Skip to content

Royal Caribbean just announced the most epic around-the-world cruise ever

Oct. 20, 2021
5 min read
Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas
Royal Caribbean just announced the most epic around-the-world cruise ever
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Cruise giant Royal Caribbean is known for doing things big. So, it perhaps should come as no surprise that its first around-the-world cruise would be something for the record books.

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter.

The Miami-based operator of the world's biggest cruise ships on Wednesday announced it would offer an epic world voyage that will be nine months long -- several more months than the longest around-the-world cruise offered by any other line.

Dubbed the Ultimate World Cruise, the sailing also will bring stops in far more countries than is typical for a world cruise -- 65 in all. It will hit all seven continents and include visits to more than 150 different destinations.

The voyage will take place on Royal Caribbean's 2,143-passenger Serenade of the Seas and kick off in Miami on Dec. 10, 2023. It will return to Miami on Sept. 10, 2024.

For those counting, that's 274 days the ship will be on a single voyage.

“This is the world cruise of world cruises,” Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the sailing.

Bayley suggested cruisers were ready to "make up for lost time" after being stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Royal Caribbean is making that a reality with the ultimate vacation that welcomes those seeking adventure and exploration to taste, dance and dream with us around the world," he said. "To travelers asking themselves where they should go next, we say everywhere.”

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Related: The ultimate guide to Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is joining a rarified category of cruise lines that offer around-the-world sailings. Among the biggest players in the niche are Cunard Line, Holland America, Oceania Cruises and Viking.

The typical around-the-world cruise lasts about three to four months and includes visits to between 20 and 30 countries. But there's been a trend toward longer world sailings in recent years. Oceania has been offering world sailings for several years that are six months long. Viking's world cruises have been approaching five months in length.

The fact that Royal Caribbean is getting into around-the-world cruises at all is notable. The line until now hasn't been known for particularly long voyages. Its longest voyage currently for sale -- a transpacific sailing from Hawaii to Australia -- is just 19 nights in length.

Royal Caribbean is best known for relatively short voyages in the Caribbean, Europe and Alaska.

The new world voyage, notably, will include stops at 57 destinations where the 53-year-old cruise line has never sent a ship. They include Casablanca, Morocco; Qaqortoq, Greenland; and Shimizu, Japan -- the gateway to Mount Fuji.

Related: The best destinations you can visit on a Royal Caribbean cruise

Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas sailing in Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean will begin taking bookings for the Ultimate World Cruise today, Wednesday, Oct. 20 by phone only and through travel agents. There will be an exclusive one-week window through Oct. 26 when only top members (Diamond and above) of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program can book.

Would-be globetrotters also will be able to book one of four segments of the world voyage starting in December. The four segments will be:

  • Round the Horn: Americas and Antarctica Expedition. This is the first part of the world cruise out of Miami that brings visits to Caribbean islands, Central America, South America and Antarctica. It'll take place from Dec. 10, 2023, to Feb. 11, 2024, and include stops at 36 places.
  • Wonders of Asia and the Pacific Expedition. Scheduled from Feb. 11, 2024, to May 9, 2024, this three-month segment brings stops at 40 destinations across Oceania and Asia including ports in Hawaii, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Japan.
  • Middle East Treasures and Marvels of the Med Expedition. This two-month-long segment, from May 9, 2024, to July 10, 2024, will bring stops at 44 destinations across the Middle East and Europe, from Dubai and Egypt to Turkey and Italy.
  • Capitals of Culture. Scheduled from July 10, 2024, to Sept. 10, 2024, this two-month segment brings cruisers to another 40 destinations across Europe, North Africa and North America. Stops will range from Spain and Morocco to Norway and Iceland.

Fares for the full world cruise will start at $60,999 per person, plus taxes and fees.

The fares will include business-class airfare to reach the ship, transfers and an evening of festivities and accommodations at a five-star hotel before setting sail.

In addition, Crown & Anchor Society Platinum status members and above will receive a bonus shore excursion package that includes tours to several of the world's most iconic attractions as well as an included beverage package, free onboard Wi-Fi access and free onboard laundry service.

The line has set up a dedicated phone line for taking bookings for the world cruise (800-423-2100) or customers can book through a travel advisor.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by © Dan Lamont
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023