Follow the coast or conquer the oceans, enter enormous fjords or hop from island to island. Sailing the world’s oceans has evolved from voyaging into the unknown to a leisurely way to set out on the adventure of a lifetime. Cruise lines offer diverse and exciting itineraries that range in length from quick, three-night sailings to 100-plus day world cruises. Whether sailing Norway’s glacially carved coast in search of the Northern Lights or visiting the haunts of Paul Gauguin in the tranquil islands of French Polynesia, the world is yours to explore. The ocean is your highway to discovery as you fulfill your dream of transiting the Panama Canal, seek temples hidden in dense jungles, test the acoustics of ancient stone theaters and more.
There’s no better way to cross the Atlantic than aboard an ocean liner, so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. These leisurely voyages — with six or seven days at sea — offer insight into the past with the modern-day amenities we know and love. Embrace the culture of the United States and England with time in New York City and London on either end of the voyages on themed sailings aboard the elegant Queen Mary 2. As the world’s only true ocean liner in service today, Queen Mary 2 is in a league of its own in speed, strength and smoothness.
Mediterranean cruises evoke a romantic getaway, gliding across sapphire waters and discovering relics of ancient civilizations and powerful empires. Ships of all sizes navigate these legendary waters and are able to visit new ports every day, creating an immersive, well-rounded Mediterranean experience. Popular departure ports include Barcelona, Rome, Venice and Athens, with cruises being broken up between the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Mediterranean.
When Ferdinand Magellan named the world’s largest ocean Mar Pacífico for its favorable winds, he perfectly captured the idyllic lands emerging from the horizon. Follow in Magellan’s wake to island chains home to indigenous cultures, unfettered rainforests and endless beaches that give way to a kaleidoscope of marine life lingering beneath the surface.
Hundreds of islands and dozens of countries dot the Caribbean, offering a taste of something for travelers of every interest. Indigenous influences and colonial history, vibrant colors and natural beauty combine for a feeling of tropical bliss. Caribbean cruises sail from ports everywhere between Galveston, Texas and Boston, Massachusetts and are welcomed by pastel promenades and palm tree-lined beaches. With so many ports of call within a day’s sailing, cruises are divided into the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean, Cuba and transiting the Panama Canal.
In 1873, Jules Verne captured the world with his adventure novel “Around the World in Eighty Days.” While you may not win the wager, you can still sail around the world with the leisure of an ocean cruise. Enjoy all the amenities you know and love on ocean-going ships while visiting dozens of ports and countries in a single voyage. These world cruises are often between 90 and 120 days and can be broken into shorter segments that visit specific regions of the world. Chase the sunset with leisurely days at sea while enjoying spectacular arrays of world cuisine and diverse amenities onboard. Each step of the way, world cities and cultural hubs will ensure one incredible voyage of a lifetime.
From Seattle and Vancouver in the south to Anchorage far to the northwest, the coastal waters of Alaska are truly a magical experience. Temperate rainforests lining mountainous islands open to calving glaciers and whales breaching within the narrow waterways. The Inside Passage and many glaciers of Glacier Bay National Park are the focal point of an Alaskan cruise. Along the way, growing communities of indigenous peoples have retained their traditions while villages dotting the coasts are reminiscent of the Gold Rush era and the wild adventures that Alaska and the Pacific Northwest once represented. The narrow routes through the Inside Passage serve as protection from the open ocean and are a good choice for passengers more prone to sea sickness.
Endless sun in the summer and the Aurora Borealis in the winter; what could be better than that? Small, colorful villages dot the fjord-lined coasts and immense glaciers merge with the cool waters as the northerly landscapes remain unchanged since the early Viking explorers sailed into the unknown more than 1,000 years ago. Between the Inuit communities of Newfoundland and Labrador and Svalbard’s polar bear paradise, Greenland and Iceland have confounded and amazed visitors for centuries. Cruises across the North Atlantic connect these fascinating locales and offer a variety of itineraries ranging from regional samplings to in-depth adventure itineraries circumnavigating Iceland and journeying far into the Arctic Circle.
“If you enjoy cruising and expert-led lectures on the history and culture of the Hawaiian Islands, this is a fabulous program. During your days at sea, you'll be introduced to an amazing historical culture of island peoples with whom most of us on the mainland were not familiar. Unpack your suitcase just once and let the beauty of the sea and the islands welcome you.”
— Hildy, Road Scholar Class of 1998, from Santa Barbara, Calif. —