Around The World In Explorers' Path

Yearlong Cruise Series Will Circumnavigate The Globe

August 02, 2009|By Arline and Sam Bleecker | Arline and Sam Bleecker,Tribune Newspapers

The first person to circumnavigate the globe did it for spite.

When Ferdinand Magellan's request for a pay raise was spurned by the King of Portugal, Magellan set sail for Spain to offer his services to the competing monarch. The adventurer hoped to prove that the bountiful - and profitable - Spice Islands belonged to Spain and not to Portugal, the country of his birth.

Nowadays, thanks to Cruise West, nearly anyone can be a Magellan and sail around the world for fun (though it still takes a royal treasury to pay for it).

In its 65-year history, Cruise West has garnered a reputation as a small, well-run, adventure cruise line and has won accolades for its journeys in the footsteps of great adventurers.

Next spring, in what will be a first for the line, you can join Cruise West on a one-of-a-kind 355-day circumnavigation of the globe.

On this yearlong adventure, you will retrace the paths of some of history's greatest mariners.

For instance, on Cruise West's Voyages of the Great Explorers, you can walk in the footsteps of Odysseus, Achilles and Ajax in Troy, where they fought to recover for Sparta's King Menelaus the most beautiful woman in the ancient world, his wife, Helen. Besides Odysseus and the Phoenicians in the Mediterranean, you will follow the ancient trade routes of the East trekked by Marco Polo in the service of Kubla Khan; learn the Viking sagas of Leif Ericson as you sail the frigid waters from Iceland to Greenland; explore the New World of Christopher Columbus; discover the idylls of the South Pacific and Pitcairn Islands navigated by James Cook; and tour the Spice Islands sailed by Magellan.

This epic voyage calls at 242 ports in 59 countries and 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites, while crossing 14 seas and oceans, and transiting three canals: the Suez Canal, the Corinth Canal and the Panama Canal.

"No other cruise line - big or small - offers a journey as long or as varied as Voyages of the Great Explorers," said Cruise West Chairman Richard West.

Beginning in Singapore on March 6, 2010, aboard the line's flagship, the 120-passenger all-suite Spirit of Oceanus, the expedition will be divided into 24 cruises, each from nine to 18 nights, within what Cruise West dubs six chapters of history, each reflecting the odyssey of an ancient mariner.

Prices per voyage start at $4,995 per person and include a pre-cruise hotel night. Book the entire voyage for fares beginning at $233,995 per person. Cruise West offers options to reduce fares somewhat. Repeat passengers can trim 10 percent.

For details, visit cruisewest.com.

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