For $61,000, you can take Royal Caribbean’s 274-night cruise around the world

Cruise-lovers yearning to return to the open seas, this news is for you: Royal Caribbean International announced its inaugural 274-day Ultimate World Cruise will set sail in 2023.

The more than 150-destination itinerary aboard the Serenade of the Seas starts in Miami and includes visits to every continent, 65 countries and 11 world wonders. It will cost you $61,000 for an interior state room, all the way up to $112,000 for a junior suite.

The cruise will sail from Dec. 10, 2023, to Sept. 10, 2024. Bookings can be made by phone now.

The journey includes opportunities to see just about every iconic tourist draw on the planet. Mount Fuji, the Taj Mahal, the Great Barrier Reef, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, the Blue Lagoon and the Great Wall of China. If you can think of it, it’s probably on the list.

The star of the show are obviously the ports of call, but what about the ship you will be living on for 274 nights? According to Cruise Critic, Serenade of the Seas is a midsize vessel that can carry 2,100-passengers and nearly 900 crew members.

The ship’s website promises a lot to do, which is important considering world cruise guests will be spending a lot of time on board.

Many amenities are ones you may expect, such as a theater, a spa and a fitness center. Then there are the ones you might not, including mini golf, rock climbing and singalong parties. There’s a nightclub where guests can go to “dance, chill or be noticed,” a card room and a game show. Travelers can attend guest lectures and take classes on cupcake-making, scrapbooking, dancing, sushi and foreign languages, among others.

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“Lord, let me run grab a lottery ticket real quick!” Rebecca Taylor Little commented.

“Sounds absolutely wonderful! It breaks my heart that I’ll probably never be able to experience it,” Trisha O’Neill commented. “Why are all the cool itineraries reserved for only the rich?”

A number of companies have reintroduced world cruises after a pandemic hiatus, and they, too, are not cheap.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 143-night world cruise, priced from $78,000 to $209,000, departs on Jan. 7, 2023. Oceania Cruises’ 2023 “Around The World In 180 Days” voyage sold out in a single day when bookings (starting at $41,600) went live on Jan. 27, 2021. Silversea also sold out its 2023 world cruise in a day, with fares ranging from $74,000 to $278,000 per person.

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As the cruise industry recovers from billions of dollars in losses, most are operating with new covid protocols in place to avoid onboard outbreaks. On Royal Caribbean cruises leaving from the U.S. and various other international ports, all passengers 12 and older must be vaccinated. All passengers must present negative tests before boarding and can expect indoor mask mandates

While the delta variant surge appeared to impact cruise sales over the summer, it seems customers don’t need much convincing to sign up for sailings again. Carnival announced last month that the company’s “cumulative advanced bookings for the second half of 2022 are ahead of a very strong 2019.” Data from Expedia Group’s Expedia Cruises 2021 Virtual Conference comparing the first quarters of 2021 to 2019 shows the average length of cruise bookings has increased, as has the average spend per cabin.

“People love cruising and people are tired of boredom,” Vicky Freed, Royal Caribbean International’s senior vice president of sales, trade support and service, told The Washington Post in August. “People are saying ‘I want to go out’ and they’re spending more on vacations now because they have vacation dollars saved up from 2020 and possibly 2021.”