Inside the World of Transatlantic Cruising

Inside the World of Transatlantic Cruising


Christiane DeGrasse, Manager
Brunswick Square, Saint John

 “You can relive the glory days of ocean-liner crossings on a traditional transatlantic cruise, or opt for a sailing that takes you to lesser-known ports—all at a leisurely pace with lots of time at sea and often for less than you might expect.”

Like many of their passengers, cruise ships follow the sun—re-positioning a ship from one region to another during the change of cruise seasons. For example, many ships sail the Caribbean in the winter months, then reposition to Europe for the summer (and vice versa). Transatlantic sailings—any cruise that crosses the Atlantic Ocean—are often repositioning cruises, sailing eastbound in the spring months and westbound in the fall.

“These repositioning cruises can offer amazing value, with itineraries including interesting ports of call such as the Azores, Barbados or Bermuda,” says Christiane DeGrasse, Manager, Maritime Travel, Brunswick Square, Saint John, NB. “You can visit diverse Caribbean islands or an entire coastline all at once, traverse several cruise regions and continents on one trip, or (my personal favorite), cross the Atlantic with stops in unique ports like Greenland.”

While a transatlantic cruise might sound like a busy itinerary, rest assured it’s actually not, says Christiane. “These cruises incorporate lots of days at seas, offering a more relaxing vacation without back-to-back port stops,” she says.

Best of all, transatlantic and other re-positioning cruises eliminate that pesky traveler’s nemesis: jet lag. Since Continental Europe is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in North America, ships travelling westbound lose an hour each day and those travelling eastbound gain an hour—essentially eliminating the jet lag you get from flying across the Atlantic all at once.

Here are just two of Christiane’s suggestions for a transatlantic cruise vacation: One eastbound and one westbound.

Head East: 14-night Transatlantic Cruise from Tampa to Barcelona with Royal Caribbean International
Prime Sailing Season: Spring (April & May)
Christiane Says​:

“This transatlantic sailing from Florida to the Mediterranean includes a stop in Bermuda and the Azores, along with lots of time at sea as the ship sails the Atlantic to three ports in southern Spain.”

Head West: 13-night Transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to San Juan (Puerto Rico) with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)
Prime Sailing Season: Fall (August to October)
Christiane Says​:

“You get a good mix of Atlantic and Caribbean islands on this voyage, including port stops in the Atlantic isles of Madeira and the Canary Islands, before you cross over to the Caribbean to explore the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.”

Ask Christiane