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World Cruises 2012

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth both leave today on world cruises. They’re almost the last ships to do so this year. Here’s a rundown of which ships are doing world cruises (or ‘grand voyages’, by which is meant a voyage almost as long as a world cruise but which doesn’t actually circumnavigate the globe), when they left, and when they’ll return.

  • 4 January – Aurora, on a west-bound circumnavigation, returning on 12 April;
  • 5 January – Fred Olsen’s Balmoral, on a grand voyage around S America and including some ports in N America, returning on 3 April;
  • 5 January – Oriana, on an east-bound circumnavigation, returning on 10 April;
  • 9 January – Arcadia on a grand voyage eastbound to Asia, Australasia and Africa, returning on 27 April;
  • 10 January – Queen Mary 2 on another grand voyage round Africa, Australasia and Asia, returning on 27 April. She will circle Australia one-and-a-half times, calling at Freemantle, Adelaide and Sydney twice;
  • 10 January – Queen Elizabeth on a west-bound circumnavigation, returning on 27 April (the same date as QM2 – but see below!);

And in the next few days, the following ships:

  • 11 January – Black Watch on an east-bound circumnavigation, returning on 26 April;
  • 13 January – Adonia on a grand voyage around S America and including some ports in N America, returning on 9 April.

I mentioned above that the two Cunarders leave and return on the same dates. However, the durations of their respective voyage are different – 108 nights for QM2 but only 107 nights for QE. This must be the effect of crossing the international date line, which E will do but not QM2. She will have to put her calendar forward an entire day, I think, as she crosses the line going westwards, so she will spend one day less at sea than the dates would indicate.

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