Californian cruise masters Viking claimed the honour of operating the ‘longest-ever continuous World Cruise itinerary’ when it unveiled its new Ultimate World Cruise yesterday.
Stretching across 245 days and six continents, the Viking Sun will embark on the mammoth odyssey on 31 August, when it plot a course from London onto a further 113 ports in in 59 different countries in a full circumnavigation of the globe.
“For more than 20 years we have been offering guests the most culturally immersive journeys available in the industry and we are pleased to announce the most extensive itinerary in our history,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking. “Our World Cruises offer guests the rare opportunity to unpack once and explore dozens of the best destinations on earth – at a value that is unprecedented in the travel industry.”
Passengers will also be able to choose to sail one of two shorter segments during the cruise; Viking World Treasures, a 127-day itinerary from London to Los Angeles taking in 33 countries and 61 ports, or Viking World Wonders, a 119-day journey from Los Angeles to London visiting 29 countries and 55 ports.
As with all Viking itineraries, guests receive a complimentary shore excursion in each port and free unlimited Wi-Fi; World Cruise guests also receive business class airfare and all gratuities and service fees, along with an extensive list of added-value included features in their cruise fare.
Ultimate World Cruise highlights
Docked in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London; allows guests easy access to the capital’s famous sights and landmarks, such as Big Ben the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
One of the 22 overnight stays on this itinerary occurs in the historic city of Rio de Janeiro, where passengers can take in the Christ the Redeemer statue or kickback samba-style on the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.
Often known as the ‘End of the World’, Ushuaia is a hill-top city on the southernmost tip of South America. A great place for passengers to head inland and the nearby Escondido and Fagnano Lakes or the Tierra del Fuego National Park — first inhabited by humans 10,000 years ago.
The capital of Australia’s island state of Tasmania, Hobart offers guests the chance to learn about aborigine culture and explore its dramatic geography, including Mt. Wellington, which overlooks the city.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Home to a striking combo of modern skyscrapers, French colonial buildings and ornate palaces, Vietnam offers passengers the opportunity to discover the Cu Chi Tunnels (above), Notre Dame Cathedral, the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Palace.
Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. Here guests can take in the Hanging Gardens municipal park, or learn about the life of Gandhi at the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum. Failing that, guests can hit the local shops and markets for a little retail therapy.
The site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor is dense with historical monuments for guests to explore, including the Temple of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings & Valley of the Queens, which house the tombs of the Pharaohs and their wives.
Eight new ports in South America
Guests will visit all eight of the new Viking ports while in South America, including Roseau, in Dominica; La Serena and Iquique in Chile; Lima, Pisco and Arequipa in Peru; Quito in Ecuador and Panama City (above) in Panama.