For most of us, it’s probably the ultimate bucket-list voyage: a world cruise. Despite their high price tag, these round-the-world voyages are becoming more popular than ever before, and nearly every cruise line is getting in on the action.
What is particularly noteworthy when looking over this collection of world voyages scheduled for 2018 and 2019 is just how diverse the itineraries are. Not to mention the fact that you can sail around the world on big ships, luxury ships, small ships, and nearly every kind of vessel in-between.
Here is a look at who’s offering what in the big world of world cruises:
Crystal Cruises World Cruises
Leave it to Crystal Cruises to make a big splash. In 2018, the all-inclusive luxury line is launching two World Cruises that can be combined to create four separate itineraries.
Crystal Symphony departs on January 7, 2018 from Cape Town, South Africa, on a 114-day voyage to Miami, Florida. Meanwhile, Crystal Serenity departs Los Angeles on January 23, 2018, on a 112-day voyage to Rome. Both are equally comprehensive world cruises in their own right.
Here is the clever part: You can actually sail a longer, more comprehensive world cruise on both Crystal ships if you so choose. Both vessels will dock in Sydney, Australia on the same day, giving guests the opportunity to book a longer, 129-day World Cruise that involves a ship-swap in Sydney. It’s the perfect way to extend your cruise.
In 2019, things are more low-key: Crystal Serenity will offer an 85-day World Cruise between Los Angeles and Monte Carlo. This one will depart January 13, 2019 and sails in a westerly direction, calling on Hawaii, the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, and ports in the Indian Ocean before arriving off the coast of Mozambique for a series of African ports of call followed by visits to the Atlantic outposts of St. Helena and Cape Verde before arriving in the sun-kissed Mediterranean.
Cunard Line World Cruises
Cunard has a fantastic World Cruise program lined up for 2018, and all three of the line’s ships are getting in on the action.
Queen Mary 2 begins her voyage in New York, where she’ll set sail on January 3, 2018 for a winter crossing to Southampton to kick of her 134-day World Cruise. Guests can embark on this one in either New York or Southampton, with Queen Mary 2 sailing to South Africa, Mauritius, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and China, the South Pacific, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth sets out on her 2018 World Cruise roundtrip from Southampton, England on January 7, 2018. She sails a westbound itinerary that whisks her guests across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, Central America, the Panama Canal, the Western Coast of the United States, New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Western Europe.
Although sister-ship Queen Victoria won’t sail a World Cruise as such, guests aboard Queen Elizabeth will be treated to a rare sight as the two sisters cross in tandem from Southampton to Hamilton, Bermuda. Queen Elizabeth is bound for New York City, while Queen Victoria will terminate her crossing in Fort Lauderdale. But until the two ships reach Hamilton, where they’ll dock together, they will sail alongside as the cross the Atlantic.
In 2019, only Queen Victoria will sail a full World Cruise: a 107-night circumnavigation of the world that will touch 24 different countries. Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, this voyage departs on January 10, 2019.
Holland America Line World Cruises
Holland America Line is sending its Amsterdam on a 113-day World Cruise (which the line refers to as a “Grand Voyage”) in January of 2018. Departing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on January 4, 2018, Amsterdam sails first for the Caribbean and the Panama Canal before heading across the Pacific Ocean for a week spent cruising around French Polynesia. From there, it’s off to New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The latter two hold particular significance for Holland America’s staff members, most of whom hail from Indonesia or the Philippines and have the unique opportunity to return home, even if only for a little while. Amsterdam rounds out her 2018 Grand Voyage with port calls in China, Southeast Asia, and Africa before crossing the Atlantic en-route to Fort Lauderdale.
In 2019, Amsterdam sails another Grand World Voyage from Fort Lauderdale. Departing on January 22, 2019, his 113-day journey traverses the Pacific Coast of South America, including a visit to mysterious Easter Island. She then sails for Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East before transiting the Suez Canal en-route to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the British Isles. She returns to Fort Lauderdale with a transatlantic crossing.
Oceania World Cruises
As Oceania has done in the past, the reliable Insignia returns to world cruise duty in 2018. Departing on January 3, 2018 from Miami, Insignia’s 180-day Around the World voyage ventures to the Caribbean before journeying to South America and crossing the Atlantic bound for Namibia and South Africa, including overnight stops in Walvis Bay and Cape Town.
After sailing around the horn of South Africa, she’ll call on Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania, the Seychelles, the Maldives, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Insignia heads for Miami via the Pacific Coast, where she’ll visit Mexico and Central America before transiting the Panama Canal.
In 2019, Oceania offers four separate World Cruise variations, all operated aboard Insignia. The longest of these is Insignia’s 180-day voyage from New York to Miami, departing on January 11, 2019. Three other variations of this voyage are offered as well: a 158-day from New York to London; a 174-day voyage from New York to New York; and a 177-day world cruise that operates from Miami to Miami.
Oceania’s Around the World Voyages have been so popular in recent years that the line continues to add to them. If you want to get in on these 2019 sailings, be sure to book early: The biggest suites, along with the most affordable staterooms, always sell out first.
Princess World Cruises
Princess Cruises sends its nimble and intimate Pacific Princess on 111-day long World Voyages in 2018 and 2019. Carrying just 670 guests, the ship is the smallest in the Princess fleet, and her civilized dimensions make her the perfect vessel for these world voyages that tuck into off-the-beaten-path ports of call.
Pacific Princess sets sail on January 5, 2018 on a 111-day World Cruise that departs roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. Visiting 44 ports of call, she will spend time in the Americas, the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East, the Greek Islands, the Mediterranean, and Bermuda before arriving back in Florida.
A similar journey is repeated in 2019, with a 111-day World Cruise departing roundtrip Fort Lauderdale on January 5, 2019. For extra flexibility, guests can board in Los Angeles on January 20, 2019 and also sail for 111 days, roundtrip, aboard Pacific Princess.
Shorter segment voyages are available for both world cruises.
Regent Seven Seas World Cruises
Demand for Regent’s 2017 World Voyage was so great that the line immediately drew up plans to offer an equally-immersive itinerary in 2018. Departing January 8, 2018 from Los Angeles aboard Seven Seas Navigator, Regent’s Navigate the World voyage spans 137 days in length and features calls on 64 ports in 28 different countries. Guests will also be treated to visits at 28 different UNESCO World Heritage sites, and will set foot on five different continents.
Seven Seas Navigator returns in 2019 with two World Cruise variations. The first begins uniquely on December 19, 2018, giving guests the opportunity to celebrate the Holidays and to ring in the New Year from the decks of one of Regent’s most elegant ships. It Miami to New York City on a voyage spanning 147 nights. A shorter World Cruise voyage is offered aboard Seven Seas Navigator beginning in Los Angeles on January 4, 2019; that one will last for 131 nights.
If you’re really keen, Regent has just released its 2020 World Cruise: another 131-day sojourn aboard Seven Seas Mariner. This one comes with the option to embark on the full voyage in either Miami or San Francisco; both ports offer a full 131-day experience.
Silversea World Cruises
Silversea has placed its 382-guest Silver Whisper on World Cruise duty in the past, and she returns again in 2018 with a 121-day voyage of discovery. Departing January 6, 2018 from Los Angeles, guests will travel westbound across the Pacific Ocean, bound for Papeete and French Polynesia. From there, it’s off to New Zealand, Australia, and then to the riches of Southeast Asia before continuing on to India, Oman, and the Suez Canal. Silver Whisper will sail the Greek Islands before completing her massive journey in Civitavecchia, for Rome.
In 2019, Silver Whisper sails an even longer voyage, lasting 132 days and departing on January 6, 2019 from San Francisco. This follows a somewhat similar route to her 2018 World Cruise, with a few notable exceptions. In 2019, Silver Whisper’s World Cruise includes stops all along eastern Asia, including China and Japan. And instead of transiting the Suez Canal, Silver Whisper will sail around the horn of Africa, with stops on both sides of the continent before heading up to Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France, and finally London (Greenwich).
Viking Cruises World Cruises
Viking Cruises’ first-ever World Voyage is billed as taking place in 2018, but it actually starts in Miami on December 15, 2017 – another unusual departure date that allows guests to ring in the Holidays and the New Year on the 930-guest Viking Sun.
Viking’s maiden World Cruise will visit ports in the Caribbean, including Havana, Cuba, before transiting the Panama Canal. Viking Sun will then explore the far reaches of Southeast Asia, the Middle East and will transit the Suez Canal prior to arriving in the Mediterranean. Viking Sun’s guests will arrive in London, England (actually Greenwich) after 141 days onboard, during which time they will have visited 66 ports of call in 35 countries spanning five continents.
Whether your world cruise bucket list will become a reality in 2018, 2019 or even 2020, there’s one thing that’s for certain: The popularity of these gigantic and immersive voyages is far from slowing down.