Here’s the 411 On Sabbatical Cruising

Expedition cruise ship

Written by Jane Chertoff on

Jane Chertoff is a freelance lifestyle writer who enjoys traveling and exploring with her Chihuahua, Cesar. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Expedition cruise ship


From a trip around the world to an Antarctica exploration, sabbatical cruises can vary in length from long-term cruising to those as short as a month. The best part? Cruises are a creative sabbatical idea that allows you to cover a lot of ground—or, well, sea.


Whether you earned a paid sabbatical through work or are just planning to take some extended time off this year—you’ve earned this! (And don’t worry about too much about making all your friends and family jealous, they can follow the whole #sabbatical vicariously on your Instagram.)

Sabbaticals are an ideal time after years of slaving away at your 9-to-5 or teaching job to recharge and reconnect. You may even find the time off invaluable for figuring out where you want to take your career next.

But you don’t have to just kick back on the beach during your sabbatical. Instead, you may want to spend your time sailing the high seas. Sabbatical cruises may take you somewhere exotic like Antarctica, or even to different countries around the world. Many of them also offer a chance for intellectual enlightenment, too, like lectures and language classes. Plus, you only have to unpack your duffel bag once and settle into life onboard. (Don’t forget that when packing for a cruise to bring a small daypack for daytime and overnight excursions, and a packing cube system is not only great when packing, but for easily organizing your clothes inside your drawers and room as well!.)

Here’s the deal with sabbatical cruises millennials can get on-board with and the top choices for your time away.

1. Semester at Sea Lifelong Learners

Semester at Sea is a special study abroad program for college students who board a boat and cruise around the globe while taking classes. But Semester at Sea also offers a “Lifelong Learners” program for those ages 30 or over that is be perfect for a long-term sabbatical. The best part is that there are classes and daily seminars, so you won’t feel like you are just “cruising” through your sabbatical. Plus, you’ll get to visit up to 10 countries around the world when you’re off the boat and have priceless experiences in each one. Even though you can get everything you need onboard, don’t forget to prepare for seasickness, too.

2. G-Adventures Falklands and Antarctica Adventure

Just because it’s a sabbatical doesn’t mean you need to sit around reading books or spend months backpacking around Europe. There are shorter adventures to be had out there, especially if you board a 22-day cruise trip to the Falklands and Antarctica! The trip doesn’t come cheap—it starts at around $15,000 per person. But if you’ve always dreamed about kayaking through glaciers and icebergs surrounded by penguins and whales, this is your chance. You’ll even get to experience lectures and educational experiences on board so you’ll be ready to share your gained knowledge (and amazing pics) with everyone back home. Don’t forget to pack everything you’ll need for this (at times) chilly adventure.

3. Viking Ultimate World Cruise

If you dream about spending your sabbatical cruising around the world, but still crave a bit of luxury now and then, you’ll love the Viking Ultimate World Cruise. This whopping 245-day long-term sabbatical option sails from London and hits up a total of 53 countries and six continents along the way. Onboard the ship, you’ll be able to live it up with all your meals and drinks included. Since you’ll be packing for many months, use a large duffel so all you’ll need to do is unpack your bag once in your new home-away-from-home.

No matter which sabbatical cruise you choose, cabins can feel small, so keep everything organized and wrinkle-free in your handy packing set . Don’t worry, you won’t be spending too much time inside—you’ll be out seeing the world.


Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Skip Seasickness: What to Pack Before Your Cruise

5 Ideas for Choosing the Perfect Sabbatical Destination

Packing Checklist: Cruise to Antarctica