When is the Best Time to Take a Transatlantic Cruise?


Transatlantic cruising will typically involve four to five consecutive days at sea. Many cruise lines will offer longer itineraries of 10-16-nights with visits to ports of call such as Bermuda, the Azores or Canary Islands at the beginning or end of the cruise.

These destinations are not frequently visited by cruise ship, giving you a chance to experience a more off-the-beaten-path region.

The crossing of the expansive Atlantic Ocean is the draw for most passengers on a Transatlantic cruise.

Not only does the history and tradition of Transatlantic cruise create an inspirational journey, the time at sea allows total relaxation, comfort and enrichment.

Unplug from the real world – it is just you and the sea. You can slow down.

You will have multiple days to explore the wide array of amenities modern cruise ships offer; grab a book from the library, take a dance lesson or learn how to cook your favorite onboard meal, have a glass of champagne up on deck, enjoy delicious cuisine, see a Broadway-style production or test your luck in the casino.

Cunard Line is the one classic Transatlantic ocean liner, with over 165-years of tradition. Departures can be found throughout the year, typically sailing for six nights between New York City and Southampton, England.

Other major cruise lines seasonally feature a Transatlantic cruise as they reposition their ships between the Caribbean and Europe, or the Caribbean and Alaska.

Eastbound Transatlantic sailings occur after the Caribbean season — departing for Europe in the spring, March through May. These itineraries usually depart from New York, Boston, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and a few Caribbean ports.

Westbound Transatlantic sailings occur after the end of the summer Europe season. Cruise lines will begin to bring back their ships September through November from many different departure ports such as Dover, England; Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Rome, Italy and other major European cities.

  • The best time to take a Transatlantic cruise really depends on which direction you would like to travel; whether you prefer to begin or end your travel closer to home.
  • Do note: Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean lasts from June-November so weather and sea conditions can be hard to predict.
  • Also keep in mind that both the spring and fall can bring cooler temperatures at night and up on deck in port and at sea. If you are cruising a Southern Crossing (e.g. Ft. Lauderdale to Rome) you will want to bring layers – sweater, cardigan, umbrella, etc. If sailing on a Northern Crossing (e.g. New York to Southampton) you will want to bring a warm coat as the weather is much cooler.

Due to the length of transatlantic itineraries, and the fewer ports of call, cruise ship transits across the Atlantic are very affordable.  With many 12-15 night cruises on Southern Crossings (e.g. Ft. Lauderdale to Rome) just $35/day!

The cruise fare on a Transatlantic cruise is so low, it can save you quite a lot on airfare and you get to travel at a slower pace which results in quite a bit less jet lag!

Tip: Book back-to-back cruises. When traveling east to Europe in the spring, book the next regularly scheduled European itinerary so that you are able to enjoy even more beautiful ports of call. If traveling west, book the last cruise before the Transatlantic crossing in the fall so that you can stay on and catch a ride back to the United States.

Enjoy these great Transatlantic cruise deals from just $33/day!

$419 12-night Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas Ft. Lauderdale – Barcelona April 2013

$499 15-night RCCL Navigator of the Seas New Orleans – Civitavecchia (Rome) April 2013

$599 14-night Norwegian Cruise Line NCL Epic  Barcelona — Miami October 2014

$599 16-night Carnival Cruise Line CCL Sunshine Barcelona — New Orleans November 2013

$679 15-night Celebrity Silhouette  Ft. Lauderdale – Civitavecchia (Rome) April 2013

$699 8-night Cunard Line Queen Elizabeth New York to Southampton March 2013

For more information, or to book a Transatlantic cruise please call one of our amazingly talented cruise specialists by dialing 800-i-CRUISE or 800-427-8473. If you prefer to chat via email, simply click here!


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