(Southeast Asia Cruise)
The modern megacities of Singapore and Hong Kong are bookends to an eye-opening voyage of Southeast Asia which includes Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia & Hong Kong. Embarking in Singapore, you'll sail to Koh Samui, with immaculate turquoise-blue waters and magnificent Thai shorelines. Continue to Laem Chabang, port city and gateway to the Thailand's capital Bangkok. Sihanoukville provides a glimpse into coastal Cambodia before you sail to Vietnam, making landfall at the port gateways to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and scenic Ha Long Bay. Conclude with the skyscraper-lined shores of Hong Kong, an impressive Global City.
Cruise Departure Dates:
2014: Jan 20, Mar 3
2015: Jan 5, Feb 16, Mar 30
Meet your English speaking driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.
Centrally located near the Orchard Road shopping district, the Traders Hotel (4*) Singapore offers contemporary comfort and award-winning Shangri-La service for the value-conscious traveller. This hotel in Singapore is minutes away from the renowned Botanic Gardens, and just 25 minutes from Changi International Airport.
Singapore was part of British Malaysia for many centuries. It was ruled by the Sultanate of Johor before the British came to the Island and set up a port and colony in 1819. After World War II, Singapore became an independent nation and republic, which it remains today. Today Singapore has a diverse population of nearly 5 million people or more which is made up of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Caucasians and Eurasians (plus other mixed groups) and Asians of different origins, which is in line with the nation’s history as a crossroads for various ethnic and racial groups. Experience the various cultures come alive before your very eyes as you explore the nooks and crannies of each ethnic heritage enclave by turns. At Kampong Glam, admire the quiet majesty of the Sultan’s Mosque with its unmistakable golden dome, explore colourful food eateries, and browse through old-fashioned shops selling batiks, carpets, rattan basket-ware and exotic perfumes. Travel to the heart of Chinatown and experience the old and the new, tradition and modernity in the rows of streets and traditional shophouses lovingly restored into tempting eateries, teahouses and shops selling Oriental arts, crafts and souvenirs as well as traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. Little India completes the cultural kaleidoscope with its bustling streets showcasing aromatic and exotic spices, colourful flower-garland shops, vegetable vendors and busy curry houses.
Meet your English speaking driver for a transfer between your hotel and the cruise centre with a private vehicle.
Welcome aboard!Take some time to get settled in to your stateroom, and to explore the length of your ship. You'll set sail in the early evening.
Port charges are included in your itinerary pricing.
The beautiful garden theme of the ms Volendam is reflected in an artful floral motif throughout the ship's spacious public rooms and elegant staterooms. "Flowers" can be found in abundance in the forms of floral fabrics and tapestries, as well as huge vases of tropical floral arrangements and chrysanthemums. In addition to fresh flowers throughout the ship, Holland America Line has drawn on its collection of incredible artwork to enhance the interior of the ship's public spaces. Everything from pre-Columbian fetishes and sculptures to Renaissance-era fountains imported from Italy are included in its hallway galleries. At the heart of the ship an elegant sculpture by Luciano Vistosi, inspired by the myriad of moods and colors of a kaleidoscope, greets visitors in a soaring three-story atrium.
Full day spent relaxingly at sea.
Over the last decade or so Ko Samui, once a backpacker's haven, has developed into a more sophisticated beach resort, complete with an airport that offers regular flights to and from Bangkok and Krabi. Ko Samui is Thailand's third-largest island, and although tourism is now the main industry, its lingering rustic charm is summed up by the fact that coconut farming is still a major industry.
Laem Chabang is a port of Bangkok, the capital, largest urban area and primary city of Thailand. The city's many cultural landmarks and attractions in addition to its nightlife venues has made it synonymous with exoticism. Its rapid modernization, reflected in the cityscape and the urban society, has left untouched the historic Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Vimanmek Palace Complex, hundreds of Buddhist temples, and the city's illegal (but tolerated) red-light districts draw about 10 million international visitors each year, second only to London.
With an afternoon departure from port, you have another opportunity to spend additional time exploring the Bangkok area.
Sihanoukville, also known as Kampong Som, is a province in southern Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia's climate, like that of the rest of Southeast Asia is dominated by monsoons, which are known as tropical wet and dry because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences. January is the coolest month, while April is the warmest. Maximum temperatures of higher than 32 °C (89.6 °F), however, are common and, just before the start of the rainy season, they may rise to more than 38 °C (100.4 °F). Minimum temperatures rarely fall below 10 °C (50 °F).
Phu My is the port gateway to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 80 miles inland).
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is more modern than other Vietnamese cities, and has retained its French colonial influences. The streets are jam-packed with mopeds and scooters, often carrying whole families. Highlights in the city include the colorful Emperor of Jade Pagoda, an excellent example of a Chinese temple. The Hôtel de Ville is a wonderful example of French colonial architecture. The twin towers of Notre Dame Cathedral have been a familiar landmark in Ho Chi Minh City since the 1880s. The War Remnants Museum bears witness to the suffering inflicted on the Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s. Other sites relevant to that era are Reunification Hall and the former US Embassy. An interesting excursion from Saigon is a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels in which the South Vietnamese Communists concealed themselves and from which they launched attacks on US soldiers.
Nha Trang is a coastal city and capital of Khánh Hòa Province, on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. It is well known for its beaches and scuba diving, and has developed into a popular destination for international tourists, attracting large numbers of backpackers, as well as more affluent travellers on the Southeast Asia circuit; it is already very popular with Vietnamese tourists, with Nha Trang Bay widely considered as among the world's most beautiful bays.
Today this lovely town on the South China Sea reflects the peaceful era of pre-war Indochina. And up the coast, the grand Thien Mu Pagoda and stately Tu Duc Tomb welcome you to Hue, Vietnam's ancient royal capital, on the banks of the Perfume River.
The Cai Lan port located in the province of Quang Ninh, is the primary marine seaport for Northern Vietnam, offering access to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay, the city of Ha Long (Hong Gai), as well as the country's capital, Hanoi.
This morning you'll disembark from your ship and bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates.
A transfer between the airport and your hotel with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide is provided.
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