The Longest Cruise in the World Takes Seafarers to 59 Countries Over 245 Days

A Viking vessel in Saint Kitts, one of the stops on the cruise line's Ultimate World Cruise.
A Viking vessel in Saint Kitts, one of the stops on the cruise line's Ultimate World Cruise.
Viking Cruises

The longest continuous cruise on the planet won’t take you around the world in 80 days, but it promises to get the job done in about eight months.

The brand new Ultimate World Cruise from Viking Ocean Cruises is a dream come true for travelers with some time—and cash—to spare. Starting at about $93,000 per person, the luxury cruise will hit 59 countries spread across six continents. It leaves from London on August 31, 2019, circumnavigates Earth, and returns to the same city on May 2, 2020. If you’re doing the math, that’s 245 days.

Viking has hosted two world cruises before, but the new offering is nearly double the length of its previous trips. In general, the world cruises offered by most commercial cruise lines tend to last between 90 and 120 days, according to Forbes.

Who would want to spend the better part of a year aboard a ship? A lot of people, it turns out. As Richard Marnell, the senior vice president of marketing at Viking Cruises, tells Forbes, “We received resounding feedback from guests on our first sold-out World Cruise who wanted to experience the cultures of the world in-depth, over an extended period of time, while sailing onboard a ship that was designed for discovery with all the comforts of home.”

The ship, called Viking Sun, will be stopping in 113 ports, where guests will get the chance to take guided tours of each destination. Of those, 22 will be overnight stays on land.

The Viking Sun can carry 930 passengers, and a variety of cruise packages are available. At nearly $270,000, the most expensive room type—the owner’s suite—is already booked.

If eight months on a ship sounds like too much to bear, travelers can instead opt for one of two shorter trips: a 127-day leg from London to Los Angeles that visits 33 countries, or a 119-day journey from Los Angeles to London that covers 29 countries.

[h/t Forbes]

You Can Rent This Wizard of Oz-Themed Cottage in North Carolina

Airbnb
Airbnb

This year marks the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, the classic 1939 adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s book. In addition to watching the film, you can opt for a more immersive way to celebrate the occasion. As Travel + Leisure reports, a cottage in West Jefferson, North Carolina offered on Airbnb is perfect for any traveling Oz fan—and it’s only $35 a night.

The studio cottage is considered a glamping destination and is slim on amenities—it has a breakfast nook, porch, sofa bed, and a Porta John—but the Oz-themed details more than make up for the lack of luxurious perks.

A pair of stockinged feet are visible under the home, hinting at a witch’s untimely demise; a character mural of Dorothy and her three escorts, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, appears on the side of the cabin; inside, various other decorations pay homage to Baum's books, including a pair of ruby slippers and a few stuffed Totos.

A cottage with a 'Wizard of Oz' theme in West Jefferson, North Carolina is pictured
Airbnb

If you go, you’ll have to act quickly. The cottage is open only in the spring, summer, and fall, as it has no heat.

The Airbnb listing has a perfect score across 16 reviews. You can book it here.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Visit Any National Park for Free on September 28—or Volunteer to Help Maintain Them

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Nick Hanauer/iStock via Getty Images

By the end of September—which always seems especially busy, even if you’re not a student anymore—you might be ready for a small break from the hustle and bustle. On Saturday, September 28, you can bask in the tranquility of any national park for free, as part of National Public Lands Day.

According to the National Park Service, the holiday has been held on the fourth Saturday of every September since 1994, and it’s also the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It’s up to you whether you’d like to partake in the service side or simply go for a stroll, but there is an added incentive to volunteer: You’ll get a one-day park pass that you can use for free park entry on a different day. Opportunities for volunteering include trail restoration, invasive plant removal, park cleanups, and more; you can see the details and filter by park, state, and/or type of event here.

If you’re not sure how you should celebrate National Public Lands Day, the National Park Service has created a handy flowchart to help you choose the best course of action for you—which might be as simple as sharing your favorite outdoor activity on social media with the hashtag #NPLD.

National public lands day celebration flowchart
National Park Service

There are more than 400 areas run by the National Park Service across the U.S., and many of them aren’t parks in the traditional sense of the word; the Statue of Liberty, Alcatraz Island, and countless other monuments and historical sites are also run by the NPS. Wondering if there might be one closer than you thought? Explore parks in your area on this interactive map.

For those of you who can’t take advantage of the free admission on September 28, the National Park Service will also waive all entrance fees for Veteran’s Day on November 11.

And, if you’re wishing a free-admission day existed for museums, you’re in luck—more than 1500 museums will be free to visit on Museum Day, which happens to be this Saturday.

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