World Cruises 2017 - 2018

Kotor bay fjord cruise

Think replacing your 6 a.m. wakeup call and dishes in the sink with more than 100 nights of lavish galas, hobnobbing with celebrities and visits to faraway lands is more a dream than a reality? Well, it's no dream for a lot of folks who are making world cruises some of the most popular on the 2017 and 2018 cruise calendars.

It's been nearly a century since the first world cruise sailed on Cunard's RMS Laconia in 1922. The phenomenon, which has sagged a bit in popularity some years hence, was long considered a viable travel option only for the most senior of seniors.

Nowadays, it's still a great draw for folks of a certain age. (How many others have the time -- not to mention the cash -- to take off for three months or more?) But we're also seeing a new spark of energy in this traditional cruise milieu. More lines have been announcing world voyages, and some -- like Cunard and P&O Cruises -- even run two or more a year.

One irony about world cruises is that most actually don't really sail fully around the globe. But these one-third-of-a-year or longer voyages do offer passengers a chance to see a widely varied portfolio of diverse cultures -- all wrapped into one sailing. And even those folks who can't commit to the full trip can participate through an increasingly popular option in which you can buy a "segment," ranging from a week to more than a month.

World cruises typically begin in January and end in March, April or May. However, every now and then, there's an anomaly, so be on the lookout if you want something a bit different.

Whether you want to dream big or live large, here's the rundown of 2017 and 2018 world cruises.

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2017 World Cruises

Rio de Janeiro

Crystal Cruises

The Trip: Crystal Serenity will sail a 94-night round trip itinerary from Miami, departing January 10 and concluding April 15. The "Southern Celebracion" cruise puts its emphasis on South America and, in fact, circumnavigates the continent with return passage to Miami via the Panama Canal. Highlights include overnights in cities like Lima, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro plus time cruising the Chilean Fjords, Cape Horn, Antarctica's Drake Passage, Elephant Island and the Amazon River.

Departure Date: January 10, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Miami to Colon, 11 nights; Colon to Valparaiso, 20 nights; Valparaiso to Buenos Aires, 23 nights; Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, 11 nights; Rio de Janeiro to Barbados, 22 nights; Barbados to Miami, 10 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $35,340 to $211,000 per person; segments start from $3,765 per person, double occupancy.

The Trip: The port intensive "Grand Pacific Explorer" is a 99-night Australasia Grand Cruise aboard Crystal Symphony, departing Melbourne on January 5 and arriving in Tokyo on April 14. While not an around-the-world itinerary, this one is unique due to its numerous overnight visits to popular ports of call like Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Bali, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hiroshima and Tokyo, plus double overnight visits to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Incheon and Beijing. Additional cruise highlights are calls on Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji, as well as Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei.

Departure Date: January 5, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Melbourne to Sydney, 15 nights; Sydney round trip, 21 nights; Sydney to Bali, 13 nights; Bali to Singapore, 12 nights; Singapore to Hong Kong, 13 nights; Hong Kong to Incheon, 11 nights; Incheon to Tokyo, 14 nights

Price: Full grand cruise fares range from $30,475 to $216,905 per person; segments start from $3,325 per person, double occupancy.

Cunard Line

The Trip: Cunard's Queen Elizabeth will circumnavigate the globe during a 120-night world cruise, sailing round trip from Southampton on January 7 and returning May 7. The "greatest hits" tour includes 40 ports in 25 countries, plus four overnight stays in New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Cape Town. Journey highlights include a full transit of the Panama Canal; visits to Samoa and Tonga before touring through New Zealand, Australia and Southeast Asia; calls on the remote isles of the Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion; and an exploration of South Africa and Namibia.

Departure Date: January 7, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Segment information was not yet available at the time of publication.

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $19,998 to $193,098 per person.

The Trip: Queen Victoria will sail a 120-night world cruise, round trip from Southampton from January 5 through May 5. Passengers will visit 33 ports in 17 countries, including three overnight stays in Fort Lauderdale, Sydney and San Francisco. The majority of the ports of call will be located throughout South America, the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, as well as the Caribbean.

Departure Date: January 5, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Segment information was not yet available at the time of publication.

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $19,998 to $193,098 per person.

The Trip: Queen Mary 2 will visit four continents on a 118-night world cruise, sailing round trip from Southampton from January 3 through May 15. (You can opt to join the cruise earlier in New York for a 132-night voyage, or later in Cape Town for a shorter 108-night trip.) Journey highlights include visits to ports throughout southern Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. There's also a total of 10 maiden calls on places like Le Port, Reunion; Kangaroo Island and Hobart in Australia; Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei; Taiwan's Keelung; and Jeju Island and Busan in South Korea.

Departure Date: January 3, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Segment information was not yet available at the time of publication.

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $19,998 to $193,098 per person.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line

The Trip: Fred.Olsen's Black Watch offers a 107-night "Around the World" voyage, which includes once-in-a-lifetime visits to Machu Picchu, the islands of the South Pacific (including mysterious Easter Island), the fjords of New Zealand and Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Passengers will have the opportunity to meet komodo dragons in Indonesia and elephants in Sri Lanka. They'll also cruise the Suez Canal and explore Egypt's great pyramids. This adventure is round trip out of Southampton.

Departure Date: January 3, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Southampton to Auckland, 44 nights; Auckland to Southampton, 64 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from £15,599 to £37,099 per person; segments start from £4,799.

Holland America

The Trip: While at first blush Amsterdam's 2017 Grand World Voyage might appear to be similar to the 2016 route, there are some significant differences. This 111-night round trip cruise out of Fort Lauderdale begins with a transit of the Panama Canal followed by calls on Hawaii, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Guam and the Northern Marianas. The ship then skips Australia and New Zealand in favor of deeper exploration in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. Then it's time for visits to the Middle East, including a transit of the Suez Canal, before cruising the Mediterranean, crossing the Atlantic and disembarking in Fort Lauderdale on April 26.

Departure Date: January 4, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Fort Lauderdale to Honolulu, 22 nights; Honolulu to Hong Kong, 34 nights; Hong Kong to Istanbul, 33 nights; Istanbul to Fort Lauderdale, 22 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $16,999 to $67,999 per person, double occupancy; segment fares begin at $3,399 per person.

Oceania Cruises

The Trip: In 2017, Insignia sails another "Around the World in 180 Days" voyage. It's a round trip sailing from Miami, from January 6 through July 6 -- the longest world voyage offered in 2017. Passengers will start with visits to the Cayman Islands and Cartagena, Columbia, before transiting the Panama Canal for exploration of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and a few ports in Mexico. A stop in San Diego will then slingshot the ship to the Hawaiian Islands, including the rarely visited Nawiliwili, before it heads to the South Pacific, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Australia. Asia ports of call -- including those in Indonesia, China, Thailand and Myanmar -- come before an in-depth investigation of India. The voyage ends with visits to the Middle East, Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Canada before ending back in Miami on July 6.

Departure Date: January 6, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Segment information was not yet available at the time of publication.

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $39,999 to $149,999 per person, double occupancy.

French Polynesia

P&O Cruises

The Trip: P&O's Arcadia presents its 114-night Polynesian and Asian Adventure world cruise in 2017, which is a round trip outing from Southampton. Venturing westbound, the itinerary begins with a transatlantic passage to the Caribbean (Barbados and Curacao) before transiting the Panama Canal, sailing around Mexico to make stops in San Diego and Los Angeles, and exploring the Hawaiian Islands and Society Islands in the South Pacific. Calls on New Zealand and Australia precede visits to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Middle East ports -- and passage through the Suez Canal -- make up the tail end of the voyage before Arcadia calls on Malta and Lisbon and returns to Southampton on April 27.

Departure Date: January 2, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Southampton to San Francisco, 24 nights; San Francisco to Sydney, 23 nights; Sydney to Hong Kong, 24 nights; Hong Kong to Singapore, 10 nights; Singapore to Southampton, 33 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from £10,699 to £26,399 per person; segments start from £1,509, double occupancy.

The Trip: Another P&O grand voyage in 2017 is its 104-night World Circumnavigation aboard Aurora. This round trip out of Southampton embarks January 9 and will sail the globe, beginning with a transit of the Suez Canal followed by calls on myriad Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Oman and the UAE. India and Sri Lanka come next before the ship heads across the Bay of Bengal to reach Penang in Malaysia and Singapore. In-depth exploration of Australia and New Zealand comes next before a brief call on Honolulu, a Pacific Ocean crossing, a Panama Canal transit and a bit of time in the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic and ending in Southampton on April 22.

Departure Date: January 9, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Southampton to Dubai, 21 nights; Dubai to Singapore, 13 nights; Singapore to Sydney, 19 nights; Sydney to San Francisco, 26 nights; San Francisco to Southampton, 25 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from £9,699 to £31,599 per person; segments start from £2,059, double occupancy.

Princess Cruises

The Trip: Pacific Princess' World Cruise looks very similar to the ship's 2016 westerly route with a few exceptions. Passengers can select a 111-night voyage that either departs from Fort Lauderdale on January 3 or Los Angeles on January 20. For those beginning in Fort Lauderdale, the ship will transit the Panama Canal and visit Santa Marta, Columbia, and ports in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Baja Mexico before boomeranging up to Los Angeles to pick up additional world cruisers. The full complement of passengers will then head across the Pacific to Hawaii, American Samoa and Tonga before discovering the ports of New Zealand and Australia. While the 2016 World Cruise stopped in Brunei and Malaysia, 2017 passengers will be treated to Papua New Guinea and Micronesia instead, as well as Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Sanya, the "Hawaii" of China. Then it's on to Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Malta, Gibraltar and Portugal before a stop in Bermuda on the way back to Fort Lauderdale on April 25. Passengers who embarked in Los Angeles will continue on to that city and will arrive on May 12, after transiting the Panama Canal.

Departure Date: January 3 or January 20, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, 17 nights; Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale, 94 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $19,999 to $52,499 per person, double occupancy, based on departure date; segment fares begin at $2,799 per person.

The Trip: Following a similar route to its 2016 "Round World Cruise", Sea Princess will sail from Australia to the U.K. and back again. Passengers can also embark and disembark in Auckland, New Zealand. The ship visits Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, South America, the U.S., Iceland and transits the Suez and Panama canals. The 2017 itinerary also includes an overnight stays in Venice, New York and Lima (Callao), and crosses the Arctic Circle to the far north of Norway.

Departure Date: May 20, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Sydney to Sydney, 104 nights; Sydney to New York, 68 nights; Dubai to London (Dover), 32 nights; New York to Sydney, 36 nights.

Price: Full world cruise fares range from AU$20,999 to AU$33,999 per person, double occupancy, based on departure date; segment fares begin at AU$8,449 per person.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

The Trip: Regent is back in the world cruise game after standing on the sidelines for the past six years. Seven Seas Navigator will offer a 128-night around-the-world voyage, round trip from Miami, embarking on January 5. Like similar offerings in 2017, this cruise begins with stops in the Caribbean (Grand Cayman) and Colombia (Cartagena) before transiting the Panama Canal and visiting sites of exquisite natural beauty in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico. The ship then sails up the West Coast of the United States to San Diego and Los Angeles. Next up are the Hawaiian Islands and French Polynesia, followed by Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. Several calls on Indonesia will wow passengers as the voyage enters Southeast Asia for Singapore, a beach day on Phuket, Thailand, and several days in Yangon, Myanmar. The cruise rounds out with India (Cochin, Mangalore, Goa and Mumbai), the Middle East and the Mediterranean before a transatlantic crossing for a return to Miami on May 13.

Departure Date: January 5, 2017

Itinerary Segments: Segment information was not yet available at the time of publication.

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $54,999 to $159,999 per person, double occupancy.

Silversea Cruises

The Trip: There is something extra special about Silver Whisper's 2017 World Cruise: The voyage will be capped off with an exclusive three-night sailing from Nice to Rome (May 3 to 6) aboard Silversea's newest luxury ship, Silver Muse, during its inaugural voyage. (Travelers have the option of having their luggage shipped home directly from Silver Whisper or shipped after the three-day cruise on Silver Muse.) That special event is included in the 116-night voyage that calls on 62 ports in 25 countries. Embarking from San Francisco, the ship sails west to Hawaii and Samoa, New Zealand and Australia before getting to the real meat of the voyage: Southeast Asia. The ship will visit Indonesia's Bali, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. The route continues through Sri Lanka and India before turning its attention to the Middle East and Mediterranean, ultimately ending in Rome on May 6.

Departure Date: January 6, 2017

Itinerary Segments: San Francisco to Auckland, 21 nights; Auckland to Melbourne, 13 nights; Melbourne to Bali, 13 nights; Bali to Hong Kong, 17 nights; Hong Kong to Singapore, 12 nights; Singapore to Dubai, 17 nights; Dubai to Athens, 15 nights; Athens to Monte Carlo, 9 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $61,550 to $193,950 per person, double occupancy; segment fares begin at $5,950 per person for a suite.



2018 World Cruises

Cape Town

Azamara Club Cruises

The Trip: In 2018, Azamara will embark on its first-ever "World Journey", departing from Sydney and ending in the city center of London. Azamara Journey will explore Australia and Southeast Asia reaching Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, via the Saigon River, followed by three days in Yangon, Myanmar. Other highlights include Muscat, Oman and Safaga, Egypt, as well as arriving in time for special events in Europe such as the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix.

Departure Date: March 7, 2018

Itinerary Segments: Sydney to London, 101 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $39,593 to $95,989 per person, double occupancy.

Crystal Cruises

In 2018, Crystal Cruises will offer not one but four different world cruise options. You can sail aboard Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony or both in one trip.

The Trip: Crystal Symphony's "Stunning Skylines & Halcyon Harbors" is a 114-night voyage that calls nearly exclusively on ports in the Southern Hemisphere, beginning in Cape Town on January 7, 2018. The voyage kicks off with five ports in South Africa before exploring Mozambique and Madagascar. Symphony then sails across the Indian Ocean to reach enchanting Reunion Island and Mauritius before sailing to Australia and New Zealand. The ship will wend its way through the South Pacific to Fiji, Tonga, the Cook and Society Islands, and the Marquesas. If you've ever wanted to visit Easter Island, this voyage will get you there, as well as to Chile's Robinson Crusoe Island. The ship then visits Peru, Ecuador, Panama (for the canal) and Colombia before stopping at St. Barth's and Key West prior to disembarkation in Miami on April 30.

Departure Date: January 7, 2018

Itinerary Segments: Cape Town to Mauritius, 15 nights; Mauritius to Perth, 14 nights; Perth to Sydney, 12 nights; Sydney to Auckland, 14 nights; Auckland to Papeete, 16 nights; Papeete to Valparaiso, 19 nights; Valparaiso to Colon, 13 nights; Colon to Miami, 11 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $40,275 to $250,795 per person, double occupancy; segment fares begin at $4,200 per person for a suite.

The Trip: Crystal Serenity departs Los Angeles on January 23, 2018, for a 112-night world cruise dubbed "World Wonders & Eternal Cities." The ship crosses the Pacific Ocean to visit the South Pacific and Australia before heading north to Asia, India and the Middle East. The ship transits the Suez Canal in order to disembark passengers in Rome on May 16. This cruise features a number of maiden calls, including Pago Pago in Samoa; Australia's Cooktown and Norfolk Island; Kitava in Papua New Guinea; Gizo, Solomon Islands; Manila in the Philippines; and Mangalore, India.

Departure Date: January 23, 2018

Itinerary Segments: Los Angeles to Sydney, 24 nights; Sydney to Manila, 23 nights; Manila to Singapore, 16 nights; Singapore to Mumbai, 18 nights; Mumbai to Dubai, 11 nights; Dubai to Rome, 20 nights

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $46,310 to $303,125 per person, double occupancy; segment fares begin at $5,590 per person for a suite.

The Trip: At 129 nights, "Storied Treasures & Captivating Journeys" is Crystal Cruises' longest 2018 world cruise, and it allows passengers to sail portions of both Crystal Symphony's and Crystal Serenity's full world cruises. Crystal Symphony departs Cape Town on January 7, 2018, and heads west across the Indian Ocean to Australia. In Sydney, passengers will enjoy the World Cruise Gala Celebration and then board Crystal Serenity for Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Philippines before heading to Asia with calls on Hong Kong; Vietnam's Hanoi, Chan May and Ho Chi Minh City; Cambodia; Singapore; Malaysia; and Thailand before a double overnight in mysterious Yangon, Myanmar. The ship then visits Sri Lanka and India on the way to the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden. After transiting the Suez Canal, there are stops in Egypt and Israel before passengers disembark in Rome on May 16.

Departure Date: January 7, 2018 (see above)

Itinerary Segments: (see above)

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $59,820 to $339,265 per person, double occupancy.

The Trip: Crystal's 97-night "South Pacific Reflections" is another mixed itinerary on which you sail both Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. You'll embark in Los Angeles on January 23 aboard Crystal Serenity and enjoy the Hawaiian Islands, American Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu before switching ships to Crystal Serenity in Sydney for the rest of the itinerary. Remaining stops include ports in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, French Polynesia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Panama (for the canal) and the Caribbean before passengers disembark in Miami on April 30.

Departure Date: January 23, 2018 (see above)

Itinerary Segments: (see above)

Price: Full world cruise fares range from $40,015 to $219,530 per person, double occupancy.

--Updated by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson and Andrea M. Rotondo, Cruise Critic contributors

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