When Silver Spirit docked last week in Southampton, I did something that I had never done before: Stepped off a ship at the end of its world cruise.
I wasn’t a world cruiser, however. That distinction went to those who had boarded in Los Angeles back in January. I had cruised for only 31 days, from Dubai.
Still, my partial world cruise gave me a taste for what a world cruise would be like. I wouldn’t mind it at all. Some have said that a world cruise would require too much time at sea. Is too much time at sea even possible? During the nearly four months of travel, you’d certainly see and experience a lot, as the luxury floating resort traveled along with you.
No wonder then that Iwona Goodman, the cruise consultant on Silver Spirit, was extra busy during the final weeks of the 2011 world cruise. Many of those who visited her small office on the ship were booking their next cruises (with credit for the booking going back to their travel agents, of course).
Not only were there a fair number of people booking the 2012 World Cruise on Silver Whisper but also some booking the 2013 World Cruise (also on Whisper) with no knowledge of the itinerary. Sounds like an addiction.
Next year’s 116-day world cruise departs Fort Lauderdale on January 6 and ends in Monte Carlo on May 1. I know what you’re waiting for. How much does one need to dole out for such an extravagance? Well, certainly less than the cost of owning a winter home (you won’t need one when you’re cruising the world) and probably less than staying in a six-star resort and enjoying the gourmet consumption that goes along with it.
For Silversea’s 2012 World Cruise, you could pay as little as $57,699 per person for a Vista Suite. That’s $497 per person per day before all credits are factored in. Full world cruisers receive the following additional benefits:
- 5% Extended Voyage Savings
- $2,000 Onboard Spending Credit, per double occupancy suite
- $1,500 Passport to Luxury Onboard Spending Credit, per double occupancy suite
- Gala Bon Voyage reception and dinner with complimentary overnight accommodation aboard Silver Whisper 6 January 2012
- 5 Exclusive World Cruise events
- 3 Silversea Experiences ashore
- Special commemorative gift
- Silver Shore Baggage Valet – Baggage handling between your home and ship in Fort Lauderdale and Monte Carlo. 2 bags of up to 50lbs / 22kg each, per guest.
- Complimentary laundry service
- 4 hours of Internet service per voyage segment
I’m too lazy to do the math, but feel free to calculate if you wish.
Plus, cruises on Silver Whisper include nearly everything you can consume at no additional charge. The only exceptions are cigars, though priced at a good value in the cigar lounge, some premium wines and liquors, and specialty dining in Le Champagne, the sea’s only Relais & Chateaux restaurant.
Watching the traffic in and out of Iwona’s office, the world cruise certainly appears to be back after a brief hiatus during the height of the financial crisis. And people are splurging. Silver Suites, which range from 653 square feet to 701 square feet and go for $124,768 per person, are already wait-listed for 2012, and some suite categories are wait-listed for 2013.
The priciest accommodations, the Owner’s Suite, is booked for next year’s world cruise, and those spacious quarters (up to 1,264 square feet) command a princely sum. Silversea’s website lists the Best Available Fare at $212,207 per person. Now there’s something to aspire to.