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Business Standard : For $61,000, spend most of the year on a cruise around the world

The cruising industry suffered a crippling hit after Covid-19-related travel restrictions, which began in early 2020, prevented most voyages for more than a year

Royal Caribbean announced Wednesday the launch of its Ultimate World Cruise –– a 274-night adventure that visits all seven continents and hits more than 150 destinations in 65 countries. Highlights will include the Great Wall of China, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, Egypt’s Great Pyramid, and India’s Taj Mahal.

The trip, billed as the longest ever offered by a major cruise company will cost $61,000.

The cruising industry suffered a crippling hit after Covid-19-related travel restrictions, which began in early 2020, prevented most voyages for more than a year.

Royal Caribbean will not sail again before July 31 in most markets, though it will restart Chinese operations sooner.

Royal Caribbean’s 9-month-long sailing will surpass Viking Cruise’s 245-night Ultimate World Cruise, which launched in August of 2019. (It was forced to end early as a result of the pandemic.)

Passengers will board the Serenade of Seas vessel in Miami, Florida starting December 10, 2023, and travel the seas until the journey ends on September 10, 2024. The trip will be divided into four segments, and passengers will have the option to join for some or all of them.

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The extensive trip comes months after cruise line companies began rolling out multi-month itineraries to cruise enthusiasts, many of whom were eager to resume travel after spending months in pandemic isolation. Those trips booked up quickly.

“Now more than ever, people have resolved to travel the world and make up for a lost time,” said Michael Bayley, president, and CEO of Royal Caribbean.

The ship’s website promises a lot to do, which is important considering world cruise guests will be spending a lot of time onboard.

Many amenities are ones you may expect, such as a theater, a spa, and a fitness center. Then there are the ones you might not, including mini-golf, rock climbing, and singalong parties. There’s a nightclub where guests can go to “dance, chill or be noticed,” a card room, and a game show. Travelers can attend guest lectures and take classes on cupcake-making, scrapbooking, dancing, sushi, and foreign languages, among others.

On Royal Caribbean’s Facebook post announcing the world cruise, fans celebrated the news but lamented the cost.

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