Around-the-World Cruises Are Much Less Complicated Than You Think

By Janice Wald Henderson

Seabourn Sojourn

If there's a recent trend in cruising—and there's always at least one— around the world cruises may be the hottest right now (right next to innovative expedition cruising ). “Cruise lines are investing heavily in world cruising, offering more sailings, longer voyages, new destinations—and making it a bucket list trip in and of itself,” says Colleen McDaniel, editor in chief of Cruise Critic. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see younger travelers hit the seas to enjoy this form of world exploration.”

And why shouldn't they? World cruises lure adventurous travelers of any age who are after a trip that lets them go deep on a destination. These voyages pack in ports as far or untrodden as Easter Island or Papua New Guinea , and immersive outings that make you feel like anything but a tourist passing through. On the ships, check out activities as rich as language classes, cooking instruction, or the chance to meet famous authors and actors. Here, a few common world cruise myths debunked, with the details on their realities. Read on, because that lengthy sailing you once thought unattainable could be tantalizingly within reach.

Myth 1: You must book an entire world cruise

Few travelers have the deep pockets or accrued vacation time to devote to an entire world cruise, which can easily run three to four months or longer. That's why cruise lines allow you to simply book a segment of even a week or two. Smaller segments deliver a rich sampling of a world cruise vibe, allowing people with full-time jobs to participate. Plan on meeting other passengers with a hankering for travel and squeezing in many bucket-list places in a short time if you go this route.

Myth 2: World cruises feature long stretches of sea days

These cruises traverse countries and continents, so do expect several sea days—where you're not in port and free to lounge or relax on the ship all day—in order to do it; but they’re carefully spaced out, with often no more than one or two such days in a row. Take Viking's 161-day Miami to London world cruise on Viking Sun, departing December 14, 2020: You'll average just one sea day between ports, and some segments, such as Venice to Corfu, or Naples to Grenada, don't have any. And truth be told, on most cruises—especially a world cruise—you’ll welcome the down time after constant touring and other activities on land.

Crystal Cruises Crystal Moorea French Polynesia Crystal Serenity

Myth 3: Those sea days are repetitive

On any cruise, a sea day can be as chill as you like: sleep in, read books, work out, dine late. But there's plenty of programming if you can't sit still. Learn to cook in hands-on culinary classes held onboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises ’ and Oceania Cruises’ world voyages in professional-style kitchens. On Crystal Serenity’s 106-day Miami to Rome world cruise departing January 6, 2020, there will be distinguished guests (still TBD) like celebrated writers, scientists, diplomats, generals—even Olympians—to deliver interesting lectures. In the ship's own computer lab you can work on mastering some technical skills, like professionally editing your trip photos along the way, or learning to build and code a website. Or, hit up some workshops on subjects like wine or finance. Maybe you’ll even discover an inner flair for color and brushstroke in an art class.

Myth 4: World cruises literally sail around the world

Actually, they don’t always circumnavigate the globe. Instead, many will sail port-intensive itineraries visiting one or a few continents; conversely, they may visit all of them but not in the linear fashion you might expect. On Legends of Cruising , on Silversea Cruises' Silver Whisper, sailing 140 days departing January 6, 2020, passengers set foot on all seven continents—but they'll route from Ft. Lauderdale to Amsterdam .

Myth 5: World cruises get boring after a few days

Let the evidence speak for itself: Seabourn's 146-day jaunt from Miami to San Francisco on Seabourn Sojourn—the line's first world cruise in six years—departing January 4, 2020, crosses three oceans and visits 62 ports in 36 countries on five continents. Stock up on camera memory cards and up the cloud storage: you'll hit Abidjan on Africa’s Ivory Coast, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef , India’s Chennai, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Myth 6: World cruises aren't designed for active travelers

Cruise Critic’s McDaniel emphasizes that these trips are for everyone, no matter your vacation style. “You can take it as fast—or slow—as you like,” she says. Plus, baby boomers trend active. Count on treadmills, weight stations, and yoga classes that are as busy as your neighborhood gym. If you're especially drawn to an active vacation, check out Silversea's Expedition World Cruise on the Silver Cloud, for a 167-day trip that visits Ushuaia, Argentina and goes to Tromso, Norway , departing January 30, 2021, visiting 30 countries across six continents. Passengers explore each spot primarily by zodiac, calling on Easter Island, Australia’s Kimberley region, and the big get, Antarctica . Feel your heart pound while gawking at Luxor, photographing orangutans in Borneo, and searching for polar bears in Svalbard.

Viking Sun Sydney Harbour

Myth 7: You can't take a world cruise if you have a full-time job

Internet speeds on ocean liners grow ever faster, and are even free on some lines, meaning you can work remotely while you sail. Seabourn ships nearly doubled their speed in the last two years. Silversea tripled its in the last three years. Crystal Cruises' internet bandwidth is now eight times the 2017 level. If you want to work, check with your cruise line, but chances are, beyond emailing you can plan for chats and video conferencing, and and reviewing and sending without much issue. (Caveat: In some especially far-flung or less-populated destinations where tech infrastructure isn't as widespread, you should plan to be a bit off the grid).

Myth 8: You'll gain weight on a cruise that long

You needn’t gain weight on a cruise of any length . Not only is there plenty to do on shore to get you moving, but ships today feature expansive, well-equipped fitness centers with a healthy lineup of workout classes, and even private trainers.

Plus, more cruise lines are embracing healthful dining. Oceania Cruises, with an Around the World in 180 Days on Insignia that departs next January, adds more than 200 new vegetarian menu selections for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this October, well ahead of its Miami to San Francisco sail. Regent Seven Seas Cruises has introduced a creative new plant-based menu added to standard offerings in advance of its 132-day January 2020 world cruises on Seven Seas Mariner (roundtrip Miami, departing January 6, 2020; or roundtrip San Francisco, departing January 24, 2020).

Myth 9: You have to mortgage your home to pay for it

World cruise price tags for luxury ship sails can be jaw-droppers. On Regent Seven Seas Mariner’s 132-day roundtrip San Francisco voyage, departing January 24, 2020, fares begin at $67,599 per person, double occupancy. But mainstream ocean liners, like MSC Magnifica, offer a whopping 117-day journey departing January 4, 2020 roundtrip from Rome (Civitavecchia) beginning at $14,999 per person, double occupancy. Visit 23 countries on five continents, including destinations like Bali , Mumbai, and Papua New Guinea. You won’t receive all the cushy inclusions provided on luxury ships (such as fancy digs and cuisine, premium airfare, and posh hotel stays), but you can count on some noteworthy amenities, including 15 complimentary shore excursions, mealtime drink packages in dining rooms, and eight overnight stays.

Another great option? The World Voyage on Cunard’s elegant ocean liner Queen Mary 2 , for a 100-day roundtrip from Southampton, England, departing January 10, 2020, with fares beginning at $14,149 per person, double occupancy. Sail to four continents, making memories galore in Dubai , Petra, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore , Cape Town , and Sydney, among the sensational ports.

around the world cruises review

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Matador Original Series

35 around-the-world cruises you can take through 2026.

W hile Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate World Cruise , a nine-month voyage that started in December 2023, made a lot of noise on social media, it’s certainly not the only around-the-world cruise on the market right now. Far from it. There are 35 world cruises departing in 2024, 2025, and 2026 across 11 cruise lines, all with varying itineraries, durations, and prices, allowing you to take your pick. Because if you want to take a very long vacation, or travel while working remotely, there are few better ways than boarding a ship that circumnavigates the globe and stops in dozens of destinations, sometimes even covering all seven continents.

Holland America’s Grand World Voyages

around the world cruises review

Holland America has two around-the-world cruises (known as Grand World Voyages) scheduled for the next two years:

  • A 124-day sailing on board the Zuiderdam that will start on January 4, 2025, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and end on May 9, 2025, in the same location. The cruise will include stops in 32 countries and will include 10 overnight stays. This around-the-world cruise starts at $24,999.
  • A 132-day voyage on board the Volendam that will depart on January 4, 2026, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and end in the same port. The cruise will include stops in 39 countries across all seven continents, including four days in Antarctica. The starting price is currently unavailable. Bookings for this cruise will open in May 2024.

Viking’s World Cruises

Around-the-world cruises by Viking

Map: Viking

Viking has no less than five world cruises scheduled for the next two years: two departing in December 2024, two in January 2025, and one in January 2026. The longest of the five is the 180-day (nearly six months) V iking World Voyage I which will start on December 19, 2024, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and end on June 17, 2025, in New York City. This voyage will cover 37 countries and include stops in the Arctic, namely in Greenland, Svalbard, and along the coast of Norway. This around-the-world cruise starts at $111,999.

Oceania Cruises’ World Cruises

Around-the-world cruises by Oceania

Map: Oceania

Oceania Cruises currently has a total of six around-the-world cruises scheduled for 2025 and 2026, ranging from 120-day to 200-day sailings. Of those six cruises, three will take place on Insignia, and three will take place on Vista, the cruise line’s newest and most luxurious ship. Both these vessels are small ships: Insignia, refurbished in 2018 can carry up to 670 passengers, while Vista, built in 2023, can carry up to 1,200 passengers. The longest of the world cruises offered by Oceania is a 200-day voyage starting in Miami on January 5, 2025, and ending in New York City on July 23, 2025. The trip will cover 38 countries, make 103 stops, and include sailing around the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, to reach the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean, as well as two days in the magical island of Madagascar. This around-the-world cruise starts at $49,799.

Cunard’s Full World Voyages

Around-the-world cruise by Cunard

Map: Cunard

Cunard, the cruise line operating the famous Queen Mary II, the last transatlantic ocean liner in service, offers seven around-the-world cruises scheduled in the next two years. Six of the seven world cruises currently listed will be taking place on board the cruise line’s newest ship, the Queen Anne, launching in May 2024, and one will take place on board the Queen Mary II. The longest of the world cruises (called Full World Voyages by Cunard) is a 116-day sailing on board the Queen Anne that will depart on January 6, 2026, from Hamburg, Germany, and end in the same port on May 2, 2026. The trip will cover 26 countries, make 37 port calls, include several stops in the Middle East, and will take passengers around the southernmost tip of Africa. This around-the-world cruise starts at $20,118.

Silversea’s World Cruises

around the world cruises review

Ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea currently has two around-the-world cruises scheduled:

  • Controtempo , a 136-day sailing on board the Silver Dawn departing from Tokyo, Japan, on January 13, 2025, and arriving in New York City on May 29, 2025. This cruise will cover 30 countries, make stops in 59 ports, and include port calls in Saudi Arabia and Greenland. The all-inclusive, door-to-door price of this around-the-world cruise starts at $81,900
  • The Curious and the Sea , a 140-day sailing also on board the Silver Dawn, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 6, 2026, and ending in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 27, 2026. This cruise will cover 37 countries, make a total of 70 port calls, and include a multitude of stops throughout the Mediterranean, in the South Pacific, and on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The all-inclusive, door-to-door price of this around-the-world cruise starts at $89,900

MSC’s World Cruises

around the world cruises review

MSC Cruises will take adventurous passengers on two world cruise in the next two years, both of which will take place on MSC Magnifica:

  • A 116-night sailing departing from Civitavecchia (Rome) on January 4, 2025, and ending in the same port. This around-the-world cruise will cover 21 countries on five continents, make 50 port calls, and take passengers across the Atlantic with one stop in Cabo Verde on the way, as well as across the Pacific with multiple stops, including one on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). This around-the-world cruise starts at $11,989.
  • A 119-day sailing from January to May 2026 departing from Civitavecchia (Rome). This around-the-world cruise will cover 32 countries, include a crossing of the Panama Canal, as well as the Suez Canal, and make overnight stops in Honolulu, Auckland, Sydney, Dubai, and Tokyo, among others. This around-the-world cruise starts at $13,439.

Princess’ Around-the-World Cruises

Princess Cruises has five world cruises scheduled, including two in 2024, two in 2025, and one in 2026, the longest of them being a 116-day sailing on board the Island Princess departing in January 2025. This around-the-world cruise will depart and end from both Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Los Angeles, California (you take your pick), making 48 port calls in 26 countries across six continents. Passengers will get to cross both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans during this trip, and will make stops in dreamy destinations like Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and more. This around-the-world cruise starts at $24,298.

Azamara’s World Cruises

around the world cruises review

There are two world cruises currently on Azamara Cruises’ schedule: One in 2025 and one in 2026, and both of them are 155-night voyages.

  • The 2025 Azamara World Cruise will start in San Diego, California, on January 6, 2025, and end in Southampton, England, on June 11, 2025. Passengers on board this world cruise will visit 37 countries and spend 46 late nights or overnights in the destinations visited. Port calls include four days in Hawaii, five days in French Polynesia, 10 days in New Zealand, and more. This around-the-world cruise starts at $39,999.
  • The 2026 Azamara World Cruise will start in Miami, Florida, on January 6, 2026, and end in Barcelona, Spain, on June 11, 2026. This sailing covers 36 countries and includes 55 late nights or overnights in the port calls. This voyage includes once-in-a-lifetime destinations such as Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Pitcairn Island, Tasmania, Papua New Guinea, and more. This around-the-world cruise starts at $38,999.

Crystal’s World Cruise

Around the world cruise by Crystal Cruises

Map: Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises has only one world cruise planned for the next few years, but it’s an extraordinary voyage full of bucket-list destinations and events. The 124-day sailing on board the Crystal Serenity will depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 7, 2025, and end in Barcelona, Spain, on May 10, 2025. Passengers on board this around-the-world cruise will get to visit 63 destinations in 31 countries, go through both the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal, visit Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, stop in the remote Atlantic island of St. Helena, and visit Petra, Jordan. The starting price of this around-the-world cruise is not available on Crystal Cruises’ website. We have reached out to Crystal Cruises for more details and will update the piece if we obtain a response.

Fred. Olsen’s World Cruise

Around-the-world cruise by Fred. Olsen

Map: Fred. Olsen Cruises

UK-based cruise line Fred. Olsen Cruises has planned an epic 106-night around-the-world cruise for 2025. The Bolette (the largest ship in the fleet, able to accommodate 1,338 guests) will leave the port of Southampton, England, on January 6, 2025, and circumnavigate the globe westward via Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America, and Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, until it reaches England again on April 22, 2025. During this trip, passengers will be able to visit remote islands such as Robinson Crusoe Island, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Pitcairn Island, and St. Helena. This around-the-world cruise starts at $20,493 for an Ocean View cabin with two portholes. The price for the interior cabins are not currently available.

P&O’ World Cruise Holidays

British cruise line P&O has two around-the-world cruises (known as World Cruise Holidays) on their schedule for 2025 and 2026, both of which are complete circumnavigation of the globe on board Arcadia.

  • Western Circumnavigation , a 99-night sailing that will depart from Southampton, England, on January 3, 2025 and return to the same port on April 13, 2025. The cruise will include stops in the Caribbean, in Hawaii, in islands of the South Pacific, and throughout Oceania, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. This around-the-world cruise starts at $12,295.

around the world cruises review

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7 Incredible Around-the-World Cruises to Book Now

If you have time to spare and want to visit a treasure trove of destinations from the comfort of a ship, these global sailings are well worth the splurge..

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Sail to Hawai'i, French Polynesia, Singapore, across Asia and the Middle East on the all-suite 'Seven Seas Mariner.'

Sail to Hawai‘i, French Polynesia, Singapore, across Asia, and to the Middle East on the all-suite Seven Seas Mariner .

Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises

In 1922, Cunard Line inaugurated the first world cruise from England that circled the globe in 130 days and visited 22 ports. One hundred years later, the tradition continues—with some variations—and now numerous cruise lines offer these epic voyages.

World cruise itineraries vary widely, and in truth most do not actually completely circumnavigate the globe these days, which is the hallmark of a true world voyage. But regardless of whether they do a full around-the-world tour, they do tackle a large and impressive array of destinations.

Most around-the-world cruises begin in December or January. While you still may find some limited space for the 2022–2023 season, these months-long sailings typically need to be booked well in advance, especially if you want to stay in an upper-level suite. The pandemic has only increased the popularity of these spectacular sailings as travelers try to make up for lost time, hoping to visit a large swath of international destinations in one fell swoop. This is a good time to start planning for a world cruise that is even one or two years away—and to keep an eye out for when epic around-the-world cruises even further out open for bookings.

Given how much time you’ll be spending onboard, the type of ship you choose can make or break your experience. Luxury cruise lines offer posh accommodations on smaller ships with an emphasis on service and typically have many more inclusions (think, freely flowing champagne and caviar). Premium lines are slightly larger ships with more entertainment and good-quality service and food, but they aren’t necessarily as inclusive (you might pay extra for some food, beverages, and services). Big cruise ships offer a greater choice of staterooms, plenty of pools, gargantuan spas, and flashy live shows—you won’t get bored.

Regardless of the cruise line, a world cruise offers the convenience of unpacking only once and a balance of lazy sea days and busy port stops. These cruises are not just about the exotic ports of call; they also are filled with dozens of sailing days, often a week at a time. Cruisers have numerous options during sea days ranging from informative lectures to dance classes, but it’s important that passengers be mentally prepared for the longer stretches of time onboard.

These lengthy voyages aren’t cheap either, but if you’ve yearned to sail the globe in a style surpassing that of famed maritime explorer Ferdinand Magellan and want to earn some serious cruise bragging rights, there are numerous around-the-world cruise options for a range of tastes and budgets.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Best luxury all-inclusive world cruise

The crystal clear waters of Fiji are on the agenda during Regent Seven Seas' world cruise.

The crystal clear waters of Fiji are on the agenda during Regent Seven Seas’ world cruise.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ world cruises on the 700-pasenger Seven Seas Mariner have been known to sell out in hours. The only way to get on the 2023 cruise is via the wait list, and there is very little space on the 2024 and 2025 sailings—keep an eye out for 2026. The round trip from Miami cruise embarking on January 2, 2024, is a 132-night extravaganza that crosses three oceans to reach 31 countries on four continents with such highlights as crossing the Panama Canal, sunning in Hawai‘i and French Polynesia, and sailing to Singapore and across Asia to the Middle East.

The following year’s 150-night sailing, embarking on January 7, 2025, is from Miami to San Francisco and covers South America, the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, and Alaska—25 countries in total. The all-suite Mariner features three specialty restaurants, a spa and fitness center, a heated swimming pool, two whirlpools, a library, and a card room. While the sailings are quite an investment, the cruise fares include almost everything. Fares for the January 2024 sailing range from $73,499 to $199,999, including first-class airfare, some 440 shore excursions, gratuities, and dry cleaning, among other services. The 2025 cruise is priced from $86,999 to $249,999.

Best luxury cruise with a focus on Africa and the South Pacific

Fishing boats in Ngor Dakar, Senegal, called pirogue or piragua or piraga. Colorful boats used by fishermen standing in the bay of Ngor on a sunny day.

Explore the coastline of Senegal on a Seabourn world cruise.


Space is limited for Seabourn’s extraordinary 140-night 2023 world cruise between Miami and Barcelona, visiting six continents. The itinerary on the 450-passenger Seabourn Sojourn spends quality time in the South Pacific, including a circumnavigation of Australia, and Africa—with port calls in the Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Benin, Ghana, Togo, Gambia, Senegal, and Cape Verde. Embarkation is January 6, 2023. The line’s 145-day world cruise in 2024 on the same ship sails across the Pacific from Los Angeles and stops in 78 ports in 28 countries, with overnight stays in 20 destinations, with expansive exploration in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Embarkation is January 11, 2024.

Passengers are treated to exceptional fine dining via a partnership with celebrity chef Thomas Keller, along with spacious suite accommodations. An array of lectures includes talks focused on the destinations and on current events featuring laudable guest speakers. There are also “shopping with the chef” excursions in select ports to learn about local cuisines and markets. Fares start at $70,499 for the 2023 sailing and range from $79,399 to $294,399 for the posh Owner’s Suite on the 2024 sailing (including airfare, shore excursions, gratuities, butler service, laundry, and dry cleaning).

Best luxury cruise that includes Iceland and Greenland

Midnight sun reflected on stranded icebergs at the mouth of the Icefjord near Ilulissat, Greenland

Some sights—like the icebergs of Greenland—are best enjoyed from the vantage point of a cruise ship.

Photo by Shutterstock

There is only wait-list space for ultra-luxury line Silversea’s 2023 and 2024 world cruises . If you wait until 2025, you’re in for the treat of a 136-night, 20-country exploration on the 596-passenger Silver Dawn , newly launched in 2022. It’s the largest ship Silversea has ever assigned to a world cruise—a sign of the popularity of the expansive itineraries. The sailing will embark from Tokyo, explore southeast Asia and India, spend quality time in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Scandinavia and will then call in Iceland and Greenland. After that, the ship will travel to Canada and New England before ending in New York City. Fine dining and impeccable service are Silversea hallmarks. All passengers stay in a suite with butler service, and Silver Dawn offers an extraordinary opportunity to dive into the cuisine of various cultures with its immersive S.A.L.T. culinary dining and education program.

Space is already limited for the sailing, embarking January 13, 2025, with available fares from $92,000 to $98,000 (fancier suites are booked up), including business-class airfare, some select shore excursions, $1,000 in onboard spending credit per guest, gratuities, butler service, and laundry service.

Oceania Cruises

Best world cruise for UNESCO World Heritage sites


Oceania’s world cruise visits 100 UNESCO World Heritage sites including in Kyoto, Japan.

Upscale line Oceania Cruises has built a big fan base for its expansive 180-day world itineraries. You’ll need to join a wait list for the 2023 sailing from Miami but may have better luck with the voyage embarking Miami on December 29, 2024. The itinerary will take passengers through Central America and west across the Pacific to French Polynesia and the Samoan islands, New Zealand and Australia, with an extensive exploration of Asia. Then it’s off to the Middle East, Europe, Iceland, Greenland, and New England and concluding in New York. There are 24 overnight stops and 100 UNESCO World Heritage sites along the way. Oceania is known for its impressive culinary offerings; the line’s consulting chef is the legendary Jacques Pépin, and menus include expansive vegan and vegetarian options, while cooking classes take place in a real test kitchen. Fares for this cruise start at $48,499 for an inside stateroom and can go as high as $189,999 for an Owner’s Suite, including airfare, internet, gratuities, and laundry, among other amenities.

Viking Cruise

Best world cruise for inclusive value

Circumnavigate the globe on Viking’s epic 245-day world cruise.

Circumnavigate the globe on Viking’s epic world cruise.

Courtesy of Viking Cruises

Viking Cruises’ 930-passenger Viking Neptune sets sail on December 22, 2022, on an epic 137-night world cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Greenwich, United Kingdom, with explorations of Central America, the California coast, Hawai‘i, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Mediterranean. Overnight stays in 11 ports ensure time to explore and enjoy the local nightlife. You can also board in Los Angeles, for a shorter 120-night itinerary. The ship will sail a similar world cruise route that starts in December 2023. Sister ship Viking Sky will also cover the itinerary with a 120-night sailing departing Los Angeles in 2024. All staterooms on the Scandinavian-designed ships have balconies, and the line presents a value proposition that includes a complimentary tour in every port, complimentary water and soft drinks, and beer and wine with lunch and dinner, and free Wi-Fi. Another Viking perk is one of the best spas at sea with a thalassotherapy pool, steam sauna, dry sauna, snow room, and hot and cold plunge pools. Fares for the 120-day cruises start at $54,995 and at $199,999 for the top-level Owner’s Suite, including airfare.

Cunard Line

Best traditional world cruise

See the world in style onboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.

Travel back in time to the golden days of cruising with a world cruise on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 .

Courtesy of Cunard Line

Cunard Line , the cruise line that started it all, is celebrating its centenary with a 117-night world voyage on the 2,691-passenger Queen Mary 2 ocean liner, embarking from Brooklyn, New York, on January 3, 2023. The itinerary includes Colombo, Singapore, and Hong Kong, replicating the RMS Samaria’s 1923 world sailing, as well as stops in Dubai, Sydney, and Cape Town. In 2024, the ocean liner will set sail from Brooklyn on a 123-night voyage to Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, with highlights including passage through the Suez Canal. The ship has a planetarium, hosts galas in an extravagant ballroom, and offers a daytime roster that includes dancing, acting, and fencing classes, plus Cunard’s famous white-glove afternoon tea service. Fares for the 2023 sailing are from $21,499; the 2024 sailing is priced from $20,699 for an inside stateroom and from $79,999 for top-category Queens Grill suites.

Holland America Line

Best world cruise for music lovers

Amazon rainforest in Brazil, South America

Holland America Line’s world cruise sails the Amazon River deep into the Brazilian rainforest.

Holland America Line has more than 50 years’ experience operating around-the-world voyages. The line has a 128-night world cruise that embarks from Fort Lauderdale on January 3, 2024, destined for South America, Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, with such highlights as overnights in Tokyo, Kobe, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mumbai, Petra, and Istanbul. The sailing takes place on the 1,848-passenger Zuiderdam , with a Lincoln Center Stage venue that highlights performances by classical musicians and a Billboard Onboard show featuring some of the most popular hits throughout the decades, as performed by dueling singing piano players. Fares run from $23,799 to $82,899.

Abbreviated world cruises

For those who aren’t able to spend months on a ship and would rather get a “taste” of a world voyage, there is the option with most lines of booking segments of a world cruise. That way, you can pinpoint a destination or region that’s appealing to explore for a month or however much time you have. Example: If you can’t do Seabourn’s entire 145-night sailing in 2024, book the 33-night segment that leaves from Sydney on February 20, 2024, to explore Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan, with fares from $22,999 to $27,999 (fancier suites are all booked up for this one).

Anita Dunham-Potter contributed reporting. This story was originally published in December 2018, and was updated on September 7, 2022, to include current information.

Kayaking in Alaska

Royal Caribbean just announced the most epic around-the-world cruise ever

Gene Sloan

Cruise giant Royal Caribbean is known for doing things big. So, it perhaps should come as no surprise that its first around-the-world cruise would be something for the record books.

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The Miami-based operator of the world's biggest cruise ships on Wednesday announced it would offer an epic world voyage that will be nine months long -- several more months than the longest around-the-world cruise offered by any other line.

Dubbed the Ultimate World Cruise, the sailing also will bring stops in far more countries than is typical for a world cruise -- 65 in all. It will hit all seven continents and include visits to more than 150 different destinations.

The voyage will take place on Royal Caribbean's 2,143-passenger Serenade of the Seas and kick off in Miami on Dec. 10, 2023. It will return to Miami on Sept. 10, 2024.

For those counting, that's 274 days the ship will be on a single voyage.

"This is the world cruise of world cruises," Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the sailing.

Bayley suggested cruisers were ready to " make up for lost time " after being stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Royal Caribbean is making that a reality with the ultimate vacation that welcomes those seeking adventure and exploration to taste, dance and dream with us around the world," he said. "To travelers asking themselves where they should go next, we say everywhere."

Related: The ultimate guide to Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is joining a rarified category of cruise lines that offer around-the-world sailings. Among the biggest players in the niche are Cunard Line , Holland America , Oceania Cruises and Viking .

The typical around-the-world cruise lasts about three to four months and includes visits to between 20 and 30 countries. But there's been a trend toward longer world sailings in recent years. Oceania has been offering world sailings for several years that are six months long. Viking's world cruises have been approaching five months in length.

The fact that Royal Caribbean is getting into around-the-world cruises at all is notable. The line until now hasn't been known for particularly long voyages. Its longest voyage currently for sale -- a transpacific sailing from Hawaii to Australia -- is just 19 nights in length.

Royal Caribbean is best known for relatively short voyages in the Caribbean, Europe and Alaska.

The new world voyage, notably, will include stops at 57 destinations where the 53-year-old cruise line has never sent a ship. They include Casablanca, Morocco; Qaqortoq, Greenland; and Shimizu, Japan -- the gateway to Mount Fuji.

Related: The best destinations you can visit on a Royal Caribbean cruise

around the world cruises review

Royal Caribbean will begin taking bookings for the Ultimate World Cruise today, Wednesday, Oct. 20 by phone only and through travel agents. There will be an exclusive one-week window through Oct. 26 when only top members (Diamond and above) of Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program can book.

Would-be globetrotters also will be able to book one of four segments of the world voyage starting in December. The four segments will be:

  • Round the Horn: Americas and Antarctica Expedition . This is the first part of the world cruise out of Miami that brings visits to Caribbean islands, Central America, South America and Antarctica. It'll take place from Dec. 10, 2023, to Feb. 11, 2024, and include stops at 36 places.
  • Wonders of Asia and the Pacific Expedition . Scheduled from Feb. 11, 2024, to May 9, 2024, this three-month segment brings stops at 40 destinations across Oceania and Asia including ports in Hawaii, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Japan.
  • Middle East Treasures and Marvels of the Med Expedition . This two-month-long segment, from May 9, 2024, to July 10, 2024, will bring stops at 44 destinations across the Middle East and Europe, from Dubai and Egypt to Turkey and Italy.
  • Capitals of Culture . Scheduled from July 10, 2024, to Sept. 10, 2024, this two-month segment brings cruisers to another 40 destinations across Europe, North Africa and North America. Stops will range from Spain and Morocco to Norway and Iceland.

Fares for the full world cruise will start at $60,999 per person, plus taxes and fees.

The fares will include business-class airfare to reach the ship, transfers and an evening of festivities and accommodations at a five-star hotel before setting sail.

In addition, Crown & Anchor Society Platinum status members and above will receive a bonus shore excursion package that includes tours to several of the world's most iconic attractions as well as an included beverage package, free onboard Wi-Fi access and free onboard laundry service.

The line has set up a dedicated phone line for taking bookings for the world cruise (800-423-2100) or customers can book through a travel advisor.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
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  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • 15 ways cruisers waste money
  • 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
  • What to pack for your first cruise

around the world cruises review

11 Around-The-World Cruises For An Epic Getaway

"Sailing around the world" sounds so romantic, doesn't it? You're sailing to remote islands with like-minded people while chasing sunsets on a distant horizon. Sure, you can just board a plane to, say, New Zealand, but there's something so pure and patient about maritime journeys. Cruises are like floating resorts, which ease their way over the waves. It's the definition of "slow travel." 

Amazingly, in the modern world of jet-setting travel, round-the-world cruises do exist. Voyagers visit dozens of ports over the course of their odyssey, each with its own landscape, climate, and personality. There are lots of ways travelers can experience "the trip of a lifetime," but this kind of circumnavigation outmatches just about all of them -- and in style. However, there are a few things to consider before investigating such cruises. First, what does it actually mean to sail "around the world?"

Many companies use this phrase — and sail thousands of nautical miles — but only around a single ocean or hemisphere. Even when ships do sail a distance equivalent to the equator (or more), they rarely return to their precise port of origin. Also, these epic  cruise vacations can be pricey ; the kind of dream that merits cashing in a 401K, and the time commitment is also substantial, meaning months on the water. But for diehard cruisers, crisscrossing the planet could easily be worth the time and money, and if this sounds like you, these 11 cruise lines are scheduled to sail around the world.

Read more: The Prettiest Waters Around The World

Viking: World Cruise

For 138 days, passengers frog-hop through the Caribbean, pass through the Panama Canal, make their way to the islands of Polynesia, and skirt Australia, Asia, and Europe before finally dropping their anchor in London. On Viking's World Cruise, you can step ashore in 28 different nations and pick from 57 guided tours. Viking has been a prolific, respected cruise line since its founding in 1997, and this three-quarter circumnavigation sets sail in December 2024, so there's still time to book.

Ships are equipped with spas, luxury dining options, and cabin beds that can be separated or combined, among many other touches. Long before stepping aboard, the Viking website has a virtual 360-degree tour, acquainting future travelers with the ship's staterooms. Viking has thoughtfully put together a reading list to help travelers get a deeper understanding of the countries they will visit, which is especially helpful in little-understood destinations like Moorea and Indonesia. The ship also has a sizable library onboard for further research. This, plus its sophisticated tours and dining options that reflect the culture of each port, may explain Viking's moniker, "the thinking person's cruise." Quality does come at a price, with full passage starting at $59,995.

Ambassador: Grand Round The World Cruise

The Ambiance sets off from London, crosses the Atlantic, passes through Panama, and hits Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America before pinging back to the United Kingdom. Not only do you cross all the major oceans, but you actually cross the Atlantic three times. Most of these destinations are warm-weather ports, including Sydney at the height of summer. Sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats are recommended on this largely equatorial route.

Ambassador is new to the cruise scene, having been established in the United Kingdom in 2021, and Ambiance is its flagship vessel. Passengers will spend their 120-night voyage in extreme comfort, traveling to 24 countries and 34 ports of call, with top-notch dining, live entertainment, and about 35,000 nautical miles in between. If you can live without a porthole, opting for an  inside cabin on the cruise , then passage starts at the budget-friendly price of $8,500 per person, making this Ambassador cruise one of the most economical on this list. You can also add on drink packages and arrange tours in advance or onboard through an agent or the Ambassador app. You can also explore the ship before you travel, thanks to a 360-degree virtual tour. The 2024 voyage sets sail on June 6.

Regent: World Cruise

The 2026 Regent World Cruise starts in Miami and ends in Miami, which makes it convenient to coordinate, especially if you're already based in the United States. Regent Seven Seas Cruises was founded in 1992 and is a respected brand in the industry.

The ship, the Seven Seas Mariner, also lives up to its name with a formidable 154-night itinerary: the Panama Canal, points along Central America, a dozen Pacific islands, Australia, South Asia, East Africa, and two Atlantic islands before returning to Florida. The Mariner arrives in many well-trod ports like Cape Town and Acapulco, but the route also includes locations that most travelers would have trouble pinpointing on a map: Lautoka, Abidjan, and Male are all names cruisers will become familiar with. To really explore these places, Regent organizes a whopping 431 free shore excursions across six continents, 77 ports, and 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Sailing nearly 40,000 nautical miles with world-class spas, dining, and entertainment aboard doesn't come cheap. While you'll need to contact Regent to request specific prices, passengers can expect to pay nearly $100,000 for passage. Regent's World Cruise is considered a luxury-level experience with first-class airfare, gratuities, and 24-hour room service included. If this is your tax bracket, just wait until you see the suites.

Royal Caribbean: Ultimate World Cruise

Royal Caribbean has been taking tourists to far-flung destinations since the late 1960s, and it's now one of the most recognizable cruise companies in the world, so naturally Royal Caribbean would host a round-the-world voyage. But even for seasoned travelers, the Ultimate World Cruise is pretty, well, ultimate. Royal Caribbean's world cruise lasts 274 nights and arrives in no fewer than 60 countries. In other words, you'll spend nine months at sea and personally visit more than a quarter of the sovereign nations on Earth. The saga starts and ends in Miami, where the Royal Caribbean is headquartered, which should make arrangements easy.

The biggest bragging right of all: This cruise touches on every single continent, including Elephant Island and Paradise Bay in Antarctica. You'll find yourself in both Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia, plus ports you've never even heard of. That said, unless your soul is fueled by pure wanderlust, this itinerary may sound like a lot of cruising, which may explain why Royal Caribbean has divided the journey into four segments. Cruisers don't have to commit to the entire itinerary; they can easily pick from the quarter that most interests them. 

By the time you read this, a segment may be the only option left, as the next Ultimate World Cruise departs in December of 2023. The segments are significantly more affordable as well. An interior stateroom for the full cruise costs at least $60,000 per person, while a segment starts at $12,500.

Cunard: Full World Voyage

When the Queen Mary 2 departs from New York City on January 3, 2024, it won't return to this same harbor for 123 nights. The itinerary isn't exactly "around the world," but rather a crossing of the Eastern Hemisphere — twice. Passengers traverse the Atlantic to the United Kingdom, then ease their way down the eastern coast of Africa before beelining for Australia. The ship boomerangs back, with many stops in Asia, a shortcut through the Suez Canal, and a tour of the Mediterranean before heading back to the U.S.

The voyage comes at the heels of Cunard's 100th anniversary, making it the second-oldest company on the list. The Queen Mary 2 has been Cunard's flagship vessel since 2004, and the company has mastered hospitality over the past century, with exceptional dining, luxury suites, and Broadway-quality performances by the Royal Court Theatre. Cunard also takes pride in its children's facilities, encouraging families to travel together, as well as the great English tradition of afternoon tea. Most of the budget cabins on the Queen Mary 2 were already booked at the time of this writing, but cabins with balconies are still available, starting at the not-ludicrous price of $16,899 per person. 

Oceania: Around The World In 180 Days

When Junes Verne wrote his novel "Around the World in Eighty Days," his Victorian goal was to travel as quickly as possible. Oceania is now advertising the opposite: This journey takes passengers the long way from Los Angeles to New York City, across the Pacific, around Australia, along the coasts of East Asia, and then up through the Middle East, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and even Greenland. The itinerary doesn't spend much time in the "global south," so you'll have to visit Africa and South America another time.

The Miami-based Oceania was founded in 2002 and specializes in long-haul cruises, so they know their system well. This cruise may be especially appealing to foodies. The company takes particular pride in its onboard meals as well as in-country Culinary Discovery Tours. Passengers can also take advantage of The Aquamar Spa & Vitality Center, which can orchestrate a special dietary regimen.

Oceania exudes "small-ship luxury" and caps its total number of passengers at 1,250. Everything about the ship is more intimate than found on its larger cousins, from the live entertainment to the duty-free boutiques. If you like a small-town feel, 180 days should be just enough time to meet all your shipmates. If you can't summon the time or (at least) $47,599 by January 2024, the next ship departs in January 2025.

Princess: 111-Day World Cruise

This Princess cruise is another true circumnavigation, starting in Los Angeles and bearing west until the ship arrives back at its original dock. The 111-day cruise starts on January 18, 2024, and includes all three major oceans, both the Suez and Panama Canals, plus 47 ports along the way. The itinerary is light on Asian and African ports and skips South America altogether, but you can still enjoy visits to Australia, the Middle East, and numerous destinations around Europe.

Princess is a hallowed name in the cruise industry. Not only have its ships been sailing the world since the 1960s, but Princess is still one of the most profitable cruise companies in the world. Passengers can expect onboard enrichment programs, award-winning live performances, and rejuvenating treatments at the Lotus Spa. Each port will also bring its own offerings of special excursions, from river rafting to art tours. 

With its dependable quality of service and nearly four-month itinerary, it's remarkable that base bookings start at only $15,498. Better yet, if you want to circle the globe with the whole family, this Princess itinerary is a family-friendly cruise and offers youth programming, which is not always the case. If you miss this one, no worries. Three more, of varying lengths, are slated for January 2025.

Holland America Line: Grand World Voyage

Fort Lauderdale is the beginning and end point for the Zuiderdam, which spends 128 days making a complete circle around the globe. Holland America's Grand World Voyage is true to its name. Passengers travel across the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, making port on five continents. Most of its destinations are clustered around Asia and the Mediterranean, and it skips over Australia. But the Voyage is a rare opportunity to sail up the Amazon River, with visits to inland Brazilian cities most travelers would never think to visit.

Holland America began as a shipping and passenger line in the mid-19th Century, and its history of cruising is nearly as old as the concept. The flagship Zuiderdam is a luxury vessel with a swimming pool and sizable theater. It also boasts several diverse dining areas, including the Pinnacle Grill steakhouse, the Italian-themed Canaletto, and the à la carte Lido Market. There's Billboard Onboard, a special room for trivia nights and karaoke, as well as World Stage, a presentation space with a wraparound LED screen. Bookings start at the more expensive rate of $22,499 for an inside cabin, and the 2024 voyage will set sail on January 3, 2024, but you can expect additional Grand World Voyages to be slated in the coming years.

Azamara: World Voyage

Formerly part of the Royal Caribbean fleet, Azamara is now an independent company taking its own journeys. The 2025 World Voyage begins in San Diego and sails westward, across the Pacific, to Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, before passengers disembark in Barcelona. The World Voyage doesn't quite girdle the globe, stopping just short of the Atlantic Ocean, and the only stop in Africa is Giza. But this 155-night expedition should satisfy almost any traveler, especially with its 40 countries and 22 overnights.

Unlike many world cruises, Azamara has divided its full itinerary into segments with clear geographic themes, such as "South Pacific Jewels" and "Mediterranean Icons." These titles can help turn experiences into coherent narratives. For example, "Ancient Pathways" draws a historic and economic line between Mumbai and Athens, along with all ports in between. These themes are coupled with thoughtful excursions, which are often scheduled around local holidays and festivals. The World Voyage for 2024 appears to be sold out, but the 2025 edition sets sail on January 5. Passage starts at a princely $39,999.

Freighter Cruises

Some of us want to keep it simple. No need for late-night show-stoppers, cocktail parties with hundreds of strangers, or daring bets at the roulette wheel. "Freighter cruises" have gone by many names over the years, such as "banana boats" and "cargo cruises," but passengers have hitched rides on commercial ships since the dawn of seafaring. These accommodations come in many forms, and you do have to share your vessel with stacks of massive shipping containers; still, you can expect a comfortable cabin and regular meals, along with friendly and respectful crewmembers from around the world. For travelers with a Jack London streak, the freighter cruise feels raw and adventurous.

The Freighter Travel Club was founded in 1958, and companies like Maris Freighter Cruises and Voyage en Cargo have booked passengers on commercial vessels for years. Maris has arranged round-the-world itineraries in the past, and multi-week journeys are common, as enormous loads are floated from one nation to the next. The pandemic took its toll on this niche industry, and most of these journeys do not precisely travel around the world. But when they're in operation, freighter cruises usually cost a little over $100 per day, and savvy travelers have flexibility in their bookings.

Miray Cruises: Life At Sea

Sure, cruising is fun, but what if you want to turn your ship into a semi-permanent address? Life at Sea Cruises promises three years of luxury seafaring, with stops in 140 countries across all seven continents. By the time you're done with these 382 ports, you'll have more photos to sort through and stories to share than most people will amass in a lifetime.

That sounds life-changing, but we'll have to see whether it's too good to be true. Life at Sea is a brand-new enterprise from Miray Cruises, and the maiden voyage has been fraught with delays. However, at the time of this writing, Life at Sea should get underway by the end of 2023, and most full-voyage passengers should already be sailing by 2024. If all goes well, there are four scheduled embarkation options for travelers who want to hop aboard later on, and more will likely be scheduled.

One of the problems has been the ship itself. For a while, the purchase of the ship was in limbo, pushing back the original sail date. However, the MV Lara now seems ready to sail. The medium-sized vessel has space for 1,266 passengers, with a range of cozy cabins, a wellness center, and a pool deck, among many other amenities. Travelers committed to living at sea for three years should get a lot out of their floating home. Life at Sea is a dreamy concept, so let's hope for calm waters once it finally sets sail. 

Read the original article on Explore .

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This Luxury Cruise Line Is Putting Its Best Ship on a 180-day World Cruise — and It Visits 43 Countries and 81 World Heritage Sites

Oceania Cruises is pulling out all the stops for its newest trip around the world.

Paul Brady is the news director at Travel + Leisure and the brand's expert on cruise travel. He has been covering the travel industry for more than 15 years for outlets including Condé Nast Traveler , Skift , and The Huffington Post .

around the world cruises review

Nick Tortajada/Courtesy of Oceania Cruises

The company recently announced its 2026 world cruise, which is scheduled to visit an astonishing 101 ports in 43 countries, over 180 days.

What’s more, Oceania will offer this epic trip aboard its newest ship, Vista , a 1,200-passenger vessel that launched in 2023. That’s a major change for the industry, which typically operates super-long world cruises using older ships.

“It’s a very unconventional idea,” said Oceania president Frank A. Del Rio, in an interview with Travel + Leisure . “We never thought of putting Vista towards a world cruise.”

Del Rio said his perspective changed after talking to guests aboard Vista last year. The ship, which was the line’s first new vessel in more than a decade, is also one of the largest in the Oceania fleet — which in turn means it has more space, more amenities, and even bells and whistles like a pickleball court .

“All of our guests really like this ship,” Del Rio explained. “They said, ‘If you put Vista on a world cruise, maybe we can talk.’”

The result of that informal survey is the 2026 trip, a six-month odyssey that will start in Miami, circumnavigate South America, cross the Pacific Ocean, and spend extended time in Australia and Southeast Asia. The voyage then continues to India and the Middle East — current plans call for visits to Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — before transiting the Suez Canal. The final few months of the grand voyage take in the Mediterranean Sea and the British Isles, before an Atlantic Ocean crossing brings Vista back to Miami.

“It’s just an awesome itinerary,” Del Rio said, pointing out that the trip takes in an eye-popping 81 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. “We try to mix it up as much as possible.”

While many world cruisers are retirees who have the time — and budget — to make the trip, Del Rio said Oceania has had some early interest from younger guests.

“People are seeing that this is the most effective way to see the world,” explained Del Rio. “You're starting to hear people in their fifties and sixties say, ‘I'm selling everything and I'm going to spend the rest of my life on a cruise.’”

Or, at the very least, 180 days.

Rates for Oceania’s 2026 world cruise start at $58,000 per person.

Related Articles

A cruise line for every type of traveler: How to choose the right one for you

around the world cruises review

  • Cruise lines have their own identities and areas of focus, and some lend themselves more to certain vacation types than others.
  • Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line are solid options for families.
  • Aurora Expeditions, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises offer trips with a spirit of exploration at their core.

No matter what kind of vacation you're planning , there's likely a cruise for you.

Whether you want to spend your trip kayaking and scuba diving or prefer to lounge on a sun deck sipping a cocktail, cruise lines have a wide range of offerings. But not every line or ship is right for every passenger.

Cruise brands have their own identities and areas of focus, and some lend themselves more to certain vacation types than others (amenities can also vary from ship to ship within the same line). Here's what to know.

Best cruise line for families

▶ Royal Caribbean International ships have an array of onboard offerings for kids and adults. The line's most recent addition, Icon of the Seas , for example, has been billed as the ultimate family vacation .

The vessel – the largest cruise ship in the world – has an entire neighborhood designed for young families, a large water park and activities ranging from a FlowRider surf simulator to Crown's Edge, where guests can walk more than 150 feet above the ocean. The line's Bahamas private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, offers plenty of thrills and places to chill , too.

▶ Norwegian Cruise Line also offers a range of activities like free-fall dry slides, go-kart tracks, and high-caliber stage shows. Disney Cruise Line draws on a huge catalogue of stories to bring magic to life on the water, with character appearances, themed dining and special events like Marvel Day at Sea .

▶ Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises also cater to families, and Princess Cruises and Holland America Line are solid options for multigenerational travelers. Mainstream cruise lines generally have kids clubs that are included in the fare, as well.

Best cruise line for adventure and expeditions

Adventure seekers may want to consider expedition ships and lines that offer sailings to less common destinations such as Antarctica .

▶ Aurora Expeditions offers a range of activity-centric itineraries, including Zodiac boat outings, kayaking, snowshoeing and more. Celebrity Cruises, meanwhile, has a vessel designed  especially for the Galapagos Islands .

▶ Operators like HX (formerly Hurtigruten Expeditions) , Lindblad Expeditions and Silversea Cruises also offer trips with a spirit of exploration at their core.

Best cruise line for letting loose

▶ Virgin Voyages offers adults-only sailings and a unique onboard atmosphere with its immersive Scarlet Night celebration and innovative performances . There is also no main dining room or buffet, with a focus on a variety of different food and drinks instead.

▶ Guests can also find parties on other lines, such as Carnival . But the length of the sailing and the time of year play a role in a cruise's vibe. Spring break cruises, for instance, may be rowdier than times when school is in session.

▶ Parties can take different forms, too. Cunard Line , for example, hosts formal gala nights .

Best cruise for rest and relaxation

Upscale cruise lines can lend themselves to a more relaxed and pampering experience. Guests are less likely to encounter rock-climbing walls or ice-skating rinks but will find amenities like pools and carefully curated dining. The following operators are all in that category:

  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises
  • The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

However, even on mainstream lines, guests can often get away from the bustle of the ship in onboard spas and adults-only areas. Luxe ship-within-a-ship concepts like Norwegian's The Haven or MSC's Yacht Club can also offer a more intimate, laid-back experience.

What should I pack for a cruise?: Here are 5 essential items to bring

Best lines for river cruising

River cruising tends to be small-scale and destination-focused.

▶ European river itineraries from lines like AmaWaterways, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and Viking often stop at a mix of marquee and less-visited ports, so guests aren't fighting crowds the whole time.

▶ In the U.S., American Cruise Lines offers a diverse selection of itineraries, from sailings on the Columbia and Snake Rivers to round-trip cruises from Washington, D.C. Viking also has a ship purpose-built for the Mississippi River .

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at [email protected].

The Key Points at the top of this article were created with the assistance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and reviewed by a journalist before publication. No other parts of the article were generated using AI. Learn more .

  • World Cruising

Considering Princess World Cruise

By Jakdgr , February 9, 2020 in World Cruising

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Been reading lots of the threads re World Cruising.  DH and I are looking at planning a WC 2022/23and waiting to see what routes Princess will offer for that year as we have status with them.

We are looking at up front costs, what may be extras vs what’s included in other inclusive cruise lines plus room size comparisons. I went to an online TA site and saw they gave OBC  over and above what some of the cruise lines show on their sites but then discovered that TA had some Princess WC priced but specified did not include gratuities so I’m a little confused.

Has anyone done a WC with Princess in recent time and what did Princess include as standard for WC?  We are thinking of a mini suite or balcony all depending on what the final budget looks like. Appreciate any advice/tips you may have and I’ll keep reading threads.

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15 hours ago, Jakdgr said: Been reading lots of the threads re World Cruising.  DH and I are looking at planning a WC 2022/23and waiting to see what routes Princess will offer for that year as we have status with them.   We are looking at up front costs, what may be extras vs what’s included in other inclusive cruise lines plus room size comparisons. I went to an online TA site and saw they gave OBC  over and above what some of the cruise lines show on their sites but then discovered that TA had some Princess WC priced but specified did not include gratuities so I’m a little confused.   Has anyone done a WC with Princess in recent time and what did Princess include as standard for WC?  We are thinking of a mini suite or balcony all depending on what the final budget looks like. Appreciate any advice/tips you may have and I’ll keep reading threads.   thanks Jo

We did the 2015 WC with Princess and are currently aboard Viking Sun's World Cruise.

With Princess, whether gratuities are included depends on departure port. On the US departure you pay gratuities, as an extra, while on the Sydney departure they are included in the base fare. The 2015 Princess WC was our last ever cruise with them, after 40 years of both working for and cruising with them.

In another thread on the WC Board, I did a detailed break down of the base fare and additional charges between Princess and Viking, eventually breaking it down to a total per diem cost. On Viking the base cruise fare is significantly higher, but by the end of the cruise, the net per diem cost is virtually the same, unless you don't do anything onboard. With a refund from our onboard account, I am now projecting the 2020 Viking cruise will be less per day than the 2015 Princess cruise.

On Viking we will depart the ship with a substantial refund from our on-board account, whereas on Princess, each segment we had a healthy bill.

Note - my comparisons all relate to Viking, but you can most likely substitute some of the other premium/luxury lines and get similar results.

Thanks, I’ll go back to the thread you mentioned and have a look. 

Can I ask, cabin size comparison on Viking to ie Princess in same type room - is it similar?

Haven’t researched Viking yet so will do that.

Enjoy your cruise and thanks.



This blogger did the Princess World Cruise in 2018 and is signed up for another one.  .

On 2/11/2020 at 2:03 AM, Jakdgr said: Thanks, I’ll go back to the thread you mentioned and have a look.  Can I ask, cabin size comparison on Viking to ie Princess in same type room - is it similar?   Haven’t researched Viking yet so will do that.   Enjoy your cruise and thanks. Jo  

On Sea Princess we had a balcony, and have another balcony cabin, which is the lowest category on Viking. The Viking cabin is 50% larger than Princess.

I do a daily blog post from the World Cruise, so you can check out the posts from each cruise line on our blog -

Our Princess WC started May 2015, if you want to research that one.

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Heat, climate extremes hitting billions around world

Poll workers. Pilgrims. Tourists on a hike.

All have died in blistering heat in recent weeks around the world, a harrowing reminder of the global dangers of extreme weather as a heat wave has affected nearly 100 million Americans this past week.

Dozens of cities in Mexico broke heat records in May and June, killing more than 100 people. India has been under an extraordinarily long heat wave that killed several election workers, and this week, in the capital, Delhi, even overnight temperatures remained in the mid-90s Fahrenheit . Greece is bracing for wildfires this week, right after back-to-back heat waves killed several tourists. In Bamako, the capital of Mali, hospitals reported more than 100 excess deaths in the first four days of April, the Associated Press reported.

Between May 2023 and May 2024, an estimated 6.3 billion people, or roughly 4 out of 5 people in the world, lived through at least a month of what in their areas were considered abnormally high temperatures, according to a recent analysis by Climate Central, a scientific nonprofit.

The damage to human health, agriculture and the global economy is just beginning to be understood.

Extreme heat killed an estimated 489,000 people annually between 2000 and 2019, according to the World Meteorological Organization, making heat the deadliest of all extreme weather events. Swiss RE, the insurance industry giant, said in a report this week that the accumulating hazards of climate change could further drive the growing market for insurance against strikes and riots. “Climate change may also drive food and water shortages and in turn civil unrest, and mass migration,” the report said.

As for the world’s two rival economic powers, China and the United States, both face a common peril this summer. As one-fifth of all Americans were under an extreme heat alert this week, several areas in China’s north broke maximum temperature records. And earlier in the week the capital, Beijing, was under a heat alert as temperatures reached 99 degrees Fahrenheit .

The two countries are also the two biggest producers of greenhouse gases warming the planet. China’s current emissions are by far the highest in the world, and the United States’ cumulative emissions over the past 150 years of industrialization are the highest in the world.

Emissions like these, produced by the burning of fossil fuels, are what drive these bouts of abnormally high temperatures, scientists have repeatedly found. “Unsurprisingly, heat waves are getting deadlier,” Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College in London, said in a statement Thursday.

Global temperatures in the first five months of the year have been the highest since modern recordkeeping began. That puts 2024 on course to be the hottest year in recorded history, eclipsing last year’s record.

Saudi Arabia, a petrostate that has opposed diplomatic efforts to phase out fossil fuel use, experienced a harrowing event this week. Agence France-Presse reported Thursday that 1,000 people had died while on the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, the holy city in Saudi Arabia. In central Algeria, another oil-rich state, riots erupted over water in mid-June as rising temperatures and a lack of rain dried up drinking-water supplies.

Doctors around the world have increasingly pointed to heat’s often underappreciated effect on health.

Many hospital systems have no adequate way to count heat illnesses or deaths because heat can aggravate a host of other conditions, like kidney disease or asthma, which means that deaths due to heat sometimes end up attributed to other causes and show up as a pattern of excess deaths.

“A transition away from fossil fuels is the best way to prevent deaths and illness from heat in the future – everything else is just a Band-Aid on a bullet wound,” said Renee Salas, an emergency room doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and the lead author of a special issue of The Lancet, the medical journal, on climate change and health.

Heat isn’t the only extreme weather hazard affecting the world.

High temperatures dried out soils in China’s northern agricultural provinces, prompting emergency response measures against an expanding drought, including cloud-seeding operations to cause rain. Meanwhile, heavy rains inundated the country’s south, with landslides blocking roads and power outages affecting 100,000 households.

In the United States, New Mexico’s weather went from fires to floods in the course of a week. Roughly 23,000 acres have burned in southern New Mexico since two fast-moving wildfires were detected Monday. At least two people have died. Then, on Wednesday came torrential rains and floods rushing down burn-scarred hillsides.

Earlier this month, three days of tropical rains in Florida wreaked havoc on airports and highways.

On Thursday, the Atlantic hurricane season’s first named storm, Alberto, barreled into the northeastern coast of Mexico. Amid the lashing wind and rain, three children were killed, local officials said. One drowned trying to rescue a ball in a fast-moving river. Two others were electrocuted when a cable made contact with a pond.

The hurricane season is projected to be unusually strong this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, because the ocean is extraordinarily hot. That, too, is in part because of the burning of fossil fuels.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times .

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6 Top Boston Harbor Cruises

Venture on the water to explore Beantown's waterfront, maritime history and more.

Exterior shot of the Boston Odyssey on the water with the Boston skyline in the background.

Courtesy of City Cruises by Hornblower

Boston is the most populous city in New England – and for good reason. This Massachusetts metropolis may host modern shopping, dining and cultural attractions , but Boston is built upon a rich American tapestry created over the centuries that's still visible in its quaint neighborhood streets and stone houses. The city's historic harbor along the Massachusetts Bay set the scene for a significant portion of Boston's story; once the site of Revolution-era protests like the Boston Tea Party, this body of water is now primarily used for revelry. No visit to Massachusetts' capital city would be complete without some time on Boston Harbor.

If you'll be in Beantown during the warmer months, consider boarding a schooner for an hour or two of sightseeing. Cruises on the harbor offer a range of historical tours, romantic dinners, unique brunches with friends or even the chance to spot some endangered whales. Whether you opt for a tall ship or a smaller vessel, soak in city views and enjoy your time on the water with the following top Boston Harbor cruises.

Boston Harbor City Cruises by Hornblower – Boston Harbor Whale Watch Cruise

Price: Adults from $70; kids from $50 Duration: 3-4 hours

Hornblower's City Experiences brand offers a wide variety of land-based and on-the-water tours. One of the most popular options is its whale watching cruise, which it operates with the New England Aquarium . From Boston's Central Wharf, you'll head to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, one of the world's most active marine sanctuaries. Whales in the region include humpbacks, minke whales, the endangered right whales and more. You can also try to spot sea birds, dolphins and other marine life. Travelers say the boat tour is great fun and most report seeing whales on the trip.

Tours generally run daily from spring through fall. Exact departure times vary by season. You'll want to arrive at least 15 minutes early and take some medication if you're prone to motion sickness. If you plan to pair this cruise with a trip to the aquarium, you can book a combo ticket to save a bit of money. Boston Harbor City Cruises also runs a variety of dinner cruises.

Check prices & availability on:

Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships – Boston Harbor Day Sail

Price: Adults from $55; kids from $35

Duration: 90 minutes

Board a schooner from the Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships and sail Boston's historic harbor in fitting style. Your tour begins by embarking on the Liberty Star, which boasts a 76-foot mast. The crew is happy to answer questions about Boston during the sail, but know that there is no narration during the tour. Travelers delight in both the tour and the boat, noting excellent views.

The fleet sails Boston Harbor from summer through early fall. Sails typically depart several times each day in the afternoon; however, specific times may vary depending on the day of the week. You can also hop onboard for a brunch cruise, a fireworks cruise or for the yearly USS Constitution turnaround sail.

Classic Harbor Line Boston – Northern Lights Sunset Cruise

A Classic Harbor Line Boston boat sails against the sunset.

Courtesy of Classic Harbor Line Boston

Price: From $45 Duration: 2 hours

Along this evening tour, you'll be treated to skyline views as the sun dips below the horizon. During the journey, you'll also learn a little about Boston's history and its best sites such as Fort Independence, the USS Constitution , Old North Church's steeple and more. Refreshments are available for purchase onboard. Travelers approve of the cruise – especially the gorgeous ship – and its staff.

Departure times and days vary depending on both the sunset and the season. Keep in mind that ticket fees will be slightly higher in the high season. The company also hosts a number of themed and food cruises, such as holiday cruises and a trip that focuses on beer and barbecue.

Boston Duck Tours

Price: Adults from $52.99; kids from $37.99

Duration: 80 minutes

It's nearly impossible to visit Boston and not run into one of its renowned Duck Tours. This type of amphibious automobile was originally created as a military vehicle for World War II. The vehicles used today by Boston Duck Tours are uniquely designed to roll past city sights like Boston Common , the Old North Church and the Fanueil Hall Marketplace before or after launching into the Charles River for views of the Cambridge and Boston skylines. Past customers remember these unique tours as one of the best parts of their visit – and as a special draw for kids, the tour guides may allow children to briefly steer the boat in the water for a particularly memorable experience.

Trips depart from the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science and the Prudential Center; tour prices are the same regardless of departure point. Tours run in the warmer months, usually from late spring to fall. It's a good idea to book online in advance to secure your preferred tour time.

Massachusetts Bay Lines – Boston Harbor Moonlight Cruises

A Massachusetts Bay Lines boat on the water.

Courtesy of Massachusetts Bay Lines

Price: Adults from $28; kids from $15 Duration: 90 minutes

Referred to locally as Mass Bay Lines, this company runs an after dark cruise that travelers say has excellent views of the city lit up. If you're in need of refreshment, you'll find drinks (including alcohol) and snack onboard for purchase. For an extra special evening, sign up for a Full Moon Cruise, which takes place once per month from May to October.

Tours run a few times a month and generally start at 9 p.m. The company also runs daytime harbor cruises and themed cruises that welcome dogs onboard.

Charles Riverboat Company – Charles River Sightseeing Tours

Price: Adults from $27; kids from $18 Duration: 70 minutes

After cruising through the harbor, why not explore another Boston waterway? Along the historic sightseeing cruise of the Charles River, you'll see some of Cambridge's best sights like Harvard University and MIT , as well as Boston University, and the Back Bay neighborhood. The crew will offer tidbits and trivia during the tour. Tourgoers enjoy the outing and several mention that the company is great if booking a private charter for a large party.

Tours run late May though the end of September at 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m. If you wish to explore the Boston Harbor and the Charles River in the same trip, consider signing up for the company's Architecture Tour.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best Boston Tours
  • The Best Hotels in Boston
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  • The Best Weekend Getaways in New England

Tags: Travel , New England Vacations , US Vacations , Cruises

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  • # 1 South Island, New Zealand
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More From Forbes

Why norway is now a year-round cruise travel destination.

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Cruising in the winter in Norway offers a very different experience from a typical summer cruise in ... [+] the Norwegian fjords.

Norway has never been more popular as a cruise destination. In 2023, more than six million passenger visits were recorded by Norwegian cruise ports, an all-time record .

Yet in the popular summer season, Norway’s busiest ports are full to the brim with cruise ships. So, where is that growth coming from?

The typical Norwegian fjords cruise used to be a summer-only experience, with ships relocated to the Mediterranean or other parts of the world for the rest of the year. But the popularity of Norway has seen cruise lines experiment with lengthening the fjords season from as early as April to as late as September.

This increase in the number of fjords itineraries comes at a time when winter cruising is also enjoying a boom in popularity, thanks to the extensive coverage of the solar maximum meaning it’s prime time to see the northern lights.

Fjords Season Longer Than Ever

The Norwegian fjords region is famous as a summer destination, with images of lush green mountainsides and bright blue skies used to draw in travelers from all over the world. Despite more uncertain weather, many cruise lines have extended their seasons in the fjords from the late spring through to fall.

It’s not just about offering the same itineraries earlier and later. James Moss, itinerary product manager at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines explains that cruising outside the beautiful spring and summer months offers chances to see different sides of Norway.

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Blossoming apples in Hardangerfjord are among the attractions in Fjord Norway outside the high ... [+] cruise season.

“In autumn, we take guests to Hardangerfjord for the harvest season. In Ulvik, we offer guests the opportunity to meet local farm owners and sample produce like pears and apples,” he says.

Boom In Northern Lights Travel

Interest in northern lights cruise itineraries has also grown significantly in recent years, due in large part to the prominent coverage of the expected solar maximum in the media.

The best northern lights itineraries aim to get north of the Arctic circle as early in the cruise as possible in order to maximize the number of port calls from where aurora chasing is possible. There are also good chances of sightings from the ships themselves, if you’re prepared to dress up warm and stay up late.

Although the chance to see the northern lights is the star attraction, cruising Northern Norway in the winter offers other benefits too.

Moss says guests can “witness the fjords from a different perspective with stunning snow-topped peaks” and experience thrilling winter activities “such as ice fishing, dog sledding and snow-shoeing.”

Popular With German Lines

Norway is also becoming a more popular destination for German-focused cruise lines. AIDA Cruises—part of the same Carnival group as Costa, Cunard, Holland America, P&O Cruises, and Princess—is a common sight at ports less popular with other cruise lines such as Trondheim.

Other European cruise lines such as MSC Cruises start many itineraries from Kiel or Hamburg.

New Hurtigruten Offering

Since Hurtigruten lost its monopoly on the Norwegian coastal route, the company has sought new uses for some of its vessels.

Hurtigruten MS Trollfjord now offers visitors the chance to sail to the North Cape during the ... [+] winter.

To celebrate 130 years of the coastal route, Hurtigruten introduced two new routes for MS Trollfjord that act more like cruises than local transport. The popularity of the new offer has resulted in Hurtigruten making the two routes permanent, with a few alterations.

In the summer, the ‘Svalbard Line’ will take guests from Bergen, up the Norwegian coast, and over to Svalbard, with port calls at remote settlements Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund.

In the winter, the ‘North Cape Line’ travels from Oslo, all around the south of Norway and up the coastline to Honningsvåg, for the North Cape, before returning to Bergen. Both routes offer ports never before served by the line.

Hurtigruten’s coastal ferry rival Havila Voyages also announced an extension to its Geirangerfjord season. For many years, the coastal ferry has taken a detour from Ålesund into one of Norway’s most scenic fjords for the summer season.

In 2025, the Havila ships—which are capable of sailing on battery power for up to four hours—will also carry tourists and locals into the Geirangerfjord during April and May .

Growth In Expedition Cruising

Cruise ships carrying more than 200 guests—the vast majority of mainstream cruise lines—face tough new environmental regulations that open up the Arctic travel market for specialist expedition cruise companies. The number of expedition ships visiting Longyearbyen had already increased from 39 in 2016 to 81 in 2022.

While sailings in and around Svalbard are restricted to the late spring and summer months when light is available, many expedition ships offer trips in Arctic Norway during the winter season for northern lights expeditions and whale-watching tours.

David Nikel

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