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Global Voyager: The Best in 2016 World Cruises

For most of history, circling the world by ship was unimaginable. A Spanish expedition finally succeeded in 1522, but its Portuguese leader Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the attempt. Even in the early days of leisure cruising, passengers hopped from one ship to another in Suez or Singapore in order to traverse the globe. But in 1922, Cunard’s Laconia set off on the first-ever round-the-world cruise and a great dream of travel was finally realised.


Sea Princess World Cruise - Sydney to Brisbane Cruise in May 2016

Sea Princess World Cruise - Sydney to Brisbane Cruise in May 2016


World cruises are now commonplace, if that’s the right term for a journey that takes you across oceans, around continents and to the world’s most fascinating port cities. Certainly more cruise lines than ever have created around-the-world itineraries, though be aware that some world cruises are in fact circumnavigations of the Pacific.

Around-the-world cruises typically (but not always) depart in January, so if you’ve missed the boat for 2016, start thinking about 2017. You can often choose to do select segments on world cruises so, even if you aren’t up for the long haul, you can still enjoy the spirit of the adventure. Here are seven of the best.


Holland America Line – Grand World Voyage

Step onto the Amsterdam in Fort Lauderdale in Florida on January 5, 2016 and step off again 115 days later in the same port, having seen the world’s finest cities, unpacking only once – and never suffering jetlag. You’ll get off to a good start with a cruise classic, the crossing of the Panama Canal, before exploring quite a few destinations across the Pacific and a cruise along the east coast of Australia. The voyage also takes in Bali, Vietnam, Hong Kong and ports in the Middle East and Mediterranean. That’s five continents and 45 ports without an iota of travel stress, or having to organise a thing.


P&O Cruises – Aurora World Circumnavigation

P&O has a new world cruise program kicking off on the mid-sized, family-friendly Aurora when it sails from Southampton on January 2, 2016 on a fantastic voyage that finishes back in England on April 26. From San Francisco to Hong Kong, Shanghai to Cape Town, it takes in some of the world’s most famous ports, but will also introduce travellers to lesser-known destinations such as Cebu (Philippines), Keeling (Taiwan) and Banjul (Gambia). The 114-night journey has a transit of the Panama Canal, 21 days in Asia, and visits to legendary islands such as the Seychelles islands, Mauritius and Canary Islands. Australian ports of call are Sydney, Brisbane, the Whitsundays and Darwin.


Oceania Cruises – Miami to Miami

It’s around the world in 180 days on this cruise that departs Florida on January 4, 2016 on Insignia – the longest world cruise on offer next year, and one that’s a thrill just looking at the long list of visits along the way. It doesn’t sail in Europe, but is interesting for its emphasis on the Caribbean (it visits eight islands) and the coasts of Africa and southeast and eastern Asia, not regions that normally feature much on world cruises. Fascinating African destinations include Togo, Benin, Angola and Namibia. It also has some overnights (and double overnights) in cities such as Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Cape Town and Sydney.


Cunard Line – World Voyage

All three of Cunard’s royal ships will do a world cruise next year, but Queen Mary 2 blazes a new trail with its first crossing of the South Pacific, including port visits in French Polynesia and New Zealand. It also calls in at Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns as part of a 120-day voyage that visits 39 ports (including 11 maiden calls) in 27 countries, departing Southampton on January 10, 2016. You can do it all (well, almost) as the ship sails to America, the Caribbean, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The cruise is also notable for having overnight stays in three fabulous ports: Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Dubai.


Princess Cruises – World Cruise

It isn’t often that you can take a world cruise starting from Australia, so this 104-day sailing from Sydney on SeaPrincess is a ripper. It departs on May 15, 2016, calling at Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle before heading across the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka, Dubai, Oman and Jordan. Then you sail through the Suez Canal to no fewer than 14 ports around Europe – itself rather unusual on a world cruise – before it’s over to the Americas, the Panama Canal and the Pacific. Incidentally, the ship also calls at another Sydney in Nova Scotia, Canada, noted for its scenic setting and Celtic culture. Princess Cruises also has several other world cruise offerings.


Costa Cruises – Cruising the Great Oceans

If you’re wondering, the oceans are the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian, though you sail the Mediterranean and Red Sea, too, on this 98-day cruise round trip from Savona in northern Italy. From there, it’s westward by way of Marseilles and Barcelona, around the coast of South America and across the Pacific to Sydney and Perth. The last lap takes you to Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East, with a transit of the Suez Canal. Ports of call are made in exotic cities such as Mumbai in India, Cartagena in Colombia and Muscat in Oman. Other highlights include the scenic volcanic island of Tenerife and lush American Samoa in the Pacific.


Regent Seven Seas Cruises – World Cruise

You’ll have to wait until January 5, 2017 to depart on Regent’s first world cruise, but surely it will be worth the anticipation, with the journey made on luxe ship Seven Seas Navigator which, carrying just 490 guests, makes it one of the most intimate world cruises. It sails round trip from Miami, calling in at 31 countries and 62 ports over 128 nights. You can rack up your bragging rights with visits to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Myanmar and Oman. There are also several ports of call in French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia and India. Regent is one of few cruise companies that provide complimentary shore excursions. Get out and explore.

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