Fancy a cruise around the world? That will cost you R1.3m

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By Clinton Moodley Time of article published 21h ago

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World cruises are selling out fast, with travellers booking their trip a year or two in advance.

These luxury cruises showcase captivating itineraries, bespoke amenities and state-of-the-art activities to entice all ages. Cruise companies are also prioritising top-of-the-range dining and beverage offerings to cater to all types of diets.

Despite the concern over Covid-19, most 2022/23 world cruises featuring itineraries boasting 111 days and more have sold out.

Companies like Viking Cruises sold out their world cruises in a matter of weeks.

Their 2022-2023 Viking World Cruise is 138 days and takes in 28 countries, 58 ports and overnight stays in 11 cities.

Chairman of Viking Cruises Torstein Hagen said their world cruise would allow “explorers to circumnavigate the world in comfort”.

“World cruises are truly special voyages and are one of our most sought-after offerings. Our 2021-2022 world cruise sold out more than a year in advance, which speaks to the enthusiasm of our guests as they look forward to the return of international travel,” Hagen said.

Oceania Cruises unveiled its 2023 Around The World in 180 Days voyage earlier this year. The cruise, which departs San Francisco on January 15, 2023, allows guests to experience 96 fascinating destinations in 33 countries spanning four continents.

Guests will cruise on the 684-guest Insignia with a myriad of in-depth and immersive experiences and multi-day stays in 20 ports of call in South America, Africa, Asia, Alaska and Antarctica. The itinerary provides access to more than 60 Unesco World Heritage sites.

MSC World Cruise will embark on a 117-day journey visiting 24 countries in 2022, including Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Australia, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and Jordan.

Silversea Tale of Tales World Cruise 2022 itinerary “weaves together a story of magnificently contrasting destinations, from Turkey to South Africa, from South Georgia Island to the Seychelles”. The 138-day trip includes six continents and 32 countries. South Africa, Seychelles and Jordan are among the destinations.

Mass appeal

Bernard Carter, senior vice-president and managing director: Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Oceania Cruises, said the bookings for 2022 and 2023 itineraries “underscores the extraordinary demand for long and exotic cruise vacations”.

He said guests were eager to explore. “They are booking in advance to ensure their travel dreams are fulfilled. For many, a world cruise is on their travel bucket list. Being able to book our remarkable 180-day voyage, as something to look forward to, is a fantastic way of whetting their appetite for travel. We can’t wait for the world to open up again so we can be back on board our home-away-from-home,” Carter said.

Nick Wilkinson, regional vice-president: business development Middle East and Africa at Norwegian Cruise Line, said the company had seen a growing interest in “longer and more exotic itineraries” in 2022 and 2023. “While we don’t sell world cruises per se, we offer guests a selection of itineraries that call to more than 300 destinations. Rather than providing our guests with a set world cruise, we offer them the flexibility to tailor-make their own world cruise by adding a few of their favourite itineraries together and even adding stays on land in between their cruises,” Wilkinson said.

Price tag

World cruises are not cheap, but they do offer value for money.

Viking’s world cruise starts from $54 995 (about R808 000), including ground transfers to and from the ship, all on-board gratuities and service fees, Silver Spirits beverage package, including virtually all drinks on board, complimentary visa service and free luggage shipping services for embarkation.

Oceania Cruises charge $42 899 (about R630 000) inclusive of 62 shore excursions and a beverage package.

MSC Cruises world cruises starts from $15 549 (about R232 000), inclusive of 15 shore excursions and a dine-and-drink package with house wines, draught beer and a selection of other drinks during lunch and dinner.

Silversea world cruises start from $89 100 (about R1.3 million), including one shore excursion per port, exclusive world cruise events, unlimited wi-fi and medical service.

What you should know before you book

Cruise passengers need to read the terms and conditions in detail. Find out about the cancellation policy, Covid-19 regulations and other vital information before you decide to travel.

Original Article Posted on IOL Travel