Round the World cruises were once the realm of the rich and famous travelling on the luxury liners such as the Queen Mary, circumnavigating the world was not for ‘ordinary’ people.
Today things are a little different, although to complete an itinerary with the most luxurious cruise lines you will still need thousands in the bank. However, if you have between 94 and 114 days to spare between January and April it’s a good way of travelling the world without having to worry about airports and carrying too much luggage.
Seven cruise lines offer voyages round around the world on six different ships, this year for the first time two of the cruise lines will be operating not one but two cruises. Itineraries usually start from either from the US or UK, transiting the Panama Canal, Cape Horn, the Cape of Good Hope and all points in between. They take in beautiful cities such as Hong Kong, Cochin, Sydney, Singapore and Venice and with a trip visiting around 34 different ports and 23 different countries you will certainly feel you have seen some of the best sights.
For anyone wanting to take such a voyage there are some very important considerations, apart from the cost, so it’s important do some research.
- Your fellow cruisers. Potentially you will be spending a lot of time with these people. Each cruise line caters for different audiences, some are more traditionally ‘British’ others more ‘American’ this doesn’t necessarily mean the passengers, although it can do, but it also means the service, the entertainment and the food choices. Make sure you know what each company is offering.
- Itinerary. Each itinerary will have places that you have always wanted to visit, or you may have visited before and would willingly go back. Sometime these ports are what you will focus on, but don’t. One of the most important things to focus on is the length of time at sea. If you enjoy being at sea as much as on land it won’t concern you, however if you prefer seeing the sights and experiencing new cultures check how long it will be between ports.
- Visas and immigration. You may be arriving by ship but you will still be subject to the entry requirements of any particular country in respect of health and visa requirements and with around 25 countries that can soon add up. Some of the visas can be issued on board whilst others you will need to arrange beforehand. You will also find that whilst on board you will be subject to health checks, for example before entering Japan, these are compulsory and unavoidable.
If you like the idea of a journey around the world but don’t have three months to spare, you can always book a segment. Segments can be anything from 2 weeks upwards and are set by the cruise lines at the most convenient ports to embark and disembark its passengers. Segments are usually broken up into areas such as Asia, South American and European legs of the journey.
If you would like to follow in the footsteps of Magellan and circumnavigate the globe, a Round the World Cruise is the most hassle free way to do it.