these larger than life journeys? 

Adults Only

Travelers looking to make connections with like minded adults will find longer cruises the perfect way to do it. You’ll have plenty of time to get to know your fellow Sailors.

Explorers & Adventure Seekers

There’s no doubt about it. Transatlantic cruises are simply more adventurous than the usual 4- or 5-day cruise. You’ll be crossing an entire ocean, and like the great explorers, ending your journey in a different place than you started it. If your goal is to see as much of the world as possible, a transatlantic or repositioning cruise is for you.

Seasoned Travelers

Longer cruises like these might not be for first-time Sailors. If you’ve cruised before, and know your sea legs are prepared for a two-week voyage, these lengthier cruises are a great way to test your mettle. 

Couples wanting a Romantic Getaway

Shorter cruises aren’t always long enough to really settle into a romantic mood. Transatlantic and repositioning cruises give you the time you need to make yourself at home in our Redemption Spa, have multiple romantic dinners, and get really creative with the cabin’s mood lighting.

Solo Trail Blazers

But you obviously don’t have to be a couple to reap the rewards of a longer cruise. For solo travelers, it can be a great way to not only meet other Sailors (you’ll certainly have enough time onboard), but also to have some serious space for self-reflection. Besides, what’s more adventurous than sailing across the world for over two weeks by yourself?

Those Who Love to Relax

Shorter cruises can have a fast-paced feel to them, with some pressure to experience all the ship has to offer in a condensed period of time. While some may enjoy being busy every moment of the day, longer cruises are more conducive to relaxing, because you have so much time to get acquainted with the ship and space out your activities.

Families with Young Adults

If you’re traveling with a young adult, these cruises can be the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday or graduation. With an onboard nightclub, 20+ eateries, a karaoke lounge, and award-winning shows and entertainment, there won’t be a moment of boredom.


It’s not really a honeymoon if it’s over before it feels like it even started, right? Transatlantic and repositioning cruises give you time to really soak in the matrimonial bliss and make epic memories as a couple right off the bat. 


Virgin Voyages

The best transatlantic & repositioning cruises for 2024 & 2025

We’ve got several transatlantic and repositioning cruises coming up that are perfect for dipping your toes in the waters of longer voyages. And with our fair and flexible fares, you’re even rewarded for booking early. Here’s what we’re getting excited about.

How to plan and book the best transatlantic cruises & repositioning cruises

Transatlantic and repositioning cruises are among the most unique and memorable cruises you can take. If crossing the Atlantic or spending over a week at sea sounds like your dream vacation, it’s smart to plan ahead and take advantage of our fair and flexible rates and incredible cruise deals. Since there might be a few more logistical layers to these cruises than typical cruises, Sailor Services can assist with booking flights, accommodations, and cruise fares, to make the whole process easier.

Find the best cruise deals on longer cruises.

Share article

Sign up to score deals as soon as your next voyage.

(You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time. Find out how here.) required fields
Virgin Voyages Spinner