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  • Around the World Trips

    Travel-Taj-Mahal

    Continuing on our “Bucket List” theme from the last article, I thought I would share what I haverecently learned about Around the World cruises. Since we all missed out on a couple of years of travel, many people are considering longer trips in order to get back on track with their country counting and bucket lists. Others just can’t contain their enthusiasm to get out in the world again! 

    Since Covid literally cut people off from their southern winter retreats, many “snowbirds” are reconsidering their winter plans. We have clients who have sold their winter homes down south and are planning to just travel for awhile. With the country club atmosphere of the smaller cruise ships replicating the permanent vacation mood of many snowbird southern locations, a longer cruise is a great option for these folks. 

    World cruises virtually circumnavigate the globe, touching numerous ports in dozens of countries and often stretch well over a hundred days in duration. They generally set sail at the beginning of the year and sail into the tropical regions. These cruises visit iconic ports like Tokyo, Mumbai, Jordan, Beijing, Haifa, and Istanbul. You have numerous opportunities to experience UNESCO World Heritage sites and hidden gems in remote, faraway destinations. 

    Holland America, for example, offers a 74-day circumnavigation of South America that lets you see it all, from the Peruvian Andes and Machu Pichu to Brazil’s exotic Amazon, and the ethereal ice world of Antarctica all while only unpacking your suitcase one time! It is a more leisurely pace, often with overnight stays and extra time provided to explore each port in greater depth. 

    One of the common objections to cruising vs land tours is that people want to see everything everywhere in the area, not just the sites close to the ports. Mid-cruise overland trips are becoming much more popular and are available on many World Cruises. For example, on cruises in India, many guests want to visit the Taj Mahal and the Pink City of Jaipur. Cruise lines will arrange flights to the site, accommodation, and tours while there, and you rejoin the cruise at its next port, all arranged by the cruise company.

    Another benefit of an around- the- world voyage is a once in a lifetime experience shared by likeminded travellers. After weeks of adventures, guests come together as a warm welcoming community. You start out as strangers and often end up with enduring friendships. Many travellers enjoy world cruises year after year, much like people return to the same condominium complex, or retirement community. Cruises are updated each year, to continually add new exciting stops for the frequent travellers. 

    Longer voyages can come with perks such as laundry service, shipboard credits, complimentary wifi, luggage shipping services, and even town car transfers from home to airport and ship. On Seabourn, unique commemorative pillow gifts are a nice perk for these extended holidays, generally commemorating the port, or a visiting expert or personality. Ultra luxuries like private yachts, helicopters or jets to get to a super exclusive spot are options on these cruises as well. 

    With many of these sailings extending over a hundred days in length, not everyone is able to take that much time off at once. Most world cruises can be broken down into segments. For some travellers it’s a more realistic way to travel around the world, a segment or two a year. As travel consultants, we can manage where you’ve been and where you have left to visit. Planning ahead in an organized fashion will ensure that the exact itinerary, room category, and dates are available to you. Several of these longer sailings are already sold out for the 2023 season! 

    There are many programs onboard cruise ships, to keep everyone engaged as much or as little as they want to be. Seabourn for example, has Mindful Living programs with Dr. Andrew Weil. They offer shore excursions hosted by a Mindful Living Coach. These consist of yoga or guided meditations in some of the most inspirational places in the world, visits to site of interest or importance to Integrative Medicine or Mindful Living and can include picnics or healthy meals at notable restaurants. 

    Luxury Expedition Travel by ship is becoming more and more popular as travellers search for new experiences and destinations. They are looking for more remote locations they can’t access themselves, want to enrich their knowledge of the world, all while enjoying the luxurious benefits of luxury travel vessels. Intriguing destinations and unique experiences are becoming more popular as access to these more remote destinations, complete with an educational component, increase. On board teams of expedition specialists enhance the voyage with their knowledge of these areas, which makes it a perfect learning vacation for families. These unforgettable adventures are often a segment in a world cruise offered in many regions including Alaska and British Columbia, North Europe, the Amazon, Antarctica& Patagonia. An expedition segment would be great for nature lovers, bird watchers, photographers, and multi generational families. 

    Some of the famous sites you would see on a World cruise include the historic centre of Saint Petersburg, Russia,Petra, Jordan; Archaeological areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre, Italy; Iguazu National Park and Falls in Argentina; Angkor Wat, Cambodia and the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. Some of the UNESCO stops include Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal, the Great Barrier Reef, Big 5 Safari, and the South Pole in Antarctica. 

    Keep in mind that these cruises include gourmet meals every day, plus wine and spirits so no one has to pick up the tab for the entire voyage. There are so many entertainment options offered each evening and during sea days that you will never be bored! Here are a few of examples of World Cruise Itineraries: 

    • Cunard has a sailing on Jan 9, 2023, that is 50 days long and travels from Hamburg, Germany to New York, south through the Caribbean and then transits through the Panama Canal. Then it heads up the Pacific Coast to the Hawaiian Islands, on to French Polynesia, ending in Sydney, Australia. An inside cabin (all the other categories are already sold out for this 2023 voyage) is $13,400 CAD or about $288 /day per person. 
    • Holland America’s 74-day South America and Antarctica voyage starts and ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It sails south through the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, and then south to Peru, Chile, the Amalia Glacier, Strait of Magellan, Cape Horn, 4 days in Antarctica, then on to Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, down the Amazon to Manaus, back up through the Caribbean with a day at Holland America’s private island and then back to Fort Lauderdale. Click here to see the map. $14,566 CAD or about $197.00/day per person. 
    • Or, the Ultra Luxe Seabourn 145 day trip from Los Angeles to Athens, Greece. From Los Angeles you head to Hawaii and through French Polynesia, to Tabuaeran (Fanning Island), Kiribati and then New Zealand and Australia, north through Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, the Maldives, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Turkey and finally Greece. Click here to see this amazing itinerary! With Seabourn there are many, many extras including Ocean View cabins, an evening at Ephesus and 20 overnight stays. $87,498 CAD or $1207 CAD per day per person. 

    If you would like more information about these Journeys or any other itineraries, don’t hesitate to contact us by phone at 403 474-6985, email us here, or visit our website www.PDTravel.ca.