World Cruises

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Cruise West’s Voyages of the Great Explorers itinerary will transit the Panama Canal.

 

Cruise West is one line that is really excited about its world cruise. Not only is it the company’s first, it may be one of the most exhaustive and intensive itineraries ever assembled. Perhaps that’s why it decided to take out a top floor of The Explorers Club in New York to announce the 335-day “Voyages of the Great Explorers” worldwide itinerary aboard the 120-passenger Spirit of Oceanus: 242 ports of call, 59 countries, departing roundtrip from Singapore on March 6, 2010, returning in February a year later. Any vacation where a couple can celebrate an anniversary and two birthdays is a worthwhile trip in our book.

We’re excited most about the breadth of the itinerary—and its playfully named segments. With chapters named after famous explorers Marco Polo, Leif Eriksson, Christopher Columbus, James Cook, Ferdinand Magellan and Homer’s Odysseus, this is one world cruise with a clear intent: showcase each corner of the globe as in-depth as possible. Cruise West does this by utilizing its network of Zodiacs, which allows for close-up inspection of areas larger ships can’t enter. The line’s inaugural world cruise covers most of the globe, including the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, New Zealand and Australia.

Cunard, meanwhile, likes to plan well ahead. In 2011, the line will offer two world cruises, one of which will be on the new Queen Elizabeth, an ocean liner that makes its debut in fall 2010. Dubbed the 2011 World Voyages, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 will together visit 57 ports across 34 countries.

Queen Elizabeth’s maiden 103-day world voyage will circumnavigate the globe and feature overnights in Sydney, Hong Kong and Dubai. Note: Segments can also be purchased and range from 12 to 25 days.

Queen Mary 2 will begin its fourth world voyage, also totaling 103 days, from New York with overnights in Cape Town as well as Hong Kong and Sydney. Segment voyages are also available from 15 to 25 days, notably a 23-day leg from Dubai to New York. Tip: Cunard is offering an unprecedented chance to experience a combination of Queen Elizabeth’s and Queen Mary 2’s world voyage. Embarking in New York, guests will be able to complete the first half of their voyage on Queen Elizabeth before transferring ships in Sydney and sailing back to New York on Queen Mary 2. Both 2011 World Voyages are now on sale.

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Al Zumerida is a favorite stop in Kuwait City, where Crystal Cruises will call during its 2010 world cruise.

 

Crystal Cruises’ 2010 world cruise on Crystal Serenity has an expanded focus on the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Black Sea and several European ports in the Mediterranean Sea with seven maiden calls: Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Bandar Abbas, Iran; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Manama, Bahrain; Khasab, Oman; Al-Fujairah, United Arab Emirates; and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The voyage will also feature two-night stays in Cape Town and Dubai.

The 108-day cruise, which is also available in seven individual segments of 13 to 21 days, departs January 10 from Miami and will visit a total of 41 ports in 37 countries.

Seabourn Odyssey, which made its debut in June, will embark on a 108-day world cruise voyage departing from Fort Lauderdale on January 5, 2010. A 92-day West Coast alternative version departs from Los Angeles on January 21. The voyage ends in Athens on April 24, 2010, by which time guests will have visited 42 ports in 26 countries on five continents. Seabourn Odyssey’s world cruise will be a first for Seabourn in terms of operating such a voyage. In 2011, Seabourn Sojourn, which makes its debut in 2010, will conduct its own world cruise.

Silversea will also welcome a new ship to its fleet next year and the line is wasting no time in testing its sea legs. Silver Spirit, upon its induction, will operate a 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage departing on January 21, 2010, from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, twisting back to New York via Rio de Janeiro during Carnival and making a journey around Cape Horn. The 540-guest Silver Spirit will boast the largest suites in Silversea’s fleet and feature a 1930s Art Deco ambience in public spaces.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises 2010 world cruise will be remembered as much for the 119 days worth of itinerary as for the pre-cruise festivities. The cruise, which departs San Diego on January 14, will be preceded by a special gala featuring performances by Jay Leno and The Beach Boys. Seven Seas Voyager is tapped to handle the cruise, which can be purchased either as a four-month voyage or in five separate segments. Highlights include the Maldives and the Seychelles, and Richards Bay and Durban in South Africa. Note: Guests will receive unlimited shore excursions, first-class airfare, up to a $2,000 shipboard credit, and past Regent world cruise guests will receive a five percent discount and one-category upgrade.

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Sydney, Australia is a popular stop on many world cruise itineraries.

 
 

Tom Baker, president of CruiseCenter in Houston, says this is the best time to book a world cruise. “The world cruise has seen a decline in bookings starting in January due to the economic crisis,” he says. “For the first time in a few years, there were incredible booking incentives and value-adds for those privileged to enjoy one of these exciting lifetime voyages. Agents should be jumping on this great sales opportunity.

“I believe the same booking trends will take place in 2010 where we have already seen vendors like Cunard offering up to 30 days free for full cruise bookings in 2010 [apart from] the early booking incentives. On top of this, a smart agency will have exceptional value-added amenities such as prepaid gratuities and onboard credits. The key, however, to selling these lucrative cruises is to find and identify the customer first.

“This takes a fair amount of work. It’s not just about price but about identifying needs and matching experience and budget to lifestyle. There are many clients who are ‘port collectors,’ [and] want to see and experience many different places but have all the creature comforts of home without the hassle of flying from place to place and packing and unpacking. These are the perfect candidates to recommend a world cruise to.

“A good agent will look over its most traveled and valued repeat cruise clients and those prone to taking multiple trips a year. The best chance for a sale is to have a face-to-face if possible. A local sales representative from the cruise line can also be brought in to help the agent close a sale. Remember, it’s up to the agent who owns the client relationship to make this type of sale happen.”

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