World Cruises. They’re the ultimate bucket-list itinerary for the serious cruising aficionado; monthlong voyages of bliss punctuated by some of the world’s best ports of call. Few journeys offer the ability to tour the world (or, at least, large swaths of it) with the convenience of unpacking but once.
And yet, despite the rather substantial time and financial investment, world cruises have arguably never been more popular. Oceania Cruises developed some of the longest voyages at sea – and then did it again, spurred on by massive demand. Regent Seven Seas, which had abandoned the idea of world cruises for some time, recently brought them back for 2017 and 2018.
Here’s a look at some of the notable World Cruises on offer for 2017. It may be too late to book some of these, but there’s always a chance there’s a spot still open. And, if that doesn’t work … well, there’s always 2018.
Most cruise lines take a worldwide approach to their World Cruises, but Crystal Cruises wants to focus on traversing one part of it in a more in-depth way. Departing on January 10, 2017 from Miami, Florida aboard Crystal Serenity, Crystal’s 94-day World Cruise focuses exclusively on South America and – as a bonus – swings down into Antarctica for four straight days of exploration on the Antarctic Peninsula. Other destinations visited include the Falkland Islands, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Panama and the Panama Canal, Caribbean, and the Amazon River. Crystal Serenity returns to port in Miami on April 15, 2017.
Queen Mary 2 departs Southampton, England on January 10, 2017 on her 118-day World Cruise. It’s a voyage that also offers roundtrip embarkation from New York, with calls on 40 different ports in 23 different countries. Along the way, Queen Mary 2 will stop in 10 brand-new ports of call, and will offer guests overnight calls in Cape Town, Dubai and Singapore.
On January 7, 2017, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will depart Southampton, England on her own World Cruise; a 120-day voyage that will take guests across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas and the Caribbean before transiting the Panama Canal. From the West Coast port of San Francisco, she’ll sail for Australia, Asia, and Africa before arriving back in Southampton on May 7, 2017. This voyage offers 40 port calls in 25 different countries, four of which are new to Queen Elizabeth. Guests will also be treated to overnight stays in New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Cape Town.
Last but not least, Cunard’s elegant Queen Victoria departs Southampton, England on January 5, 2017 on a spectacular 120-day World Cruise that will take her to the Amazon River, South America, New Zealand and Australia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal before making her return across the Atlantic to England. This voyage includes 33 ports of call in 17 countries, coupled with two maiden calls and overnight stays in Fort Lauderdale, Sydney and San Francisco.
It might be the ultimate cruise on this list: Oceania Cruises’ spectacular 180-day World Cruise aboard Oceania Insignia. Departing from Miami, Florida on January 6, 2017, this voyage lasts six full months in duration, arriving back in Florida on July 6, 2017. Insignia’s almost-unparalleled itinerary takes her and her fortunate guests through the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Central America, Mexico’s Pacific Coast, California, Hawaii, the South Pacific, New Zealand, Tasmania, Australia, Southeast Asia, China, India, the Middle East, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean, Western Europe, France and Ireland, Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes, Bermuda, and the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. It’s the ultimate global circumnavigation – and there are still a few staterooms left.
After being out of the World Cruise game for a few years, Regent Seven Seas comes back in a big way in 2017, sending the comfortable Seven Seas Navigator on a 128-day roundtrip journey from Miami, Florida. From Miami, Seven Seas Navigator will sail first to the Caribbean before heading for Panama, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. Then, it’s off to Baja California and the West Coast of the United States before heading across the Pacific Ocean to spend four days in Hawaii. The ship then proceeds to the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Egypt and the Suez Canal before heading into the sun-drenched Mediterranean. Seven Seas Navigator spends nearly a month exploring the Med before crossing the Atlantic, with stops at Funchal and Bermuda before arrival back in Miami on Saturday, May 13.
Silversea is ringing in 2017 with a 116-day World Cruise aboard the intimate Silver Whisper. Beginning on January 6, 2017 in San Francisco, California, she’ll take her 382 guests on a journey that spans 62 ports of call in 25 different countries. Silver Whisper sails first for Hawaii, then crosses the Pacific to New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East before transiting the Suez Canal and concluding in the Mediterranean port of Monte Carlo, Monaco. Guests sailing the full World Cruise are also treated to another unique experience: a three-night preview cruise aboard the line’s brand-new (and still under construction at the moment) Silver Muse, from Nice to Rome on May 3, 2017.
If you like your voyages grand in scale, it’s tough to beat these all-encompassing journeys. Many are available in shorter segments, and many cruise lines offer shorter “Grand Voyage” segments, including mainstream lines like Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. It’s worth looking at what’s out there; after all, you never know how you might be able to spend the first few months of 2017.