The story starts in London on Wednesday, 2 October 1872.
Phileas Fogg is a rich British gentleman living in solitude. Despite his wealth, Fogg lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about his social life other than that he is a member of the Reform Club. Having dismissed his former valet, James Forster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F (29 °C) instead of 86 °F (30 °C), Fogg hires Frenchman Jean Passepartout as a replacement.
At the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for £20,000 (£2,075,400 in 2017), half of his total fortune, from his fellow club members to complete such a journey within this time period. With Passepartout accompanying him, Fogg departs from London by train at 8:45 p.m. on 2 October; in order to win the wager, he must return to the club by this same time on 21 December, 80 days later. They take the remaining £20,000 of Fogg's fortune with them to cover expenses during the journey.
|London to Suez, Egypt||Rail to Brindisi, Italy, and steamer (the Mongolia) across the Mediterranean Sea.||07 days|
|Suez to Bombay, India||Steamer (the Mongolia) across the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.||13 days|
|Bombay to Calcutta, India||Rail.||03 days|
|Calcutta to Victoria, Hong Kong||Steamer (the Rangoon) across the South China Sea||13 days|
|Hong Kong to Yokohama, Japan||Steamer (the Carnatic) across the South China Sea, East China Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.||06 days|
|Yokohama to San Francisco, United States||Steamer (the General Grant) across the Pacific Ocean.||22 days|
|San Francisco to New York City, United States||Rail.||07 days|
|New York to London||Steamer (the China) across the Atlantic Ocean to Liverpool and rail.||09 days|
|Map of the trip|
Fogg and Passepartout reach Suez in time. While disembarking in Egypt, they are watched by a Scotland Yard detective, Detective Fix, who has been dispatched from London in search of a bank robber. Since Fogg fits the vague description Scotland Yard was given of the robber, Detective Fix mistakes Fogg for the criminal. Since he cannot secure a warrant in time, Fix boards the steamer (the Mongolia) conveying the travelers to Bombay. Fix becomes acquainted with Passepartout without revealing his purpose. Fogg promises the steamer engineer a large reward if he gets them to Bombay early. They dock two days ahead of schedule.
After reaching India, they take a train from Bombay to Calcutta. Fogg learns that the Daily Telegraph article was wrong; a 50-mile stretch of track from Kholby to Allahabad has not yet been built. Fogg purchases an elephant, hires a guide, and starts toward Allahabad.
They come across a procession in which a young Indian woman, Aouda, is to undergo sati. Since she is drugged with opium and hemp and is obviously not going voluntarily, the travelers decide to rescue her. They follow the procession to the site, where Passepartout takes the place of Aouda's deceased husband on the funeral pyre. During the ceremony he rises from the pyre, scaring off the priests, and carries Aouda away. The twelve hours gained earlier are lost, but Fogg shows no regret.
The travelers hasten to catch the train at the next railway station, taking Aouda with them. At Calcutta, they board a steamer (the Rangoon) going to Hong Kong. Fix has Fogg and Passepartout arrested. They jump bail and Fix follows them to Hong Kong. He shows himself to Passepartout, who is delighted to again meet his travelling companion from the earlier voyage.
In Hong Kong, it turns out that Aouda's distant relative, in whose care they had been planning to leave her, has moved to Holland, so they decide to take her with them to Europe. Still without a warrant, Fix sees Hong Kong as his last chance to arrest Fogg on British soil. Passepartout becomes convinced that Fix is a spy from the Reform Club. Fix confides in Passepartout, who does not believe a word and remains convinced that his master is not a bank robber. To prevent Passepartout from informing his master about the premature departure of their next vessel, the Carnatic, Fix gets Passepartout drunk and drugs him in an opium den. Passepartout still manages to catch the steamer to Yokohama, but neglects to inform Fogg that the steamer is leaving the evening before its scheduled departure date.
Fogg discovers that he missed his connection. He searches for a vessel that will take him to Yokohama, finding a pilot boat, the Tankadere, that takes him and Aouda to Shanghai, where they catch a steamer to Yokohama. In Yokohama, they search for Passepartout, believing that he may have arrived there on the Carnatic as originally planned. They find him in a circus, trying to earn the fare for his homeward journey. Reunited, the four board a paddle-steamer, the General Grant, taking them across the Pacific to San Francisco. Fix promises Passepartout that now, having left British soil, he will no longer try to delay Fogg's journey, but instead support him in getting back to Britain so he can arrest Fogg in Britain itself.
In San Francisco they board a transcontinental train to New York, encountering a number of obstacles along the way: a massive herd of bison crossing the tracks, a failing suspension bridge, and the train being attacked by Sioux warriors. After uncoupling the locomotive from the carriages, Passepartout is kidnapped by the Indians, but Fogg rescues him after American soldiers volunteer to help. They continue by a wind powered sledge to Omaha, where they get a train to New York.
In New York, having missed the ship China, Fogg looks for alternative transport. He finds a steamboat, the Henrietta, destined for Bordeaux, France. The captain of the boat refuses to take the company to Liverpool, whereupon Fogg consents to be taken to Bordeaux for $2,000 ($207,540 in 2017) per passenger. He then bribes the crew to mutiny and make course for Liverpool. Against hurricane winds and going on full steam, the boat runs out of fuel after a few days. Fogg buys the boat from the captain and has the crew burn all the wooden parts to keep up the steam.
The companions arrive at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, take the train to Dublin and then a ferry to Liverpool, still in time to reach London before the deadline. Once on English soil, Fix produces a warrant and arrests Fogg. A short time later, the misunderstanding is cleared up – the actual robber, an individual named James Strand, had been caught three days earlier in Edinburgh. However, Fogg has missed the train and arrives in London five minutes late, certain he has lost the wager.
The following day Fogg apologises to Aouda for bringing her with him, since he now has to live in poverty and cannot support her. Aouda confesses that she loves him and asks him to marry her. As Passepartout notifies a minister, he learns that he is mistaken in the date – it is not 22 December, but instead 21 December. Because the party had travelled eastward, their days were shortened by four minutes for each of the 360 degrees of longitude they crossed; thus, although they had experienced the same amount of time abroad as people had experienced in London, they had seen 80 sunrises and sunsets while London had seen only 79. Passepartout informs Fogg of his mistake, and Fogg hurries to the Reform Club just in time to meet his deadline and win the wager. Having spent almost £19,000 of his travel money during the journey, he divides the remainder between Passepartout and Fix and marries Aouda.