THE LONGEST JOURNEYS IN THE WORLD
Updated: Sep 17
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Louis L’Amour once wrote, “Trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.” In this case, the word journey can be substituted for trail. The Cambridge English dictionary defines journey as, “the act of traveling from one place to another, especially in a vehicle.” Sounds right for anyone who travels full-time. We do spend a lot of time in vehicles of some sort. Planes, trains, and automobiles (no, not the John Candy/ Steve Martin movie, although it is awesome).
During a deployment to Africa when I was in the Marine Corps, it took 36 hours to get home from Mombasa, Kenya to Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. They fed us a lot and the seatbacks had new release movies (I recall watching For Love of the Game twice, great movie, still one of my favorites). We had to stop in Italy for fuel which was a 3-hour delay; we never got off the aircraft the entire journey. The outbound flight on the way to Kenya was almost equally taxing. I was in the Military Police MOS and was placed on the advance party to do reconnaissance and set up security. We flew an Air Force C-17 with four Humvees from March Air Force Reserve Base.
I was thinking of these things over Memorial Day, feeling somewhat reticent. In the spirit of grueling journeys experienced by travelers, I offer this blog on the longest journeys in the world.
The Longest Non-Stop Flight
The longest non-stop flight currently is operated by Singapore airlines. This route services Singapore and New York; it is an 18-hour flight which covers a distance of 9,537 miles. Singapore airlines also operates the second longest flight which services Singapore and Newark, only three miles shorter. The route is performed by the excellent Airbus A350, utilizing a specialized version designated 900ULR set up for larger fuel storage. The specific aircraft is also unusual because it has no economy seats. It contains 67 business class and 94 premium economy.
The Longest Rail Journey
The longest rail passenger journey in the world, is the 6,346 mile train ride from Moscow, Russia to Pyongyang, North Korea. It is understood that the Trans-Siberian Railway section, from Moscow to Vladivostok, is the longest regularly scheduled train line in the world. This section of tracks travels about 5,780 miles. Once you reach Vladivostok, the North Korean State Railway offers one train car to Pyongyang, via the border at Tumangan. Obviously, westerners cannot enter North Korea through this option, and I believe most would choose not to visit anyway.
The Longest Bus Journey
Anybody whose read my blog previously, knows I’ve been in Mexico for about 11 months. One of the really outstanding things Mexico does, is the bus system. It’s clean, modern, and organized. For any readers and travelers who are also a fan of riding the bus and desire a lengthy journey, I give you the Transoceanica route. It was introduced in 2017 and is operated by Ormeno.
The longest bus ride in the world runs from Lima, Peru to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, covering 3,850 miles or 6300 km in 100 hours. The 100 hours is of course a rough estimate. This bus plods through the Amazonian rainforest, labors and toils over the Andes mountains, and drags across the extremely arid Peruvian desert. This route actually used to stop in Sao Paulo but after heavy customer demand it was extended all the way to Rio. It is actually a remarkable journey.
It connects two oceans and also connects two very important sites of South America, Machu Picchu and the Christ the Redeemer statue.
The Longest Ferry Voyage
The longest ferry voyage is up for debate; let me tell you why. Technically, the longest listed ferry crossing is by the company Hurtigruten from Bergen to Kirkenes, roughly 1,536 kilometers. Many travelers and bloggers believe that Hurtigruten ships resemble cruise ships more than ferries. The journey takes about 5 days and 10 hours and Hurtigruten currently has some good deals considering meals are included. Kind of like a cruise ship. For the sake of simplicity in this article, I’m going to consider Hurtigruten a ferry company, no static line ferries, no electric boats, etc.
One of the things that really stands out on Hurtigruten is that they are not currently charging the single supplement on voyages. Cruise lines have everything priced out exactly, predicated upon the selling of a particular price in each cabin for two passengers. Normally, if you cruise Norwegian or Celebrity alone, they charge a single supplement (double cost) to ensure they hit their pre-determined margins. The other benefit to booking Hurtigruten is their Northern Lights Guarantee. If the Northern Lights do not appear on your Roundtrip coastal Norway cruise, they will give you another 6 or 7-day Classic Voyage free of charge. This deal is applicable on select voyages between October 1 and March 31.
It’s really a great deal considering the Northern Lights can be finnicky.
The Longest Straightest Road In The World
The world’s longest straight road is highway 10 in Saudi Arabia. This stretch of highway runs from Haradh to Al Baths and totals 162 miles, cutting through the Rub Al-Khali desert. Some consider highway 85 in Saudi Arabia, totaling 693 miles to be the longest, but it actually has slow curves. The second longest arrow straight road is the Eyre Highway in Australia, running 90 miles.