An ordinary seven-day cruise spent tooling around the Caribbean isn’t likely to top most traveler’s must-do lists. But, a newly announced 2020 excursion from Princess Cruises is slated to be a monster of a sea journey. With stops in 26 countries over 111 days, it might just cross off half of the to-dos on your bucket list.
The itinerary will be a reboot of an already over-the-top world cruise announced for 2019. The numbers are impressive; over a total 34,287 nautical miles, passengers will visit 42 destinations, including 12 late-night stays on five continents. The trip includes mainstay travel hotspots like Melbourne, Australia; Cape Town, South Africa; and Seychelles France. But, the big get is the long list of more exotic stops like Kaikoura, New Zealand, and Mayotte, a tiny French protectorate in the Indian Ocean. Passengers will also visit 20 UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as Stone Town, the old part of Zanzibar, Tanzania.
The host ship, the Pacific Princess, has a 670-passenger capacity. It’s too small for the “typical” resort-loving cruisegoers who often prefer town-sized, 6,000-passenger mega cruisers like Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas. The Princess experience instead tends to be more intimate, upscale, and relaxed — a throwback to the classic transoceanic cruises of yore.
Not long ago, passing through the Panama Canal or completing an open-ocean crossing of the Pacific was considered epic. Since the 1990s, however, it seems cruise lines around the world have engaged in a heated arms race to outdo their competition with bigger ships, a dizzying array of amenities, and weeks- (sometimes months-) long itineraries. This latest Princess cruise actually pales in comparison to Viking’s Ultimate World Cruise, a 245-day, six-continent, 59-country epic that makes no less than 113 ports of call. However, the former is also half the cost.
The price tag for this once-in-a-lifetime cruise is every bit as epic as the journey itself. Per-person rates start at $22,999, but the all-in price rises fast for upgrades like balcony room categories. Early bookers can enjoy additional perks like onboard credits and complimentary gratuities. Passengers can also shave a bit off their vacation cost by opting for shorter, multi-day segments of the entire journey.
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