Barry and Marcia Southern have never cruised before.  So they popped into their local Cruiseabout at Turramurra looking for a short trip to try it out.

What they came out with was a 102-night round-the-world Bridge-to-Bridge journey from Sydney to London, calling at 60 ports and 29 countries.

That’s some cruise test!

The Southerns are among some 200 Australians who set out on this week with 494 other passengers for Azamara Journey’s first ever world cruise.

“I’m so looking forward to it,” said Marcia, over a celebration breakfast with Captain Johannes Tysse.

Australians have fallen in love with world cruises. Almost every international line is now offering them with great success.

But Azamara’s will be special, given the line’s bold promise of lingering longer in ports and producing “Azamazing” evenings for its guests.

The cruise is divided into eight segments, but 46 passengers like the Southerns are staying the course until London on June 16.

The Southerns paid some $160,000 for cabin 8040 all the way, and booked a year out. Barry maintains that, with shore excursions and a side trip to the Taj Mahal, the venture will cost them $200,000.

The cruise takes in Singapore, Dubai, the Suez Canal, Rome, Barcelona , Lisbon and London with lots in between.

The ship was recently refitted and has new Broadway shows and menus for the trip.

Captain Tysse took time out to explain the Azamara difference.

He said in the Tasman Sea he discovered a lady who was having a birthday in the famous Prime C steakhouse.  But her seat meant she had her back to a gorgeous sunset.

The gallant captain turned the ship around so she could see the disappearing rays – and earned a round of applause as she dissolved in tears of joy.

“We’re smaller and we do things differently,” he said.

So what do you pack for a world cruise?

Marcia and Barry have six bags between them.  But Azamara have provided a handy graphic on how to pack with lots of useful information.

See below – and find out more at