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World cruise: How to join for one leg or segment

Bridge the gap: P&O's Aurora in San Francisco
Bridge the gap: P&O's Aurora in San Francisco

A world cruise is a tempting way to escape the British winter. But if you don't have deep pockets, or simply don't have the time to take three or more months off, you can still experience a grand ocean voyage by joining it for part of the voyage.

While some book a segment as a try-out before committing to a world cruise, joining for one leg is an increasingly popular choice, an opportunity to travel at a slower pace, with days on end at sea to work or relax, that are not offered on a normal cruise.

For example, P&O's Aurora (0843 374 0111; pocruises.com) sails from San Francisco on 25 January for 16 nights across the Pacific to Auckland. There are 12 days at sea and only four ports of call, in Hawaii and Samoa (from £2,799pp excluding flights).

But you don't have to miss out on sight-seeing. Choosing a segment of a world cruise gives the option of adding a few days in the ports of embarkation and disembarkation or bolting your cruise on to a land tour for a more destination-immersive holiday. There is still a range of availability for sectors of world cruises departing in January 2016. For example:

* Join Cunard (0843 374 2224; cunard.co.uk) on Queen Victoria on 17 January to sail from New York to Rio de Janeiro, via Fort Lauderdale, the Dominican Republic, and Barbados. The 16-night voyage costs from £2,199pp, including flights.

* Luxury, all-inclusive ship Crystal Serenity (020 7399 7601; crystalcruises.co.uk) sails from Singapore to Shanghai for 19 nights as part of the 102-night Grand Pacific Panorama cruise. This South-east Asia sector, which starts on 12 March, has overnight stays in Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and two nights in Ho Chi Minh City. The cost, from £6,530pp, includes flights, drinks, and gratuities.

* Sail to the sun from Southampton to Durban with Fred Olsen (01473 742424; fredolsencruises.com) for 30 nights aboard the newly refurbished Boudicca, on 5 January. The voyage calls at Porto, Madeira and the Canary Islands, Cape Verde and St Helena, before reaching Namibia and South Africa, where there are three days in Cape Town. The cost, from £1,999pp includes a two-night post-cruise safari and flight home.

* Book now to join Regent Seven Seas' around-the-world cruise (02380 682280; rssc.com) aboard Navigator, sailing for 128 nights from Miami on 5 January 2017. The first sector of 45 nights, from Miami to Auckland, transits the Panama Canal and dawdles through the Hawaiian Islands, French Polynesia and Fiji. The cost, from £11,999pp, includes flights, unlimited shore excursions, drinks, wi-fi and gratuities.

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