written by
Joe Boone

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on a world voyage? Do you yearn to circle the globe, seek out unfamiliar destinations and cultures, and then step ashore in some of the world’s most magical and adventurous destinations in search of new experiences? If so, you’re certainly not alone.  


The first world cruise took place in 1891 when Canadian Pacific’s 5,920-ton Empress of India set sail on her maiden voyage carrying 770 passengers from Liverpool, England via the Suez Canal to Hong Kong, then on to Vancouver, Canada. Arriving after 79 days at sea, passengers were then transported east across Canada on its famous transcontinental railway before crossing the Atlantic Ocean by way of a transatlantic liner back to Liverpool. Within six months, two more Liverpool to Vancouver excursions took place and the world cruise was born.


It wasn’t until 1923 however, that Cunard Line became the first to fully circumnavigate the globe, thanks in part to the completion of the Panama Canal. Cunard’s 19,680-ton RMS Laconia left New York in November 1922, taking 130 days and calling at 22 ports as she made her way around the world. Inspired by this pioneering feat in ocean travel, Cunard embarks on its 2023 season with two centenary world voyages – a 105-day world cruise on Queen Victoria, and a 117-day world cruise on Queen Mary 2


Queen Victoria will celebrate the centenary anniversary of Cunard’s inaugural World Voyage with a spectacular offering, sailing round-trip from Hamburg, Germany in January 2023. The 2014-passenger Queen Victoria will circumnavigate the globe by way of the Panama Canal with visits to 10 of the ports originally called at by RMS Laconia. Among her calls ashore, overnight stops include cities like New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Sydney, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Singapore. Her shore-side itinerary takes in a wonderful array of UNESCO World Heritage sites including the treasures of ancient Thebes, Petra, and Pompeii. Onboard celebrations include gala balls, afternoon tea, dining reflecting each region of the world visited, and a bevy of entertainment for those luxurious days at sea.


Proving there’s plenty of room for more world cruises, Regent Seven Seas’ 700-passenger Marina offers a treasure trove of memories over its 143-night 2023 Beyond the Horizon World Cruise. Sailing 38,279 nautical miles from Miami to Barcelona, including a full transit of the Panama Canal and the navigation of three oceans, Marina visits six continents and 72 ports in the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula. On land, guests will have untold adventures in 42 countries and access to 48 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Experiences include wondrous Easter Island and the Maldives; viewing unforgettable wildlife in South Africa and Sri Lanka; unwinding in tropical Pago Pago and the Seychelles; and stops in iconic cities like Hong Kong, Dubai, and Cape Town. Able to traverse where the larger cruise ships can’t, overnights in 11 ports of call provide for a deeper sampling of the 356 included shore excursions available on this all-inclusive vacation.


Not to be out done, Oceania Cruises’ Around the World in 180 Days journey offers cruisers the opportunity to amass a lifetime’s worth of travel experiences in one unforgettable voyage. Oceania’s 684-passenger, small, elegant Insignia departs San Francisco in January 2023 for a round-trip excursion to the far corners of the globe. Traversing three oceans and 14 seas while visiting four continents, 33 countries, 27 islands, 96 ports, 61 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and 24 time zones, the journey is awe-inspiring and includes 20 overnight stays. Insignia’s course weaves together an exotic tapestry of South America, Africa, the United Arab Emirates, India, East and Southeast Asia, Alaska, and even the coveted pristine islands and bays of Antarctica. As a finale, Insignia will sail the legendary Bering Sea, illuminating the breadth of Alaska from the Aleutian Islands to the Inside Passage before heading back to San Francisco.


For anyone preferring an intimate, smaller ship with a private club atmosphere, Seabourn features all-inclusive, luxury cruising refined to its purest form. With one of the highest space-per-guest ratios in the industry, and youngest, most modern fleets, Seabourn offers curated voyages to all seven continents, delivering award-winning experiences by visiting hidden harbors and marquee ports. Seabourn’s 2023 World Cruise aboard Sojourn traces a tantalizing path across the globe from Miami to Barcelona, calling at 61 fascinating ports on six continents and 32 countries over 140 days, remaining overnight or lingering late in dozens of enchanting harbors. Extraordinary discoveries include a myriad of marquee cities like Lima, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cape Town, Dakar, and Casablanca; rare South Pacific gems in French Polynesia, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Easter Island, and Papua New Guinea; as well as exotic ports of call in Western Australia, Seychelles, Cape Verde, and West Africa.


Of course, should you be one of the 900 lucky passengers on board Crystal Cruises 140-night Miami to Barcelona Wild Kingdoms & Exotic Discoveries cruise in 2023, you won’t be disappointed. On this adventure you’ll travel to 40 countries and 73 ports on board Crystal Serenity, and you will have access to 70 UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this months-long journey, including man-made wonders from the Panama Canal to the temples of Bagan and the pyramids of Giza. Exclusive themed on board and onshore events combine to make this an unforgettable travel experience with 19 overnight stays, providing more time to explore world-class destinations and stunning landscapes. From idyllic discoveries in Tahiti, the Seychelles and the Maldives, to Papua New Guinea’s eco-diversities and Africa’s Big Five safaris, this epic odyssey explores kingdoms and history as one could only dream of experiencing.

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