Choose Your Ocean



TransAtlantic Cruise?


Or TransPacific Cruise? The choice isn’t easy. I thought I might look at the features of each cruise rather than try to list advantages and disadvantages. After all, what cruise has disadvantages, right? 🙂

TransAtlantic Features:

  • One cruise. Start in Florida, end in Europe or vice-versa. If you want to take a back to back cruise that’ll likely be in the Med. or to Scandinavia.
  • Two weeks or less. You can fit it into work schedules usually.
  • Air travel’s OK. You’ll have one long flight but it’s not onerous.
  • Relatively cheap. It’s the best value in cruising and a real repositioning cruise.
  • If you go east you’ll change the clock forward a lot, but you won’t be jet lagged when you get there. Going west you probably lose a night’s sleep on the plane but you’ll be picking up an extra hour just about every day.
  • Shoulder season cruising. You go east in April or May, go west in October or November.
  • Nice choice of destinations – Southampton, Harwich, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome – you start there or end there. The other end of the cruise is in Florida which ain’t bad either.

TransPacific Features:

  • Two cruises. Both are destinations (end in Hawaii for cruise 1 and start there for Cruise 2.) There’ll be a huge turnover in passenger roster in between. Thousands of Aussies come from Sydney to Hawaii and an equal number of Canadians and Americans embark in Hawaii. The vibe changes incredibly.
  • Cost is considerably higher as you have two cruises, and both are popular. Not as many ships going across the Pacific either so price competition is non-existent.
  • More time required. You need a month to do the Pacific cruises.
  • You are going to have a brutal flight one way. It’s not bad going to Sydney as you get some sleep but – wow! 24 hours and 14 time zones.
  • Exotic places to see – Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, Hawaii.
  • Lots more sea days of course – it’s a much bigger ocean.
  • Tougher to pack as you’ll have four seasons to deal with. We left Ottawa in Winter, arrived in Sydney in the Fall, cruised through Summer, and arrived in Vancouver in the Spring.
  • You’ll lose a day going over but have two days at sea with the same date. Go figure.
  • Spectacular southern night sky. We went up every night after dinner to see the Southern Cross.
  • For Canadians – when you get back you are in Canada. Customs hassles are kept to a minimum.

So there you have it. Our choice? Well we did the TransPacific one once and it was well worth it. We’ve done 5 TransAtlantics and are ready for more. You cannot beat the value, and the opportunity to do a second cruise in Europe is always there if you want.


Published by Ray MacDonald

Ray MacDonald is a retired food scientist who lives in Almonte, ON.
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