We’ve come a long way from the era of the fictitious circumnavigator Phileas Fogg. Traveling around the world today can take far fewer than 80 days, especially by plane, as the following multimodal trips indicate. Here are some options for tourists who have enough of the spirit of exploration to try to circle the globe.
By Private Jet
Private jet trips can encircle the globe in a matter of weeks. Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts (fourseasons.com) sends its 52-seat private jet on a 24-day trip departing Sept. 3, 2017, from the United States for Asia, Africa and Europe, staying in each stop for a few days at its resorts to snorkel in the Maldives or go on safari in Tanzania ($135,000 a person).
Since 1995, TCS World Travel (tcsworldtravel.com) has been offering trips around the world by jet. It has four trips scheduled for both 2017 and 2018, including its 24-day “Around the World Classic” trip, departing Sept. 27, 2017,that stops at Machu Picchu; Easter Island; the Great Barrier Reef; Angkor Wat; the Taj Mahal; the Serengeti Plain; Petra, Jordan; and Marrakech, Morocco ($79,950 a person).
The French operator Safrans du Monde (safransdumonde.com) still has space available on its 22-day, Nov. 19 departure to 11 destinations including Machu Picchu, Tahiti, New Zealand, Myanmar and Petra (21,900 euros, about $24,500, per person).
By Luxury Cruise
For those with four or more months on their hands, luxury cruise lines stitch together itineraries — with some sections sold separately — into complete circumnavigations.
Best known for its trans-Atlantic cruises, Cunard (cunard.com) offers an around-the-world departure over 120 nights aboard the 2,068-passenger Queen Elizabeth (from $19,998 a person). Departing Jan. 7, 2017, from Southampton, England, the ship travels west to New York and the Caribbean. After transiting the Panama Canal, it visits Mexico, Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Vietnam and South Africa before continuing homeward. Another circumnavigation will run Jan. 7 to May 10, 2018.
Oceania Cruises’ (oceaniacruises.com) 2018 circumnavigation, “Around the World in 180 Days,” departs Jan. 3. Round trip from Miami, the 684-passenger Insignia visits 40 countries and 87 ports beginning in the Caribbean and Brazil before crossing the Atlantic for Africa and rounding the Cape of Good Hope to India, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, South Pacific islands, Hawaii, Mexico and Panama Canal (remaining cabins from $39,999 per person).
Those who have hundreds to spend rather than thousands can hop a Maris freighter (freightercruises.com) as it circumnavigates the seas. Many ships reserve a few cabins for leisure travelers on around-the-world trips, ranging from 54 to 126 days (fares are 100 to 130 euros, about $112 to $145, per person per day). Ships vary but usually carry four to 12 passengers in cabins with private bathrooms. Passengers eat meals in the dining room with the ship’s officers and have access to any shipboard fitness facilities. Port calls usually last about a day, but sometimes less on smaller container ships and mail boats. The carrier’s website describes its freighter cruisers as “often an affluent but unpretentious lot who relax on board in shorts and sandals, lie reading a book in a deck chair, hearing nothing but sea gulls and waves.”
Round the World Tours (aroundtheworldtours.com) offers a variety of ways to go, including by ship and by jet, and a choice of themed trips, from surfing to couchsurfing. For maximum land contact, its luxury train itinerary strings together the world’s iconic train routes, including the Venice Simplon-Orient Express from London to Istanbul, the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing and the trans-Australia train known as the Ghan over the course of about two months. Travelers hop flights between rail routes and in some cases, such as the Reunification Express train in Vietnam, join small group tours (fares from 8,900 British pounds or $11,295, per person).