(2:05 p.m. AEST) – Azamara Journey sets sail at 9pm this evening on its unique 101-night voyage from Australia to England.
Azamara Club Cruises originally touted its inaugural "World Journey" as an unprecedented "bridge to bridge" itinerary from Sydney Harbour Bridge to Tower Bridge, cruising further up the Thames into the heart of London's city centre, which only small ships can do. But instead Azamara Journey will end its epic trip in nearby Greenwich. At a media event in Sydney this morning, Captain Johannes Tysse explained that the required mooring buoys at Tower Bridge were no longer available.
The rest of the cruise will visit 60 ports in 29 countries including 18 late-night stays and 13 overnights. After the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays and Darwin, the ship heads to Indonesia, Singapore, Borneo and Vietnam via the Saigon River, followed by three days in Yangon, Myanmar. Other highlights include India, Oman and the Valley of the Kings along the Nile River in Egypt, before numerous stops in Europe.
About one in three passengers embarking in Sydney today are Australian. The sold-out voyage has been divided into eight sectors, with 46 people booking the whole three months. The 694-passenger ship is scheduled to arrive in London on 16 June 2018.
A 12-night Baltic and Russia add-on cruise is also on offer, in case 102 days is not enough.
--By Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor