How to Choose Your World Cruise: Silversea’s Unparalleled Voyages in 2024, 2025 and 2026
Circumnavigating the globe was once limited to professional explorers redrawing maps of the world. In 1881, the SS Ceylon departed Southampton, England, returning nearly a year later on what is considered the first commercial world cruise.
Today, the time commitment on modern-day world cruises has lessened, but the destination offerings remain vast. They are not “Around the World in Eighty Days,” partly because these are not circumnavigations and they last longer than 80 days. But they are definitely journeys of a lifetime.
The fortunate travelers who are contemplating a world cruise booking – la crème de la crème of ocean voyages – have much to consider, including the commitment of time and money.
Here are six considerations to contemplate in deciding which world cruise helps you achieve your goals and, of course, addresses your vacation wants and desires. Grab a pen and paper or a word document and jot down your answers.
1. Reflect on what you’re most excited about seeing
An obvious question? Perhaps. But you’ll want to focus on the places you love or have always longed to see. Have you dreamed of taking a closer look at Asia but haven’t had the opportunity? Or have you been inspired to learn more about ancient cultures of Egypt or Greece? This is your chance.
Choose a geographic focus within the broader cruise itinerary so you can be sure you will reach your travel goals.
2. Study the sea days
So much time is dedicated – rightfully so – to reviewing the ports and countries you’ll visit that it’s sometimes easy to forget that multiple sea days are part of world cruises. Some people find them relaxing and restorative; others worry about being bored or seasick.
Wherever you land on the sea/day scale, review each world cruise itinerary to tally the time you’ll spend on the water versus time in port.
If you’re not a sea-day person, consider that you can’t skip time at sea, so you perhaps choose a cruise that contains fewer days on the briny deep. If a week at sea sounds like a welcome break, give that plenty of consideration.
3. Take a look at the special experiences offered
Itineraries are as different as the companies that offer them. Each company and sailing offers its own custom experiences, often as evening tours or excursions that have been curated to ensure exclusivity.
These experiences are an area of special attention on Silversea. For example, you may be a Paris pro, but have you spent the evening at Versailles with Marie Antoinette? That’s part of the fun of the Versailles experience on the Silversea’s 2025 World Cruise.
Or maybe you’ve spent time in Australia, but have you dined under the stars at Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock? This overland program is on the agenda for Silversea’s 2024 World Cruise. Silversea flies you to the sacred monolith from Darwin in a specially chartered aircraft.
You might have a clear idea of what you want to see and do, but don’t do so at the expense of missing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities available to world cruise guests. When reviewing these special events, be discriminating; which ones would be impossible to replicate on your own? Choose an itinerary that features those experiences.
4. Crunch the numbers
We don’t mean money. Rather, this is the tally that every well-traveled person keeps publicly or privately: the “Where-I’ve-Been” or “What-I-Must-See” list.
If the number of countries or ports visited, days at sea, return trips to a favorite place or must-see sights are pivotal foe you, examine each world cruise itinerary to see what will complement your previous travels. Will this sailing get you to 100 countries? Will you finally be able to cross off that last continent from your globetrotting to-do?
Even if this world cruise is not your final elaborate adventure, it’s still an impressive occasion to cap off a life well-traveled to this point. (And if you are reviewing financial obligations, we recommend breaking down the trip into a per-diem cost to compare what you would spend on another vacation — or even living day to day at home.)
5. Consider the ship
The cruise ship you select for your world voyage will be your floating home for an extended trip, so take that into account. Do you like the look of the lounges and public spaces? Will you have a variety of dining options and venues? Does your cabin have ample storage?
If you’ve already sailed on a particular vessel and know the crew or the layout, that may appeal on a long stretch away from home. Or maybe you’re attracted to the offerings on a given ship, and 20 weeks onboard is the ideal opportunity to explore every nook and cranny.
As with any world cruise, the focus is ultimately on the destinations, but make sure the onboard programming also appeals so it will enhance your journey.
6. Think about where you’ll begin and end your trip
Where you begin and end your journey is vitally important. Have you always imagined pulling up to port as your family waves you in? Gathering the grandkids in Florida might be a wonderful way to end a special trip.
Because you’re already spending more than 100 days away, you might think, “What’s another few weeks?” If so, we like your spirit, and we invite you to consider your embarkation port for a pre-cruise land tour. A departure from Sydney makes time in Australia and even New Zealand an attainable extension. A departure from Tokyo encourages guests to spend at least a few days acclimating to Japan’s atmosphere (and time zone) before embarking.
Don’t forget to think about when you’ll begin and end. World cruises tend to start in January and end in May; if you don’t want to miss a special milestone birthday with the family, reconsider the sail date.
For Silversea, World Cruises in 2024, 2025 and 2026 have been announced. The theme of each year’s sailing can help you decide which of these itineraries works best for you.
World Cruise 2024: Far East-West (Round Trip San Francisco)
Silver Shadow departs Jan. 15, 2024, from San Francisco for 133 days before docking back in San Francisco on May 26, 2024. During this around the world voyage, guests will call on 65 ports in 14 countries, combining seven routes (San Francisco to Lautoka, Fiji; Lautoka to Sydney; Sydney to Bali; Bali to Hong Kong; Hong Kong to Tokyo; Tokyo to Seward, Alaska; and Seward to San Francisco).
Itinerary highlights of the 2024 World Cruise include three days in Fiji; two weeks in Australia, with calls on Thursday Island and the Kimberley; an overnight in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City; eight days in Japan; and nine ports in Alaska, plus cruising the Hubbard Glacier.
Days at Sea:
This itinerary includes 45 days at sea; the longest consecutive stretch is five days at the start of the crossing from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii.
Silversea’s Silver Shadow is a marvelous home-away-from-home. The all-suite vessel features a superb spa, plenty of outdoor deck space, and four restaurants, including La Dame.
Silversea’s Special Experiences:
Special events include a ’40s-style event aboard the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the vessel on which the 1945 ceremony in Tokyo Bay brought an end to World War II.
The massive red rock of Australia’s Uluru is a signature experience; you will be taken, by way of a specially chartered from Darwin, to the mount where you will enjoy a traditional Aboriginal welcome – and cocktails and canapes. An Australia-inspired dinner that incorporates native bush ingredients follows.
Also bound to be spectacular: In Indonesia, a one-night overland for all full world cruise guests heads inland, where they’ll visit the Royal Palace and witness a Hindu procession at Prambanan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There you will enjoy local Javanese and Indonesian dishes under the stars.
After overnighting in a hotel, you’ll head out early in the morning to see spectacular Borobudur, the world’s largest (and most magnificent) Buddhist monument.
The Far East-West World Cruise is best for:
Travelers who want to spend time circumnavigating Australia and exploring the gems of the Indian Ocean and who also want to uncover the wonders of the United States, thanks to time spent in Hawaii, Alaska, and California.
Details: Far East-West, Silversea’s 2024 world cruise on Silver Shadow, sails roundtrip from San Francisco.
World Cruise 2025: Controtempo (Tokyo to New York)
Silver Dawn, launched in 2022, departs Jan. 13, 2025, from Tokyo for 136 days before docking in New York on May 29, 2025. During this voyage, guests will call on 61 ports in 29 countries, combining 10 routes. Highlights of this World Cruise itinerary include 19 ports of call in Asia; a visit to Jordan’s Petra and a crossing of the Suez Canal; multiple European cities in the spring such as Lisbon, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Naples; and extended calls at Iceland and Greenland .
Silver Dawn, which launched in 2022, offers unparalleled amenities, such as S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste), with its S.A.L.T. Kitchen, S.A.L.T. Lab and S.A.L.T. Bar. In all, there are eight bars and eight restaurants, including La Dame, Kaiseki, and La Terrazza. Otium, the uniquely indulgent spa, is available on Silver Dawn.
Silversea special experiences:
Special events offered to guests on this unique sailing include an overland overnight in Cairo, with a private visit to the Abdeen Presidential Palace; a photography exhibit custom-created for guests in Stockholm that will be accompanied by a meal from an emerging Scandinavian chef; and a visit to My Son Sanctuary, in the multicultural Cham community in the mountains of Vietnam.
Silversea’s Controtempo, its 2025 world cruise, is best for….
Someone who has seen and done it all before. The Italian term “controtempo,” which translates to “going against the melody” or “off beat” is at the heart of this World Cruise, which offers unexpected twists on a standard itinerary. That includes visiting Japan in winter and Scandinavia in spring. It’s a trip that few travelers can say he or she has done before.
Silversea’s Controtempo World Cruise 2025 is best for:
Travelers who have seen and done it all before. The Italian term “controtempo,” which translates to “going against the melody” or “off beat” is at the heart of this World Cruise, which offers unexpected twists on a standard itinerary. That includes visiting Japan in winter and Scandinavia in spring. It’s a trip that no guest can say he or she has done before.
Info: Intrigued? Check out more details on World Cruise 2025: Controtempo (Tokyo to New York)
World Cruise 2026, The Curious and the Sea (Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Lisbon)
The Curious and the Sea, a 140-day cruise, will visit 70 destinations (up by 10 from 2025’s itinerary) and stop at 37 countries (an increase of five from 2025 and the greatest number in the past six years).
Its theme is meant to celebrate the connection of humanity with the sea. It is inspired to share curiosity, freedom, and the spirit of discovery that propelled famed explorers and navigators to traveled around the globe.
The Curious and the Sea departs Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 6, 2026 (full world cruise guests will be treated to an overnight hotel stay and gala event on Jan.), and finishes up on May 27 in Lisbon.
Sailing on Silver Dawn, The Curious and the Sea 2026 will focus on regions such as the South Pacific, with a 28-day deep dive into Easter Island and French Polynesia. In this region, new-to-world-cruise calls include Nuku’alofa, Atuona, and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Fakarava along with New Caledonia’s Noumea and Lifou.
Next: You’ll semi-circumnavigate Australia. Over 20 days, explore its wildlife, natural beauty and its fabled culinary scene. Ports new-to-a-Silversea-world-cruise include Esperance, known for the salty pink lakes of Lake Hillier, and Exmouth, on the west coast, the gateway to the Ningaloo Reef, part of the UNESCO World Heritage program.
After Singapore, the next deep dive will visit places in the Indian Ocean. In this region, you’ll explore the history of trade routes for spice and silk in visits to Cochin and Mumbai, India, and Sri Lanka’s Galle.
After crossing the Suez Canal, you’ll be in the Eastern Mediterranean. The voyage will focus on the Holy Land, then explore ancient civilizations of Greece and Turkey.
In the Adriatic Sea, you’ll explored new-to-world-cruise destinations such as Montenegro’s Kotor and Italy’s Trapani, join Dubrovnik, Croatia; Siracusa , Italy; and Tunisia’s La Goulette, before the making its way to Spain and then the final port of Lisbon.
Days at sea:
Balancing onboard activity, enrichment, rest and wellness on the busy The Curious and the Sea, 62 days will be spent at sea. The sense of adventure and curiosity on this world cruise will be extended from land to sea, as Silver Dawn, which hosts Silversea’s S.A.L.T. Kitchen, Lab and Bar, will showcase visiting chefs, regional food experts and authors for in-depth culinary exploration.
We love that S.A.L.T. Kitchen, whose menus reflect the places you’re visiting and change often, will have 80 distinct menus during this world cruise. And S.A.L.T. Bar will feature a collection of 70 custom-created regional cocktails (including non-alcoholic craft spirits). Another aspect of Silver Dawn we love is Otium, its unique spa that’s influenced by the Roman traditions of pleasure rather than sacrifice as well as the pleasures go beyond the spa itself.
We are also excited about the overland programs for World Cruise 2026 where travelers can debark Silver Dawn for anywhere from four to 10 days to explore inland places that ships can’t reach. A 10-day trip to Uzbekistan, the heart of the Silk Road, includes visits to Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara.
For six days you can have an deeply immersive adventures in Egypt, with visits to Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and more on a luxury Nile cruise.
On a four-day overland trip you can learn about the heart of the Balkans, experiencing Serbia and Montenegro. Note that the overland trips incur an additional fee.
Silversea’s Special Experiences:
On every world cruise (and grand voyage), Silversea’s special events team travels around the globe to custom create special events for full world cruise guests. 2026’s The Curious and the Sea ramps it up for these once-in-a-lifetime, privileged access experiences.
In Polynesia, the exclusive world cruise event will bring the islands’ culture to life.
On Mystery Island, on an uninhabited islet in Melanesia, spend a magical day at the beach, savoring snorkeling, sea life and cultural rituals.
In Bali, the exclusive adventure is all about watching its culture unfold among rice paddies. The backwaters of Kerala, one of the most peaceful spots in India’s Cochin, is host to “The Exotic Marigold and More.” It involves tuk-tuk races, an afternoon with martial artists and a local tour of Kerala’s gorgeous rivers.
The Curious and the Sea 2026 world cruise is best for….
A traveler who is curious about the ancient spice routes traveled by long-ago navigators; fans of off-the-grid tropical locales; Australia’s natural life and culinary traditions; and those intrigued by ancient civilizations. The Curious and the Sea is a fantastic choice for culinary enthusiasts who want to absorb the cultures of the places they’re visiting whether by cooking, eating or sipping.
Intrigued? Check out more details here.