IF YOU’VE EVER REACHED the end of a wonderful cruise and wished it could stretch on forever, then a complete circumnavigation of the globe is your dream ticket. You’ll need considerable resources ($35,000–255,000 per guest, depending on stateroom) and ample time (four months, minimum), but for those who relish cruising, an around-the-world voyage is the ultimate splurge.
Around-the-world cruises usually depart in January, and despite their exhaustive itineraries, they are in exceptionally high demand. Holland America Line’s annual 113-day Grand World Voyage on the ms Amsterdam, for example, which starts its roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Jan. 4, 2018, sold out more than six months ago.
It’s best, therefore, to plan on a circumnavigation in 2019. The obvious choice is Cunard Line, which originated these long voyages nearly a century ago. Two of Cunard’s modern ocean liners, each carrying slightly more than 2,000 pampered passengers, continue the tradition to this day. The Queen Victoria undertakes a 107-night, Southampton-to-Southampton roundtrip Jan. 10–April 27, 2019, with a westward sailing that incorporates an Atlantic crossing and a Panama Canal transit on its way to ports in Australia, Indonesia, China and Africa. Not to be outdone, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 strikes a contrary course, sailing eastward on its round-the-world roundtrip from New York City (108 nights, Jan. 3–April 21, 2019) as well as from Southampton, England (94 nights, Jan. 10–April 14, 2019). The voyages will focus on exotic ports of the Far East.
Oceania Cruises offers another 2019 circumnavigation, a Miami-to-Miami roundtrip encompassing 177 days (Jan. 14–July 11, 2019). Oceania’s itinerary is worthy of the nearly six months at sea, with calls in Cuba, Bermuda, Panama, Australia, Polynesia, China, Egypt, Israel, France, Ireland and Canada. Maritime merrymakers can begin this once-in-a-lifetime around-the-world cruise in either New York or Los Angeles on the 684-passenger Insignia.
Complete circumnavigations like those Cunard and Oceania offer are becoming rare, as extended but not fully complete world voyages gain momentum. Silversea Cruises’ all-inclusive world cruise in 2019 (Jan. 6–May 19) takes 132 days to visit 52 ports in 31 countries. It sets off from San Francisco and circles the Earth, going as far as London, although the fare includes business-class air travel to complete the circumnavigation. Well-traveled authors Paul Theroux and Pico Iyer will mesmerize passengers aboard the 388-passenger Silver Whisper on this long voyage. Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises will launch similarly luxurious world cruises in January 2019, both from Los Angeles, but neither is a complete around-the-world experience. Crystal ventures as far as Monte Carlo in 85 days, and Regent winds up after 131 days in New York City.
Circumnavigations do make for a long vacation at sea, but with a ship and itinerary conforming to your travel dreams, a complete global cruise is the ultimate way to travel the entire world in a single splash.
Once you’ve boarded Regent’s Seven Seas Grandeur, it is immediately apparent this recently launched cruise ship delivers what the name promises. Jewel box opulence dominates in most of the public areas, while quiet luxury teamed with clever function defines the cabins (save for the individually decorated top-tier suites). The ship, designed by internationally acclaimed Studio DADO and constructed by Ancona, Italy, ship builder Fincantieri, holds up to 746 guests and is serviced by a staff of 548 for optimal passenger-to-staff service.
Embracing a life well lived often means embracing a life well-traveled. Every journey becomes a canvas for experiences that shape our lives and at the heart of every adventure lies the indispensable companion: quality luggage.
The St. Regis San Francisco recently debuted a Lunar New Year-themed The Art of Tea to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Available for only a few more days, through Feb. 25, the afternoon menu boasts Asian-inspired sweet and savory items, a selection of tea and a complimentary welcome toast with Champgane Lallier R.018.
Reconnecting the World: GBTA Convention 2023 Spotlights the Vital Role of Business Travel and In-Person Connection
In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention remains an indispensable platform for business travel industry professionals seeking to make the most of the power of face-to-face connections. Taking place August 13–15 in Dallas, the 2023 GBTA Convention provides the unique opportunity for professionals and companies to join visionaries, thought leaders and industry experts for meaningful networking, cutting-edge insights and inspiring innovation.
After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.
Known as one of the best airports in the world and voted Best Airport in the Middle East by Global Traveler readers, Hamad International Airport aims to set new standards for the airport industry that exceed the expectations of travelers through its facility.
Keep New Year’s resolutions going with a stay at The Westin Tempe. The hotel recently launched a wellness stay offer in partnership with Lululemon. The limited-time Lululemon In-Room Fitness Experience includes accommodations in a guestroom equipped with a Lululemon-branded yoga mat and yoga block.