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D.L. Stewart: Around the world in 245 days … and $92,900


If visiting every country in the world is one of your goals, you’d best get moving, because there are 193 of them (195 if you count Palestine and the Holy See). A good head start would be to sign up for the latest excursion offered by Viking Ocean Cruises.

They’re calling it the Ultimate World Cruise. For 245 days, the Viking Sun ship would take you to 59 countries, dropping anchor on every continent except Antarctica. As the company’s web site declares, you’d visit “113 of the world’s greatest cities and charming smaller ports.” And you’d be able to “Immerse yourself in local cultures with overnight stays in 23 different destinations.”

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But according to the itinerary, a lot of the time will be spent cruising the oceans, not to mention the Laccadive Sea, the Arafura Sea and the Irminger Sea. Ports will include cities you’ve always meant to visit, such as Qaqortoq, Bandar Seri Begawan and Kota Kinabalu.

The trip is scheduled to depart from London on Aug. 31 of next year, which gives you ample time to save up the fare of $92,900 per person. (That comes out to just $379.55 a day and it could cost you more than that to spend a day in Indianapolis, although it’s not on the list of the 113 greatest cities.

Don’t ask me to join you, though, even if you offer to pay the $92,900. I love to travel and there are plenty of countries I’d like to visit. But not 59 of them. I’m not sure I could even name 59 countries. Besides, I’m not a fan of any trip that involves bobbing on an ocean for days at a time. Or marching in land excursions with herds of plodding, camera-toting, Bermuda shorts-wearing tourists behind a guide carrying a little flag.

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My only cruise was for 10 days in the Mediterranean with my in-laws and several thousand strangers. The trip included stops in three countries including Turkey, where we were given four hours to immerse ourselves in the local culture of Istanbul before we had to get back on the ship. By day four of the cruise I was hoping we’d be boarded by Somali pirates.

And a trip that lasts nearly as long as it does to produce a human being from inception to delivery poses all sorts of questions. Not the least of which is: how to you pack for a 245-day trip? And what about souvenirs? Will you wind up coming home with 95 T-shirts?

But for your $92,900 you could impress your friends by being the only one who knew there are cities called Qaqortog. Bandar Seri Begawan and Kota Kinabalu.

And how to pronounce them.

More from D.L. Stewart:

»»‘Last class’ creates plenty more room for concern

»»A problem for the ‘too-much-stuff generation’

»»You can just call me the Grandpa National Bank



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