Party Like it's 1899 with These Round-the-World Cruises
Cunard is offering 112-day world cruises in 2015. (Courtesy: Cunard)
Have a few extra vacation days … or months? Then think about booking a three-month stay aboard a cruise ship. Or perhaps try a 180-day, round-the-world trip and then spend another half-year sailing in the opposite direction.
Just imagine visiting 90 cities in 45 countries on five continents without having to book a hotel room, make an itinerary, or worry about visas, transfers, or meals. Phileas Fogg, from Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days would be jealous. Yes, he did his trip quicker, but he was rushing to win a bet, and he used trains.
World Cruising is a trend recalling the “Grand Tours” of 19th-century British aristocrats who enjoyed nearly unlimited time and money with which to explore the world, huge trunks in tow. The modern equivalents are the wealthy retirees (many of them still British) who are booking round-the-world cruises in record numbers. Trips are selling out so fast (one ship booked all its cabins in four hours!) that cruise lines are rushing to add additional voyages to meet demand. Heidi Allison, senior partner at cruise booking website Cruise Compete, told Yahoo Travel that their world-cruise bookings have increased 72% over the last five years.
Ten cruise lines are offering 17 world cruise itineraries for 2015 with prices ranging from about $18,000 for interior cabins on a 100-day trip to six-figure fees for luxury suites on the half-year tours. If you consider the price of a vacation rental in a nice resort for the winter, the cost of taking a multi-month cruise can seem pretty reasonable. For those with more limited time or money, there’s the option to book segments on certain trips lasting “only” 20 days or so.
(Courtesy: Getty Images)
For some, a world cruise is a bucket-list fantasy trip, but for others, being shipboard for six months could be like prison with a view. You can imagine running out of conversation topics at the dinner tables after a month or so, dreading the next 150 days of small talk with the same fellow passengers. But the exotic ports of call, celebrity onboard speakers, and exhaustive activity programs do provide plenty of new topics for discussion. Still, bring your Kindle for those six-day-long ocean crossings.