While most of us are busy trying to figure out how to get things done more quickly in our daily lives, the trend in travel is to slow things down. Earmark more time for the journey itself and then take your time exploring a region of the world. Seabourn, a cruise line known for inventive itineraries and impeccable service, has incorporated the idea of "slow travel" into a series of voyages throughout 2014 and 2015.
Called "Extended Explorations", these linked itineraries last anywhere from 28 to 116 days and were crafted specifically so you'll have the time you need to get to know a region in depth. The line has developed voyages for all seasons and all around the world. When booking these combined cruises, you'll receive a 10% savings on the fare and will benefit from special onboard activities and land-based excursions. Regional experts will present an onboard lecture series. The ship's chef will present regionally themed meals, and local entertainers will come aboard to share their traditions with you.
Extended Explorations have been programmed for Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, South America, and Antarctica. If you're new to long cruises, you may wish to dip your toe into these waters with Seabourn Odyssey's 28-day Australia to Indonesia Exploration that departs Sydney on February 23, 2015. This voyage spends time in the Australian ports of Brisbane and Cairns before heading to the Great Barrier Reef and Gold Coast. You'll then be introduced to the Indonesian destinations of Flores, Komodo, Lombok, Bali, and Java. The highlight of this cruise will be time spent with the famed komodo dragons on the island of Komodo.
If you don't want to wait until 2015, consider the 46-day African Holiday Exploration that departs Barcelona on November 19, 2014. Seabourn Sojourn will introduce guests to Morocco, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Sao Tome and Principe, Angola, Namibia, the Cape, Eastern Cape, and the South African Indian Ocean. In addition to well-traveled destinations like Walvis Bay and Luderitz in Namibia, you'll get to know Dakar, Senegal and Banjul, Gambia—among other fascinating destinations.
For travelers interested in Southeast Asia, you'll want to book Seabourn Sojourn's February 3, 2015 sailing. This 40-day Myanmar & More Exploration sails round-trip from Singapore, calling on ports in Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Borneo. These days everyone is talking about visiting Myanmar and you'll spend three days and two nights in Rangoon. If a visit to that mysterious country isn't enough, you'll also spend time in Borneo. Definitely book an excursion to see orangutans outside the city limits of Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia.
The longest extended voyage on Seabourn Sojourn's schedule is the 116-day Africa & Southeast Asia Exploration that departs Barcelona on November 19, 2014. This combines the African Holiday Exploration with additional days visiting Mozambique, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. This itinerary was designed with all of you island lovers in mind. The gorgeous beaches and waterscapes of Reunion, Mauritius, the Maldives, and Thailand's Phuket will be etched in your memory forever.
If these journeys sound spectacular but you don't have that much time to set aside for your vacation, consult Seabourn's Cruise Calendar for alternative voyages—many of which last for 7, 10, 12, or 14 days.
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: Photos courtesy of Seabourn