How do you pack a suitcase for a trip that includes ogling emperor penguins in the Falkland Islands, lazing on the beach in Hawai‘i, and spending nights out in major cities like Cape Town and Beijing? It’s a question you’ll have to ask yourself if you sign up for Life at Sea Cruises’ new around-the-world itinerary.
The Florida-based Life at Sea Cruises, a spin-off of ship management company Miray Cruises, recently announced a three-year cruise, during which guests will sail roughly 130,000 miles, stop in 375 ports across 148 countries, and visit every continent.
The vessel will depart from Istanbul, Turkey, on November 1, 2023, before making additional stops (where passengers can also embark) in Barcelona and Miami. In the more than 1,000 days that follow, the ship will explore much of South America, Antarctica, the Caribbean, Central America, the USA (including California, Hawai‘i, Washington, and Alaska), northern Asia, the South Pacific, Australia, countries on the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, southern and western Africa, and coastal Europe.
During that time, the sailing will deliver passengers to myriad iconic and UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great Wall of China, Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue, and India’s Taj Mahal.
While other around-the-world cruises typically spend a day or two at each port, the advantage of this much longer sailing is that it will dock for up to seven nights in some larger cities, like Shanghai and Singapore.
The cruise was originally slated to take place on the MV Gemini, which could accommodate up to 1,074 passengers, but due to demand, the company has since switched to the MV Lara, which allows for 1,266 passengers.
Cabin sizes range from 145 square feet for interior staterooms (which include a double bed, a bathroom, and a desk) to 220 square feet for balcony suites (which have an additional living room area).
Pricing, which includes all meals, drinks (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic), laundry, Wi-Fi, gratuities, housekeeping, and port fees, starts at $38,513 and goes up to $98,226 per year based on accommodations. There isn’t the option to do shorter legs; however, it is possible to go in on one room with family and friends and divvy up the costs with who is on the boat at any given time. The company is also offering a matchmaking scheme, where passengers co-own a cabin with another group and split time on board.
For meals, passengers can choose to dine at either of the two main restaurants, visit the café on the pool deck, or order room service. The ship’s amenities include a swimming pool, sun deck, a golf simulator, a fitness center, and a hospital staffed with healthcare providers and a dentist and outfitted with a pharmacy and medical equipment such as X-ray and ultrasound machines and defibrillators. (According to the cruise line, the medical staff “even has the capability to perform certain surgeries.”) For those who want to work from sea, there’s also a large business center (replacing a former casino) with meeting rooms, dedicated office spaces, a library, and a lounge area.
In the past year, as cruisers have returned to the sea with a fervor following the pandemic pause in global sailings, cruise lines have been witnessing incredible demand for around-the-world sailings—one of Oceania Cruises’ 180-day itineraries sold out in 30 minutes last year. Life at Sea Cruises isn’t the only cruise line that has introduced the idea of a multi-year sailing. Another cruise company, Storylines, recently unveiled plans to launch a residential cruise ship, MV Narrative, that will sail indefinitely starting in 2024.
This story was originally published in March 2023 and has since been updated with new information.