In the World of Holidays – How Long is Too Long?
In 2017, 9 cruise lines will offer no less than 15 world cruises of between 94 days and 180 days, including a 104-night, round-the-globe sailing from Sydney with Princess Cruises. In 2018, a tenth cruise line, Azamara Club Cruises, will offer its first World Journey and it also starts in Sydney all a part of the growing world of longer cruises.
As Australian and international cruisers, many of them retiring baby boomers, become more seasoned and keen for longer and more adventurous holidays at sea, more cruise companies are designing ever-longer itineraries for cruise lovers who think the average 7-night sailing is just that. The longest voyage of all is offered by Oceania Cruises, with Insignia offering 180-day globe-trotting odyssey. That’s a holiday lasting half a year!
World voyages and extended cruises may be long with higher price tags but they are not taking long to fill, with eager cruisers pouncing on the best cabins on new world sailings as soon as they are announced. Long cruises also come with attractive perks like significant onboard credits, that come in handy to cover three months or so of bar bills and shore excursions.
To find out why long cruises are becoming so popular, we spoke to three Cruise Express clients who love nothing more than spending lots of days at sea – often!
Andrew and Jennifer
Sydney couple Andrew and Jennifer recently sailed from England to Australia aboard Queen Elizabeth for 42 nights and will soon head to sea again, this time for 84 nights, on Sea Princess for a circumnavigation of South America from Sydney. Advance planners, they have also booked a 71-night Cunard voyage from Australia to England, with 3 crossings of the equator, in 2018. The sea-loving couple has enjoyed 12 lengthy cruises so far, including 3 crossings of the Pacific Ocean, and clearly they are up for many more.
“The big appeal of longer cruises for us are the many sea days,” explains Jennifer. “Port days are busy and when you have lots of port days on a cruise you get tired. We select cruises with multiple, back-to-back sea days so we can relax and do things we love like attend onboard lectures, play card games and join craft classes or passenger choirs,” she says. “During a long cruise, you get to know some staff very well and they get to know you which is nice. I recall one lovely Cunard crew member promised she would show us around her home town of Peru when we travel there, which was lovely of her.” Jennifer says Cunard is their favourite line for extended cruises “because you just feel special on a Cunard ship”.
Another fervent cruise fan who loves seeing the world by ship is regular Cruise Express client Julie from Lake Macquarie. A happy solo traveller, Julie has taken over 20 cruises – some more than 2 months long! Many of them were with Voyages of Antiquity, which offers modern-day explorers longer voyages to smaller, more remote places aboard boutique ships.
“I love going to faraway places bigger ships don’t or can’t visit,” Julie says. “You unpack once and visit so many fascinating destinations in one voyage and you make so many friends on these cruises as well. I attend the annual reunions Cruise Express organises and through those a group of us will organise to do a cruise together. These reunions have helped form so many wonderful friendships.”
Julie says she is looking forward to an Aegean Odyssey cruise in the Mediterranean and another 39-day voyage from Lisbon to Athens aboard the same ship next year. “Often when you visit a small, obscure port, cultural groups come aboard and perform concerts which are just magical,” says Julie who lists Istanbul as her favourite cruise destination. “I love the aroma, noise, bustle and colours of Istanbul and the fact it’s so different from Australia.”
Mereda and John
For Mereda and John from Castle Hill in Sydney, a lifetime dream to see Cape Horn came true earlier this year during a 38-night voyage aboard Queen Mary 2 from Rio de Janeiro to Sydney. “It was such a thrill to see the cape as well as the glaciers of Chile – it was a fantastic trip,” says Mereda, who reveals she and John have sailed on a Cunard cruise every year bar one since 2007, with a trip on Queen Elizabeth from Australia to Japan in 2017.
“Long cruises are so relaxing. You really settle into the way of life onboard, with interesting lectures in the day and shows at night. We love Cunard – it’s just a beautiful way to travel. A whole world cruise with Cunard is definitely something we’d love to do one day.”
If you’re keen to cruise longer, contact our experienced Cruise Express team and we’ll find the perfect cruise for you.
Call us on 1300 766 537!