03 Apr 2024
The region of Asia and Far East is a traveller's paradise, offering a wealth of natural wonders, exotic cultures, ancient treasures and glamorous, futuristic cities. From Japan, Korea and China to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, cruises in this region are a treat for all the senses, packed with invigorating and stimulating experiences. And the ease of travelling in this vast, diverse area means that you can take in many of Asia's great sights in one relaxing holiday.
Probably the most popular, and traditional, cruise route is between Singapore and Hong Kong, with opportunities for exciting visits en route to many countries including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia. As major airline hubs, with easy access from anywhere in the world, both Singapore and Hong Kong are perfect places to begin or end your cruise. Alternatively, East Asia cruises include port stops in China, Japan and South Korea, including Beijing, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai and Busan.
The majority of South-east Asian 10-14 night cruises between Hong Kong and Singapore visit Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Phuket and Ko Samui in Thailand, and the port of Laem Chabang for access to Bangkok. Some cruises from Singapore focus on Malaysia and Indonesia, and call at glamorous destinations including Benoa in Bali, Kuala Lumpur, and Langkawi, the enchanting group of islands in Malaysia. One popular 14-day cruise beginning in Hong Kong calls at Shanghai, Beijing, Busan in South Korea, and Osaka in Japan.
An outstanding feature of the Far East is the array of fabulous river cruises on offer, providing the best possible immersion and insight into the countries along the route, and the lives of the people who live there. One of the best known is the cruise along the famed Yangtze River in China, the third longest river in the world, with most cruises travelling between Chongqing and Wuhan in central China, and passing through the spectacular and dramatic Three Gorges. Another famous journey is along the mighty Mekong River, travelling between Siem Reap in north-west Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, passing rural settlements, rice paddies, floating villages and floating markets, and taking in a visit to Cambodia's renowned Angkor Wat.
There is a wide variation in climate and weather among the countries of South-east Asia, so there is no wrong time to go, but cruise lines schedule most of their cruises between November and March, to avoid the hottest and most steamy months. Most parts of the region have their monsoon/rainy season between May and September, and there are fewer crowds during this time. Whenever you visit, you can be sure of enjoying an intoxicating feast for all the senses, in this dynamic and amazing part of the world.