So you think world cruises are just for seniors or people with deep pockets? Think again! Although the first world cruise set sail nearly a century ago and its popularity among the younger set never really peaked in the following years, today, or rather, the new millennium, has seen an increase in the popularity of world cruisesâ€”for all.
Cruise lines such as Cunard, Hapag-Lloyd, and P&O, that originally offered one world cruise a year, have increased their offerings to two, and in some cases, even three world cruises per year. What does this mean for world cruise newbies? More opportunities to select a schedule that works for you and a variety of price ranges to accommodate just about any budget.
About World Cruises
Depending on the cruise line and your departure location, world cruises may last as little as 80-nights up to as many as 157 days or more. A typical world cruise voyage lasts around four months as world cruise passengers basically travel along the cruise lineâ€™s entire seasonal route. World cruisers remain on the voyage long after most other passengers disembark after traveling a segment. On most four-month world cruises, full-time passengers may visit more than 50 ports in literally dozens of countries.
While prices may vary greatly, a typical 80-night cruise aboard Cunard Lines Queen Mary 2 may range from $21,195 to $184,405 per person (based on double occupancy). A luxury 109-night world cruise aboard Crystalâ€™s Crystal Serenity costs between $45,635 and $227,695 per person. Many of these cruise itineraries do offer segment sails, meaning, passengers can simply sail for a portion of the larger world cruise itinerary. Passengers can expect to pay as little as $3,500 per person up to $10,000 or more per person.
FYI: World cruises are rarely available at a discount at the last minute because of the way trip segments are sold. Passengers can earn discounts for early payment, early reservations and even repeat travel.
Sample World Cruise Itinerary 2007
The following is the cruise itinerary for Regent Seven Seas 111-night world cruise aboard Seven Seas Voyager, January 9 – April 30, 2007.
Trip: Ft. Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro, then east across the Southern Atlantic to Africa, and finally, back to Ft. Lauderdale.
Itinerary Segments: Ft. Lauderdale to Cape Town for 25 nights; Cape Town to Cruise the Straight of Malacca for 21 nights; Singapore to Hong Kong for 14 nights; Hong Kong to Muscat for 21 nights; Muscat to Livorno for 15 nights; Monte Carlo to Ft. Lauderdale for 15 nights
Price: Prices depend on the type of accommodations, but passengers can expect fares to range from $89,070 -$312,270 per person. Segments begin at $8,996.
Booking a World Cruise
Booking a world cruise is somewhat different than booking a regular cruise, meaning cancellation penalties are severe (100 percent loss, 74 days or less prior to sailing) and passengers are required to plan far in advanceâ€”preferably 8 months or more. In most cases, the option to book online may not be available. Itâ€™s best to contact a world cruise specialist or professional travel agent to book a world cruise.