It took Phileas Fogg’s hot air balloon 80 days to float around Earth in Jules Verne’s 1873 novel and in several “Around the World in 80 Days” films. Today, the International Space Station covers the same distance in about 90 minutes. For those who want to travel around the globe a bit closer to its surface — and in more luxurious surroundings — many cruise companies offer around-the-world sailings. Exciting ports of call, curated shore excursions, and relaxing days at sea are attracting more travelers than ever to spend months aboard ocean liners exploring the world.
Around-the-world cruises take guests to a series of well-planned destinations without the need to change hotels, arrange tours, book transfers, or — perhaps among the most attractive benefits — pack and unpack at every stop. They don’t have to worry about practical details like medical care in far-flung ports, laundry service, or currency exchanges. While on board, guests may choose to learn about their upcoming destinations or even try a new hobby from an expert in fields like photography, wine tasting, bridge, or art. Nightly entertainment, gourmet food, spa treatments, and fitness classes fill the time between ports.
Naturally, an around-the-world cruise requires planning, time, and money. The cruises range from 100 days to 245 days, although most companies allow travelers to choose one or more segments of a full cruise. Based on which ports will be visited and where to embark or disembark, many guests select just part of a world cruise. Among the many details to consider are time in each port, days at sea, amenities, stateroom, vessel size, weather, and what is included in the cost. It’s important to book early to secure desired dates and accommodations, with many of these cruises reserved years in advance.
We’ve looked at some around-the-world cruise offerings from major companies for anyone who sees a voyage in their future. Costs, itinerary, and availability might change, but these examples should provide enough detail to inspire the imagination.