Around-the-world cruises costing up to $500,000 are selling out 2 years in advance as eager travelers prepare for restrictions to lift

Oceania Cruises  insignia
Oceania Cruises’ Insignia ship.

  • As people anticipate an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, some cruises are selling out well in advance.
  • Monthlong trips with Oceania Cruises and Seabourn for 2023 have sold out.
  • Major US cruises are set to return no earlier than May. The CDC temporarily banned them last year.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Tickets for around-the-world cruises are selling out years ahead of their departure date as travelers anticipate the end of lockdowns and travel restrictions.

When Viking Ocean Cruises released tickets for a 136-day world cruise for late 2021, they sold out in weeks, Bloomberg first reported Monday. The same happened when it announced in December a second cruise to take place at the end of the year, Viking told the publication.

The ships for the two cruises – Viking Star and Viking Neptune – carry 930 passengers each but have left some rooms free for potential quarantine measures, the company told Bloomberg.

The company said it was planning another world-cruise itinerary for 2023, per Bloomberg.

“We are looking to open the next opportunity as quickly as we can,” Richard Marnell, the executive vice president of marketing for Viking, told Bloomberg.

The luxury cruise line Seabourn sold out all penthouse spa and premium suites on its 450-passenger Seabourn Sojourn for two world trips in 2022 and 2023, a company representative told Insider’s Brittany Chang in a statement Sunday. Couples are paying up to $500,000 for a five-month cruise, and the company had to recently open waiting lists, Bloomberg reported.

Oceania Cruises also sold out its 2023 “Around the World in 180 Days” cruise in 24 hours on January 27, Insider reported previously. The Insignia ship, which accommodates a maximum of 684 passengers, travels to five continents, including Antarctica, and 61 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises’ president and CEO, said in a statement that its quick sale time was due to “pent-up demand.”

Insider has reached out to Viking and Oceania Cruises for comment.

The high demand for tickets is a sign of hope for the struggling cruise industry, which was thrown into turmoil when COVID-19 spread across several ships last March.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people avoid traveling on cruise ships, which are especially susceptible to spreading COVID-19.

After the pandemic took hold in March, the CDC temporarily banned cruises in the US to curb the spread of the virus. But in October, the agency replaced its no-sail order with a “framework for Conditional Sailing Order” – a list of requirements necessary for cruise lines to continue sailing again.

The soonest any major US cruise is scheduled to operate is May. Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Disney said they would resume sailing after May, while P&O Cruises has stopped all trips through April.

Since COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out, several large cruise companies, including Carnival, Crystal Cruises, and Norwegian Cruises, have announced vaccine requirements for guests and staff members.

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Seabourn’s luxury 140-day world cruise that costs at least $67,000 is selling fast – see what the 2023 trip will be like

The Seabourn Sojourn.
The Seabourn Sojourn.

  • Seabourn opened bookings for its “2023 World Cruise: Extraordinary Discoveries” trip on February 12.
  • The 140-day cruise will bring passengers to 61 destinations across 32 countries.
  • Some suites have already sold out, and demand is up compared to Seabourn’s 2020 to 2022 world cruises.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Customers are scrambling to book Seabourn’s 2023 world cruise after the luxury cruise line debuted the 140-day trip earlier this month.

Seabourn Cruise Line – owned by Carnival – first began accepting bookings for its “2023 World Cruise: Extraordinary Discoveries” on February 12. Since then, the cruise’s penthouse spa and premium suites have sold out, a Seabourn spokesperson told Insider in an email statement.

And now, the cruise line is seeing more demand for the 2023 world cruise than it saw for its 2020, 2021, and 2022 world cruises from the same selling cycle.

This high demand for Seabourn’s future cruise signals a potential wider trend in travel. World cruises could become more popular after the COVID-19 pandemic is over because of pent up demand for travel. Similarly, when Oceania Cruises debuted its 2023 world cruise starting at $41,600 per person on January 27, the 180-day trip sold out within a day.

“Despite the challenges the world faces today, travelers are clearly bullish on the future and are embracing these new opportunities to travel the world,” Bob Binder, president and CEO of Oceania Cruises, said in a statement after its 2023 global cruise sold out.

Keep scrolling to see Seabourn’s 2023 sailing and some of its global destinations.

Seabourn’s global cruise aboard the Seabourn Sojourn will be setting sail from Miami, Florida on January 6, 2023.

The Seabourn Sojourn.
The Seabourn Sojourn.

The cruise will then bring passengers across the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Ocean to its final stop in Barcelona, Spain on May 27, 2023.

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Walvis Bay, Namibia.

In total, the 140-day cruise will hit 61 destinations across 32 countries and six continents.

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Cape Verde.

These destinations focus on places that “guests are likely not familiar with, but will love being able to explore,” Tim Littley, Seabourn’s senior director of global itinerary planning and product development, said in the press release.

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The Conflict Islands in Papua New Guinea.

In total, the cruise will dock overnight in 10 cities and will have extended stays at 16 ports.

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The Seabourn Sojourn.

Along the way, cruisers will get to see classic hotspots like Sydney, Australia, Cape Town, South Africa, and Lima, Peru.

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Lima, Peru.

The ship will also stop at “small hidden gems” like the Easter Island, Seychelles, and Papua New Guinea.

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The Easter Island.

Does 140 days out at sea seem too long for you? Potential cruisers who can’t hang around for the full trip can instead book one of Seabourn’s segmented stays for between 21 to 81 days.

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Casablanca, Morocco.

However, guests who book the full cruise will receive a list of perks, including unlimited laundry and internet.

Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain.

Source: Seabourn

Rooms aboard the 229-suite ship start at $67,000 for an ocean view suite. This price then skyrockets to $190,000 for a stay in the owner’s suite.

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The Owners Suite.

Source: Seabourn

The ship has several amenities to keep passengers entertained while out at sea, including a card room, a salon, a gym, a club, and bars.

seabourn sojourn
The Seabourn Sojourn.

And no luxury cruise is complete without a few pools, including whirlpools.

Pool Deck
The pool deck.

Hungry at sea? The Sojourn has several dining options, including an eatery by famed chef Thomas Keller.

Seabourn Quest   The Grill 2016 (30)
Thomas Keller’s The Grill aboard a different ship, the Seabourn Quest.

Seabourn also debuted another 2023 sailing – the 49-day “Grand Voyage: Grand Americas, Amazon, and Antarctica” – the same day as its world cruise.

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The Seabourn Sojourn.

These sailings may seem far into the future, but planning for 2023 was a strategic move.

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The Seabourn Sojourn.

Many Seabourn customers have been asking for cruising options “further
into the future,” Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn, said in the press release.

Seabourn OSQ   AftPool
The aft pool.

“With the 2023 World Cruise and Grand Voyage, we open options well into 2023 for future planning,” Leibowitz said in the press release.

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The Dravuni Island in Fiji.

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