274 days, 150 ports, 60 countries, 11 World Wonders, 9 months, 7 continents…1 mega cruise. These are all facts and figures involved in the “big announcement” from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s CEO, Michael Bayley, last week.
Oh, and here’s one more fact and figure to add- 61,000. That’s how much a ticket will cost.
It’s no secret Royal Caribbean likes to do things big. The soon-to-be-released Wonder of the Seas will be the biggest ship on the ocean, smashing the record previously owned by…Royal Caribbean.
So, operating under the bigger is a better guise, Bayley announced that the line will run the longest cruise in the world when the Serenade of the Seas embarks from Miami, Florida on December 10, 2023. The ship will not see her “home port” again for 274 days, when she docks again in PortMiami on September 10, 2024. Exactly 9 months later.
The “longest and most comprehensive” around the world cruise in history will take in some truly magnificent ports and for those who want to join in on the fun, but don’t have the full 9 months (or $61K) up their sleeves, they can join for one of the four amazing sectors instead.
When the Serenade OTS sets sail in December, she will be embarking on her first voyage- the 64 night Round the Horn: Americas and Antarctica Expedition.
This expedition will bring guests to 36 destinations over the 9 weeks including hitting Caribbean favorites like Cozumel, the ABC islands, and Barbados before sailing down the east coast of South America and calling into some exotic Brazilian ports. Guests will spend Christmas day at sea and will be able to ring in the new year on the glorious Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro.
Sailing south again, more South American coastal towns will welcome the Serenade OTS before she ports in Ushuaia, Argentina: aka The Bottom of The World.
From here she begins her expedition through the Drake Passage (lovingly referred to as the Drake Shake…but it’s not all that bad- I promise you) to Elephant Island, Antarctica.
After visiting with the penguins and the walruses, The Serenade will head north from Antarctica up the west coast of South America, stopping in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico and ending back in the USA- Los Angeles, California to be exact- on February 11th, 2024.
Okay, sign me up.
The second sector of this round the world saga leaves L.A that same evening (there is NO rest for the wicked) for her 87 night Wonders of Asia and the Pacific sector.
The Serenade will call into 40 destinations, beginning with 5 sea days before her first stop in Hawaii. From there it’s the stunning ports of French Polynesia, onto New Zealand and the east coast of Australia.
Asian porting begins with Indonesia, including the popular tourist destination of Bali, onto multiple stops in ports in the Philippines, China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. The Serenade will finish this Far East sector in Dubai on May 9.
Middle East Treasures and Marvels of the Med is next up. This 63 night, 44 destination itinerary spends the first two in the middle east, porting in Oman, Jordan, Egypt and Israel before splashing into the Mediterranean. Along with the ever popular destinations of Greece, Italy, Croatia and France, the Serenade will call into some more unique spots, like Constanta in Romania, Burgas in Bulgaria, Valetta in Malta and Ephesus, Turkey.
Take me away now!
On July 10th in Barcelona, Spain, the guests who’d signed up for this third voyage only will bid the Serenade farewell and she will set sail on her fourth and final expedition- Capitals of Culture.
Boasting 63 nights and 40 destinations, guests will be visiting the best of the always popular Western European ports (and Morocco and England and Ireland) before exploring the delights of the Baltics and Scandinavia, calling into ports like Kiel, Germany, St Petersburg, Russia, Bergen, Norway and Tallinn, Estonia to name only a (very) few.
Iceland and Greenland are the most Northern ports the Serenade will call into before she heads back towards home- Miami- calling into Canada first.
Here, take my money!
“This is the world cruise of world cruises,” said Bayley. “Now more than ever, people have resolved to travel the world and make up for lost time. Royal Caribbean is making that a reality with the ultimate vacation that welcomes those seeking adventure and exploration to taste, dance and dream with us around the world. To travelers asking themselves where they should go next, we say everywhere.”
The epic journeys, whose full itineraries you can view here are available to reserve by phone only now. Those who book all four of the expeditions over the 274 days will be undertaking the longest cruise in history and it will set them back a cool $61000 per person (sharing a cabin of two). The cost for each sector has not been released.
Prior to the pandemic, Viking Cruises had offered guests a world record-breaking 245 day, round the world cruise. This cruise, onboard the Viking Sun also embarked from Miami, Florida. Unfortunately, the cruise was cut short by two months due to the pandemic and the no sailing order handed down.
Meanwhile, if your pocketbook is running and hiding at the mere thought of shelling out over $60K for a cruise, Royal Caribbean currently has over half of its fleet of 26 ships sailing. The 14 ships currently in operation will be joined by 3 more before year’s end.
Maybe, just maybe I can afford a 3-day cruise from Port Canaveral to Coco Cay?
Who’s with me?