Voyage of the Great Explorers

| July 20, 2009

Expedition Cruise line Cruise West is offering the world's longest World Cruise ever, almost a year-long starting in 2010.

Sadly, Rita Ippoliti passed away inexpectedly on Wednesday. She had written several articles in just the last two weeks, fortunately for us, and so we present one of them here. Please enjoy some of Rita's last words about a topic she loved.

Would you ever consider paying in excess of $200,000 per person for a World Cruise? Most people gasp in shock at such a price tag. Yet, that is where the fare starts for the 2010 world cruise being offered by Cruise West for 2010.

How can this small expedition cruise line justify such an opulent price tag? While most world cruises average about 100 days, this cruise is the longest world cruise ever scheduled -- spanning 335 days. This is the first time Cruise West has ever offered a World Cruise -- and what a world cruise it is!

This world cruise is called "Voyages of the Great Explorers" and it is set up like a book with six chapters. Each chapter contains multiple voyages all dedicated to one great explorer.

Chapter 1, "Ancient Trade Routes of the Mystic East," encompasses four voyages dedicated to the travels of Marco Polo. Chapter 4 follows the travels of Christopher Columbus and is entitled "The New World." It encompasses five separate voyages. Passengers can sign up for one or more cruises, an entire chapter for one explorer, or the whole world cruise.

Cruise West's 2010 mega voyage will begin in Singapore on March 5, 2010 onboard their flagship, the Spirit of Oceanus. Hosting a mere 120 guests in spacious comfort, the ship is comprised of all suite accommodations. It also contains two expansive lounges, a game room, a library and an elegant dining room where the dress code is always casual. And, unlike most of Cruise West's vessels, the Spirit of Oceanus is entirely wheelchair accessible.

What is the Value Equation? But let's get to the bottom line here, I asked Jerrol Golden, Director of Public Relations for Cruise West. "What do you get for the whopping price tag of over $200 grand per person?"

"Quite a lot," she assured me. "Far more than you see on a traditional world cruise."

First of all, while cabins start at about $230,000 per person for this voyage, there are various discounts that can knock a good $70,000 or more off of that price. And secondly, this isn't just any world cruise, it's the longest, most ambitious world sailing ever offered by any cruise line, large or small.

"Spanning 335 days, this is truly the adventure of a lifetime," says Golden. "It is comprised of 24 separate voyages that could be booked individually or in combination. It covers six continents, 14 seas and oceans, and more than 59 countries. There are 242 ports of call, with visits to 85 UNESCO World Heritage Sites."

In other words, this isn't just your average cruise; it's a total immersion experience. "You don't just visit each destination," Golden said. "You become a part of it and can immerse yourself as deeply into it as you wish." The key here, according to Golden, is a combination of two things; First, the Cruise West Exploration Leaders, and secondly, the fact that many shore visits are made via inflatable Zodiacs, allowing Cruise West passengers to visit places inaccessible to the larger cruise ships.

"We visit a lot more ports than most cruise ships. In fact, just about every day onboard will offer some sort of port stop, either via the ship itself or via our Zodiac landing craft. We visit some unique destinations, places that almost never get cruise ship passengers. Because of that, we have been able to forge some special relationships with the people at our destinations, and can offer our passengers unique experiences unavailable to anyone else."

Continue Article >> The Value Equation (Continued) (Part 2)

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