Just mentioning a Round the World Cruise or Grand Voyage invites daydreams of exotic destinations, extravagant pampering and pure luxury. The thought of simply setting sail and switching off from everyday life for around three months whilst exploring destinations across the planet’s diverse continents is an experience many can only dream of and reserved for the lucky few who have the time to do it. “Perhaps when I win the lottery?” often follows any conversation involving thoughts of a World Voyage.
However my findings conclude a surprisingly different perception.
The description ‘World’ is actually somewhat misleading when you dig a little deeper into World Cruises. You can forgive yourself for thinking a World Cruise literally means jumping on your ship in Southampton and circumnavigating the globe for around 100-nights before disembarking again on the ship’s return to Southampton – but that’s not it – there’s the World Sector voyage.
Part of World Cruises, these shorter adventures slice the full three month circumnavigation of the globe in to more manageable ‘bite-size’ sectors where you can join and disembark at various points along the ships’ worldwide journey. As the ships sail around the world you simply choose one or more sectors and jump on and jump off at your preference. A bit like a bus only far more luxurious! With durations ranging from as little as 7-nights to as many as 80-nights, it creates a myriad of holiday options for far-flung travel, even if you only have a couple of weeks to spare.
Yes, with the modern era of air travel today you can simply hop on a plane and start ticking off whichever places on the planet are at the top of your ‘to do’ list, but, if you’re looking to visit more than one destination in any chosen part of the world, to really experience the life and culture there, things get a little more complicated, with long overland journeys and internal flights taking the relaxation element out of the holiday. This is where a World Sector voyage really comes into its own.
In just a few weeks you can visit the most spectacular and intriguing destinations across the planet, but in one of the most relaxing and carefree ways possible. Leisurely, indulgent and unhurried – the way travel used to be, the gentle pace of travelling by sea and witnessing the world, and the ever-changing panoramas from the decks of your ship is incredibly appealing.
You choose the duration to suit your budget making it very exciting when you think of affordability. The facilities and quality of ships, well-planned itineraries and 6 star service guarantees outstanding value for money.
These ’World Sectors’ can visit upwards of 20 different ports in just three weeks, each stop providing quality time to explore, shop and indulge. In fact, that’s how world sector cruises developed. They offer the ideal way to experience the ambience of a world cruise – without actually doing the whole trip. But you still get to see the part of the world that appeals to you most.
While some would struggle to decide on which sector to enjoy, where to join the ship – the more experienced cruisers are influenced by the cabin type and on-board facilities.
The savvy cruiser will select their sector by a destination where they want to spend a few days before they join the ship. Popular destinations such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Dubai, Cape Town, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are all destinations that warrant more than a few nights visit and are all destinations at the heart of the World Cruise sectors.
Who offers World Sectors?
There are many cruise lines who currently excel in World Sector voyages – P&O Cruises, Cunard and Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines being the leaders in the field. This means more options, a wider selection of sector itineraries and an exciting variety of ships. With Cunard, for example, there are 53 individual sector voyages available on Queen Mary 2’s 106-night World Voyage departing in January 2013 where you can join or disembark in 12 different ports along its journey. Fred.Olsen’s 80-night Indian Ocean grand voyage in January 2013 aboard Black Watch is split into five sectors ranging from 26 – 57 nights. P&O Cruises on the other hand offer World Sector journeys between Australasia and the UK on all World Cruises. Some include distinguished guest speakers on-board who add rare insight to each amazing destination you visit. All provide exceptional service and attract like-minded cruisers who crave the unhurried and gentle pace plus little personal life experiences.
So the global option is still available and still hugely popular… while the World Sector voyage provides an affordable alternative to still explore quality and quantity from the ocean. As the ships and service enhance, the itineraries focus on alternative as well as obvious destinations. In today’s world, responsible tourism plays a huge part in supporting local trade, tourism and produce across all cruise destinations – adding an extra smile to your time in port. It would be cliché to preach ‘unforgettable’ or ‘once in a lifetime’ if you get the opportunity to enjoy a World Sector Voyage. I’ll just leave you with Blessed.
By Ian Lewis