Does the prospect of getting away from it all, of sailing off into the sunset and exploring the world, appeal? You are not alone, it seems.
When Oceania Cruises unveiled its 2023 itineraries at the end of January, its Around the World in 180 Days voyage sold out in a single day, even with its starting price of $44,799. It's a clear sign of pent-up demand in the wake of worldwide lockdowns, but also an optimistic outlook for the future of travel.
The journey aboard Insignia will set off from San Francisco on January 15, 2023, and return nearly six months later, on July 13. In the interim, it will stop at 96 ports in 33 countries across four continents. The voyage also includes three full days cruising in Antarctica, as well as access to more than 60 Unesco World Heritage Sites across the globe.
All of Insignia's 684 berths were snapped up within hours, with many customers opting to extend their trip to 218 days. Listed prices range from $44,799 for a standard "inside stateroom" to $109,299 for a penthouse suite and $158,799 for an "owner's suite", based on double occupancy.
The ship underwent an extensive upgrade a few years ago and will be further refurbished in 2022. It offers four restaurants, eight lounges and a spa.
“The response to our epic 2023 around-the-world voyage clearly illustrates the enthusiasm that experienced travellers have for immersive and memorable travel experiences,” said Bob Binder, president and chief executive of Oceania Cruises.
“Despite the challenges the world faces today, travellers are clearly bullish on the future and are embracing these new opportunities to travel the world and create lifelong memories.”
Notably, while cruises typically attract a high number of repeat guests, about one-third of bookings for Oceania's Around the World voyage came from first-time, new-to-brand clients.
From San Francisco, the ship will travel down the Pacific, to Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina, before heading to Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. Across the Atlantic, it will visit Cape Verde, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Namibia, before hitting South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar.
In the Middle East, the cruise will cover Salalah and Muscat in Oman, before heading to Dubai and Fujairah. India, Sri Lanka and Asia follow, before the ship heads to Russia and across the Bering Sea to Alaska and Canada, and then back to the US.
Along the way, passengers will pass through 24 time zones, cruise three oceans and cross the equator four times.