Above: Romblon, Philippines, a stop on the "South Side Story" itinerary aboard the Silver Shadow - KBARZYCKI / GETTY IMAGES

Circling the Globe in a Luxury Cruise Ship

Aerial view of tropical island at sunset - kbarzycki / Getty Images

At the risk of stating the obvious, an around-the-world cruise requires a significant investment of time, usually around 140 days, or slightly more than four and a half months. The advantages of such an odyssey, as opposed to a comparatively brief fling on a private jet tour, are numerous. Rather than packing and unpacking every two days, travelers on a ship settle into their suite and adapt to life in their temporary home. Even the smaller ships that make a circumnavigation accommodate more than 350 passengers, so congenial company is not too hard to find. And in the numerous ports of call, the leading cruise lines arrange an amazing number of excursions — sometimes 10 or more at each stop — that cater to every taste, age group and level of fitness. If travelers take advantage of all the opportunities on offer, they will see and learn an astonishing amount. Of course, on a world cruise, as opposed to those that hug the shorelines of the Mediterranean or progress through the islands of the Caribbean, a significant number of days are spent at sea, with just a view of an endlessly receding horizon.

Silversea Cruises

Silver Shadow, cruising in a fjord
Silver Shadow cruising in the Caribbean, Silversea Cruises
Grand Suite, Silver Shadow, Silversea Cruises - Matteo Imbrani
The bedroom of the Royal Suite, Silver Shadow, Silversea Cruises

Most of the major cruise lines offer an around-the-world trip, but over the years Andrew Harper members have shown an enduring preference for a handful of companies. Silversea Cruises was founded in 1994, and for the past 28 years its vessels have achieved a consistent level of excellence. The company is still based in Monaco, but since 2018 the majority shareholder has been the Royal Caribbean Group, headquartered in Miami. Today, around 80 percent of Silversea’s passengers are from North America.

Silversea currently has a total of 11 ships, but world cruises are allocated to its two Millennium Class vessels, Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper, which entered service in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Both carry 392 passengers and 302 crew. The company says that they provide more space per passenger than any other cruise ships. (The “space ratio” is calculated by dividing a vessel’s gross tonnage by its passenger capacity.)

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Above: Romblon, Philippines, a stop on the "South Side Story" itinerary aboard the Silver Shadow - KBARZYCKI / GETTY IMAGES