January heralds the start of a new year, but in the cruise industry, it also kicks off several spectacular World Cruises; massive, multi-month voyages that traverse huge swaths of the globe.
With that in mind, it’s time for Avid Cruiser’s look at which lines offer World Cruises 2019-2020:
Crystal Cruises offers a shorter-length World Cruise in 2019 compared with years’ past, but that doesn’t mean guests will be disappointed. Sailing aboard the 1,080-guest Crystal Serenity, Crystal will offer an 85-day World Cruise between Los Angeles and Monte Carlo departing January 13, 2019 and sailing 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 once again sends its flagship, the superlative Queen Mary 2, on World Cruise duties in 2019. Departing January 3, 2019 from New York (Brooklyn), Queen Mary 2 takes guests on a 108-night journey aboard the only modern transatlantic ocean liner afloat. Her eastbound world voyage heads first to Southampton, England before venturing down the western coast of Europe to Cadiz, Spain, then on through the Mediterranean to Israel, Egypt and the Suez Canal. The voyage ventures out through the Middle East and Asia before returning for a return trip through the Suez and visits to the Med and Eastern Europe before ending back in New York.
Cunard’s smaller Queen Victoria offers a shorter, 96-day World Cruise departing on January 21 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Finishing in New York, Queen Victoria takes a westerly approach, sailing through the Caribbean and the Panama Canal before venturing to the warm waters of the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. Sailing through the Middle East, guests are whisked around the horn of South Africa before continuing on to England, and eventually, New York.
Holland America’s graceful ms Amsterdam departs roundtrip on January 22, ,2019 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a real journey of exploration. Spanning 113 days in length, Holland America’s 2019 World Cruise travels through the Caribbean and the Panama Canal before swinging south, to sail along the west coast of South America. Then, it is off to the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand before heading for Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East. After transiting the Suez Canal, the ms Amsterdam visits the sun-drenched Mediterranean and the rugged shores of Northern Europe before heading off across the Atlantic Ocean, with stops in Ireland and King’s Wharf, Bermuda rounding out an exceptional voyage of discovery.
Oceania has four separate World Cruise variations on-tap for 2019, all of which sail aboard the luxurious and petite 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, including a 158-day voyage 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 can barely keep up with demand. That’s the case here: Oceania’s 2019 World Cruise is already sold out and is currently waitlisted across all categories. While the line hasn’t released its 2020 round-the-world ambitions as of yet, you can bet it’ll go quickly once they do.
Princess Cruises sends its smallest ship, Pacific Princess, on a 111-day World Cruise departing January 5, 2019 from Fort Lauderdale. With just 672 guests aboard, this is one of Princess’s most intimate and nimble ships, perfectly suited for the globetrotting itinerary that the line has designed for her. Florida and the Caribbean give way to a transit of the Panama Canal before Pacific Princess, true to her namesake, heads for Hawaii and the South Pacific, before continuing on to Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, Namibia, St. Helena, and Brazil before returning to the Caribbean and Fort Lauderdale.
Demand for Regent’s 2017 and 2018 World Voyages was so great that the line immediately drew up plans to offer an equally-immersive itinerary in 2019.
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 beginning in Los Angeles on January 4, 2019; that one will last for 131 nights.
Silversea once again sends its popular 386-guest Silver Whisper on World Cruise duty in 2019, operating a great 132-day itinerary that departs from San Francisco, California on January 6, 2019. This itinerary steam westward, calling on the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, Asia and Southeast Asia including China and Japan. 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 debuts its second-ever World Cruise itinerary in 2019, a 128-day voyage from Miami to London, England departing on January 3, 2019.
Once again sailing onboard Viking Sun, Viking’s 2019 World Cruise travels to 44 ports of call in 21 different countries. Sailing from Miami, guests travel first through the Southern Caribbean before proceeding down the eastern coast of South America, from Brazil to Argentina and around the horn to Chile. From there, it’s off to Easter Island and the South Pacific before continuing on to New Zealand, Australia, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Senegal, Morocco, Spain, and finally, England.
Viking’s first-ever World Cruise, currently ongoing, sold out before most guests even knew the popular line was even offering one. Veranda Suite categories are still available as of this writing, but the top-of-the-line Explorer’s Suites are already gone. Interestingly, the massive Owner’s Suite, the favorite of Viking’s chairman Torstein Hagen, is still free for the taking – if you can swing the nearly $200,000 per person price tag.
MSC Cruises is hosting a 116-night World Cruise aboard MSC Magnifica, departing January 5, 2020 from Genoa, Italy. This one visits 43 destinations in 23 countries, and is noteworthy for being one of the few World Cruises to be offered by a mainstream, big-ship cruise line.
MSC is also throwing in a selection of 15 free shore experiences in ports of call that include Buenos Aires, Papeete, Auckland, and Mumbai, among others, plus complimentary beverages during lunch and dinner and 30 percent off laundry packages.
Regent Seven Seas returns in 2020 for another luxurious round-the-world-bash aboard the classy Seven Seas Mariner. Departing January 24, 2020 roundtrip from San Francisco, this 131-night itinerary heads for the South Pacific before continuing on to New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Bermuda, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, and finally, the Mexican Riviera.
Regent is also offering its guests the option to embark the ship roundtrip from Miami, Florida, departing on January 6, 2020.
“Regent Seven Seas Cruises is renowned for our world cruises and sailing aboard Seven Seas Mariner in 2020 will be simply spectacular,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “The beautiful Seven Seas Navigator, our most intimate ship, is scheduled to sail Regent’s 2018 and 2019 world cruises. The all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner takes over in 2020 and offers another unforgettable opportunity to travel the world, ensconced in Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ trademark of The Most Inclusive Luxury Experience. Throughout, guests will enjoy highly personalized service from every member of our exceptional staff and crew.”
Typically speaking, it’s always best to do this as soon as possible. Deposit requirements for these lengthy voyages are understandably larger than what’s needed to secure your space on the average weeklong cruise, but the benefit of putting a deposit down as soon as possible secures you the stateroom. Despite their high cost, these voyages routinely sell out well in advance. If a World Cruise interests you, early booking is a must.
Grand Voyages and World Cruises are similar, yet very different. In many ways, a “Grand Voyage” is the little sibling of the World Cruise. Typically, these come in at less than 100 days, though Grand Voyages that exceed this milestone marker aren’t unheard of. Instead, Grand Voyages may focus on one particular continent (South America is a good example) rather than trying to circumnavigate the globe.
We’ll have a full article forthcoming on which lines offer Grand Voyages, and where you might want to sail to – not to mention, why they just might be some of the best values out there.