The Journey is by no means the largest ship to visit Auckland.

At only 690 passengers it's a third the size of the Celebrity Solstice, the solstice-class cruiser which will be visiting New Zealand next month. However, you'll be especially hard-pressed to find a suite on this cruise liner.

A loyal fan-base of returning passengers means the Journey is full to the brim on its voyage from Wellington to Sydney.

You'll have to plan years in advance, particularly if you are the special kind of passenger who has the time - and the stamina - to embark on a 115-day world tour.

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Azamara's maiden world tour has taken ten years of planning. It has been in the works almost as long as the company has existed.

"There was a lot of excitement when it was first announced" said Tony Markey, Cruise Director for Azamara. "Now we have the logs, the agents and the infrastructure to make it work."

Living up to its name, the Journey will be traversing the globe through every major ocean, from the harbour bridge in Sydney to London.

It's a huge investment in time and capital to claim a berth on board the small luxury cruiser.

The four-month trip to London Bridge - including, flights, meals, events and port transfers - costs NZD$48,259. Though the hefty fare has done nothing to slow the sale of tickets in New Zealand.

The Kiwi passengers were among the first to answer the call when the new route was announced.

Eight New Zealanders are embarking on the world tour.

Amongst them are Barbara Zanarb and, her niece, Jane Brodie from Hamilton.

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Jumping in the deep end, the four-month stint will be Jane's first time on a cruise ship.

"It's about a change in life – a chance to step into something completely different", she explained unfazed by the distance ahead of her.

The size of the ship is what drew them to the Journey.

"The fact that there aren't thousands of other passengers is what's special about it."

In spite of her previous cruising experience, Barbara's felt the Journey will be a new kind of voyage completely. "This is home for the next four months. It's more than just a vacation; it's about a change in lifestyle."

www.azamaraclubcruises.com