You’ve tried traditional cruises. The balmy breezes and exotic islands made each day a breathtaking adventure. But if you’ve never tried a transatlantic cruise before, you don’t know what you’re missing. Transatlantic cruises are cruises that take you from a cruise port like Miami or Orlando and sail you across the Atlantic so you can travel to different parts of Europe. You get to spend more time at sea and enjoy a European vacay on a budget. So if you’d like to try one of these incredible transatlantic voyages, read on for some important facts about them.
Transatlantic Cruises Are Longer
Who says too much of a good thing can be bad? Not if we’re talking about a transatlantic cruise. Book a trip across the Atlantic Ocean and you’ll enjoy a longer stay at sea. Voyages can run between 11 and 20 nights, depending on the speed of the ship and its destination.
Two Types of Transatlantic Cruises
There are two types of transatlantic cruises. One kind is the cruise that regularly crosses the Atlantic several times of year. For example, the Queen Mary 2 regularly sails back and forth across the Atlantic from New York City to London. This particular cruise runs between late April and December. The ship has no ports of call, so the voyage takes about six or seven days in each direction.
Another type is a repositioning cruise. In the winter, these ships sail around South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The rest of the year, they sail to Europe. These trips take longer than a week since there are ports of call in the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean.
Some of the large cruise lines that offer transatlantic cruises include Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America, Windstar Cruises and Princess Cruises.
Boredom Is Not an Option
Surrounded by ocean for days on end? Some people may think that’s a recipe for boredom. They're wrong. You’ll spend your days doing a wide variety of activities. Participate in wine tastings, learn a foreign language, take in a Broadway-caliber show, watch magicians perform amazing acts, listen to live music, go to one of several nightclubs or dance the night away at a deck party.
Of course, you can always spend your hard-earned cash at one of the cruise ship’s shopping plazas. Jewelry, artwork, souvenirs and clothing are just a few items you can score on a transatlantic cruise. And when you’re ready to take it down a few notches, spend a couple of hours reading in the ship library, take a dip in one of several swimming pools or prepare to be pampered at a spa.
Pack the Right Stuff
Weather during a transatlantic cruise can be unpredictable. In other words, it could be hot during the day and cold at night. So don’t just throw some shorts, t-shirts and sandals into your suitcase. Mix it up by packing some long-sleeve shirts, sweaters and pants too. Don’t forget to inquire about the cruise ship’s dress code to determine if you need to bring formal clothing too for those special fine dining nights.
Remember, transatlantic cruises don’t offer many ports of call. You’re going to be at sea for days on end without stepping one teeny tiny toe on land. And the Atlantic Ocean can get a bit rough. If you are prone to seasickness, or even if you’re not, pack some seasickness medication. It can save you some discomfort when the waves get choppy.
Plenty of Room
Since transatlantic cruises take place during the off season, you won’t be plowing your way through mobs of other tourists. And the cruise ship usually isn’t booked to capacity. That means less competition for spa appointments and restaurant reservations.