Long-stay cruises are reaching new heights. According to a recent travel agent survey conducted by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), 37% of agents reported an increase in bookings of 14- to 100-day cruises.
Longer sailings, including world cruises of several months, are increasingly popular among both retired and affluent travellers, according to travel agents. Agents also reported that the top advantage of long cruises is the ability to see many places hassle free, without having to deal with multiple airports and packing and unpacking. Travellers also like the exciting itineraries offered by cruise lines to places around the world that would be difficult to visit on land.
Long and world cruises are offered by several cruise lines. The following is a sampling of upcoming itineraries from member lines of CLIA:
- Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sun returns to South America for the first time in five years with 14-day cruises between Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile and Buenos Aires, from November 2015 through March 2016. Included is scenic cruising in the Chilean Fjords, Strait of Magellan and around Cape Horn.
- Carnival Cruise Line’s long itineraries include a 12-day Journey of Discovery sailing from Galveston on the Carnival Triumph, embarking March 2. The ship calls in Grand Cayman, Limon (Costa Rica) and Cartagena and Santa Marta (Colombia). In Colon, Panama, guests will have the opportunity to take an optional excursion for an up-close view of the wonders of the Panama Canal. The call at Santa Marta will mark Carnival’s first-ever visit to this seaside city.
On the West Coast, the Carnival Miracle will operate three 15-day round-trip cruises from Long Beach to Hawaii, embarking Oct. 17 and Nov. 28, and Nov. 16, 2016. On these sailings, guests can visit Maui, Honolulu, Kauai, Kona and Hilo, as well as Ensenada, Mexico. From Baltimore, Carnival passengers can cruise on the Carnival Pride, embarking March 13, 2016, on a 14-day eastern Caribbean cruise that visits Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and St. Maarten.
- Princess Cruises has 10-day and longer cruises including a 40-day World Cruise Segment on the Sea Princess, embarking New York on July 25 and taking passengers to Sydney by way of the Panama Canal and South America, French Polynesia and New Zealand. Highlights will include a visit to Easter Island.
- Holland America Line’s long cruises include a focus on Central and South America during a 34-day itinerary embarking March 21, 2016 on the luxurious Seabourn Odyssey. The Path of Galleons cruise, from Los Angeles to Barcelona brings guests to ports in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama (including the Panama Canal and San Blas Islands) and Colombia, and also visits Fort Lauderdale and the Portuguese island of Madeira.
- Luxury line Crystal Cruises has a variety of 10-day or longer sailings on its 2015 to 2017 calendar including the 108-day Crystal Silver Celebration World Cruise on Crystal Serenity, which embarked in January.