When to Go

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 makes regular, weeklong transatlantic crossings between New York and Southampton, England. Meanwhile, dozens of cruise lines offer transatlantic repositioning cruises twice a year -- in spring and fall -- as ships move from one cruising region to another.

Fall repositioning cruises pick up momentum from September through October, when ships leave the European cruising arena and head back to the Americas and the Caribbean. Then in spring, as the weather warms, the ships return to begin several months of cruising the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Starting in March, a number of transatlantic cruises cross the Atlantic for southern European destinations in Italy, Spain and southern France. More follow suit in April, and by May, when northern Europe thaws, cruise ships glide into ports in the UK and Scandinavia.

At any time of year, transatlantic crossings can be marked by chilly weather, occasionally choppy seas and heavy fog while the ship is on the open sea. It’s best to pack a sweater or jacket for strolls on deck.

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