by Kevin Griffin of our London office writing for cybercruises.com
The upmarket lines have recently announced their intentions for 2013 World Cruises and it may be worth a look at some of their itineraries.While Crystal Cruises will dispense with its world cruise in Crystal Serenity in 2013, it will instead substitute a 74-night circumnavigation of South America, departing Miami on January 16, 2013, but the world cruise will be reinstated in 2014. Seabourn and Silversea, meanwhile, will still be offering 2013 world cruises in Seabourn Quest and Silver Whisper.
Crystal Serenity will now proceed on an 89-night world cruise in 2014, departing Los Angeles on January 18 and finishing in Southampton on April 18. Major ports include Yokohama, Hong Kong, Singapore and Cape Town, with two or three night stays at each of these, as well as two nights at Ho Chi Minh City. As well, there will be overnight stays at each of Honolulu, Osaka, Shanghai, Hanoi and Bangkok.
Under Crystal Cruises’ new all-inclusive plan the line will also be offering free flights, fine wines, premium spirits, alternative dining at Silk Road, the Sushi Bar and Prego, as well as prepaid gratuities. And champagne will be served free with lunch on boarding days. This rather modified world cruise will visit 32 ports in 19 countries and include 17 overnight port stays, giving the opportunity for more detailed exploration, instead of rushing on. The 1,070-guest Crystal Serenity achieved 1717 points in the 2012 Berlitz Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships.
Seabourn, meanwhile, is offering a 116-night voyage in Seabourn Quest from Fort Lauderdale to Venice, departing on January 6, 2013. Ports of call will include three Caribbean islands, the Panama Canal, nine South Pacific islands, half a dozen calls in Australia and its islands, four calls in Indonesia, Hong Kong, two calls in Vietnam, one in Cambodia, two in Thailand, two in India, ten in the Middle East including Ashdod and Haifa, two calls in Turkey, plus Corfu and Dubrovnik before reaching Venice.
Full cruise amenities include round trip Club Class flights, or air credit, pre-cruise Gala Bon Voyage event and overnight stay in Fort Lauderdale, drinks on board, prepaid gratuities and shipboard credits. On Seabourn, all dining venues are also complimentary. And with just 450 guests, the ship offers a more intimate experience. Seabourn Quest was awarded 1787 points in the 2012 Berlitz Guide.
Silversea’s offer is a 115-day world cruise from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale on board Silver Whisper, departing January 5, 2013. This cruise will cross the Equator four times, visit New Zealand and Australia and offering overnight stays in Tahiti, Fremantle, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Singapore, Cochin, Cape Town and Walvis Bay, but no two- or three-night stays like Crystal. This cruise will visit 52 ports in 28 countries and includes nine overnight stays.
Full world cruise guests will receive a complimentary Bon Voyage Gala and overnight stay at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and fares will include free flights and transfers, or air credits, all-inclusive on-board package, prepaid gratuities and shipboard credits. The 388-guest Silver Whisper scored 1753 points in the 2012 Berlitz Guide.
On the other hand, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Voyager is offering a “build your own” world cruise this year with a marathon 210-night voyage leaving Bareclona next Monday and working her way out to Auckland and back as far as Copenhagen on June 25. While this is not a world cruise, twenty-three different sectors are available The 708-guest Seven Seas Voyager scored 1654 points in the 2012 Berlitz Guide.
To be fair, Steven Stern, in his Stern’s Guide to the Cruise Vacation, gives all four of these ships a full Six-Stars-Plus rating. For the best advice and fares on any of these ships contact The Cruise People, Ltd. at 1-800-961-5536 or email email@example.com