Circumnavigating the globe by sea may not be a new thing, but doing it on a state-of-the-art ship with luxurious accommodations and access to everything you’d ever need? Welcome to what is widely considered one of travel’s most incredible experiences—the world cruise.
Typically lasting months at sea and visiting dozens of exciting and exotic destinations in one continuous voyage, today’s dazzling variety of world cruise options offers intriguing locales, indulgent accommodations and interesting people in every port of call.
If you’ve been wondering about whether a full world cruise, a grand voyage or even a world cruise segment—usually a few weeks in a particular region—is your next vacation but aren’t sure what it entails, which cruise line is right for you or whether you’ll enjoy it, than look no further.
Our CruiseInsider experts have planned dozens of these incredible global journeys, so we’re sharing our experience and expertise with you—insight, answers and tips to consider before you embark on the journey of a lifetime.
Who Really Takes a World Cruise?
World Cruises aren't just for senior citizens, seafaring adventurers or the super-rich. Whether you prefer an opulent ocean liner or intimate small-ship luxury, today's world cruises are the pinnacle of cruise experiences catering to every type of traveler or occasion. Active adults. Cultured foodies. Family reunions. Romantic getaways. Solo travelers. Adventure-seekers. Multi-generational. Large groups. Couples and friends. The only thing more diverse than the guests onboard a world cruise are the destinations you'll visit.
Is a World Cruise Right for Me?
A world cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the farthest corners of the planet while enjoying unrivaled elegance and comfort. Connect with one of our experts to learn more about this unique experience, but if you answer "yes" to any of these questions, then perhaps consider a world cruise as your next epic adventure:
- Do you want to see some of the world's most incredible and iconic places?
- Are you someone who has cruised before and loves it?
- Would you consider yourself a traveler, not a tourist?
- Are you comfortable with numerous days at sea?
- Do you have lots of time off and the means to travel?
- Are you interested in meeting new friends from all over the world?
- Do you like to travel in style, appreciate great service and enjoy being pampered?
The number one reason why people take world cruises: the joy of visiting many different places safely, simply and in a short amount of time.
With So Many Options—Which Ship or Itinerary is Right for Me?
Most of the top luxury lines and several premium brands now offer world cruise options. Oceania, Silversea, Regent, Seabourn, Crystal, Azamara, Viking, Cunard and more, each with its own unique spin on this globe-spanning voyage. Are you a foodie? Want white-glove service? Prefer a more laid-back vibe? Looking to rekindle a romance? There's a world cruise itinerary that best fits your personality, your preferences and your "pocket-book". Let our experts help you always save while seeing the world in style.
What Do I Need to Think About Before Booking a World Cruise?
We can answer most of your questions and concerns, but here are some things to think about before choosing your own world cruise:
Check the dates
When choosing your cruise, look carefully at the dates on the schedule and ensure it's right for you as the time of year is important when considering your world cruise. There are options all year long, but many cruise lines start sailing in January and usually travel east to west, to avoid winter weather. These incredible voyages fill up fast, so booking them well in advance is recommended.
Insider Tip: Cruise lines don't always list sea days, so it might look as if you have a myriad of exotic ports, one after the other, when actually there's a week at sea in between them.
Ship's size matters
Smaller ships offer more personalized service, more exotic ports (since big ships can’t access smaller ports) and more luxurious accommodations and amenities. On the other hand, smaller ships means fewer passengers, which means more time spent with the same group of people—which can be a good or bad thing. Also, due to the nature of their size, smaller ships offer less variety in services, restaurants and entertainment.
Insider Tip: Know exactly where your ship will dock. Why? While small vessels can pull up close to a city center or beach, larger ones often have to seek out industrial ports farther away, thus "shortening" your shore excursion and making independent exploration more difficult and more expensive.
Big ships can offer more options onboard, but service typically suffers and they may be limited in the number of ports they can visit and have no access to the off-the-beaten-path locales. Because bigger ships also have a more passengers, you’ll have plenty not taking the full cruise and will see new faces onboard every week. Regardless, our experts will go over every ship option with you so you’re aware of the differences, big and small.
Think about the ports
What do you want to experience? Where have you already been? What places are on your bucket list? Check each itinerary and choose the destinations carefully to ensure you're seeing the sites that you want; it would be a shame to sail around the world to visit somewhere you've been or have no desire to go. Our CruiseInsider experts will help you narrow it down . . . but where in the world do you want to go?
Insider Tip: Many itineraries offer a few overnights or extended port calls in several stops along the way. Look for cruises that spend extra time in places you love or ports you've always wanted to discover - you won't be rushed, you'll be able to explore more of the city, and you'll enjoy it like a local, especially at night.
From Sydney to the Seychelles, Madagascar to the Maldives and everywhere in between, world cruise ports vary by cruise line and range from popular landmarks to private lagoons—but all feature uncommon, unforgettable experiences in a multitude of spectacular destinations during these incomparable travel adventures.
Look for perks added
Now you're speaking our language! We're all about InsiderExtras and our advisors will ensure you get the most amount of perks for the lowest possible price . . . always. Whether it's additional shipboard credit (that will come in very handy during a long voyage), stateroom upgrades so you sail in style, or adding a private car & driver so your excursions are truly one-of-a-kind, our experts will guarantee you get the most vacation value.
Insider Tip: Prior to Azamara's 102 day world cruise, guests receive a one night pre-voyage hotel stay in a 5-star luxury Sydney hotel, including a kick-off party hosted by Azamara President & CEO Larry Pimentel.
Many cruise lines will offer complimentary business-class airfare or a pre-cruise car service to pick you up from your home. Some include special events like a grand evening ashore, private tours with the ship's guest speakers or crew, or even insider access to historic landmarks and ancient sites you couldn't visit on your own.
Can I Even Afford a World Cruise?
It might seem like more dream than reality, but in fact, a world cruise is actually is attainable and can be more affordable than you think if you plan it right. With all the inclusions and accommodations and extras added, the value is evident, especially when compared to similar land vacations that involve tons of moving parts: multiple flights, hotels, transfers, tours and various logistical issues.
Don't let the sticker price shock you. When you factor in everything that's included and all that you'll experience as compared to what you'd pay for a similar land vacation, the value of a world cruise wins every time.
What About a Shorter Cruise Segment?
If you don't have the time, money or desire to go all the way around the world, consider booking a smaller segment instead. Anywhere from two to four weeks long, you can select these shorter voyages based on a price tag you're comfortable with or the exact part of the world you really want to visit.
Insider Tip: Book early to ensure you get the stateroom of your choice and receive complimentary benefits such as shipboard credit, stateroom upgrades, shore excursions, spa treatments and special access to private events!
The benefits of a world cruise are many, but the biggest? Being able to see multiple continents, dozens of countries and hundreds of places from your floating 5-star hotel—and only unpacking once. After exploring one magical destination after another, you'll always return to the same friendly, attentive service, luxurious accommodations, and all the amenities you can imagine.
It's truly the best of cruising—relaxation and refinement at sea, plus excitement and discovery in every port—an adventure that opens your heart to new cultures, your eyes to new wonders, and your soul to an amazing life experience.
You'll be one of the very few travelers who can boast that you've truly sailed all seven seas or been "around the world in 180 days."
Search for your global adventure of a lifetime by clicking here or speak to a CruiseInsider expert at (877) 734-6858 to help you find a world cruise that fits your unique personality and passion, so you can delight in both the journey and the destinations.