Asia is a beautiful, diverse continent with so much to discover. See streets lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom, get swept away the hustle and bustle of massive cities, or relax on palm-lined beaches - there’s something for everyone on the world’s largest continent. Cruises around Asia are the perfect way to experience a slice of life in each unique destination.
Check out the top seven ports in Asia for a glimpse of what you can experience on your holiday.
Cruise to Shanghai and enjoy its contrasting blend of quiet Buddhist temples with skyscrapers stretching high into the clouds. There’s an abundance of things to do in this city of more than 24 million people, but the first thing you have to do is take a stroll along the Bund waterfront precinct. On one side, there are gorgeous colonial-era buildings, and on the other, ultra-modern towers.
You can also take a shore excursion to a temple or visit the Shanghai Museum, where you can wander the halls in awe for hours. For something a little different, head to a Chinese acrobatics show. Shanghai is a popular cruising destination, so a number of lines visit regularly. Take a look at what Holland America, Princess, Oceania, Celebrity, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have to offer.
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Learn about the rich history of Vietnam on a cruise to Ho Chi Minh. Delve into the intricacies of the Vietnam War with a tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast underground network that was integral to the war effort. Take a trip down the Mekong Delta and visit its floating markets, and find out about why this natural wonder is so important to local communities.
You can also stroll down Dong Khoi Street, famous for its lively atmosphere and artisan shops and cafes, or visit a local market and try your hand at some Vietnamese cooking. Take note that cruises to Ho Chi Minh berth in nearby Phu My, which is about an hour and a half’s drive from the city. If you book in on a shore excursion, your transport will be arranged for you. You can cruise to Ho Chi Minh with Princess, Celebrity and Silversea.
If you’re looking for a destination brimming with natural beauty, you’ve found ‘the one’ with Langkawi. This destination, a group of islands located off Malaysia’s northwestern coast, is an absolute stunner. There are never-ending natural features to explore, such as underwater cave systems, sea arches, rainforests, mangroves and mountains.
Travellers love the ride up to Langkawi’s second-highest peak by cable car, with its panoramic forest and coastline views. Then there’s the Kilim Marine Park and its mangrove systems, which you can navigate by kayak. Be sure to take a paddle into the local ‘Bat Cave’ for a glimpse of some local wildlife. You can also take a guided tour through some of the tropical rainforest. Set sail to Langkawi with Princess, Regent Seven Seas and Royal Caribbean.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui is the ultimate ‘chill out’ destination for cruisers looking to unwind. Chaweng Beach is the perfect place for said relaxation, with its palm trees, golden sand, crystalline water and never-ending stream of refreshing cocktails.
On the other hand, it’s also a great place for a bit of adventure. Check out the Wat Phra Yai Temple of the Big Buddha and marvel at the 39-foot statue in all its glory. Up for some monkey business? There are regular demonstrations from locals who have taught monkeys to harvest coconuts from trees. If that sounds up your alley, you can cruise to Koh Samui with Silversea, Azamara, Holland America and Princess.
Can you keep up with the fast pace of Japan? Wind your way through the Akihabara Electric Town for the latest in technology and electronics, check out the skill of the chefs at the Tsukiji Fish Market, or wander the gardens of the elegant Imperial Palace.
Don’t worry - we haven’t forgotten about the cherry blossoms, one of Japan’s most striking attractions. The best time to visit to see cherry blossoms in full bloom is usually the last week of March or the first week of April, however, be sure to check the cherry blossom forecast in advance for the best shot at choosing the right travel dates. Cruise to Tokyo with Norwegian, Silversea or Azamara.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
See for yourself the natural beauty of Kota Kinabalu in Northern Borneo, home to rare and wonderful proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants. Visit the 280-acre Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to see them for yourself. Keen hikers should take a trek around the Mt Kinabalu region, while divers are spoilt for choice with stunning diving locations around a number of pristine islands. If you’re more of a city person, take a city tour of Kota Kinabalu itself, which is full of historic buildings and unique shops and cafe. Cruise to Kota Kinabalu with Silversea and Princess.
Experience the sophistication of Singapore with a visit to the Raffles Hotel, built in the spot Sir Stamford Raffles supposedly first stepped onto shore when he founded the city-state. Home to the world-famous Singapore Sling, you definitely need to indulge in a beverage while you’re there. Learn about the city’s colonial history and its road to independence, and witness its blend of ultra modern life with delightful natural spaces.
Wander the serene Botanical Gardens, keeping your eyes peeled for a glimpse of a Komodo Dragon basking in the sun, or take a tour of the city’s architecture. Cruise to Singapore with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Holland America.
Cruising to Asia
Don’t miss out on an unforgettable cruise around Asia. Which port are you most excited to visit? Let us know in the comments.