As an avid cruiser I've thought about world cruises - even as far back as my college days I was looking at Semester at Sea programs. My initial thoughts? Too long. But the longer I muse over it, hmmm, maybe it really isn't. The longest cruise I've been on is 18 days, and that was over in a "blink". I've been on 3 and 4 week land trips, and they too, bam! and it’s over. The idea of being able to see so much of the world in a relaxed manner, unpacking once, little to no time in airports..... very tempting!
What is a world cruise?
In simple terms it is an extended cruise of 100+ days with itineraries that include key sought after destinations as well as some more remote locations. The sailings may be truly around the world, starting and ending in the same port, while others may have an in-depth focus on 2-3 continents. Itineraries are available on small ship luxury lines to larger ship mainstream lines.
World cruises are made up of segments, so you can book the entire cruise or only certain segments.
Would you take a world cruise? Here are 6 great reasons to consider a world cruise.
Visiting A Large Number Of Countries And Ports
World cruises are incredible adventures for true travelers. These itineraries give you the ability to visit a large number of countries and ports on one trip. Obviously, the longer the cruise, the more countries and ports. I’ve seen itineraries with 27 countries and 43 ports on the shorter end and over 42 countries and well over 100+ ports of call on longer journeys. Imagine all the potential passport stamps!
Engaging With a Vast Number Of Cultures
With stops in so many varying ports, you have so many opportunities to be exposed to and experience a variety of memorable cultures. Even within one country, different stops offer a look at a different ways of life. After all, New York City is different from Miami which is different from San Francisco. Likewise, northern Chile is vastly different from the Patagonia region, etc.
It’s Like Being On A Semester At Sea
Oftentimes you’ll have access to onboard lectures to supplement the experiences in each of the ports. A semester at sea without having to take exams! I’m also a firm believer that travel is one of the best educations you can give yourself.
Meeting Interesting Like Minded Travelers
Because of the length of the trip, you have more time to get to know your fellow travelers. You meet very interesting people on cruises in general, especially itineraries that attract seasoned travelers. So many great stories from all the places they have seen and experienced.
With world cruises most often on smaller ships – under 700 passengers –the odds are great of making new lifelong friendships.
Escaping Winters and Possibly a Replacement For Your Winter Home
World cruises are a great way to escape typical wintery weather. With cruises normally sailing January into late Spring, you’ll be visiting countries and ports that experiencing their spring, summer and fall weather.
Something different? A world cruise could become your temporary second home. Many flock to second homes in warmer states like Florida and Arizona. Instead of investing in a property (with upkeep costs, fees and taxes), invest in the opportunity to see the world! And housekeeping and meals are all included!
Convenience (In A Number Of Ways)
Imagine only having to unpack once! Few to no international flights, waking up in a new port every few days. Overnight stays in port. Awesome service – crew gets to know you, your likes, dislikes and quirkyness. I’m sure I’ve missed a number of other great conveniences, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Is a world cruise (part of a world cruise or a grand voyage) for you?
It goes without saying that this type of voyage is great for regular cruisers who have the time and budget, and who know their travel partners well. Even if your time and budget is limited, there are opportunities to take portions, or segments of the longer voyage, and you have choices from mainstream to luxury brands. Options are numerous, including mixing segments with land visits or even mixing ships when they happen to be in port at similar times.
A world cruise though is not for everyone.
I have heard of people jumping in and taking a world cruise as their very first cruise, however, I highly recommend starting off more slowly. Cruising just may not be your cup of tea, and it would be awful, and expensive, to discover this a few days into the trip. Longer voyages also tend to have a number of sea days, so I ask you to think twice if the idea of sea days make you shudder. Thirdly, if sea sickness affects you, take a close look at the itinerary. Some areas are more susceptible to rough seas than others. And lastly, unless you enjoy traveling solo, be sure you know, and like, your travel partner. Very well.
There are a lot of things to think about when booking this type of trip, from ship size to amenities, ports of call to visas. If you have any questions or would like more information about World Cruising, call or email me, your small ship cruise expert (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder