Our trip from Dubai to Los Angeles took us west to east over the North Pole, if you'll remember. We thought our return trip would take the same route. Au contraire. Instead, we flew west to east again, from LA over the US and Canada and Greenland and Iceland and eastern Europe. Nearly 16 hours of airtime and we were back in Dubai. We had done a circumnavigation … arguably we barely made it since we went over the Pole, but a circumnavigation, nonetheless. It was accidental on our part since it didn't dawn on us until we arrived in Dubai. It was definitely planned as far as Emirates Air was concerned (as least, we hope so!). A circumnavigation completed at last … just not on Nine of Cups... on an A380-800 instead. Obviously, a much faster trip: 15+ hours versus 15+ years.
Be patient … we'll get to Cape Town in Nine of Cups yet!