Here is some information from Cruise Lines International Assn. members that offer world or "grand cruises." A few lines based in other countries also offer similar voyages. Most 2012 world cruises started in January, but there may be availability on some segments. For information, check with the line or with a travel agent. Routes and prices are subject to change.
Costa Cruises: The line, owned by Carnival Corp., caters to Europeans. Because of the recent accident of the Costa Concordia, plans may be changed. Check with http://www.costacruise.com or a travel agent.
This year: Jan. 18-April 21 on 1,070-passenger Crystal Serenity, round trip from Los Angeles by way of the South Pacific, Australia, Southeast Asia, China, South Korea, Japan, Russia, Alaska, British Columbia and Pacific Coast.
2013: Grand South American Exploration, 74-day round trip from Miami, through the Caribbean, Central America, Panama Canal and South America, with cruising up the Amazon River.
Prices: Brochure rates begin at $50,905 a person, but enticements include free first-class airfare from home to ship, $4,000 to $7,450 per person credits onboard, three-day Beijing excursion, and more.
Segments, 16-22 days, beginning at $9,760 a person, with discounts and incentives also, free airfare.
This year: Jan. 10-April 27, 108 days on 2,682-passenger Queen Mary 2 round-trip Southampton, England, by way of Cape Town, South Africa; Mauritius; Australia; Japan; China and Hong Kong; Vietnam; Singapore; Thailand; Dubai; India; Egypt; Greece; Portugal.
Also Jan. 10-April 27, 107 days on 2,068-passenger Queen Elizabeth, round trip Southampton by way of New York; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Panama Canal; California; South Pacific; New Zealand; Australia; Singapore; Malaysia; Vietnam; Thailand; Hong Kong; Dubai; Egypt; Greece; Italy; Portugal.
Prices: Brochure rates for both ships begin at $20,995 to $74,995 entry-level Queen's Grill Suite. Look for discounts.
2013 QM2: Jan. 3-May 3, 120 days round trip Southampton to Spain, Greece, Egypt, Suez Canal, United Arab Emirates, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia, Atlantic Isles and Spain. Segments 12-22 days.
2013 Queen Victoria: Jan. 10-April 26, 105 days round trip Southampton by way of New York to Fort Lauderdale, Panama Canal, San Francisco, South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Oman, Dubai, Jordan, Suez Canal, Egypt, Italy, Portugal. Or can sail Feb. 3-April 26, 81 days San Francisco to Southampton. Segments 16-23 days.
Prices: Brochure rates for full world cruise for both ships $19,994 per person for inside cabin to $72,995 for Queen's Grill suite. Segments start at $2,875 on QM2, $3,515 on Queen Victoria.
This year: Jan. 6 for 112 days aboard the 1,380-passenger Nieuw Amsterdam, round trip from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean, South America, Antarctic Peninsula, Tahiti, Australia, Far East, Singapore, Indian Ocean, Suez Canal, the Mediterranean.
Prices: Starting at $23,799.