- Visit multiple destinations without dealing with logistics
- Experience many different and unique cultures
- Forge lifelong friendships
- Enjoy the comfort of a home away from home
- Learn and grow as a global citizen
About the world cruise experience
World cruises have fast become a popular form of global travel. It is growing at the fastest rate in the travel industry. Now, the highest demand is for complete ‘round the world cruises.So, why has the ultimate world cruise become such a hot ticket? The most obvious appeal is ticking off multiple destinations from your travel bucket list, without the hassle of booking individual trips. Then there’s the classic cliché we’ve all heard:
All you have to do is unpack your bags.
It's true! Yet the benefits of an all-inclusive world cruise do not stop there. We will cover them all in this ultimate guide to around-the-world cruises, designed to equip you with all the information you need (plus some insider tips and tricks). We will set you for an epic voyage towards South America, Northern Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the South Pacific? Yep, around-the-world cruises can cover all seven continents of the world!
Reasons to go on a world cruise
1. It's the easiest way to travel the world
The ultimate world cruise connects you to the best travel destinations around the world's oceans. However, unlike aviation, you do not have to deal with:
- Cramped airplanes
- Queuing at customs & immigration
- Delayed flights
- Transiting on and off multiple flights
- Checking in and out of several hotels
- Living out of a bag
- Continually packing and unpacking
- Jet lag
- Travel planning and logistics
- Feeling unsettled in new places
2. Always feel settled
As fun and exciting as it is exploring exotic new places and local communities, knowing that you have your own familiar ‘home’ to return to back on board with familiar surroundings provides a real sense of security and comfort.
Conversely, while traveling the world by air and road can be an epic experience, it often feels unsettling to move from one accommodation to the next, living out of a suitcase. ‘Round the world cruising eliminates this.
3. Always feel safe
Strict measures and health and safety protocols have now been implemented within the cruise industry which means that it could become the safest way to travel the world. The controlled environment is now considered a positive. Expect such safeguarding to include:
- Robust ventilation systems
- Extensive cleaning and sanitation
4. Work as you go
More people are making cruising their full-time lifestyle as remote working and communication technologies enable more people than ever before to work from anywhere in the world. This includes satellite internet connectivity on board cruise liners. It is an exciting time, as global travelers are now presented with plenty of ways to hop on and off ships as they please, effectively living on board cruise ships.
Then there is the rise of the luxury residential ship, such as our very own Storylines MV Narrative, which allows adventure seekers to live on the ship part-time or full-time as it slowly circumnavigates the world every three years. With the world more connected than ever before, the idea of global citizenship is on the rise.
5. It helps us grow
Traveling all around the globe aboard a cruise ship is an enriching travel lifestyle experience - one of lifelong learning and seeing the world from different perspectives through the diversity of various cultures.
- Improves mental health, reducing stress, anxiety and depression
- Enhances creativity
- Expands our cultural horizons
- Better understanding of society, humanity and the world at large
- Adds value to our lives through inspiration, motivation and participation
6. For the journey, not the destination
We’ve all heard, it’s about the journey, not the destination; especially when it comes to road trips. There’s a good reason for it. After all, the best thing about a road trip is the journey because of the sense of adventure of hitting the open road for days, weeks or even months. Now, imagine instead of hitting the road, you set out on a vast ocean voyage to some faraway lands. Behind you, the mainland disappears over the horizon and exotic adventures await.
Frequently asked questions about world cruises
Are world cruises for me?
Do you enjoy long trips? World cruises are perfect for adventurous people including entrepreneurs with the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world, globetrotting families, and those looking for extended travel during retirement. If you would like to cruise to exciting destinations all around the world, there are a variety of cruise types and durations to choose from.
How long are world cruises?
Check the itineraries. In general, the shorter timespan allotted for circumnavigating, the more time the ship will spend at sea and less time in ports. A longer timeframe for circumnavigating means more time in ports and fewer sea days.
- 90 days
- 101 days
- 120 days
- 180 days
- 360 days
The last option, indefinite, refers to private residence ships. Residents of these unique ships embark and disembark at any ports they choose, coming and going as they please.
How much does an around the world cruise cost?
Depending on the type of travel and world cruise itinerary you are looking for, various ocean liners offer a wide range of cruise costs and durations. You have two options for the type of fare you want to pay:
- Traditional fare: More affordable option that allows guests to decide what they deem important and want to spend their money on; shore tours, alcoholic beverages, airfare, etc.
- All-inclusive cruise: This type of fare covers most costs which can include business class airfare, shore excursions, deluxe beverage packages, spa treatments, WiFi, etc.
For example, if you want to go the budget route, choosing a shorter world cruise on a mainstream cruise line with thousands of passengers would cost you between $20,000 to $30,000 per person for a mid-range basic fare with a limited itinerary. Often, many days of the itinerary are allotted to time at sea, while time at port is limited to several hours.
At the other end of the spectrum; if additional comfort is what you seek (and can afford) in your global travel, a luxury cruise on a smaller ship could cost over $200,000 per person for a 116-night cruise in a penthouse suite. With exceptional offerings that accurately reflect onboard services , an all-inclusive world cruise at this rate allows you to travel without having to worry about additional expenses for the duration of the trip.
And then, of course, there is everything in between. Here is a general estimate of what you could expect to pay for world cruises:
101 day cruise
Inside/basic cabin - $15 000 USD
Seaside cabin - $25 000 - $30 000 USD
Deluxe cabin - $35 000 - $50 000 USD
180 day cruise
Inside/basic cabin - $20 000 USD
Seaside cabin - $35 000 - $50 000 USD
Deluxe cabin - $50 000 - $100 000 USD
360 day cruise
Inside/basic cabin - $30 000 USD
Seaside cabin - $40 000 - $80 000 USD
Deluxe cabin - $75 000 - $200 000 USD
- Regular cruisers get perks through loyalty programs and sometimes get discounts on double occupancy cabin rates or price reductions for additional guests.
- Also, be sure to keep a lookout for last-minute cruise deals for unsold or canceled cabins.
Types of world cruises
World cruise segment
World voyages are popular for having extensive itineraries that travel for three months or more. Some world cruises offer segments, which allow guests to choose a particular leg of the journey instead of a complete circumnavigation.
Perhaps you've always wanted to discover Barcelona's brilliant architecture. In that case, the Western Europe leg is right up your alley. Whether you dream of visiting the mysteries of Easter Island, then onto Costa Rica before passing through the Panama Canal in Central America, or crossing the Indian Ocean to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, there's a segment for fulfilling everywhere on your bucket list.
Additionally, if it's your first world cruise, a segment can be a good idea if you are still weighing your options. You can dip your toe in the water before completely taking the plunge.
Some cruise segments even have themed itineraries that will allow you to visit destinations that cater to your interests; from astronomy to archeological tours, wine tastings, holistic well-being, unparalleled culture, or art and music appreciation as some examples. Therefore, there may be a certain journey that aligns with your travel interests, with like-minded folk on board!
Other world segments on residential ships are very flexible, as residents come and go as they please, hopping on and off at any ports that suit them, whether that be for tours, events or trips to their land-based homes.
Entire ‘round the world cruises
Choose this option if you want to circumnavigate the globe over an extended period. Expect to be cruising for 90 days or more, possibly visiting six continents. Personally, we believe 90 days isn’t long enough to see the entire world. Review the itinerary to make sure your voyage and time at port is not rushed.
As most world cruises continually circumnavigate the globe, you may be able to join a world cruise at many iconic cities and major ports, including (but not limited to):
- New York
- Miami & Fort Lauderdale
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Hong Kong
- Cartagena (Spain)
- Montego Bay
- Cape Town
- Rio de Janeiro
If you consider yourself a global citizen and you’re sure that a travel lifestyle is for you, then you may want to look into the liveaboard lifestyle. Having a property aboard a private residence cruise ship is by far the most convenient way to enjoy the comforts of home while traveling the world. As a resident on the ship, your opinion matters in crafting the itinerary of your journey.
Whereas regular cruise ships are made for a high turnover of passengers, condo ships are equipped with every amenity you require for everyday life. This includes provisioning markets, business centers for remote workers, hospitals, banks and postal services. Storylines even has an education department for children living aboard.
Planning for your world cruise
With adequate research, planning and preparation, you can ensure that you get the most out of your world voyage. Setting your own expectations is important. So, ask yourself:
- What kind of onboard experiences and facilities do you want?
- What places do you want to visit?
- What’s your budget?
- How much space do you need to feel comfortable?
- Are you okay with an inside cabin or do you need a window or balcony?
Do thorough research and read online world cruise reviews. Explore world cruise blogs and world cruise passenger blogs. Read world cruise reviews written by travelers knowledgeable on the subject.
Be sure to secure the necessary travel visas and documentations required. Your cruise operator should assist you with these. Seeking the advice of a travel agent or experienced world cruiser can also be beneficial.
Health care considerations
One of the important things to consider before embarking on cruise holidays are the health and wellness options available onboard. This especially applies to those who intend to continue on a world voyage for months or even years. Beyond having an ample supply of your personal medications, daily exercise is also essential to staying healthy aboard the ship.
Most ships have many forms of facilities and activities, so make sure you choose a cruise that caters to your health and wellness needs including accommodating special dietary requirements. Some world cruise ships include walking/running tracks that encircle the ship. Complete health and wellness centers are also becoming more prominent on new ship-builds.
Finally, consider a ship with less capacity than a high occupancy ship if you are concerned about viruses.
Travel essential checklist for world cruises
- Necessary visas for all countries visited on your itinerary
- Travel insurance (for world travel)
- Medication (sufficient supply)
- Pre-loadable multi-currency cash card
- Phone & computer
- Batteries & chargers
- Back-up power bank
- Books & entertainment
- All weather clothes
- Formal wear
- Gym wear
- Swim gear
What to budget for
If you have opted for the entry level base fare, this will typically cover your accommodation and most meals. However, there are a number of items and activities that you may need to budget for:
- Shore excursions
- Onboard Wi-Fi
- Alcoholic beverages
- Specialty dining
- Transportation to and from the ship (flights and ground transfers)
- Fitness classes
- Spa and salon services
- Onboard activities such as casino, arcades, bingo and certain classes/workshops
- Service fees for room service
- Soft drink packages
- Specialty coffee
- Port taxes and fees
Types of people you can expect to meet on a world cruise
World cruises are a great way to connect with like-minded individuals. You will find most guests on a cruise are curious, adventurous, and lifelong learners like yourself. Aboard the ship or even in port days, you can expect to meet and connect with a vast array of interesting people:
Roughly 20% of all world cruisers are solo travelers. Yes, it turns out many people prefer to go it alone on their travels, and world cruises happen to be a great way to meet like-minded adventurers to travel with. As such, you will find many solo travelers keen to reach out and make your acquaintance.
There’s a lot to learn from these remote working explorers; usually freelancers, consultants, digital nomads and entrepreneurs. They have a good grasp of how to leverage technology to live a nomadic existence. The value they have for freedom and independence is admirable. As experienced global travelers, they may be able to advise on the most pristine natural beauty spots ashore, and be a good source of travel inspiration and information.
Expect to meet many early retirees when you’re cruising around the world. If you like joining social events, you will most likely spend some time in their company. Many have spent their retirement years traveling to world wonders and diving headlong into other passion projects. Who else would know how to kick back, relax, and enjoy the present moment better than people enjoying an early retirement?
These guests are living and/or working in a country other than their nation of citizenship. Sometimes they are deployed abroad by their multinational employers for temporary or long-term assignments. Others are entrepreneurs or financially independent and living abroad for the cultural experience or the cost savings. They tend to fully immerse themselves in the culture, learning the language and feeling at home anywhere in the world.
As technology advances with the advent of remote and virtual learning, more families are choosing an alternative travel lifestyle for upbringing their children. The experience alone of seeing the world and its different cultures, along with becoming global citizens is perhaps the best education of all. Storylines is the first ship to have a youth education department onboard, providing a worldly education like no other.
Booking your world cruise
There are several ways in which to book your around the world cruise:
- Use a world cruise review site such as Cruise Guru
- Book directly with the cruise liner company of your choice
- Book through a travel agent such as Lynn McCormick at Luna Travel
- Reside in your own luxury apartment aboard a ship like Storylines MV Narrative
Around the world cruise options
Consider the ship size when examining the pros and cons.
Smaller world cruise ships
If you’re searching for a more intimate cruise, then a smaller ship might be right for you. These ships typically have less than 900 passengers. An advantage of smaller cruises is they can access smaller waterways and ports that a larger ship may not be able to.
- Regent Seven Seas: Approx. 700 capacity
- Seabourne: 458 capacity
- Viking Ocean Cruises: 930 capacity
- Silversea: 388 capacity
Larger world cruise ships
Bigger ships usually have expanded amenities, facilities, and can give you more freedom to roam. They are also higher capacity, with generally 900+ passengers on board.
- Princess Cruises: 2200 capacity
- Cunard: 2620 capacity
- Holland America Line: 1964 capacity
- Oceania: 1238 capacity
Residential world cruise ships
Private residence ships offer residences for sale for those who want to travel long-term as a lifestyle, not a vacation. Some people live on board full time while others use their unit as a vacation home. As technology advances and more people have the freedom to work from anywhere, residential world cruises are fast becoming a lifestyle choice.
- Storylines: 1000 capacity
- The World: 500 capacity
- Blue World Voyages: 500 capacity
- Njord: 500 capacity
- Somnio: 500 capacity
Consider the amenities
Different cruises have different amenities which is why it is essential to compare offerings in making your decision. Make sure that it’s worth the splurge by choosing a cruise that can best complement your lifestyle.
Digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and remote workers may prefer cruises that offer peaceful lounges, meeting rooms and high speed Wi-Fi. If meeting people or socializing is more to your liking, consider cruises with extensive leisure options, such as nightlife and theater entertainment.
What is your ultimate itinerary?
Consider cruises that will allow you to tick certain destinations off your travel bucket lists; whether it be experiencing la dolce vita in Italy or wandering along a palm tree-lined tropical beach inTahiti. There are cruises exploring most parts of the world and there is sure to be an itinerary that suits your needs.
To recap, when choosing your ‘round the world cruise, the main points to consider are:
- Ship size
- Amenities, facilities and activities
- Health & wellness
Storylines is a luxury liveaboard ship with a like-minded community of globally-conscious citizens traveling the world. We seek out unique experiences, cultural events, and community participation while practicing and promoting sustainable travel. To learn more, visit our website.