The voyage you embark on when you set foot on a cruise ship is quite unlike anything you’ll experience elsewhere. Just you, the sea and a few new friends all bound to the waves – ready to visit one extraordinary destination after another. It’s no wonder so many of us return to cruising time and again.
For some, this love of cruising really takes hold, so much so that the idea of finishing the adventure after a week or two just doesn’t compute. Throughout history, this sea-bound romance has led to some quite magnificent journeys, which prove to all the keen cruisers out there that an incredible trip really doesn’t have to end. Here’s our run down of the longest cruises in history.
Around the world in 180 days
Oceania Cruises have tacked an extra 100 days onto that famous globe-trotting accomplishment purely for the purpose of luxury, making this one of the longest ‘around-the-world’ trips in cruising history. Onboard the company’s exquisite ship, Insignia, elegance extends from stern to bow, making this one of the most attractive ways to see new corners of the globe.
Oceania Cruises carried just under 700 guests in its floating palace, making this one of the most exclusive trips as well as one of the longest. During these 180 days, the route began in Miami in January 2015 and moved across five continents, 44 countries and 89 ports-of-call, before finding its way back to the USA via the Panama Canal.
Sailing through all 24 time zones, this journey was unprecedented for cruising culture and could safely be described as a once in a lifetime opportunity for those onboard. Guests benefited from spa facilities, incredible cuisine from Jacques Pepin and, of course, a large swimming pool. With fares starting at around £30,000pp, it’s no surprise every aspect of this trip was fit for royalty.
335 days a year
Believe it or not, it is possible to spend all but a month of the year onboard a cruise ship, making this journey’s length very difficult to beat. Spirit of Oceanus, one of Cruise West’s most beloved vessels, welcomed guests onto its 11-month journey for both the long haul, and for small segments, meaning those onboard for all 335 days benefited from meeting new people throughout the year.
The trip spanned six continents and 250 ports-of-call, mind blowing when you consider that cruisers were able to see all of these places in less than a year. Only Antarctica was excluded from this list – due to the fact Spirit of Oceanus doesn’t have an ice rating but, with 59 countries outside of this continent to see, it’s unlikely guests missed it too much.
In order to cater for short trip travellers wanting to jump aboard the Spirit of Oceanus’ 11-month haul, Cruise West split the itinerary up into 24 segments, each of which was inspired by a route taken by one of the great historical explorers. Columbus, Magellan, James Cook, Leif Eriksson and Marco Polo all feature on the list, meaning cruisers also saw first hand what immense trips led to our discovery of the world as it is today.
139 days, with only 24 at sea
This is a pretty interesting take on the ‘long cruise’, because in reality this trip only spends 24 days on the ocean despite spanning almost half a year in total. Sailing with Regent Seven Seas Cruises, prices range from £60,000 to a staggering £200,000. The remaining 115 days are spent visiting increasingly beautiful and fascinating destinations all the way from Auckland to Copenhagen, via Australia, Indonesia, India, the Arabian Peninsula and Europe.
There’s no denying that cruising is a great way to see the world and with such a vast range of longer itineraries available, it’s easy to see why such mammoth adventures are always in demand.