In September 1522, an 85-ton sailboat, barely larger than a modern yacht, became the first ship to successfully sail around the world.
The perilous voyage, which began with a group of ships and ended with a lone ship, killed at least 50 crew members, including the original captain.
Juan Sebastian Elcano, who took over after the death of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, and his remaining 18 men arrived in Seville, southern Spain, three years after departures.
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Fortunately, sailing on the high seas has since become much safer and more comfortable, while the charm of sailing around our planet remains a dream for many travelers.
For those with time and money, cruise operators have come up with a number of proposals to follow the path of the great sailors of the Age of Discovery.
If you are ready to spend three to eight months at sea, then there have never been more options to complete your own world voyage.
Travel around the world in comfort
Today, travelers have the opportunity to navigate from one ocean to another in the comfort of the most luxurious ships the cruise industry has to offer.
While shorter cruises attract guests of varying ages, the passengers on round-the-world cruises tend to be older travelers.
The liners are undoubtedly smaller in size, which means they can make longer stops at destinations, allowing you to explore in more detail some of the world’s most scenic sites.
Another advantage of the small size of ships is that they can enter the most remote and pristine ports, where large ships simply cannot fit.
“Many luxury cruise lines have perfected the concept of a circumnavigation cruise. You are not on board for flashy sea photos and Broadway shows – you are more focused on what happens in port, on land,” explains Colleen McDaniel, chief executive editor of Cruise Critic, a TripAdvisor-owned publication specializing in the cruise industry. “However, several of the leading mass-market cruise lines offer their own cruises around the world, although these are typically small vessels.”
“Cruises from these companies are somewhat cheaper and are a great option for passengers looking to cruise around the world on a lower budget.”
“Around the world cruises guarantee incredible adventure for the real traveler at heart. Cruising is usually a very social form of travel,” she adds. “This is even more relevant to a round the world cruise as you spend much more time with your mates – like on on board and in port. You make lifelong friends. “
Technology makes cruising around the world more attractive
Joseph Chabus, spokesman for the high-end cruise line Regent Seven Seas, says there are many occasions when passengers meet on board and decide to cruise on a shared cruise.
“We see guests who often sail on our cruises become friends and end up booking cruises around the world together because they enjoy each other’s company and have a common desire to explore our world,” says Chabus.
Technology has also helped make the prospect of long sea voyages more compelling, making it easier than ever for travelers to stay connected to their office or family from virtually anywhere during their absence.
The most interesting round the world cruises in 2021
Boutique cruise operator Silversea has two different round-the-world cruise offerings – a more traditional cruise aboard the Silver Whisper, a 388-passenger ship, and a more active cruise geared towards adventure seekers.
The latter will sail on the Silver Cloud, a relatively small 250-passenger ship with a reinforced hull that allows it to travel to polar waters that are beyond the capabilities of most ships.
This is a cruise from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle through the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Another hi-end company, Seabourn, has scheduled a round-the-world cruise after a six-year hiatus.
This is not a complete round the world trip, but very close to it.
Passengers depart from Miami eastbound and cross the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Red Sea, Indian and Pacific Oceans before disembarking in San Francisco, California.
In a way, a trip from the east to the west coast of the United States, but with a slight detour.
Oceania’s six-month round-the-world cruise will appeal to record-goers, with at least 100 ports in 44 different countries on all six continents.
Since 2011, when the Italian cruise operator began offering round-the-world travel on an annual basis, more than 60,000 people have circled the globe on Costa Cruises.
The 2021 cruise, which departs from Savona, Italy, will focus on Africa and America instead of a global circumnavigation.