As the summer cruising season Downunder kicks off, many will be thinking about planning their next high-seas holiday. And for those with enough time and money to spare, a longer stint at sea is appealing.
World cruises and grand voyages lasting from 40 days to more than 100 days are a throwback to the age of the great ocean liners, when travel between continents involved many days at sea and unusual ports of call. Today more cruise lines, particularly at the luxury end, are adding them to their annual calendars.
On January 16, 2013, Crystal Cruises' Serenity will depart from Miami on a 74-day exploration of South America. The ship will travel through the Caribbean before calling at ports stretching from Colombia to Brazil, with highlights including a transit of the Panama Canal, cruising the Chilean fiords and Amazon River, and overnight port stays in Valparaiso, Ushuaia, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.
If you have less time, and would like to end your cruise in Australia, Seabourn Cruises' Quest has a 40-day World Voyage departing from Fort Lauderdale on January 6. The luxury yacht will also cruise the Caribbean and travel the Panama Canal, before making a 10-day crossing to French Polynesia to explore a variety of South Pacific Islands through to Sydney.
Looking towards 2014, and P&O Cruises' newly launched world cruise program features no less than three ships. Aurora and Arcadia both embark on full-world circumnavigations from Southampton in January, while sister ship Adonia will explore the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia in-depth on a round trip also from the famous British port city.
Finally, Cunard will be sending all three of its perennially popular Queens - Elizabeth, Victoria and Mary - to Pacific ports as part of world voyages in 2014. Between them, the famous liners will make calls at Australasian ports including Sydney and Brisbane, Auckland and Christchurch; Queen Victoria will also take an extended trip around South America, featuring eight maiden calls to ports on the continent, while Queen Elizabeth will make a maiden visit to Japan.
- The Age