Long duration cruises are an ideal way to get away from it all. Credit: Marella Cruises

Five of the best epic voyages

Author: Samantha Priestley

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Experience more of the places you cruise to on a month-long odyssey. Here's how...

For most of us, our cruise holidays are over far too quickly. Perhaps we didn’t get the chance to enjoy the ship as much as we hoped, or we saw only one city in each country we stopped in.

But there’s no law that says cruises have to be a week or a fortnight long. Treat yourself to a four-week voyage and you can become a true explorer, delving deeper into the destinations you visit and making the most of all those onboard activities and facilities along the way. Here’s our pick of five month-long itineraries...

Plunge into myths and legends and witness some of the world’s most dramatic scenery as you make your way around the northern hemisphere.

Follow in the wake of the Vikings and explore the town of Longyearbyen on the Norwegian island of Svalbard; experience the remote beauty of Jan Mayen island in the Norwegian Sea and look out for polar bears prowling the icy wastes of northern Canada. Hike the hills of Iceland and stroll the deserted shores of Greenland – where life is simple, calm and peaceful.

Get on board
Viking’s 28-night 'Greenland, Iceland, Norway & Beyond cruise' onboard Viking Star, from Bergen to New York via Geiranger, Narvik, Lofoten, Tromso, Honningsvag, Svalbard, Isafjordur, Reykjavik, Heimaey, Djupivogur, Seydisfjordur, Akureyri, Nanortalik, Qaqortoq and Halifax, departs on August 5, 2024. Fares from £14,990 per person including flights.

Greenland is one of the last true wildernesses. Credit: Shutterstock

Discover Europe’s best preserved medieval town on the Greek island 2
of Rhodes and see archaeological evidence of the days when Italy occupied Greece and Greece ruled the Italian island of Sicily. Explore great amphitheatres and trace the story of architecture back through the ages, finally arriving in Egypt where Giza’s mighty pyramids pierce the desert sky.

Get on board
Saga’s 26-night 'From Classical Greece to Ancient Egypt cruise' aboard Spirit of Destiny, from Dover to Portsmouth via Gibraltar, Sicily, Crete, Rhodes, Antalya, Paphos, Alexandria, Athens, Nafplion, Valletta and Ceuta departs September 9, 2024. Fares from £7,950 per person.

The pyramids of Giza should absolutely feature on your hit list. Credit: Shutterstock

Follow in the footsteps of the great polar explorers as you venture into a part of the world that few other people will ever see. Marvel at emperor penguins and elephant seals as you make your way round icy islands where the only inhabitants are wildlife. If you have ever dreamed of escape, an Antarcticacruise offers the ultimate in quiet contemplation and majestic surroundings.

Get on board

Heritage Expeditions’ 27-night 'In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton: Ross Sea Antarctica' cruise aboard Heritage Adventurer, return from Queenstown (New Zealand) via The Snares, Auckland Islands, Maquarie Island, Ross Sea and Campbell Island departs on January 7, 2025. Fares from £24,250 per person.

Expect to see emperor penguins as well as elephant seals, albatrosses, enormous whales and more in Antarctica.

Sail around some of the world’s most enchanting islands – and best beaches – taking time to explore colourful towns and quaint capitals where museums and monuments
tell stories of the colonial past.

Taste fiery rums at Callwood distillery in the British Virgin Islands; sample tropical fruit in vibrant food markets and bask in the beauty of powder-soft sands, gently swaying palms and blue Caribbean waters as warm as a bath.

Get on board
Iglu Cruise’s 35-night 'No Fly Grand Caribbean' cruise aboard Iona, return from Southampton
via Tenerife, Tortola, Barbados, St Lucia, Martinique, Antigua, St Kitts, St Maarten, Tenerife and La Coruna, departs on 11 January 2025, from £2,343. iglucruise.com

The Caribbean is one of the world's most popular cruise destinations. Credit: Shutterstock

Take a slow boat through two of the world’s most entrancing countries – India and Bangladesh – on the world’s longest river cruise. Over more than 2,000 unforgettable miles aboard
the luxurious 18-suite Ganga Vilas you’ll get the chance to see tigers and elephants at Kaziranga National Park and visit the world’s oldest legal opium factory. You’ll explore holy sites such as Sarnath in northeastern India – where Buddha is said to have given
his first sermon – and witness evocative rituals such as the Ganga Aarti, when Hindus float candles and flowers down the Ganges at dusk as an offering to the goddess Ganga.

Get on board
Antara Cruises’ 49-night Epic Cruise aboard Ganga Vilas, from Varanasi to Dibrugarh via Ghazipur, Buxar, Patna, Jangipur, Murshidabad, Kalna, Kolkata, Bali Island, Dhaka, Tangail, Sirajganj, Guwahati, Mayong, Tezpur, Silghat and Kaziranga National Park, costs from £20,562 per person. Check their website for departure dates. antaracruises.com

Most Indian river cruises involve setting sail on the sacred waters of India's famous Ganges river. Credit: Shutterstock
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