According to a study published in Psychological Science journal, experiences provide people with “more enduring happiness” than acquiring material possessions. Statistics from the American Association of Port Authorities reveal that over 20 million people went on cruises in 2014. To meet the increasing demand for world cruises, several cruise lines have devoted more ships in their fleets to them.

 

A world cruise is a substantial investment of both time and money, and if it’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing, there are a few things you should know. The most important thing you should know before setting sail on a three-month journey is yourself. Experienced cruisers recommend taking a shorter cruise first to experience what it’s like to be in close quarters on the open sea for several days. It’s also important to consider the level of accommodations you can live comfortably with for a long period as well as how much you can pay. Prices can range from $15,819 to $233,998, depending upon the itinerary and the level of service.

 

If you’re the type who is energized by socializing in large groups and meeting new people, you might enjoy a larger ship. Like big cities, they offer more variety in entertainment, activities and the number of people you can meet. However, due to their size they aren’t able to dock in as many ports, so land excursions may be either more limited or more expensive. The typical stop provides only six to eight hours in which to partake of the local culture.

 

A smaller ship offers less variety onboard, but a more intimate atmosphere. The larger number of ports means more opportunities to experience the flavors of local communities that aren’t as tourist-oriented as those in major ports. If your purpose for a world cruise is to see the wonders of nature rather than socialize, several cargo ships┬ánow offer world cruises. With as few as five modestly appointed staterooms, you can either commune with nature or take your meals with the captain and crew.

It’s best to book your cruise as soon as it becomes available. This sampling of cruises available in 2016 can help you decide on your must-see destinations. Once you have, experts recommend using an experienced cruise agent rather than booking online to get the best deal. They also recommend booking the ship and the flight separately and purchasing travel insurance. You can compare prices at sites like InsureMyTrip.com. Finally, there are a number of visa and immunization requirements for world travel, as well as some tips for staying healthy for the duration of your cruise.

 

Good planning can help make a world cruise the experience of a lifetime.