The popularity of the ‘grand expedition’ genre of cruise is growing, and with the total number of passengers carried by the cruise industry projected to reach 27.6 million by 2020, several companies are capitalising on this growth by offering longer and longer voyages.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises recently announced its 117-night round-the-world journey aboard the Seven Seas Mariner, setting sail in 2021. But even this mammoth journey is dwarfed by several options already on offer through competing cruise operators.
Oceania Cruises, for example, dominates the market. While the company might not have the title of ‘longest cruise’, Oceania has the widest array of journeys available to travellers.
Oceania Cruises: Around the World in 180 Days (180 nights)
Announced for January 2019 aboard Oceania’s Insignia vessel, the Around the World in 180 Days cruise is set to visit 96 UNESCO World Heritage sites, stopping at 90 ports over five continents, with 14 overnight stays.
Playing off Phileas Fogg’s famous adventure contained within Jules Verne’s ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’, Oceania describes the journey as one “perfectly designed for the seasoned traveller”, which invites passengers to “discover a more profound connection with cultures spanning the globe”.
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Oceania Cruises: Connoisseur’s Collection (182 nights)
Described as for the traveller who has “seen it all”, the Connoisseur’s Collection from Oceania is designed to show off parts of the world passengers might not have thought to visit, in addition to the more traditional cruise ports.
As well as San Francisco, Cape Town, Hong Kong and Tokyo, the cruise liner is scheduled to stop at the less-well-known Japanese ports of Oarai, Aomori and Hakodate, as well as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in Russia – an area so remote it cannot even be reached by car. The Connoisseur Collection cruise sets sail in late January 2020.
Oceania Cruises: Global Quest (200 nights)
You can travel from Miami to New York in three hours, says Oceania, but you can also do it in 200 days. The Global Quest cruise really is just that – a round the world journey via 40 countries and over 100 unique destinations.
The cruise includes overnight stays in Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Singapore, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Kyoto and more, on top of day visits to an even wider array of destinations. Also taking place on-board Oceania’s Insignia mid-sized vessel, Global Quest is set to begin on 8 January 2020.
Viking Cruises: Ultimate World Cruise (244 nights)
Winning the prestigious title for the longest continuous cruise currently available anywhere in the world, the Ultimate World Cruise spans 113 ports in 59 countries, on six continents.
Taking place on-board the Viking Sun – Viking’s newest vessel – the trip is set to begin in London on 31 August 2019, and will mark Viking’s third voyage around the globe. The journey will nearly double the length of any cruise Viking has offered thus far. If the offering feels a touch too long, Viking does offer passengers the option for joining for specific legs of the trip – 127 days for the Viking World Treasures section, or 119 days for the Viking World Wonders leg.
Mundy Cruising: the 357 day package
Despite not being a continuous journey, the 357 World of Travel itinerary offered by speciality cruise-holiday storefront Mundy Cruising in 2017 surely deserves an honourable mention. The package deal promised travel on seven different cruise ships, featuring journeys to seven different continents.
Each leg of the journey was separate, allowing passengers to go home and re-pack, though the longest stints were across South America and Europe, which respectively took 94 and 92 nights.