Is a World Cruise for Me?
Does the idea of circling the globe for four months on a luxury cruise ship sound like your idea of the journey of a lifetime? For many travelers, myself included, a world cruise is a definite must-do on life’s bucket list. For others, though, the idea of a world cruise can prompt more questions than answers. After you’ve finished this post, I hope you’ll have a bit more insight into whether this type of voyage is for you.
World cruising started in 1922, when the Cunard liner Laconia embarked on the world’s first World Cruise. Today, a dozen or so cruise ships of all shapes and sizes sail on world cruises, typically beginning in early January and ending in early April. World cruises are three to four month-long voyages that either circle the entire globe or cover a pretty good portion of it. The pace is unhurried, the range of destinations visited unparalleled, and the experience unmatched.
World cruise itineraries vary each year, but most will touch on four or five continents. In 2019, for example, Cunard’s Queen Victoria will visit Europe, North and South America, Australia, Asia, and Africa – every continent except Antarctica – on a 108 night voyage. Longer port calls are common, and many world cruises offer a chance to venture to inland destinations, such as Beijing, the Australian Outback, or an African Safari, during extended port stopovers.
On board, you’ll experience an uncrowded world, a world apart from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The ship – large or small – becomes your home, and lifelong friendships between cruisers and between cruisers and staff develop. You’ll enjoy the amenities of luxury cruising – fantastic cuisine, great entertainment, and polished service – but at an unhurried pace. Time, in fact, is one of the greatest joys of world cruising. Sea days allow time to relax, read, enjoy a lecture or workshop, or even master a new skill or indulge in a favorite hobby. Without the pressures of life ashore, you can truly relax and just enjoy.
Most world cruises are also available in segments, ranging from 14 to 60 nights. You can, for example, join a ship in Hong Kong and sail to Dubai in 20 nights, while visiting a variety of ports in Southeast Asia and India. Or, how about 27 nights from Tokyo to Vancouver, via Alaska? These shorter segments also offer interested cruisers a chance to dip their toes in a longer cruise before committing to a full voyage.
Many world cruisers are people who like to head south and escape Minnesota winters. World cruises not only allow you to escape the cold, but to explore the world at the same time! World cruises are also excellent opportunities for single travelers. Single cabins, a select group of fellow travelers, and a variety of onboard and onshore activities make this a great choice for singles, either as a full cruise or a cruise segment.
There’s so much more to say about world cruises, but I hope this column has given you a taste of world cruising. Would you like to learn more? Please contact me to schedule a personal world cruise consultation.
Adapted from a column appearing in the Forest Lake Times on November 1, 2017