Around the World Cruise Guide – History, Prices and How Long!

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a large cruise ship in front of a stone building
Oceania Insignia Docked in Oslo During Around the World Cruise 2016

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As we mark the end of one year and the beginning of the next, many of us think of bucket list trips. For us one cruise that’s high on the list is an Around the World (ATW) Cruise. What better way to start a new year than to literally embark on a grand adventure sailing around the world for several months visiting far flung destinations? Whether you’re inspired by the Jules Verne tail of Around the World in Eighty Days, or simply love cruising so much that the thought of staying on board for several months appeals, lets take a look at some of the options.  With that please enjoy our Around the World Cruise Guide.

A Brief History of Around-the-World Cruises:

The concept of sailing around the world has a rich history dating back to the 15th and 16th century explorers like Ferdinand Magellan and Sir Francis Drake. However, it was not until the 19th and 20th centuries that around-the-world cruises became feasible for the general public. The advent of steamships and later, luxurious ocean liners, paved the way for the extended sea voyages now available on cruise and expedition ships.

Most credit the Cunard Line for offering the first commercial around the world cruise on board the Laconia in 1922. That monumental journey lasted 130 days calling on a somewhat scant 20 ports.  I was able to find a brochure from American Express advertising this cruise in the Manuscripts and More collection at the University of Liverpool Library.

a cover of a book

But this journey began a trend that has since grown with ATW cruises becoming a once-in-a-lifetime goal for some of us and a repeatable experience for others.

Popular Cruise Lines Offering Around-the-World Cruises:

A number of cruise lines have embraced the challenge of creating comprehensive itineraries with many reaching six of the seven continents, with most ships not suitable to visit Antarctica, and numerous countries.  Each cruise line puts its unique spin on their ATW itineraries, offering various amenities, excursions, and cultural enrichment programs. Here are some renowned cruise lines known for their around the world cruise offerings:

Cunard Line

Cunard Line with its rich history in around the world cruising dating back to the first ever offered, is still providing this unique opportunity annually. Their 2024 Full World Voyage on board Queen Victoria, began on January 3, 2024 departing New York City and will return to New York City in 123 days on May 5, 2024.  Like many of the around the world cruises, segments of the world cruise are also available to those not up for the grand adventure due to time, budget, or attention span constraints.

a screenshot of a travel website
Image Credit – Cunard

MSC Cruises

MSC offers Grand Voyages and World Cruises that appeal to those seeking a blend of luxury and cultural exploration. For 2024 MSC Poesia embarked on a 121-day journey on January 5, 2024 visiting 50 destinations in 31 countries.

a body of water with trees and a boat in the distance
Image Credit: MSC

While many of the ATW cruises sell out a year or more in advance, MSC is still offering a variety of cabins for their 2025 ATW starting at rates of $13,199 per person plus $1,382 in taxes, fees, and port expenses.

a screenshot of a cruise
Image Credit: MSC

Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking does things a little bit differently, starting their Viking World Cruise in December enabling guests to ring in the new year on board during their ATW cruise.  Viking’s Ultimate World Cruise, encompassing a whopping 245 days, is a record-breaking journey that covers six continents and over 50 countries. This cruise is renowned for its cultural enrichment programs and unique shore excursions.  Cruise prices for the 2023/2024 journey started at $59,995 per person and had quite a few inclusions outlined below.

a map of the world
Image Credit: Viking
a white card with text and a black and white text
Image Credit: Viking

Oceania Cruises

Oceania’s around the world cruises typically sell out shortly after they are released.  I credit this to two likely reasons: 1) Oceania Cruises already caters to cruisers that like longer sailings, selling many 20+ day cruises as well as segments of the ATW that can run several months long and 2) Oceania uses Insignia, a ship that carries a maximum of 670 passengers, offering far fewer cabins than lines like MSC or Princess.  For 2025 Oceania is offering a 200-Day ATW cruise commencing in Miami on January 5, 2025 and ending in New York City on July 23, 2025.  Interestingly the ship also calls on Miami on July 19, 2025 a few days before disembarkation.  Possibly allowing those wishing to end where they began to disembark.  Prices for the 2025 sailing without airfare run from $54,099 per person for an inside cabin to $202,599 for the massive 1,000 square foot Owner’s Suite.  As with many Oceania cruises, the top suites and the entry level cabins were the first to sell out with a variety of Deluxe Ocean View, Veranda, and Penthouse suites still available.

a close-up of a cruise itinerary
Image Credit: Oceania Cruises

Our first Oceania Cruise was in fact a leg of the around the world cruise in 2016 taking us from Reykjavik, Iceland to Stockholm, Sweden aboard Oceania Insignia.  Obviously we liked it as we’ve taken seven more cruises on Oceania since that first one.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) is currently selling their 2026 Word Cruise aboard their smallest ship, the intimate Seven Seas Mariner.  The 154 night sailing visits 6 continents, 41 countries, includes 16 overnight stays, and covers a distance of almost 40,000 nautical miles.  You can read here why we think overnight cruise port stays can be great.  Interested in how much this ultra-luxury journey of a lifetime costs, I was too.  Turns out there are wait lists for the 2025 cruise and they’re selling the 2026 cruise.  RSSC has had such success selling their ATW cruises that they put out a press release on June 15, 2022 to announce the sell-out, saying: “For the fourth year running, Regent Seven Seas Cruises® has sold out its world cruise in record time, with the sailing being completely reserved prior to officially opening for bookings on June 15, 2022. The sailing which, at 150 nights is the longest in the cruise line’s history, had fares starting at $86,999 per guest for a Deluxe Veranda Suite, and $249,999 per guest for a Master Suite.”

a map of the world
Image Credit: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Seabourn

A Regent Seven Seas Cruises ultra-luxury competitor, Seabourn also offers amazing world cruises that they say are “designed for discerning travelers seeking intimate and luxurious experiences.”  Like RSSC, Seabourn is currently featuring their 2026 offering that now includes Starlink WiFi read a few of our thoughts about this fast if somewhat intrusive amenity, $2,000-10,000 in Shipboard Credits, Medical Services Package, and a 2-nigh pre-cruise hotel stay on top of their already extensive list of inclusions.  Their 2026 cruise is onboard the Seabourn Sojourn, with a guest capacity of 229 passengers, it’s the most exclusive cruise on our list with pricing to match.  The Ocean View suites start at $79,199 per person with the Owner’s Suite priced at $206,999 per person.  The top Signature Suite, Wintergarden Suite, and Grand Wintergarden Suites, the most expansive offered, are already sold out.

a screenshot of a travel website
Image Credit: Seabourn

Holland America Line

Coming back to a classic cruise line, Holland America’s Grand World Cruise and Voyages (long segments), offer a variety of options for long-duration cruisers looking to see the world.  Their 2025 ATW cruise is 124-days aboard Zuiderdam, setting sail on January 4, 2025 from Fort Lauderdale before circumnavigating the globe, returning to Fort Lauderdale.  Prices for this journey begin at $24,999 per person for an inside cabin, before taxes, fees, and port excursions.

a screenshot of a travel application
Image Credit: Holland America Line

 

Princess

Princess Cruises offers World Cruises with varied durations, making it accessible to a broader range of travelers. These cruises provide a balance of relaxation and exploration, with diverse itineraries covering multiple continents.  For 2025 Princess is offering two world cruises including their longest voyage ever aboard Island Princess.  The 116-day itinerary includes 51 destinations across 26 countries, and six continents.  Adding a bit of flexibility, Princess is offering two roundtrip options with departures from both Ft. Lauderdale, embarking January 5, 2025, and Los Angeles on January 20, 2025.

a screenshot of a cruise
Image Credit: Princess

The second world cruise will sail on Crown Princess, the largest Princess ship to offer a world cruise.  Offering 54-day and 56-day options you have the choice to travel Sydney to London (Dover) or from Brisbane to London (Dover).  Compared to the others on this list these are almost “starter” ATW Cruises.  Given the shorter durations these cruises also start at a much lower price point of $7,098 per person, double occupancy excluding taxes, fees, and port expenses for an interior cabin on the 56-Day Sydney departure.  There is also the option of booking these back-to-back to create 113-Day roundtrip options.

a screenshot of a cruise ship
Image Credit: Princess

Hurtigruten

If you crave something even more adventurous, perhaps a trip from pole to pole is more your thing.  Hurtigurten offers what I believe is the only cruise where you can visit the Arctic, Antartica, and 13 countries across North America and South America.  While far from the longest cruise on this list and only half way around the world, the 96-day expedition cruise is probably the most unique on this list.  Onboard the MS Roald Amudsen, the 530 passengers are treated to some of the most luxurious cabins and amenities offered in these remote polar regions.

a screenshot of a boat with a paddle
Image Credit: Hurtigruten

You might think that I have overlooked René’s much loved Norwegian Cruise Lines.  However, they do not currently offer around the world cruises, though sister lines Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas have had much success with their ATW cruises.

Hopefully you enjoyed our Around the World Cruise Guide.  What are your thoughts, are you ready to book an around the world cruise, or is the thought of spending that much time and money on a cruise too much for you???  – Michael

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