The Lynde twins, Phoebe and Lucia, sail in 1861 from Newburyport with mother, father, and brother on their father's ship. Their voyage lasts three years, during which they go round the Horn, visit the Galapagos and Sandwich Islands, Honolulu, Sitka. For two years they are ice-locked in the Behring Strait. When they are in the Indian Ocean en route home, they are captured by the Confederate ship Alabama, put off in a small boat, are shiwrecked, rescued by an English ship, and eventually return to Newburyport via Liverpool. The life aboard ship and the many adventures will interest younger children in this group, though the telling is a bit stilted and the latter part of the story quite improbable.