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Mundy Cruising via Facebook
Mundy Cruising via Facebook

The World’s Longest Cruise Hits All 7 Continents in 357 Days

Mundy Cruising via Facebook
Mundy Cruising via Facebook

The world’s longest cruise is the ultimate addition to your travel bucket list. The new “World of Travel” package from the UK’s Mundy Cruising is the pinnacle of around-the-world journeys, clocking in at 357 days that will take you to all seven continents, according to Condé Nast Traveler.

The trip leaves from Miami in January and sets sail around South America, stopping in Rio, cruising up the Amazon, taking in Machu Picchu, and more. From there, you’ll travel to Athens and wind your way through the Mediterranean to the UK and through the North Sea and the Baltic all the way to Russia. By late August, you’ll be sailing from Vancouver up to Alaska before going through Central America over to the Atlantic and to New England and Quebec. October will bring you to Australia, and in December, you’ll spend 33 nights traveling around Africa. After you check out Antarctica, you’ll travel to Singapore, where you’ll set sail for China and Indonesia. The trip ends in May 2018.

Each leg of the journey is separate, giving you time to fly home and repack for the next leg of the journey or to travel on your own before meeting your ship at the next continent. The South American and European parts of the cruise are the longest, at 94 and 92 nights each, respectively.

The cost comes in at around $155,000, including business-class flights to your departure points and back home after each leg. If you can’t afford such luxuries, there are plenty of other record-breaking trips that will cost you a little less.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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11-Headed Buddha Statue to Be Revealed in Japan for First Time in 33 Years
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Buddha statues come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The various poses and hand gestures of the Buddha represent different virtues, and any items he happens to be holding—say, a lotus flower or a bowl—have some religious significance.

But not all Buddha relics are created equal, as evidenced by the reverence paid to one particularly holy statue in Japan. The 11-headed figure is so sacred that it has been hidden away for 33 years—until now. Lonely Planet reports that the Buddha statue will be revealed on April 23 during the Onsen Festival in Kinosaki Onsen, a coastal town along the Sea of Japan that’s famous for its hot springs. The statue is kept inside Onsen-ji Temple, a religious site which dates back to 738 CE.

Al altar inside Onsen-ji temple

Patrick Vierthaler, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

The big Buddha reveal, however, will be held elsewhere. For that, festivalgoers will need to ride a cable car to the top of Mount Taishi, where they’ll catch a glimpse of Juichimen Kanzeon Bosatsu, a name which means “11-faced goddess of compassion and mercy.” It will be hard to miss—at 7 feet tall, the statue would tower over most NBA players. Considered a natural treasure, it’s displayed in three-year blocks once every 33 years. So if you miss the initial reveal, you have until 2021 to catch a glimpse.

“The people of Kinosaki are very excited about this event, especially the younger generation," Jade Nunez, an international relations coordinator for the neighboring city of Toyooka, told Lonely Planet Travel News. "Those who are under 30 years old have never seen the statue in its entirety, so the event is especially important to them."

After paying their respects to the Buddha, festival attendees can take a dip in one of three hot spring bathhouses that will be free to use during the Onsen Festival.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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All National Parks Are Offering Free Admission on April 21
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Looking for something to do this weekend that's both outdoorsy and free? To kick off National Park Week, you can visit any one of the National Park Service's more than 400 parks on April 21, 2018 for free.

While the majority of the NPS's parks are free year-round, they'll be waiving admission fees to the more than 100 parks that normally require an entrance fee. Which means that you can pay a visit to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, or Yellowstone National Parks without reaching for your wallet. The timing couldn't be better, as many of the country's most popular parks will be increasing their entrance fees beginning in June.

The National Park Service, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2016, maintains 417 designated NPS areas that span more than 84 million acres across every state, plus Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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