Travel SOS: What is a line cruise?

Maggy wants to know if she can take a one-way cruise and has asked whether she should take a repositioning cruise or a line cruise. She’s unsure of the difference, so we’ve asked Dean Brazier, managing director of Cruise & Maritime Voyages Australia, if he can explain it to her.

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Q. Maggy
I was thinking about going on a one-way cruise, so I can spend some time in one destination and not just on a ship. I like the idea of cruising (I’ve never been on one) but I’d also like to visit a country and stay for a while. My friend told me I could go on a cruise like this, but I’m not sure if I’m looking for a repositioning cruise or something called a line cruise. Can you tell me what’s the difference?

A. Line voyages can provide an excellent opportunity for travellers to take advantage of great cruising deals and explore more exotic destinations.

At Cruise & Maritime Voyages, our line voyages usually take place in between our European and Australasian seasons to ‘reposition’ the ship. The route can vary each time to provide new experiences for our returning guests, whether that’s travelling via Africa, the Mediterranean, South-East Asia, or the Caribbean and South Pacific. For example, Astor will depart London on 15 October and reach Fremantle on 8 December 2018 before commencing its Australian season. Ports of call along the way include Amsterdam, Lisbon in Portugal, Bridgetown in Barbados and Bora Bora in French Polynesia.

For those looking for a less lengthy escape, shorter line voyages are available, which can make for a leisurely alternative to air, rail and road transport options. Closer to home you could embark on a six-night cruise from Auckland to Sydney, or further afield, an 11-night voyage from Hong Kong to Singapore provides the time to explore more exotic regions before and after your cruise.

The best deals for line voyages are usually when they’re first released – which can be up to two years in advance – so subscribing to relevant mailing lists or keeping in touch with your travel agent are highly recommended.

A strong advantage to line voyages is the value achieved. We’re currently offering a sale fare on a 23-night cruise from Cape Town to London, sailing the west coast of Africa, from AU$2779 per person twin-share, which works out to around $120 per night including meals, entertainment and accommodation. Destinations on that cruise include Walvis Bay, Cape Verde, Casablanca and Lisbon, so you can see how that kind of offer would appeal to savvy travellers. 

Line voyages can also offer access to cultures and regions that are difficult or expensive to reach via flights, and provide a relaxing way to explore with like-minded travellers who aren’t in a rush. It also means you only have to unpack once! The timing of our line voyages usually coincides with warmer weather, so a winter escape can be another incentive for travellers. 

By its very nature, however, a line voyage means the ship won’t return to where you began, so you’ll need to arrange flights home, but a travel agent can package this up for you. It also provides the opportunity to further explore your final destination should you have extra time up your sleeve.

If you have a Travel SOS question, send it to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer, or find someone who can.

Have you been on a line cruise or a repositioning cruise? How was it? Would you recommend such a voyage to our members?

Related articles:
Repositioning cruises explained
Around the world in 121 days
Can I cruise to the US from Sydney?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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