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Dantama

Japan or Asia, to USA or Canada in the Fall

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I finish a work contract in Korea in Aug. of 2022. I'm looking to avoid having to fly home, so trying a cruise. It would be our first cruise, and we know nothing about cruises.

Aug. or Sept. would be ideal. But could stay and go later. On this site I'm finding spring cruises going this route. But nothing in the fall. It seems that in the fall, they reverse course.

I wouldn't mind going a longer southern route through the South Pacific, but they seem to leave from Australia, which would be another long flight. I don't care how long of a cruise it is, I'm just trying to avoid long flights. Stringing multiple cruises together would be fine also.

Could someone with experience with transpacific cruises help me with my options to go from Japan, or Asia, and end up in the USA or Vancouver? Ideally in the Fall.

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You've effectively answered your own question - this just isn't available, as the demand (and thus the ship routings) are TO Asia rather than from it in fall. Mostly it's to do with Alaska - a very profitable but very seasonal market - that leads to ships either heading to Asia (or Australia for their summer cruise season) in Sep/Oct, with other ships coming through the Panama Canal or around the horn and back to the Caribbean for winter. In springtime the ships go the other way, to get them to Alaska again.

 

Unless you look into Freighter Cruises (which are basically room & board on a working ship, not remotely luxurious with no entertainment, spa, casino etc.) you're simply not going to be able to do this.

 

There's no way to get to Korea from the US without crossing at least one ocean, you must be flying there if this return trip would be your first cruise, so you've obviously figured out an air-based route that works for you to start your contract... so I'm guessing you don't have an insurmountable fear of flying. Unfortunately without a major extension of your time abroad it doesn't look like your first cruise will be able to get you home after that work gig, so you'll have to cope with flying home as well as flying there.

Edited by martincath

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Thanks for the info Martincath. A cruise is cheaper than flying business class. And I'm tall so flying coach is torture. I thought maybe a cruise would work.

After posting I found that what I was after was a repositioning cruise. I didn't realize that cruises were set up to do loops. Effectively you have to do a round trip. I had planned to fly to Spain this summer for a vacation. Even though it's another long flight, to see if it was a good fit to live. After researching this more after learning about repositioning, I decided to fly to Spain in a couple of years as i end my contract. Ships reposition from the Mediterranean over to the USA at that time. I can kill two birds with one stone by delaying my trip to Spain. I'll do a long vacation in Spain, then take a repositioning cruise home to the USA from there.

One more question as I'm new at this. If you buy a long repositioning cruise, are they cool with disembarking part way through and not finishing the trip? Or do you pretty much need to go all the way to the end?

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On 2/4/2020 at 7:02 PM, Dantama said:

Thanks for the info Martincath. A cruise is cheaper than flying business class. And I'm tall so flying coach is torture. I thought maybe a cruise would work.

After posting I found that what I was after was a repositioning cruise. I didn't realize that cruises were set up to do loops. Effectively you have to do a round trip. I had planned to fly to Spain this summer for a vacation. Even though it's another long flight, to see if it was a good fit to live. After researching this more after learning about repositioning, I decided to fly to Spain in a couple of years as i end my contract. Ships reposition from the Mediterranean over to the USA at that time. I can kill two birds with one stone by delaying my trip to Spain. I'll do a long vacation in Spain, then take a repositioning cruise home to the USA from there.

One more question as I'm new at this. If you buy a long repositioning cruise, are they cool with disembarking part way through and not finishing the trip? Or do you pretty much need to go all the way to the end?

Sorry for the delay - the expected daily emails with new posts have not been arriving (a consistent problem, at least for me, since the site changed over to a new platform) so I didn't realise you had responded and had another question. Since this is a very quiet board, if you have any other follow-ups tag me - just type @martincath - and the site will display a pop-up that does work reliably, unlike the email notification system.

 

Yes, repo cruises are the only consistent options for long distance one-way cruises (well, plus some 'round the world' cruises which you can book just one part of) - but since you're now talking about Spain, for TransAtlantic travel there is still some back & forth thanks to Cunard. So while getting directly to Spain on a comfortable ship is still done mostly by repo cruises moving between Caribbean and Mediterranean in Spring then back in Fall, you could go New York to Southampton and then make use of Europe's trains and short-haul flights to get around. That might be better done in 2020 than later, thanks to Brexit (though assuming you're a US citizen only, rather than having an EU/UK passport, after the 'transition' period ends it might make no difference at all to you when transiting through the UK as we were never part of Schengen).

 

To answer the new question - cruise lines in general love it when pax leave early, as you get no refund so that's free money for them! But it does cause potential hassles with Immigration laws so it's not always allowed, and you should always get approval in advance. Generally speaking leaving within the same country as the end-of-the-line port should be approved, as countries like to screen you at the first port, and for most European ports as long as you are inside the Schengen zone already it's also very likely to be approved. The last thing you would want is to have illegally entered somewhere that you plan to go live - violation of immigration rules is guaranteed to make getting a work visa a lot harder!

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