When most travelers think of a cruise vacation, they might imagine four or five days at sea sunbathing in the Caribbean. By that point, Joyce Halee has hardly begun her trip.
“Two weeks is a short cruise,” Halee, 78, told USA TODAY. The retired legal secretary spends much of her time on cruise ships, sailing by herself exclusively on long voyages, sometimes for more than 80 days. Halee, who is based in Sun City West, Arizona, likes both the camaraderie lengthier sailings foster among passengers and crew, and the convenient access they provide to far-flung places such as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
“They’re just fabulous, because you get to see all these places that you’d never otherwise see, unless you sat on a plane for 12 hours, which I don’t like to do,” she said.
Halee is among a number of travelers who enjoy long cruises, from a couple weeks to many months, and some cruise lines have taken note in rising interest in those itineraries. Now, they are updating their offerings accordingly.
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‘I think the camaraderie is definitely higher’
Steve Miller and his wife, Janet began taking longer sailings in 2017 after they had both retired. Miller said the couple, who is based in Adelanto, California, found the more diverse itineraries appealing. “I mean, we’ve been to Ensenada and Catalina so many times on a cruise ship,” he said.