Forget Going Around the World in 80 Days — Expensive Cruise Will Do It in Nine Months

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Dec. 18 2023, Published 2:45 p.m. ET

Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is offering a nine-month cruise around the world.
  • The cost is anywhere from a little over $53,000 to over $105,000.
  • Passengers will visit more than 65 countries in 274 days.
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I've been on three cruises and each one couldn't be more different from the other. The very first cruise I dipped my toes into lasted a full two weeks and took us to Spain, Greece, Italy, and Egypt. The excursions off the ship were the stars of the show but for my money, the all-you-can-eat nearly 24-hour buffet was where the real fun began and ended. You simply haven't lived until you had a "free" chocolate fountain at your disposal for 14 days. I am extremely proud of my trash palate.

Cruises definitely get a bad rap and I think it's mostly rooted in ageism. For years they were geared towards older, retired people, but that ship has definitely sailed. There are now cruises designed for specific interests such as the one I did in 2019 with a coworker where we interviewed Fred Durst. It was appropriately called ShipRocked. You can even sail all around the world if you have nine months of free time. Just how much does a nine-month world cruise cost? Hint: a lot.

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Passengers on a cruise ship
Source: Getty Images

Cruise in dalmatia, 1920-30

A nine-month world cruise definitely costs more than most people have.

In October 2021, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line announced that in December 2023 they would offer what they called The Ultimate World Cruise. According to CNN, it's "designed to help travel-starved cruisers make up for lost time.'" That time was of course lost during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. What better way to celebrate leaving quarantine than by putting yourself on a ship for nearly a year, that you can't easily leave?

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Prices vary depending on where in the ship one stays. The cheapest option will cost a single person $53,999, which doesn't include the "taxes, fees, and port expenses of $4,667 per person and are subject to change at any time," per Royal Caribbean. If this is all you can afford, you'll be staying in an interior stateroom which can run quite small and have zero windows. I did this on my first cruise, and boy was it a mistake. If you're claustrophobic, skip it.

The most expensive room listed is a junior suite. I've stayed in one of these and if you can swing it, you're gonna want this for the balcony alone. You simply haven't lived until you've contemplated your existence overlooking miles of endless ocean while listening to Enigma's Return to Innocence. For this, you'll need $105,839 and no fear of heights. There are other suite options available but those must be so pricey, that Royal Caribbean suggests you call for details.

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The cost of this trip has some perks involved. Fingers crossed one of them is a chocolate fountain. Royal Caribbean promises that regardless of the stateroom you stay in, "your fare includes Ultimate Cruise segment complimentary amenities like Deluxe Beverage Package, gratuities, VOOM internet package, and wash and fold laundry service." If you don't want to do the full nine-month journey, you can join during segments such as the Ultimate Asia Pacific Cruise or Ultimate Europe and Beyond Cruise.

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Where does the Royal Caribbean nine-month world cruise go?

The world is a big place and luckily there's a ton of water a person can cruise on. "The adventure begins and ends in Miami, Florida, visiting all seven continents, 65 countries, over 150 ports of call, with 18 overnights and 11 World Wonders," per Royal Caribbean. I took a look at the itinerary and it's impressive. I got overwhelmed after two weeks on a cruise, so this is pretty intense.

Taking a peek at the itinerary reveals that guests will basically be in a different place almost every day. Apart from the occasional cruising days, which is when all of your deep Enya-style thoughts will occur, you truly will see almost everything planet Earth has to offer. The only left to do is figure out how one packs for 274 days. I'm an over packer, so this would be a real problem for me.

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