World cruises take guests to a series of well-planned destinations without the need to organize hotels, tours, transfers or—perhaps one of the most enticing benefits—pack and unpack at every destination. Aboard a world cruise, guests also need not worry about details like medical care in far-flung locations, laundry service or currency exchanges. While on board, guests can choose to learn something new about upcoming destinations or even try a new hobby from an expert in the field like photography, wine tasting, bridge or art. Nightly entertainment, gourmet food, spa treatments and fitness classes will fill the time between ports. Exciting ports of call, curated shore excursions and relaxing days at sea are attracting more travelers than ever to spend months aboard a cruise exploring the world. If you think a world cruise is too long for you, check out the world cruise segments section below!
Here's a look at world cruises and segments, and their major attractions. Read on, because that epic world voyage you once thought was unattainable could be closer than you think.
World cruises lure adventurous travelers of all ages who are looking for a trip that allows them to explore each destination on a deeper level. These voyages pack in ports as far-flung or off the beaten path as Easter Island or Papua New Guinea, and immersive outings that make you feel like anything but a tourist. Aboard the ships, take advantage of enriching activities such as language classes, cooking lessons or opportunities to meet famous authors and actors.
Contrary to what some may believe, world cruises do not feature long stretches of sea days. In fact, the itineraries are carefully spaced out, with no more than one or two sea days in a row on average. And truth be told, on most cruises—especially a world cruise—you’ll welcome the downtime after constant touring and other activities on land.
Naturally, a world cruise requires time and planning. The cruises range from 100 days to 365 days, although most cruise lines allow travelers to choose one or more segments of a full cruise (see World Cruise Segments section). It’s important to book early to secure desired dates and accommodations, with many of these cruises reserved years in advance.
Based on which ports will be visited and where to embark or disembark, many guests select just part of a world cruise. Among the many details to consider are the time in each port, days at sea, amenities, stateroom, vessel size, weather and what is included in the cost.
Only a select few travelers have enough time to devote to an entire world cruise, which can easily last three to four months or longer. If you're looking for a shorter cruise with similar benefits, book a segment of even a week or two. Smaller segments deliver a rich sampling of a world cruise, allowing people with busier lives to participate. Plan on meeting other passengers with a love for travel and knocking off many bucket-list destinations in a short time with this option. So, stock up on camera memory cards and start planning!