The World Cruise is one of those time-honored cruising traditions. There are still 'world cruises' that actually circumnavigate the globe, setting sail from Southampton (London), Los Angeles or south Florida in the New Year, cruising around the world, and making a triumphant return to your port of embarkation a few months later with a lifetime of memories. (Photo Credit: BestTrip.TV)
That is a traditional World Cruise. But not every world cruise circles the planet. Some explore a hemisphere or a couple of continents, sailing into ports not normally accessible by shorter cruise itineraries.
January departures are not the only choice; some world cruises sail twice a year or from regions where the seasons dictate different timing.
World Cruises often have extended stays in some of the best ports of call: overnights as well as extended periods off-ship for a land extension then a return to the ship so you really feel you have an in-depth travel experience.
You probably imagine all your fellow guests will be quite senior - and they are the likeliest travelers to have the time and money to commit to the most epic of cruise itineraries. But cruise lines are changing with the times to appeal to new generations – and multi-generations – of travelers, and world cruises may have families with children taking a term or more off school to explore the world, as well as younger couples on 'sabbatical' breaks.
If you don't have 3 months or want to cruise for so many weeks, you can often book segments of a world cruise on your favorite cruise line that give you the opportunity to see a unique part of the world at sea.
'Grand Voyages', itineraries of less than 3 months but with much of the lavishness and off-the-beaten path ports of full 'World Cruises' are increasingly popular.
Consider the cruise line that would make a dream World Cruise the best experience for you. Small luxury ships, mid-size contemporary ships, British style cruising… the onboard lifestyle you would enjoy for a quarter of a year or more at sea should help you focus on what cruise line would be the best fit for your World Cruise. Smaller ships can also sail into smaller, more boutique ports as well, so if truly unique destinations are important to you, smaller ships will have itineraries to match those cruise travel dreams.
Cruise lines that offer World Cruises or their younger sisters, Grand Voyages, include:
- Holland America Line
- Crystal Cruises
- Azamara Club Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises,
- Princess Cruises
- Viking Ocean Cruises
- Costa Cruises