When many of us start searching for our next cruise holiday, we tend to look for one or two week cruises from Southampton or, if we’re feeling a little more adventurous, for fly cruises to the Med, the Caribbean, South America or even Alaska. A question we need to ask is why are we limiting ourselves? There’s a whole world out there that’s begging to be explored, and world cruises are a fantastic way to discover these exotic destinations in style.
World Cruises certainly aren’t a new concept – Cunard even started world circumnavigations as far back as 1922 – but they’re slowly and surely becoming more popular. With more passengers booking world cruises than ever before. Next year, Princess Cruises are introducing their very first roundtrip world cruise from the USA, demonstrating how major cruise lines are beginning to expand upon their current world cruise itineraries and make them more accessible to adventure-loving people from across the globe.
The Most Stress-Free Way to See the World
Is cruising the quickest way to see the world? Of course not. A flight from London to Sydney takes just 22 hours. A cruise? You’re looking at around 50 nights. Is cruising the most luxurious and most stress-free way to see the world? Absolutely! Picture this – there’s no waiting around in airports, there’s no children kicking the back of your seat, and there’s no long layovers and luggage carousels. Instead, there’s a king-sized bed in which you can relax, there’s fine cuisine served up each and every night, and there’s plenty of places to stretch your legs, have a swim, grab a cocktail, or even relax with live music.
A world cruise allows you to unpack your bags just once and be transported along the seas, across oceans and through canals, waking up in a new and exciting destination every day. As you might expect from a world cruise, there’s a good blend of shore days and sea days here, so passengers experience a happy balance of busy days of sightseeing in some of the world’s most bustling cities and laid back days on board reading books, shopping, having a massage, or going to the theatre. A world cruise is a unique opportunity to discover different cultures and communities without having to sacrifice on comfort.
A True Voyage of Discovery
A world cruise isn’t a mere holiday, it’s an epic voyage that is sure to change the way you think about the world, about travel, and about yourself. The atmosphere on board is like nothing you will have experienced on a cruise before, and it’s a chance to really throw yourself into a different way of life. World cruise passengers live together, side by side, for 100+ days – that couple in the neighbouring stateroom? They’re not strangers anymore, they’re family.
Friendships and bonds are certainly common during world cruises, but that doesn’t mean that the on board atmosphere becomes stale – far from it. You’ll find passengers embarking and disembarking throughout the voyage which can be a breath of fresh air, and a wonderful opportunity to meet likeminded travellers from all four corners of the globe. New destinations, coupled with new friendships, teach us more about the world than a guide book ever can. In the words of Princess Cruises, will you ‘come back new’?
A Chance to See the World’s Most Fascinating Destinations
In the UK, we’re lucky to live so close to some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, finest beaches, and spectacular scenery and architecture, but there’s so much more to see that lies further afield. The aim of a world cruise is to take in these destinations on one unbelievable voyage – it really is the stuff all travellers’ dreams are made of. Here are just a few world cruise destinations that you’ll remember for a lifetime:
Even if you’ve visited other cities in India, you’ve never been anywhere quite like Cochin, or Kochi. Cochin made a name for itself as a major international trade port, primarily doing business with China and Japan, the Middle East, and Western Europe, and the city has absorbed all of these cultures to create a new, unique, and exotic ‘super culture’. There are rows and rows of colonial architecture, and yet the city is a modern and contemporary anomaly when compared to the tradition of nearby Bangalore and Madurai.
Nosy Be, Madagascar
Despite it’s strange sounding name (which translates as ‘Big Island’), Nosy Be is one of the most beautiful destinations you’ll ever visit, and travellers with a love of nature won’t want to leave this secluded port. The Lokobe Reserve is not to be missed. This tropical forest area has become a natural nature reserve and is home to some of the world’s only black lemur and panther chameleon populations.
Recife has gained popularity as a travel destination recently as it’s one of the host cities for the 2014 World Cup, but even without it’s sports-related claim to fame, it’s a wonderful place in its own right. Recife is the epitome of the busy, bustling, and energetic city, and yet it also boasts some of the world’s most golden beaches, right in the heart of the city! There are very few places in the world where you can relax on luxurious desert island sands and be just a few steps from a lively and dynamic metropolis.
World Cruise Itineraries
Your options for a world cruise are plentiful, and while different cruise lines do offer very different itineraries, you’ll usually find these are divided into one of three categories; South America cruises, Asia cruises, and world circumnavigations. All are considered to be world cruises, but they just have slightly different focuses which means travellers can choose an itinerary that really fits in with their interests and passions.
South America-based world cruises will usually depart from Southampton and travel south around Cape Horn before making a trip across the Pacific towards Australia and New Zealand. You’ll visit amazing destinations such as Rio de Janeiro with its famous Copacabana Beach, the Patagonian town of Punta Arenas, and the mysterious Easter Island.
Asia-based world cruises often travel eastbound through the beautiful Mediterranean Sea before making the journey through the Suez Canal and stopping at a number of up-and-coming holiday destinations in the Middle East including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat. India’s western coast is explored in detail before the ship travels to destinations such as the bright lights of Hong Kong, Singapore with its world renowned scenery and Japan’s capital city Tokyo, famed for its neon district of Shinjuku.
A world circumnavigation cruise essentially combines the two. While it won’t visit as many ports in South America or Asia, it will supplement with other destinations, including making stops on America’s sunny west coast, on the sandy and secluded Caribbean islands, and in some of New Zealand’s finest wine regions. Which itinerary is best? Well that’s for you to decide!
Voyages of 100 days are considered to be average for a world cruise on a mainstream cruise line, but what if you want to see more? What if 100 days just isn’t quite enough to tick all the places off your bucket list? Some luxury cruise lines are now offering extended world cruises, such as Oceania Cruises who have introduced an exciting 180 day voyage. As the cruise line says, ‘a journey of this scale cannot be rushed’. The beauty of these extended world cruises is that travellers get to experience more overnight stops that really allow them to explore a new destination. Oceania’s current world cruise itinerary includes overnight stops in 15 of its world cruise ports including Singapore, Tahiti, Cairns, and Bali.
Of course, not everyone with a passion for travel has the time nor the funds to take off for 3 months at a time, but this doesn’t mean you can’t see the world. Segmented cruises allow for passengers to stay on board for just a week or two, giving them the experience of a world cruise without the time commitments or the overall price tag. Flying out to join the ship, travellers could journey from the United States down to South America, from Port Elizabeth to Mombasa via Africa’s east coast, or from Malaysia to Vietnam for example. These segment cruises can also be a good taste cruise before committing to three months on board ship – it’s a chance to discover the ship and its facilities, sample some exotic destinations, and check out the atmosphere at sea. Segment cruises are available with many cruise lines, especially
World cruises often set sail from Southampton in January – it’s a great way to beat those winter blues! Cruises for 2015 and 2016 are now on sale, and are selling quickly, so be sure to secure your place on a world cruise now to avoid disappointment. Where will you go, what will you see, and who will you meet?