Cruise ships are getting bigger, and journeys getting longer and more exotic. Cruise holidays are also one of the fastest-growing sectors in tourism, and with such stiff competition, there can only mean more choices for travellers.
Apart from popular cruises to places like the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and even cross-Atlantic, there seems to be a small but emerging market for even longer-distance cruises. These are catered to those who can, of course, afford all that time and spare cash to float in the ocean, dropping in on new exotic locales as they wake up each morning.
With the current advancements in technology, this new breed of ‘cities in the sea’ are more than just extended cruises; some are actually floating abodes that cater to the ultra rich crowd as ‘second homes on the move’. Here are some super long-distance cruises that take passengers all around the world in the lap of luxury, just like hotels on the move.
Based in Monaco, Silversea is no stranger to luxury cruise holidaymakers with a range of itineraries that take in popular regions like the Mediterranean, and to every continent on the planet, covering over 900 destinations worldwide. This esteemed cruise liner also boasts exceptional service, having an almost one to one crew-passenger ratio and a private butler serving each room on the ship.
In addition to regional travel, Silversea also offers a round-the-world cruise which spans across five months, sailing from San Francisco to London across the majestic Pacific and Indian Ocean. Along the way, passengers will wake up to views of busy cityscapes like Tokyo, Lisbon and Cape Town, as well as sunny holiday islands such as Tahiti and Bali. You can even join their land programmes and excursions at various ports to learn more about the destination you are visiting.
The Tale of Tales – World Cruise 2019 will take a total of 133 days, calling in at 31 countries and 52 ports along the way. The cruise itself is broken up into nine routes, starting from San Francisco, it calls in on Tahiti, Sydney, Bali, Tokyo, Singapore, Mombasa, Cape Town, Lisbon, and finally London, allowing you to hop on the cruise at whichever port is closest to you. This itinerary will set sail on 6 January 2019 from San Francisco, and finish on 19 May 2019 in London, offering suites starting from US$82,000.
For an even longer journey, Silversea will launch their Legends of Cruising – World Cruise 2020, which will take 140 days, calling in on 30 countries and 62 ports. This cruise touches all seven continents, and will also be broken into nine stages, but will set sail from Florida, and call in on the Antarctic Peninsula before making its way across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, stopping at cities like Buenos Aires, Valparaiso, Sydney, and Singapore. Upon reaching the Red Sea, it crosses into Europe (Rome) via the Suez Canal in Egypt. The cruise travels along the Mediterranean and towards the north of the UK and Norway (Flam and Bergen) before finally docking at Amsterdam.
The Legends of Cruising – World Cruise 2020 sets sail on 6 January 2020 from Florida and ends on 25 May 2020 in Amsterdam, with suites starting from US$62,000.
AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES
Azamara Club Cruises is part of the world’s second-largest cruise line operator, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and is based in Miami, Florida. But unlike many cruise operators with gigantic liners, Azamara’s vessels are known for their medium-sized cruise ships that are able to access places that larger ships cannot, docking you right at desired city centres and navigating through famous, but narrower, waterways.
Also, these smaller-sized ships, which hold only about 364 rooms as compared to the usual 2,000+ rooms on larger cruise liners, is perfect those who prefer quieter luxury cruises with amenities that focus on adults rather than young families.
Their World Journey itinerary will span across 102 days, visiting a total of 60 ports across 29 countries including India and its famous Taj Mahal and the opulent westernised cities of the East such as UAE and Dubai. Following that, the ship will bring you on a journey into ancient times in the ruins of Turkey and Sicily’s volcanoes. You can even golf at the most prestigious courses in Europe with PerryGolf before sailing into the renaissance splendour of Florence and Pisa and finally end up in London via the alluring Thames River. Starting from Sydney and ending in London, participants will have also have the option to board earlier at Auckland, and alight later in Stockholm. Prices start from USD$29,374.
PEACE BOAT CRUISE
This is a unique cruise that is not geared towards luxury or making profit, it’s about connecting people around the world, with the common goal of establishing peace and raising awareness of world issues such as human rights and sustainable development.
Originating from Japan, Peace Boat cruise picks up people from all walks of life, from toddlers to the elderly in their 90s. Instead of your usual casinos, this cruise offers events and programmes with invited guest speakers to share more about pressing issues our world is facing, earning its reputation as a “floating university of sorts” as described by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Their 100th Global Voyage will run from Yokohama on 26 December 2018 to Kobe on 1 April 2019, stopping by the vibrant streets of Rio De Janeiro, relaxing Bora Bora beaches and more. You can join the 96-day cruise at any of their 17 destinations, which includes Singapore where the ship is scheduled to call in on 5 January 2019.
Peace Boat Cruise offers a range of accommodation, from shared cabins priced at S$12,250 to individual rooms at S$26,880. You can even get a room with a balcony at S$35,380.
VIKING OCEAN CRUISES
Viking Ocean Cruises recently launched one of world’s longest cruises – a whole circuit that takes almost an entire year to complete. For 245 days, you will be travelling from continent to continent, exploring its mainland and outskirts before sailing along every waterway imaginable in the world.
Starting from London, this cruise takes you to six continents, visiting 112 of the world’s greatest cities and charming smaller ports. With overnight stays in 22 different destinations, there are opportunities for you to explore a myriad of cultures and cuisines in 59 countries.
The Viking Ultimate World Cruise will depart from London on 31 August 2019, calling in at Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland before reaching Canada via Labrador. It then continues south along the east coast of North America before dropping anchor at some islands in the Caribbean. Continuing south along the coast, it visits Brazil, Argentina and Falkland islands before going around Cape Horn and the Beagle Channel. From there, the cruise heads north along the Chilean coast up to Mexico and Los Angeles, and sails around the Polynesian islands.
The round-the-world trip continues towards New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore and sails back up the Indochina peninsula towards Sri Lanka, India, and Muscat before returning to Europe via the Suez Canal. It arrives back in London on 2 May 2020. Prices start from US$92,990.
The Cunard Line is probably the world’s most famous luxury cruise company, thanks to its royal British history with vessels named after its queens, Mary, Victoria, and Elizabeth. Lasting between 89 and 120 nights, the Cunard World Voyage can be undertaken on one of two vessels: the Queen Mary 2 or the Queen Victoria, and both set sail in January.
In 2019, Queen Victoria will be the only Cunard Queen to sail a full westbound circumnavigation of the globe: 107 nights, 24 countries. This majestic vessel will start with the beaches of Honolulu, Sydney and Bali before sailing to the busy streets of Hong Kong and Singapore. It will then cruise along the vast Indian ocean to explore South Africa before heading up north to the Caribbean and docking at Apia after going through the Panama Canal and along San Francisco. An Oceanview room starts from S$33,000.
Their iconic flagship Queen Mary 2 sails on a classic global journey as part of its 99-day 2020 World Voyage. Unlike other cruises, it’s a westbound voyage to Asia and Australia via the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf, and returning via the Indian Ocean, and Southern Africa. In summary, Queen Mary 2 will visit 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites from 38 ports, in 26 countries. She will transit the Suez Canal with overnight calls in Haifa, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Sydney, including three full days in Cape Town. Prices start from S$20,000 for an inside room.
This cruise ship made news over a decade ago as the world’s largest residential cruise ship. Originally owned by a hotel, it has since been converted into a sort of condo in the sea, with each suite and room owned by high net worth individuals who are strictly vetted before gaining ownership. Residents of The World will also have the privilege to attend the ship’s Enrichment Program which brings onboard expert guides and lecturers in various fields of expertise such as wine-tasting or world cultures to prepare the Residents for their next stop in the voyage.
The World’s itinerary is voted on by all owners, created by the ship’s staff, which allows for unique expeditions around the world. The 2019 circuit will begin in January on the stunning shores of South Africa. The ship will then sail toward the Mediterranean islands in spring, stopping by Madagascar, India and Israel on the way.
It will then journey to the UK and the Faroe Islands before heading north to the stark beauty of Iceland and Greenland. Finally, Residents will step into the rich culture of East and Southeast Asia, spending their New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong.
On this 12-deck beauty with only 165 homes, studios go for $3 million and three-bedroom pads for $15 million, and they are owned by Residents who must have at least a net worth of $10 million.