Cruise West has been formally known as a small-cruise ship line focusing on excursions to Alaska and Mexico. Things have changed to say the least. On March 6, 2010, Cruise West's first-ever world cruise left port in Singapore. This is not your average world cruise ship; it is the longest duration world cruise of modern times; a full 335-night adventure visiting 242 ports in 59 countries spanning 6 continents.
The "Voyages of the Great Explorers" as the adventure is named, will be broken up into six shifter, manageable "chapters" which are then broken down further into twenty four "segments" averaging fourteen days each. Fifteen percent of Cruise West travelers have booked two or more segments while 85% have only booked a single voyage cruise. For this maiden world voyage, there are two passengers who booked the full 11 months at sea at $ 250,000 a pop.
The cruise vessel is small; only 120 passengers. Without a lot of the extras on board that you would find on a large cruise ship, the focus of this trip is the destination. The voyage is designed for the educated traveler who has a great interest in history. Lecturers and local experts are on board to enhance the historical experience of the cruise. Each evening the passengers talk about their experiences of the day and are briefed for the next day's adventure. Food that compliments the regional cuisine will be available on the ship and passengers will be able to dine at local restaurants and markets.
Cruise West has set up a blog for those of us left on land. With it we can read about each day's experience as reported by the passengers themselves. What a nice treat this is.