Cooking, cleaning, purchasing, creating beds. All of it goes out the window, leaving globe cruisers cost-free to do as significantly or as small as they want. They fall into a rhythm of waking, consuming, dozing and consuming once more, interrupted now and then by port calls, line-dancing classes, choir practice or a higher-brow lecture or two by historians, art and architecture professionals, geopolitical commentators and some renowned faces: Lord Digby Jones, Lord Jeffrey Archer, Steve Wozniak and former Royal butler Grant Harrold on Seabourn and, in the previous, the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Holland America Line and, on Cunard’s QE2, the late Alan Whicker who described the ship as “a space capsule drifting about the globe in a delightful way”.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ globe cruises and extended voyages also have a chaplain on board, ministering to these who want to be ministered to (recall the 2013 Television series The Cruise: A Life at Sea, which followed the Rev Colin Nonetheless on a 112-evening worldwide odyssey with the line?). “There are additional applications from chaplains than we have cruises,” says Tim Spicer, a former Fred Olsen cruise director who now has a land-primarily based part with the corporation. Caring for a floating flock although seeing the globe? What’s not to like?
I added washing and ironing to my list of items you do not have to do on a globe cruise, but other passengers had been laundry-area regulars for the reason that it was the ideal location to catch up with the “village” gossip. It felt like St Mary Mead meets Midsomer Murders devoid of the physique count – but we had been fortunate. Planet cruisers are a mature lot – an age group with the time and funds for a extended trip – so losing a single now and then is not unheard of. Cruise lines do not speak about it, but it occupied the thoughts of many of these cruising with Rev Nonetheless.
Mine was a Phileas Fogg-style whizz about the globe in 80 days, which is a drop in the ocean compared with most circumnavigations. Silversea’s 2025 controtempo globe cruise (so-known as for the reason that it begins in Tokyo) lasts 136 days. Pah! That is absolutely nothing. Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 2025 circumnavigators will be at sea for 150 nights, for the duration of which time they will imbibe about 11,000 bottles of champagne and consume some 200,000 eggs.
Not to be beaten (pun unintended), Oceania Cruises and Viking give 180-day globe cruises, although Royal Caribbean International has an epic 274-evening voyage. It was 70 per cent sold a week soon after going on sale, with half of these who booked undertaking the entire issue (globe cruises are also accessible in sections). All that, and you only unpack as soon as.
It is time sufficient for friendships to type (a group on my cruise told me they met up each and every year on a round-the-globe sailing) and romances and eccentricities to blossom. A single instance is the Fred Olsen passenger who believed it would be a great wheeze to come to an Indian-themed celebration dressed as the elephant god Ganesha. “We had to clarify that it wasn’t acceptable, in particular as a lot of our crew are Indian,” Spicer says. Cunard had a retired surgeon who wanted to play golf in every single port. The crew pulled it off, even if a single time it was just a hole in a field.
Viking has initiation ceremonies that involve ice-filled pools and glugs of the Norwegian firewater aquavit. On its 2019 globe cruise, a bunch of knitters got collectively and created additional than one hundred hats for babies in Madagascar, which a month prior to the ship’s contact had been devastated by Cyclone Idai.
QE2’s 1st globe cruise, in 1975, price from $four,800 per individual for an inside cabin (equivalent to £3,994 at present exchange prices), which was high priced back then but a snip compared with right now. Not that a globe cruise has to break the bank. Settle for an inside cabin and you can have 120 nights on Ambassador Cruise Line’s 2024 globe cruise from £7,999 per individual, or 99 nights on P&O Cruises from £9,629.