A cruise around the world requires careful planning, a guide to around the world cruises and world cruise bargains.
The dream of every traveler is to circumnavigate the globe; but more people do so with an "around the world cruise" than any other means. Around the world cruises are so popular because they are cost effective and offer a close-up view of your world destinations.
Are there other ways to circumnavigate the globe? Several companies offer around the world trips by private jet every year. The average transglobal flight lasts 24 days and prices start at about $65,000. That is about $2500/day.
But we just completed a price comparison of around the world cruises for 2009, and we are astounded at the affordability! Premium cruise lines like Princess and Holland America are offering cruises of 100 days and more for as little as $28,500. And that is for a balcony cabin! Now, chances are you are going to have a pretty hefty shipboard account balance after all of those shore excursions, but at savings like this - why not?
Around the world cruises used to average 100 days for $100,000. Even that price is 60% cheaper than the private jet options on a per diem basis. But around the world cruises also extend your vacation experience by 10 weeks; again by 60%. Not only that, but you travel in far more comfort, visit far more destinations, and you only have to unpack once.
Around the World Cruise Concerns
You can book an around the world cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2 for as little as $20,000 for a 90-night cruise, but this will only get you an inside stateroom (no windows). You are on the same ship with top suite guests paying almost ten times as much for the same itinerary, but we found far better itineraries and accommodations available.
The Cunard around the world cruise is only 90 days - because Queen Mary 2 is an unusually fast ship. With a top speed of 34 knots vs. the average cruise ship speed of about 21 knots, you will get around the world faster than most cruises. But are we out to break a speed record? No, the reason for an around the world cruise is to see the world, not just the inside of a ship.
I can't think of a better ship to spend a day at sea upon than Queen Mary 2, but this itinerary shows us what to investigate carefully when considering a world cruise. Always ask yourself, "How many port stops does the ship make versus the number of days at sea?" A day at sea means all you see is the ship and this Cunard voyage only offers 25 port stops on a 90-day voyage. This is an "around the world cruise" and I really want to see the world!
The Best Around the World Cruise
Crystal is sailing a 106-day world cruise that is in port almost every day of the trip. It may cost more, but it is the same price as the private jet option and you stop in far more destinations. Not only do you visit 65 different ports, the days you spend on the ship generally offer scenic cruising through Glacier Bay in Alaska or Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, for example.
This is the better around the world cruise. In fact, when it comes to similar accommodations you are paying about the same price on the Crystal voyage as you would on Cunard. The lowest category inside cabin is $54,135 per person.
Around the World Cruise Bargains
Among the best world cruise bargains we see is the premium cruise ship Holland America Rotterdam offering 49 port stops over a 114-day voyage. A verandah suite is $42,000 per person for a very comfortable way to see the world with a balcony view. The lowest category inside cabin is $19,434 per person, which for a 114-day cruise, averages about $170/day, including food, transportation around the world and entertainment.
But the best around the world cruise bargains are on Princess Cruises with three different itineraries scheduled in 2009. You have your choice of the smaller Royal Princess or Tahitian Princess, each at 30,000-tons and 700 passengers, or you can take the slightly larger Dawn Princess at 77,000-tons and 1950 passengers.
The prices for the Tahitian Princess 2009 around the world cruise are extraordinary. Offering a 117-day itinerary including 54 port stops, a balcony cabin is just $31,135 per person. A mini-suite is $42,135. The 107-day Royal Princess around the world cruise starts at just $21,495 and balcony staterooms are only $28,495.
What is the drawback? These cruises leave in just over 30 days from today, and they last for over three months. That certainly does not give you much time to plan, but if you can survive the challenge you certainly won't be disappointed with the results!
More Luxury Around the World Cruise Options
Regent Seven Seas Cruises, an alternative luxury cruise line on par with Crystal but having an all-inclusive policy for alcohol and gratuities, is offering an around the world cruise on Seven Seas Mariner starting at $64,000. When you consider that you can drink a lot of wine over the course of 121 dinners you may be saving as much $10,000 on that expense alone. Included gratuities might save you over $2000 per person.
Silversea Silver Shadow, also boasting an all-inclusive policy for alcohol and gratuities, has its around the world cruise starting at just $55,000 for a 92-night voyage. This cruise does not leave until March so there is still plenty of time to plan. This unusual itinerary focuses on Australia and the South Pacific, through Asia to Japan and then back towards Alaska and down the West Coast to Los Angeles. Not a true circumnavigation, but still a great cruise.
The Best Year Yet for Around the World Cruises
Being perfectly honest, I don't research around the world cruise costs every year, but in the past I recall they could average $1000 per day. This year they are extraordinary bargains. I dare say this may be the best year yet to take a world cruise, but you have to take advantage of these great prices now!