World cruises are the ultimate global adventure when it comes to holidaying on the seas – ideal for anyone with a bucket list full of places to visit. You can check off all those spots on your list and make the most of your holiday by seeing as much as possible. Book a world cruise and your choice of destinations are endless, from the mist-laden cities of the Far East to Amazonian South America and the Australian Gold Coast.

More and more cruise lines are taking passengers on their own round-the-world holidays. But before you book and head off on the voyage of a lifetime, there are a few things to consider. Here is our insider guide on how to plan for your first world cruise.

Choose the perfect liner

If you’re not a newbie to the cruising world it’s likely you already have your favourite liner and ships. When going on a world cruise it’s a good idea to book a liner that you are already comfortable with, as some world cruises last 3-4 months. If you’re still uncertain on which liner to go for however, here are several world cruise deals to peruse – all with exciting and varied destinations.

Cunard was the first cruise line to introduce a world cruise in 1922, and it hasn’t stopped since. Queen Mary 2Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth are all set to take the seas for more mesmerising world tours over the coming years. Take your pick from a voyage around Shanghai, Auckland and Hong Kong, or a classic world cruise through New Zealand and Dubai. Or if you fancy something different, let Queen Elizabeth immerse you into Far East culture visiting Malaysia, Vietnam and Korea.

P&O Cruises’ Arcadia takes off on a circumnavigation cruise that will allow guests to sample some of the most amazing delights the planet has to offer. Starting from Southampton, this world cruise ports in Barbados, San Fransisco, Sydney, Hong Kong and many others.

Fans of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can alternatively climb onto the distinguished Black Watch for a grand world voyage. Leaving virtually no corner of the map unexplored, the cruise company prides itself on reaching exotic and tropical locations including Bermuda, Panama Canal and Tahiti.

Research itineraries

Now that you’ve settled on a cruise liner, it’s time to focus on its itinerary. You can use this world cruise opportunity to enjoying visiting some new locales or some old favourites. Since there are so many world cruise destinations out there, your options are endless and you’ll always be able to see a variety of places in one go.

One thing to keep in mind is to look at how many days at sea there are between ports. Some of the longer trips between continents will have up to seven days at sea. It may seem like a lot of time on the open water, but this can be great for those who want a little R&R on the journey, giving you the chance to take advantage of the ship’s spa, pool and social activities.

Another thing to check is how long you will be at port for, as a few extended port calls will give you more time to explore the area and try out some of the local cuisine. Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Columbus is one of those with extended port times, giving you two days in Hong Kong to explore. You also have the option of meeting up with the ship at their next port if you want to spend a bit more time where you are.

Pick the right cabin for you

Choosing the right cabin for your world tour is vital, especially since you’ll be spending weeks, or potentially months, out on the seas. There are pros and cons to every cabin, yet obviously the bigger accommodation options will require a larger budget.

For most people a world cruise is a once-in-a-life-time journey, so it makes sense to splurge for that balcony or king sized bed. If you enjoy having a little ‘me time’ then a larger cabin is a good idea, giving you space to unwind and get a little privacy when needs be. This room will be your home for quite a few weeks, so make sure you get a cabin with enough closet space for your clothes and a large enough bathroom to accommodate you and whomever you’re travelling with.

Get involved

World cruises are an excellent way to make new friends as everyone on the ship will be travelling together and interested in seeing the same destinations. One of the best tips for being on a world cruise is to get involved in the ship’s social life. You may be surprised with how friendly a group of strangers can be when everyone is enjoying a holiday on the same boat.

World cruises are no different than regular cruises in their social activities, and each liner is sure to have their own host of events for you to participate in. You can join in on the dance floor, try some cooking classes, enjoy the daily entertainment of shows or meet new people during your meals. Once you’ve reached one of your ports, these new friends will make excellent travelling companions as you check out the sights.

Embrace the seas

If you love sailing to new destinations, enjoying the sea breeze and gazing at a beautiful expanse of ocean, then a world cruise is definitely for you. Get your camera ready and be prepared for glorious sunsets as you sail through gorgeous parts of the world. World cruises are the perfect way to experience the ocean’s beauty as well as its sea life – you may even spot some dolphins or a variety of whales along the way.

If you’ve already booked your next world cruise then take a look at our ‘what to pack on a world cruise’ article and ‘how to keep in touch when cruising’ piece for more great tips.

Images by Caroline, Jeremy T.Hetzel and Elizabeth K, used under the Creative Commons license.

* Terms & Conditions apply

We are acting as an agent on behalf of travel suppliers and your booking will be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Prices may be subject to very limited availability and are correct as at the date and time of writing. Prices may go up or down from time to time. Prices quoted are for the dates, accommodation, board basis, departure points and number of persons sharing specified only and cannot be combined with any other offer. We reserve the right to amend any quotes given if there is a genuine error as soon as we become aware of it. We reserve the right to withdraw any offers without notice.