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Monday, October 20, 2008

World Cruises 2009-2010

This winter you can drive to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and set sail on one of several ships that circumnavigate the planet.

Cunard Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises are among the lines offering world cruises from Port Everglades.

Other lines sail from U.S. ports including New York and Los Angeles and international ports.

Typically, these voyages take 90 to 100 days to sail around the world, but shorter-duration segments are available and many opt for one of these "in a part of the world they probably have never seen before," said Terry Dale, president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association.

The voyages generally visit scores of ports on several continents and usually feature guest lecturers including actors, government officials, astronauts and other celebrities as part of enrichment programs.

Fares listed are per person, double. Always ask if there are specials, discounts, air upgrades, pre-voyage hotel stay, onboard credits and other benefits that may be available.

Here is a look at world cruises featured this coming season:

CRYSTAL CRUISES Crystal's 14th annual world cruise, on board Crystal Serenity, departs Los Angeles Jan. 21, on a 106-day voyage visiting 45 cities in Mexico, the South Pacific, New Zealand, eastern and western Australia, Indonesia and Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Russia, Alaska, and British Columbia before returning to Los Angeles via San Francisco.Segments are available in lengths of 12 to 22 days. Special guests onboard will include Deborah Norville, Ed McMahon, Richard Dreyfuss, Jack Hanna and more than two dozen experts on world affairs and other topics. The trip will also feature 125 new shore excursions, including several on a complimentary basis. Fares start at $54,135.

CUNARD LINE Both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria embark on their second World Cruises in 2009. Queen Victoria makes a 99-day Exploration of Distant Horizons world cruise (from $20,995) departing from New York Jan. 10 and calling on the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.It is also available in four segments including a 17-day New York to Los Angeles segment and a 27-day Sydney to Singapore segment. Queen Mary 2's 90-day Epic Expedition (from $19,362) departs Fort Lauderdale Jan. 13 and circumnavigates South America before sailing "Down Under" and then through Asia and Europe. Segments include a 28-day Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles cruise and 31-day Singapore to New York voyage.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE Rotterdam offers a 128-day Grand World Voyage departing Jan. 5 from Fort Lauderdale (from $23,639). T he westbound route sails the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, and on through Asia and Africa before visiting the Caribbean and home to Ft. Lauderdale.Overnights are featured in Sydney, Australia; Hong Kong and Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; Mombasa, Kenya, and Cape Town, South Africa. Segments of 22 to 69 days are available. The voyage will feature the east coast of Africa to South Africa and a rare "Midnight Golden Line Crossing" when the Rotterdam crosses the Equator and the International Date Line simultaneously.

PRINCESS CRUISES Princess will offer two global itineraries in 2009. The 670-passenger Tahitian Princess and 710-passenger Royal Princess will offer similar 107-day itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, the former departing Jan. 12 and finishing up in Dover, Engla nd and the latter sailing Jan. 20, concluding in Rome.The itinerary features South America, the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, India and Egypt as well as a variety of European destinations. Both will feature a new port for Princess – Port Blair in the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. Other exotic destinations include Vietnam, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and the Great Barrier Reef. Fares begin at $21,495.

REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES The 700-passenger Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner will visit a total of 110 ports of call in 50 countries on six continents. Segments ranging in length from 12 to 24 nights are available in the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan, India, the Middle East, North African and the Mediterranean.Celebrity guests will include former Florida Governor Bob Graham, football coach Don Shula, Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Al Worden and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The Seven Seas Voyager sails from L.A. to Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 13 (116-days, from $64,995); the Seven Seas Mariner sails from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver on Jan. 26 (121 days, from $64,995).

SILVERSEA CRUISES Fort Lauderdale-based Silversea Cruises is offering its first ever Grand Pacific Voyage in 2009, a 92-day extended odyssey timed to coincide with prime regional seasons of the Pacific Ocean (from $55,170). The voyage will depart Los Angeles on March 7, 2009 on Silver Shadow.Composed of six themed segments, passengers will visit 45 ports, 15 countries and two hemispheres with overnight stays in Bora Bora, Sydney, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Guests sailing the full voyage receive complimentary hotel accommodations in Los Angeles on the eve of departure, plus20transfer and baggage handling between airport, hotel and ship.Enrichment speakers scheduled include Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space, and Pulitzer Prize winner, Frank McCourt. For more information on world cruises call Grand Voyages at 800.365.1445

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