There is no greater bucket list item than a World Cruise, because a World Cruise can check off so many bucket list items. Imagine starting a 100+ day once-in-a-lifetime adventure, ready to see some of the greatest wonders of the world. Settle into a luxurious new home for a 4 – 6 months trip that only requires unpacking once. Travel with likeminded travelers, make lifelong friends, and discover new interests & hobbies while dining on the finest cuisine, exploring local cultures, and witnessing breathtaking natural beauty.
World Cruises completely or almost completely circumnavigate the globe. Voyages can last 105 – 274 days, with ships visiting 22 – 69 countries and 30 – 160 port cities. Some World Cruises are divided into segments, allowing guests to travel for only a portion of the World Cruise if only one or more segments of the cruise are of interest.
For those not ready for a World Cruise, Grand Voyages are a potential option. Longer and broader in scope than a typical cruise, Grand Voyages typically focus one particular region, such as South America, Asia, or the Mediterranean. Within this region, the voyage will intensely focus on exploring in detail the ports and sights.
Thinking about a World Cruise or Grand Voyage? Complete our Trip Inquiry Form for a Discover session to match the right cruise to your bucket list and interests.
Why Work With Us On A World Cruise or Grand Voyage?
As can be imagined, a cruise of this duration has many more complexities than the average cruise. We ensure our clients have properly planned and prepared for their World Cruise or Grand Voyage, so their only worry is how they will enjoy each day of their voyage.
How we can help:
- Cruise selection (Cruise line, itinerary, cabin class)
- Visa requirements
- Immunization requirements & recommendations
- Cruise Pre/Post Itinerary Design
- Flights and airport transfers
- Private tours, shore excursions and activities
- Packing list and luggage advice
- Travel insurance
- Luggage delivery coordination (beginning & end of cruise)
- Extra on-board amenities, shipboard credits and perks through our preferred partnerships with cruise lines
- Assistance with currency conversion management, advice on which currencies to acquire before you depart
Is a World Cruise or Grand Voyage the right choice for me?
This is always a great questions to ask and where we begin our Discover sessions with our clients. There are many things to evaluate if considering a World Cruise or Grand Voyage.
The first question to ask: do you like cruising? For clients who have never cruised before, we would recommend trying a 1-2 week cruise to first get a feel for how much they enjoy cruising. If they enjoyed that duration we’d then recommend a 21-35 day cruise or potentially a segment of a World Cruise or Grand Voyage, to get a feel for a moderate duration cruise. Clients would gain experience with how well they packed, the balance of port vs. sea days, eating at the ship’s many dining establishments for an extended period, and other aspects of a longer cruise, but without the financial and time commitment to a world cruise. You also need to ask yourself if you can work remotely or be away for 100+ days. For clients who have taken many cruises, understand the pros and cons of cruising, and who have the time and financial resources to do so, we would highly recommend a World Cruise or Grand Voyage as a great life experience.
We also ask clients their view on sea days. While we can help clients on shorter cruises select itineraries with limited sea days if they are not desired, that’s not possible on these longer cruises. Sea days will be sprinkled throughout the cruise. Personally, we enjoy sea days to break up our cruises as they provide downtime between the excitement and activity of port days. Sea days are a great time to catch up on work, enjoying a few chapters of a good book by the pool, or brushing up on the next ports before getting back into the excitement of visiting new places.
Another consideration is whether you enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. On shorter cruises, spouses/friends can easily keep to themselves if they want. But on these longer cruises, guests know they will be voyaging with the same several hundred people for many months. Expect other guests to introduce themselves early in the voyage and try to form initial bonds. Even on luxury ships with a lot of space per passenger, on these longer voyages it’s just not possible to avoid interacting with other guests. But this is truly one of the great benefits of these longer cruises. You will form life-long friendships and find future cruise traveling friends (a real bonus because avid cruisers always like to travel with a small group of friends) if you extend your extroverted side and get to know your fellow passengers.
World Cruises and Grand Voyages also appeal to and are a good match for those who appreciate immersing themselves in many different cultures. These longer voyages can take you to 5-7 continents and 20-70 countries, with all the varieties in culture and people in these different regions of the world. Cruisers should also be ready to visit unique and less visited destinations, as the smaller ships used on most long cruises allow itineraries that visit these more unique parts of the world.
How far in advance do I need to start planning?
World cruises are gaining in popularity and the number of cabins are limited due to the typical ship size used by the cruise lines. We recommend clients start planning 1.5 – 2 years in advance to ensure availability of the best cabins.
Many shorter duration cruises are offered multiple times per year, providing flexibility to guest on when they will vacation. That’s not the case for these longer cruises. Most World Cruises begin their voyages in January, so planning at least a year ahead is helpful as there isn’t a lot of flexibility for departures at different points in the year. Grand Voyages usually have more flexibility, but if there is a particular region you want to visit on a particular line, you will also be constrained by the Grand Voyages schedule and may need extra planning time to get your calendar in order.
What are World Cruise & Grand Voyage Segments?
Some cruise lines break their World Cruises and longer Grand Voyages into shorter segments and allow guests to embark for one or more segments. Adding up the cost of the individual segments is typically more than the price for the full World Cruise or Grand Voyage as the cruise lines provide an incentive to book the entire voyage.
An example of a segmented Silversea Grand Voyage (Ushuaia, Argentina to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland):
|Total Trip||Ushuaia to Kangerlussuaq||February 25 – July 5||131 days||$93,400|
|Segment 1||Ushuaia to Ushuaia||February 25 — March 7||10 days||$14,400|
|Segment 2||Ushuaia to Cape Town||March 7 — March 28||21 days||$17,100|
|Segment 3||Cape Town to Mahe||March 28 — April 15||18 Days||$25,100|
|Segment 4||Mahe to Muscat||April 15 — April 20||6 days||N/A|
|Segment 5||Muscat to Jeddah||April 20 — May 3||13 days||$12,300|
|Segment 6||Jeddah to Athens||May 3 – May 15||12 days||$11,500|
|Segment 7||Athens to Lisbon||May 15 – May 26||11 days||$9,200|
|Segment 8||Lisbon to Dublin||May 26 – June 6||9 days||$7,300|
|Segment 9||Lisbon to Dublin||May 26 – June 6||9 days||$7,300|
|Segment 10||Dublin to Reykjavik||June 15 – June 25||10 days||$9,100|
|Segment 11||Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq||June 25 – July 5||10 days||$13,500|
|Total of Segments||$128,000|
Do I need to worry about visas?
Probably. As with any international travel, different countries will have different entry requirements. Many countries have special entry rules for visitors arriving by cruise ship and do not require visas for cruise passengers even if tourist visa are required for others. But this is not always the case. Also, depending on the country/city of embarkation and disembarkations, visas might be required for these countries even if not required during the cruise.
We help our clients by identifying which visas they will need. Since visas often take weeks to acquire, we identify these needs early in the planning process, so the visas can be secured with plenty of time before our clients depart on their trip.
Do I need additional vaccinations?
This depends on which countries are on the itinerary. These longer cruises tend to visit both developed and developing countries, so we make sure our clients are properly prepared. We provide our clients with a list of all recommended vaccinations for each country they will visit, so they can work with their doctor to make sure their vaccinations are up to date.
Is packing different for World Cruises & Grand Voyages?
Definitely. On a short cruise, it’s relatively easy to plan and pack attire for each day. But on a 100+ day cruise, that’s not possible. Packing clothes that are versatile and can use used in various combinations to create interchangeable outfits is key. We recommend that our clients pack clothing that’s durable and easily maintained. Many ships have complimentary launderettes where guests can wash/dry their clothes on their own. Many luxury cruise lines also include valet laundry and dry cleaning as an added benefit to their World Cruise and Grand Voyages guests.
Shorter cruises also take place in a single region and season, so while day to day weather can vary some, it’s a relatively tight range for packing purposes. These longer cruises can take voyagers to a variety of regions and climates which can require a much greater range in attire to address all of the weather variations.
We suggest clients consider if they will visit any religious sites (which can have their own attire requirements), ports visited, excursions planned, and the formality of the cruise line when assessing what they should pack.
While it may seem overwhelming, our job is to make sure our clients are prepared for their trips. We provide a detailed suggested packing list to our clients to help them think through what to bring, both highlighting items they may not have thought about, but also helping them prune down their packed items to the true essentials.
We also suggest clients consider adding to their wardrobe, picking up a few new items before they depart that provide the versatility needed. They can also consider picking up new items as they travel the world and bring them home as souvenirs.
Finally, even though today’s luxury suites are well designed with lots of usable space, that space has its limits. We are happy to assist our clients with luggage valet services at the beginning and end of these longer cruises.
What are luggage valet services?
These services allow you to pack your bags before you depart (typically about 2 week before departure) and have them picked up from your home. They are shipped to your embarkation port, arriving several days in advance (to eliminate risk of transportation delays) and held until your cruise ship arrives. At the end of the cruise, the process is reversed, with your bags arriving home 1-2 weeks after you do. These services can be helpful for any cruise, especially for cruises starting or ending in countries with strict airline baggage limits.
Do I need travel insurance for a World Cruise or Grand Voyage?
We always suggest our clients obtain travel insurance for their trips, but these longer cruises require even more consideration.
First, these trips are usually a major investment in a bucket list item, costing many times what our clients spend on their shorter trips. If, when the departure date arrives, they are unable to travel or have to disembark partway through the cruise, that is a substantial financial loss to bear.
Second, due to the nature of these longer cruises, we recommend clients book 1.5 – 2 years in advance. It’s hard to predict everything that might happen between booking the cruise and its departure, creating more risk for our clients.
Third, these cruises take our clients away from the United States for a long time, with visits to many developing countries. If our clients become seriously ill or injured, they may need to return to the U.S. or travel to another closer developed country for treatment. These mid-trip emergency medical needs can be expensive and in some cases are not covered by U.S. based medical plans.