The growing popularity of world cruises is evident in the number of cruise lines which now offer guests the opportunity to essentially live on a cruise ship.
Luxury cruise line Cunard pioneered the idea of the ‘continuous cruise’. The Laconia left New York in November 1922 for the first ever circumnavigation of the globe by a passenger liner, taking well-to-do American travellers to 22 ports in the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, the Pacific, the far East, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and back to the United States over 130 days.
Following suit would be Cunard’s iconic Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2.
Now, a throng of lines ranging from premium cruise lines such as Princess Cruises to ultra-luxe companies like Silversea now offer amazing world cruises; the bucket list trip of die-hard cruisers.
Earlier this year, Viking Ocean Cruises announced they will be upping the ante and launching the world’s longest cruise, sailing for an eyebrow-raising 245 days and encompassing 59 countries and 113 ports. The Ultimate World Cruise on Viking Sun, which starts at $117,995 per person (or $481 per day), departs London on August 31 2019.
Keen travellers who can’t commit to eight months at sea have the option to sail one of two shorter segments during the voyage: Viking World Treasures is a 127-day sailing from London to Los Angeles that visits 61 ports in 33 countries, and Viking World Wonders is a 119-day journey from LA to London, taking in 55 ports in 29 countries.
All Ultimate World Cruise passengers will receive complimentary shore excursions in each port, unlimited WiFi, Business Class airfares and all gratuities and service fees.
There are other perks, too, including transfers to and from the ship, complimentary visa services and free luggage shipping, as well as Viking’s Silver Spirits beverage package which virtually covers all drinks onboard.
Destination highlights include Ushuaia, Argentina; Mumbai, India; Luxor, Egypt and eight all-new Viking ports in South America including Roseau, Dominica; La Serena and Iquique, Chile; Arequipa, Pisco, and Lima, Peru; Quito, Ecuador; and Panama City.
But Viking isn’t the only world cruise to get excited about:
Cunard World Voyage
Queen Victoria will depart Southampton on January 10, 2019 on a 108-day cruise to Bermuda, then on to Florida and into the Caribbean. From there, you’ll sail through the Panama Canal to Costa Rica, Cabo San Lucas and San Francisco before crossing the Pacific. There’ll be a stop in Hawaii before heading to Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand and Australia. The next leg of the cruise will be through Asia, stopping in Indonesia, Vietnam Singapore, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka then head to several ports in Africa, before turning homewards.
Regent Navigate the World 2019
On January 4, 2019, you can set sail on one of the world’s most luxurious ships, the Seven Seas Navigator, from Los Angeles on a 132-day cruise. Over four months, you’ll stop at Hawaii before cruising to French Polynesia and the islands of the South Pacific. After sailing around Australia for two weeks, you’ll sail to Asia, stopping at ports in nine countries. The ship will then sail to the UAE, Jordan, Egypt and Israel before crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Greece, Italy, Monaco, Spain and Portugal, then on to Bermuda and back to New York.
Oceania Global Exploration
On January 11, 2019, you’ll depart from New York on Oceania Insignia, for a 175-day voyage that will take you to Florida, Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Los Angeles. You’ll cross the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii and take in French Polynesia, Samoa and Fiji, before cruising New Zealand and Australia. During the next leg you’ll visit several countries in Asia, with a focus on Japan and China, then cross the Arabian Sea to the Middle East. The voyage will give you a good tour of Europe, and stop in the east of Canada before heading home.
MSC World Cruise 2020
MSC’s 2020 world cruise departs Genoa, Italy on the MSC Magnifica. The 117-day cruise has a South America-heavy itinerary, visiting destinations such as Rio De Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and Valparaiso before heading to Tahiti and the Cook Islands. The next countries are New Zealand and Australia, before destinations in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. The cruise will then cross the Suez Canal to visit Oman and Jordan.
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.