"Grand Voyages"—extended itineraries that usually focus on a specific region—are one of the best cruise values around. Offered mainly by premium and luxury lines, they help travelers explore the globe without taking the time to go on a full-blown world cruise.
The first question that comes to mind when booking a Gand Voyage is...why not just book back-to-back cruises? For one thing, most budget or mainstream lines plan consecutive cruises that have the same ports repeatedly, while Grand Voyages visit new destinations every day. They also offer incredibly interesting itineraries, like these choice routes on offer in 2014...
Sands and Safaris with Oceania Cruises
WHEN: 30 nights aboard Nautica starting January 7, 2014
WHERE: Cape Town, South Africa to Singapore with the following ports of call: East London, Durban, and Richards Bay in South Africa; Maputo, Mozambique; Nosy Be, Madagascar; Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar in Tanzania; Mombasa, Kenya; an overnight in Mahe; Seychelles and another overnight in the Maldives; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Phuket, Thailand; and Penang and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Indian Ocean with Compagnie du Ponant
WHEN: 17 nights aboard Le Soleal starting March 27, 2014
WHERE: Colombo, Sri Lanka to Muscat Oman with visits to Male, Maldives; Cochin, India; Goa and Bombay, India; Dubai, UAE; and Khasab, Oman
Holland America’s Amazon Explorer
WHEN: 28 nights aboard Prinsendam starting November 20, 2014
WHERE: Fort Lauderdale round-trip with stops at St. Thomas; Guadeloupe; St. Lucia; Barbados; Devil’s Island in French Guiana; Santarum, Boca da Valeria, Manaus, Parintins, and Alter do Chao in Brazil; Amazon River cruising; Tobago; St. Vincent; Bonaire; Curacao; and Aruba.
European Adventure with Regent Seven Seas
WHEN: 27 nights aboard Seven Seas Voyager starting May 18, 2014
WHERE: Rome to Stockholm with calls on Florence, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Marseille, Bordeaux, and Honfleur in France; Barcelona, Seville, and Bilboa in Spain; Lisbon and Oporto in Portugal; London, England; Zeebrugge, Belgium; Amsterdam, Holland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Riga, Latvia; Helsinki, Finland; an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Tallinn, Estonia.
The Northwest Passage (Greenland, Canada, and Alaska) with Silversea
WHEN: 23 nights aboard Silver Explorer starting August 9, 2014
WHERE: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Nome, Alaska with visits to Greenland ports of Sissimiut, Ilulissat, and Uumannaq; Canada (various ports in Nunavut, Peel Sound, Dease Strait, and the Northwest Territories); and Barrow, Alaska.
North Cape and Baltic Grandeur with Seabourn
WHEN: 26 nights aboard Seabourn Quest starting July 13, 2014
WHERE: Copenhagen to London with visits to Norwegian ports like Flam, Alesund, Leknes, Tromso, Honningsvag, North Cape, Olden, Bergen, and Stavanger, plus Tallinnn, Estonia; an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia; Kalmar, Sweden; cruising the Kiel Canal; an overnight in Amsterdam; and a visit to Ghent, Belgium.
Andrea M. Rotondo is a freelance writer based in New York City. She covers cruise news and luxury travel trends for Fodors.com and writes for a variety of outlets, including her website Luxury Travel Mavens. Follow her on Twitter: @luxtravelmavens.
Photo credit: Nautica courtesy of Oceania Cruises, Prinsendam courtesy of Holland America, Silver Explorer courtesy of Silversea