Travel

Published on April 6th, 2017 | by Tim Johnson

Take a Cruise and Keep Cruising.

Like the explorers of centuries past, more and more people who possess both the money and the time are opting to spend very long spans at sea – in fact, with ships sailing nonstop to increasingly exotic places, some are opting to just stay on board, selling homes and becoming full-time cruisers. I was recently on board the Queen Victoria amidst her annual World Voyage – round-trip from Southampton, England, the ship will sail for 120 days, touching four continents. And a significant portion of the passengers – hundreds actually – will remain on board for all of it.

The Cruisers.
As I make my way around the ship, I chat with my fellow cruisers on their long-term voyages. For some, it’s a way of seeing the world from the safety of a familiar environment and good food and shows. For others, disabilities prevent more arduous adventures, so this ship allows the world to come to them. And some folks were just looking to break out of their routine – and had the bucks and the time to do so.

The Inside Skinny.
I chatted with one of those cruisers, Osahon, at the approximate halfway point of his second World Voyage—his first was in 2015, a trip that took him all the way around the globe. “Here, everything blurs together,” he smiled. “I never know the date. Or even the day of the week.” He added that being a “social animal” helps a lot – being prepared to chat with strangers, and join with them for classes (the ship offers courses in everything from painting watercolours to making hats) and on teams to win sports and trivia competitions. He and his wife keep sharp (and learn a few things) by joining in for the several trivia competitions held in the ship’s library and pub. And, he adds, you should do a little research beforehand, and choose a cruise that caters to your interests. For Osahon, he was more than happy to pack his dancing shoes. “I love all the live music on board, and that all of the Cunard ships has a dedicated ballroom and live orchestra.”

Table Talk.
The Queen Victoria offers old-school communal dining, as well, and I enjoyed getting to know my eight regular tablemates at Table 3444. One, named Jim, advised that, coming on a cruise like this one, you should be willing to try anything once – especially when you’re on board for so long, variety can become the spice of life. The printed Daily Programme, which cabin stewards leave on your bed every evening, outlines literally dozens of activities available each day, and Jim told me that I’d be well-served to leave my comfort zone and try a few things. He added that I should do my best to attend most of the theatre shows – each night features a different entertainer, including magicians and aerial acts and impressionists, or a song-and-dance performance from the on-board entertainers. Even if you don’t think it’s your thing – do it anyway. “You may not like ventriloquists,” he laughed, “but you really should go!” Good advice for those in it for the long haul.

Long-term cruising may not be for everyone, but if your sense of adventure longs for something different from the ordinary, then simply set sail. Endless destinations await and so do months of relaxation and enjoyment. Make the world you discover, your world.

Call one of our Travel Consultants and discover the many wonders of the world – + 1-855-660-2292

Prone to roaming the globe, travel writer Tim Johnson is always in search of a new adventure. Having visited 117 countries on all seven continents, he writes about travel for some of North America’s largest publications, including the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest and CNN Travel.

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