Cruises in exotic Far East and Australasia waters are growing in appeal as more cruise lines send their showboats to China and other Oriental locations. Sara Macefield reports on cruising in the East and looks at another fast-growing sector world cruises.This feature appeared within the November edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine 2009. The Travel & Leisure Magazine is the ONLY travel or holiday focused magazine that offersadvertisers the unique opportunity to specifically target and reach affluent consumers living in and around London.We reach more readers than any other competitive title aimed at this vital demographic readership profile.Each edition is packed full of ideas on destinations to visit and explore, travel experiences to be enjoyed, and leisurely days and evenings to be planned plus give-aways and competitions.Variety is a key strength, with ideas to suit all budgets and tastes.This variety ensures that each edition is bound to offer something of interest for everyone.
- 1.Orient Steering Cruises in exotic Far East and Australasia waters are growing inappeal as more cruise lines send their showboats to China and other Oriental locations. Sara Macefield reports on cruising in Many cruises start or end in Sydneythe East and looks at another fast-growing sector world cruises FAR EAST Seabourn is among cruisemost common ones tend to take in the coast ofT he Far East is a tantalisingly lines with Far East-based shipsVietnam a fascinating area to explore by ship exotic option for passengersand one of the Asian destinations seen as hold- wanting to spice up their holi- ing the most potential for cruising. days and cruise off the beatenAlternative routeings between the twoYachts of Seabourn track. Few places on earth cancities can include calls at the oil-rich sultanate rival this regions rich kaleido- of Brunei; Sabah, on the tropical island ofscope of colours and experiences; from ancient Borneo; Manila, the bustling capital of thedynasties and age-old traditions to gleaming Philippines; the idyllic Thai island of Kohskyscrapers and futuristic designs that make upSamui, famous for its beautiful beaches; andsome of the worlds most striking cities.the cities where the cruise starts or ends to real- the tropical holiday isle of Hainan, known as This is the perfect place to escape the ly make the most of this exciting destination?Chinas Hawaii.crowds of the Mediterranean and CaribbeanSome cruises which start and finish inand absorb the contrasting countries and cul-Where can you go? Hong Kong cover the same territory, but oth-tures of a region that still holds that specialWith more holidaymakers waking up to theers sail northwards from the city, calling atappeal.appeal of cruising in the Far East, cruise linesTaiwan and Japanese cities including Kobe, The beauty of cruising through Asianhave been quick to increase the range of sail-Yokohama and Nagasaki before finishing inwaters is that you can visit several places in ings they offer.the Chinese powerhouse of Shanghai whichone trip without having to endure arduous The result is that there has never been ais also a starting point for some cruises.overland journeys. bigger choice of cruises through Asia and the Other voyages from Singapore offer a dif- Stay on a ship, soak up the views and rel-surrounding area with companies such as ferent flavour by sailing to Indonesia and call-ish the chance to truly get away from it all onPrincess Cruises adding more itineraries anding at exotic islands such as Java, Bali anddeserted islands or in tiny villages.others such as Yachts of Seabourn, CostaKomodo, famous for its deadly giant lizards, Getting to the Far East may take longer Cruises and Royal Caribbean International known as Komodo dragons.than flying to Europe or the Caribbean, but thebasing ships there. Asian-based cruise line Such sailings can include calls in Malaysia,huge range of flights to the main cruising Star Cruises has five ships offering voyages of notably at the capital Kuala Lumpur and thedeparture points of Hong Kong, Singapore two to five nights to Malaysia, Thailand, historic Dutch trading port of Malacca.and Bangkok has made it much cheaper and Singapore and Hong Kong.easier than it used to be.The route between Hong Kong andASIA, AUSTRALASIA And you dont have to restrict yourself toSingapore is probably the most popular andAND BEYONDsimply taking a cruise. Its easy to combine travellers can choose to sail north from Hong Cruise passengers keen to venture furthervoyages with land-stays as part of a longerKong or south from Singapore. afield can take longer cruises through south-holiday across Asia.It takes around two weeks to cruise betweeneast Asia to India, the Middle East or even the Alternatively, why not spend a few nights inthe two cities and itineraries can vary, but theMediterranean.26 The Travel & Leisure MagazineNovember/December 2009
2. all ABOARDFAR EAST, AUSTRALASIA & WORLD CRUISES Princess Cruises Another option is to sail from the Far Eastto Australia and enjoy a completely contrast-ing range of destinations on lines such asSilversea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises orPrincess Cruises.Such voyages tend to take two weeks, call-Star Clippers/Andy Loveringing at various Asian ports such as Ho ChiMinh City, Singapore and Bali before reach-ing Australia and stopping at Darwin on thenorth coast, the gateway to some of the coun- Star Flyer in Thailandtrys most beautiful, remote Aboriginal lands.Then its simply a case of sailing downCruise tips Australias east coast. Passengers can experi-ence one of natures great wonders, the Great Far East cruises run year-round, butBarrier Reef, during stops at Cairns, Portchoose your time carefully to avoid Douglas or Airlie Beach.monsoons.The best choice of cruises From there they may get the chance to wit-tends to be in winter when more ness the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands,ships sail to the region. and the modern city of Brisbane before end- Remember that some of the must-seeing the cruise in Sydney.sights in Asia involve a lengthyTaking to the sea is an ideal way to exploreoverland journey, and sometimes evenAustralia as its main cities and tourist attrac-require an overnight stay.tions are on the coast and travelling by cruise On world cruises, if you only want to ship gives passengers the chance to combinedo a segment, study the itinerary these with the islands of the South Pacific andcarefully to ensure you dont spend New Zealand.too many days at sea unless you Other popular stops in Australia on suchFred Olsen Cruise Lineswant to, of course! sailings include Melbourne and Hobart in Onboard activities are worthTasmania, while New Zealand ports of callconsidering on world cruises as these include Christchurch, Dunedin, the Fiordlandwill add more variety on the days atNational Park, Napier, Picton, Tauranga andsea.The bigger the ship, the more Auckland. Fred Olsens Balmoral in Shanghai facilities it will have.In Polynesia stops at idyllic outposts such asBora Bora, the islands of Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa,November/December 2009The Travel & Leisure Magazine27 3. P&Os Aurora in Hong Kong P&O Cruises and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands also feature. serve of the very rich who had the money, ascalled grand voyages which take a similarOne-ship cruise line Paul Gauguin Cruises iswell as the time, to spend on such adventures.amount of time and visit all the places youbased in the region all year, offering sailings But not any more! Potential globe-trotterswould expect such as Asia, Latin America,through several South Pacific islands and call- are increasingly realising that a world cruiseAustralasia or Africa but only cover two-ing at New Zealand on longer itineraries. does not have to be a once-in-a-lifetimethirds or so of the world.occasion. These cruises normally depart in January,WORLD CRUISES Nowadays there are more ships and morereturning in March or April.When it comes to spending time at sea, worldlong voyages than ever before. Being able toP&O Cruises and Cunard Line have tradi-cruises are still the ultimate thrill.choose shorter sectors instead of the whole tionally offered world cruises from Being able to wave goodbye to Britishsailing means passengers can buy into a world Southampton, but lines such as Fred Olsenshores for two or three months at a time and sail cruise even if they cant afford the wholeand Saga Cruises also offer long voyages fromacross the globe to some of the worlds mostthing.British shores.inaccessible places carries a premium cachet. A true world cruise is one that circumnavi- P&O has also increased the number of At one time, such voyages were the pre-gates the globe, but there are plenty of so-world cruises it offers. Customers can choosefrom four different sailings betweenSeptember 2010 and January 2011, whileFar East, Australia & World Cruise factsYachts of Seabourn is offering its first worldcruise next year.Sample cruisesLines such as Crystal Cruises, PrincessYachts of Seabourn (0845 070 0500; www.seabourn.com) is offering a 14-Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises alsonight voyage from Hong Kong to Singapore, via Vietnam and Thailand on offer global voyages.January 30, 2010. Prices start at 3,399, excluding flights.A 12-day sailing from Sydney to Auckland is offered by Princess Cruises (0845 Mix of destinations3555 800, www.princess.com) on January 28, 2010, from 2,612, including flights.World cruises and long voyages generally callP&O Cruises (0845 678 0014, www.pocruises.com) is offering a 94-night at around 30 ports, including a mix of triedworld cruise on its ship Arcadia, departing Southampton onand tested destinations and offbeat locationsJanuary 10 for 34 ports in 23 countries. Prices start at 8,406. some of which are only accessible by ship. They tend to last between 80 and 110 days Princess CruisesOther useful cruise contactsand are split into segments ranging fromCrystal Cruises (020 7287 9040, around 12 nights to 30 nights the so-calledwww.crystalcruises.co.uk) line voyages that sail from one point toCunard Line (0845 678 0013, www.cunard.co.uk) another. The most popular one is generallyFred Olsen Cruises (01473 746175, www.fredolsencruises.com) Australia or New Zealand.Holland America Line (0845 351 0557, www.hollandamerica.co.uk) Some world cruises depart and return toOceania Cruises (0845 858 0827, www.oceaniacruises.co.uk) UK ports such as Southampton or DoverOrion Expedition Cruises (020 8545 2617, www.orionexpeditions.com)while others sail from ports including Miami,Paul Gauguin Cruises (020 7434 0089, www.pgcruises.co.uk) Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale and New York.Regent Seven Seas Cruises (02380 682280, www.rssc.co.uk) Those departing from the UK tend to sailRoyal Caribbean International (0844 493 4005, www.royalcaribbean.co.uk) to Australia via the Mediterranean, calling atSaga Cruises (0800 096 0079, www.saga.co.uk/travel) ports such as Bangkok, Hong Kong andSpirit of Adventure (0800 015 6984, www.spiritofadventure.co.uk)Sydney. An alternative route could be sailingStar Clippers (0845 200 6145, www.starclippers.co.uk) south from Europe to South Africa and return-Star Cruises (0845 201 8913, www.starcruises.com) ing via Latin America and the Caribbean.Silversea Cruises (0844 770 9030, www.silversea.com) Passengers who book the full voyage oftenSwan Hellenic (0845 246 9700, www.swanhellenic.com) enjoy extra benefits, with lines such asVoyages of Discovery (0845 018 1808, www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk)Silversea and Crystal offering free shore-sideactivities and selected excursions.Make sure you check out the website of the Passenger Shipping Association, Other perks include onboard spendingwhich represents all the main cruise lines, at www.discover-cruises.co.uk credits and a free hotel stay on the eve ofdeparture. TL28 The Travel & Leisure Magazine November/December 2009 4. CRUISE newsCRUISE CLIPSMickey cruises over to DoverLong-haul holiday firmDQantas Holidays has on your Mickey Mouse ears and take to Disney Magic.introduced a wide range ofthe high seas because next year Disney Inset: Goofy withcruises to its brochure thatis coming to town or rather Disneyyoung cruiserscan be combined with otherCruises is!travel arrangements in theFor the first time ever, the company will offercruises from the UK on one of its ships, DisneyMagic, which will be based at Dover.In total, the ship will spend five months inEurope, from April to August, mainly sailingPrincess Cruisesfrom Barcelona.But it will spend most of June and July at Down Under cruises added Dover from where it will offer four 12-nightNorthern European Capitals itineraries throughFar East and Australasia. Itthe Baltic Sea to St Petersburg, calling at othernow offers more than 75 cities such as Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm.voyages with Costa Cruises, Passengers preferring to cruise thePrincess Cruises, Holland Mediterranean can opt for one of Disney MagicsAmerica Line and Yachts of10 and 11-night sailings from Barcelona callingSeabourn. at destinations such as Malta, Tunis and Naples. DisneyAlternatively, they can choose its seven-nightGreen-fingered cruise Barcelona-Dover cruise in June or eight-nightpassengers can join a one-return voyage from Dover to Barcelona in July.We are thrilled to bring the ship back andweek Springtime in Norway Disney claims its Baltic cruises will combinelook to make the 2010 season in thecruise with Fred Olsen Cruise the regions rich history, culture and folklore with Mediterranean even better with new destinationsLines aboard its ship, Balmoral,its own unique family-friendly ambience that willand more one-of-a-kind Disney experiences forduring which the celebrityhelp to bring each destination to life.our guests.The last time a Disney cruise ship sailed in Prices for the Northern Europe Capitals cruiseEurope was in 2007 when it offered with Disney Cruise (020 8222 2856,Mediterranean voyages. www.disneycruise.disney.go.com) start atThe response from guests was overwhelm- approximately 2,299 and include dining, enter- Fred Olsen Cruise Linesingly positive, said Disney Cruise Line president tainment, character experiences and selectKarl Holz. onboard activities. Join Alan Titchmarshaboard Balmoral Island hop ScotchLspeaker will be celebrityuxury Scottish isles cruisegardener Alan Titchmarsh.ship Hebridean Princess,Online travel agency which the Queen hired forCruise.co.uk is offering aher 80th birthday celebrations,special package with two talksis to offer a new range ofexclusively arranged for itsthemed sailings next year. Hebridean Island Cruisescustomers from 599.Hebridean Island Cruises isknown for offering upmarketGet in tune on a musicalcruises through the highlands andsea voyage with Hurtigruten,islands of Scotland and hopes to Hebridean Princesswhich is offering onboard attract more customers with addi-concerts and a performancetional special-interest cruises asin Oslos new opera house aswell as the lines first guest ting seabirds, eagles, different through the Argyll lochs and topart of a six-night sailing fromspeaker, nature expert Tim Earl. species of fish, wild deer and some lesser-known HebrideanTromso to Bergen and Oslo He joins two Hebridean even orchids, in wildlife sessions islands, plus a return to Northernon January 4, costing fromwildlife voyages next summer on deck or on forays ashore. Ireland and the Isle of Man and1,230. and will give passengers an Other new additions include the introduction of a Hebrideaninvaluable introduction to spot- sailings along the Firth of Clyde, Surprise mystery cruise. November/December 2009 The Travel & Leisure Magazine 29