Work commitments make it impossible for me to get away for several months at a time on a world cruise, but I’ll do it one day. Why? Because it is the ultimate journey by sea.
I personally love the idea of sneaking off in winter, when the days are short and the weather is gloomy, but there are so many more attractions. It is an easy way to see the world and there are new friends to be made as you sail from one continent to the other – a big attraction for people cruising alone. Maybe it’s just me, but there is surely something just a little bit romantic about the idea of running away to sea for all that time?
World cruises begin in either the US or the UK – the latter, of course, are the easy ones to choose as there are no flights or luggage restrictions to worry about. Just arrive at the port, someone else will carry your bags to your cabin and off you go. Your holiday starts right away!
Sailings from the UK tend to depart from Southampton to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, across the South Pacific to Australia and back through Asia. That’s a lot of sightseeing but also plenty of time at sea to relax with a good book, explore the ship’s amenities or learn a new skill.
A few years back I did manage to hop on a two week sector of a world cruise and took up line dancing, which was good exercise and great fun – even if I did annoy everyone else because I kept forgetting the steps!
Incredibly, world cruises for January 2021 have already hit the shelves. Regent Seven Seas Cruises launched its 117 night global circumnavigation way back in August last year, Oceania Cruises unveiled an epic 180 day voyage last month while Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is revealing its 2021 world voyage in this issue of Blue Horizons along with some great opening offers including free gratuities from Fred. Olsen and on board spending money from ROL. Not only this, but from only £99pp per night, this world cruise is one not to miss!
I’ve had a sneak peek and it’s a great itinerary – 108 nights sailing from Southampton on Black Watch that combines places you really can’t miss (Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Mumbai), with fabulous islands in the South Pacific and Caribbean such as Barbados, Cuba, Antigua, Tahiti and Bora Bora, and a few ports that you’ve maybe never heard of but all have a great story to tell.
Mystery Island in Vanuatu, for instance, got its name because it was used as an airstrip by the allies during WWII and was so hidden away the Japanese never knew where the planes had come from. In Albany, on Australia’s South Coast, you’ll see the Field of Light created by British artist Bruce Munro to honour the thousands of Australian and New Zealand troops who sailed from here in 1914 and died on the WWI battlefields.
One of the big changes in world cruising over the past decade is the trend for late departures or overnight stays in key ports so there’s more time to explore ashore. Regent’s cruise, from Miami to Barcelona, includes overnights in Auckland, Brisbane and Bali, while Oceania Cruises has two nights in both Istanbul and Yangon in Myanmar.
Choose Fred. Olsen’s world cruise and you’ll have three glorious days in Sydney to visit the Blue Mountains, have a ‘barbie’ on Bondi Beach and climb the Harbour Bridge. I’m told the view from the top is magnificent – as long as you dare to open your eyes!
- Blue Horizons
- Jane Archer
- World Cruise