Our longest cruises—those with itineraries of 15 nights and more—offer a wonderful opportunity to experience a variety of destinations in one memorable vacation. Also known as repositioning, transpacific or transatlantic cruises, depending on where they are sailing, ships on these voyages cruise “one way”, from point to point, rather than starting and finishing at the same port.
You might board your ship in one continent and disembark in another, cross the world’s biggest oceans, and tick off an enviable wish list of different countries along the way. Leisurely days at sea allow plenty of time to make the most of your ship’s restaurants, spas, sporting facilities, and enrichment classes—or relax and do absolutely nothing.
Here’s a selection of our six longest cruises and where they can take you.
1: 52-Night Grand Journey on Celebrity Edge
Celebrity Edge’s epic Grand Journey calls at more than 20 ports in 11 countries, spanning three continents over 52 nights—the ship’s longest cruise trip.
Sailing from Rome to New Zealand, this cruise is packed with opportunities to explore myriad cultures, historic sites, and world-famous natural attractions, with a range of exciting shore excursions at every port.
Catania, a picturesque city on Sicily’s east coast, dates to ancient Greek and Roman times. One of the island’s finest ancient sites is the Greek Theater of Taormina. Built on Mount Tauro in the third century BC, it was designed to make the most of its stunning natural surroundings, with sweeping ocean views and a backdrop of Mount Etna. The theater’s auditorium seated thousands of spectators and is still used today for concerts, operas, and ballets.
Celebrity Edge will head south from Sicily to the north coast of Africa, transiting the Suez Canal to the Red Sea. From Aqaba in Jordan, there’s a chance to visit the exquisite city of Petra, carved out of pink sandstone and accessed via a skinny canyon, deep in the mountains. Petra, built by the Nabateans, is believed to be 2,500 years old and is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
The ship then sails east across the Indian Ocean. Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, by way of contrast to many of the ancient sites on this itinerary, is a contemporary classic.
Its three massive sculptural conservatories showcase extraordinary displays of horticulture and garden artistry. The Flower Dome houses exotic plants and flowers from around the world, while the Flower Fantasy is more like a surreal art gallery than a garden.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, so big it’s the only living organism visible from space. From the coastal city of Cairns, you’ll have the chance to get up close to some of its spectacular underwater wonders on a thrilling day trip. Swim, snorkel or dive in colorful coral gardens among tropical fish and sea creatures—or gaze at the vivid world below from a glass-bottomed boat.
The Sydney Opera House is another must-see Australian treasure. Its distinctive design was inspired by its sublime setting on the harbor and it is the country’s foremost cultural institution. If time permits, book a show when you’re in town—world-class performances include opera, cabaret, classical concerts, comedy, and theater.
On leaving Australia, Celebrity Edge’s longest cruise heads to New Zealand. One of the many highlights is Milford Sound on the country’s South Island. Known as the jewel of Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is best experienced from the decks of a ship. You’ll spend several hours sailing quietly past sheer cliffs and dense rainforest, among awe-inspiring scenery that’s almost reminiscent of Alaska.
2: 18-Night Hawaii, Tahiti, & Bora Bora Cruise
Board your ship in Honolulu for a memorable voyage across the Pacific Ocean to Sydney in the land Down Under on our second-longest cruise itinerary. If you can spare a few hours before embarking, a visit to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a rewarding, if sobering experience.
After five sea days, you’ll dock in Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia on the idyllic island of Tahiti. Around the port, you can shop for souvenirs at the open-air market and inspect (or buy) black pearls at the Robert Wan Pearl Museum. But you’ll most likely want to head out of town for the day.
There are ample opportunities to snorkel and swim in unbelievably clear tropical lagoons or explore the island’s lush interior. One driving tour of the breathtaking West Coast takes in Polynesian sacred sites, Tahiti’s biggest underwater cave, and a walk through the magical Vaipahi Water Gardens.
Bloody Mary’s restaurant is something of an institution on Bora Bora—check out the roll call of famous visitors over lunch when you join a full-day tour of this small but impossibly beautiful island. Highlights include a 4WD safari into the jungle, where you’ll see evidence of the GIs’ presence in World War II; snorkeling in colorful coral gardens; and swimming among rays.
One of the best things about cruising into Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island is that your ship docks right in the center of town. Many major attractions are within walking distance of the wharf, including the instantly recognizable Sky Tower. Take a trip to the top for panoramic views and, if you’re exceptionally brave, sign up for the 630-foot Sky Jump.
The Bay of Islands is not only a haven for wildlife lovers and adventure-seekers; it played a pivotal role in New Zealand’s history. A wonderful way to learn about Maori culture is by joining members of the Ngapuhi tribe on a river trip aboard a traditional war canoe. As you paddle the Waitangi River from the spectacular Haruru Falls, storytellers regale you with tribal tales and local legends.
This epic voyage ends in Sydney. You’ll want to be up early to enjoy the arrival in Sydney Harbour, surely one of the world’s most beautiful approaches to port. And without doubt, you should extend your stay to explore this dynamic city.
3: 15-Night Panama Canal Cruise
Bookended by either San Diego or Los Angeles, California and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a Panama Canal cruise is one of the most popular of our longest cruises. In between visiting five or six ports (depending on whether you’re on an eastbound or westbound cruise) and experiencing the engineering marvel that is the Panama Canal, you’ll enjoy seven leisurely days at sea.
Cabo San Lucas, on the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, is known both for its glamorous resort scene and abundant natural attractions. Blessed with almost year-round sunshine, it’s the perfect place for watersports, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Don’t miss El Arco (“The Arch”), a dramatic rock arch at Land’s End where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean.
Los Arcos (“The Arches”) in Puerto Vallerta’s Banderas Bay is another instantly recognizable landmark that Mexico is known for, a series of granite rock arches, caves, and tunnels, around which the snorkeling is superb. The bay’s 60-plus miles of coastline takes in Los Arcos Marine Park plus an intoxicating mix of beaches, old Spanish colonial districts, and the busy El Malecon boardwalk.
Costa Rica is renowned for its exotic wildlife and eco-adventures—and rare cloud forests. A trek in Monteverde’s mist-shrouded Cloud Forest Reserve reveals an incredible diversity of lush rainforest, rare tropical plants, dramatic waterfalls, and brightly colored birds and butterflies. The cooler climate makes a refreshing change—just remember to pack a lightweight rain jacket.
Sailing through the Panama Canal is the centerpiece of this cruise. Connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the 50-mile, man-made canal opened in 1914 and revolutionized sea journeys by cutting hundreds of miles from the original routes, which took ships all the way around South America. The vast freshwater Gatun Lake, 85 feet above sea level, forms a major part of the canal.
Your ship will dock at Colon—a great spot for duty-free shopping—for a day, before heading to Cartagena on Colombia’s north coast. This beautifully preserved walled city dates back to the 16th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best way to explore its many cultural and architectural treasures is on foot, with a guide to fill you in on its fascinating history.
4: 15-Night Azores & Spain Transatlantic Cruise
Transatlantic cruises are among our longest cruises. This Spanish-flavored sailing departs from Tampa, Florida and sails to Barcelona, Spain over 15 nights, calling at five unforgettable destinations.
Your ship spends seven days at sea before docking at Ponta Delgada in the Portuguese Azores, with plenty of time to enjoy the rhythm of life onboard. Once you’re in port, get your land legs back on one of São Miguel Island’s best hiking trails, to Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake) in the mountains.
Two sea days later, you arrive at Cadiz, the jumping-off point for the enchanting southern Spanish city of Seville. Exploring on foot is the most rewarding way to soak up the atmosphere of the historic center. Not only will you see Seville’s most significant landmarks, you can also wander down any number of medieval alleyways and find a tapas bar where you can sample traditional Andalusian cuisine with a chilled glass of sherry.
Once you’ve visited Seville’s impressive Alcázar, the Moorish royal palace that’s still in use today, Granada’s Alhambra Palace will be top of your must-visit list. Allow a full day from Malaga to see the romantic citadel, a complex of ornate palaces, gardens, and an ancient fortress. The Alhambra has been described as “the last sigh of the Moors” and has inspired poets, artists and followers of many faiths since the 13th century.
Following a day in Valencia, where avant-garde modern architecture mingles with the charming historic center, you’ll disembark in Barcelona. If you only have time to take in one of this vibrant Catalan city’s many attractions, make sure it is La Sagrada Familia, designed by the visionary architect Antoni Gaudí.
Construction of the Catholic basilica began in 1882 and it is still a work in progress. The style of architecture is described as a mix of Art Nouveau, Spanish Late Gothic, and Catalan Modernism, and there is nothing in the world comparable to the flowing organic forms and impossibly spindly spires.
5: 15-Night Mediterranean Passage Transatlantic Cruise
This eastbound transatlantic cruise sets sail from Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, and finishes 15 nights later in Tampa, Florida. The itinerary includes calls in France, Spain, the Azores, and Nassau, interspersed by nine sea days.
The first stop is Toulon, a port established in Roman times. Toulon is the gateway to sought-after destinations such as Aix-en-Provence and Cassis and is a fascinating city in its own right.
However, it’s well worth taking the short trip to Marseille to visit the new MuCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations). Even if you only take in one exhibition, the museum’s ancient waterfront setting and bold contemporary architecture are absolutely awe-inspiring.
Palma de Mallorca’s imposing La Seu Cathedral also blends old and modern architecture, but in a completely different way. It is the grandest of dozens of historic sites you’ll discover in the Spanish island’s buzzing capital. Book a tour of the roof terraces for panoramic city and sea views.
Cartagena has a long and many-layered maritime history. It is dotted with Roman ruins, including the impressive 2,000-year-old theater, which was only discovered in 1988. If you’re more into culinary history, you can book a fabulous hands-on foodie tour.
A Celebrity Cruises chef escorts you to Cartagena’s Market Hall, and on to a local restaurant to learn how to cook traditional Spanish dishes. The journey continues on board the ship, where you’ll enjoy an intimate dinner based on the day’s experiences.
Having crossed the Atlantic, your last port of call before disembarking in Tampa is Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Cool off at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, where you can play with sea lions, meet dolphins, relax on beautiful Caribbean beaches or spend the day at the action-packed Aquaventure water park.
6: 15-Night Bering Sea & Japan Transpacific Cruise
Vancouver is a marvelous place to embark on one of our longest cruises, a 15-night transpacific adventure that takes in Alaska and Japan, ending in Yokohama, the port for Tokyo.
If you have time, spend a day or two in Vancouver before you embark. There’s lots to see and do, from the old Gastown and Chinatown districts to First Nation art galleries, craft breweries, and boundless outdoor activities.
Stanley Park, one of the city’s best-loved attractions, is about 20 minutes’ walk from Canada Place Cruise Terminal. Book a bike tour that takes you along the Seawall, across forest trails and to see the totem poles at Brockton Point.
First Nations and Russian cultures merge in the intriguing Alaskan town of Sitka, set within the magnificent Tongass National Forest. This is the place to see eagles, bears, whales, and sea otters in the wild, kayak across pristine waterways, or join a professional sportfishing charter. Alaska certainly earns its “Last Frontier” moniker.
Your ship crosses the international dateline during eight sea days before you arrive in Japan. Sapporo, the biggest city on Hokkaido Island, is about two hours’ drive from Muroran port. A full-day tour gives an excellent overview of Sapporo’s historic and modern landmarks, including the lovely Odori Park which runs through the heart of the city.
Another important city on Hokkaido is Hakodate and the best place to learn about its international trading history is at the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse. The restored waterfront buildings house shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants. Make sure you sample shio ramen, a salty broth served with pork belly, hard-boiled eggs, scallions, and wakame seaweed. It’s Hakodate’s signature dish.
Vast, sprawling Tokyo is a mind-boggling mix of futuristic neon-lit buildings, tranquil gardens, high-end shopping, ancient shrines, and eateries ranging from street stalls to Michelin-starred restaurants.
Your must-visit list will overflow with possibilities, but Sensoji Temple should be at the top. It’s Tokyo’s oldest temple, a magnet for devout Buddhists and culturally curious visitors, and also a thriving marketplace—like Tokyo itself, a feast for the senses.
Ready to plan your escape to sea? Browse itineraries on our website and start planning your time ashore and those long, relaxing days at sea.