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Far East Australia & World Cruises the Travel & Leisure Magazine November 09

Far East Australia & World Cruises the Travel & Leisure Magazine November 09

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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 in the November edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine. For more details on the magazine visit www.tlmags.con
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 in the November edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine. For more details on the magazine visit www.tlmags.con

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Published by: Travel & Leisure Magazines on Dec 16, 2009
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FAR EAST
T
he Far East is a tantalisinglyexotic option for passengerswanting to spice up their holi-days and cruise off the beatentrack. Few places on earth canrival this region’s rich kaleido-scopeofcoloursandexperiences;fromancientdynasties and age-old traditions to gleamingskyscrapersandfuturisticdesignsthatmakeupsome of the world’s most striking cities.This is the perfect place to escape thecrowds of the Mediterranean and Caribbeanand absorb the contrasting countries and cul-tures of a region that still holds that specialappeal.The beauty of cruising through Asianwaters is that you can visit several places inone trip without having to endure arduousoverland journeys.Stay on a ship, soak up the views and rel-ish the chance to truly get away from it all ondeserted islands or in tiny villages.Getting to the Far East may take longer thanflyingtoEuropeortheCaribbean,butthehuge range of flights to the main cruisingdeparture points of Hong Kong, Singaporeand Bangkok has made it much cheaper and easier than it used to be.And you don’t have to restrict yourself tosimply taking a cruise. It’s easy to combinevoyages with land-stays as part of a longer holiday acrossAsia.Alternatively,whynotspendafewnightsinthecitieswherethecruisestartsorendstoreal-ly make the most of this exciting destination?
 Where can you go?
With more holidaymakers waking up to theappeal of cruising in the Far East, cruise lineshave been quick to increase the range of sail-ings they offer.The result is that there has never been a bigger choice of cruises throughAsia and thesurrounding area with companies such asPrincess Cruises adding more itineraries and others such as Yachts of Seabourn, CostaCruises and Royal Caribbean International basing ships there. Asian-based cruise lineStarCruiseshasfiveshipsofferingvoyagesof two to five nights to Malaysia, Thailand,Singapore and Hong Kong.The route between Hong Kong anSingapore is probably the most popular and travellers can choose to sail north from HongKong or south from Singapore.Ittakesaroundtwoweekstocruisebetweenthe two cities and itineraries can vary, but themostcommononestendtotakeinthecoastof VietnamafascinatingareatoexplorebyshipandoneoftheAsiandestinationsseenashold-ing the most potential for cruising.Alternative routeings between the twocities can include calls at the oil-rich sultanateof Brunei; Sabah, on the tropical island of Borneo; Manila, the bustling capital of thePhilippines; the idyllic Thai island of KohSamui, famous for its beautiful beaches; and the tropical holiday isle of Hainan, known asChina’s Hawaii.Some cruises which start and finish inHong Kong cover the same territory, but oth-ers sail northwards from the city, calling atTaiwan and Japanese cities including Kobe,Yokohama and Nagasaki before finishing inthe Chinese powerhouse of Shanghai – whichis also a starting point for some cruises.Other voyages from Singapore offer a dif-ferent flavour by sailing to Indonesia and call-ing at exotic islands such as Java, Bali and Komodo, famous for its deadly giant lizards,known as Komodo dragons.SuchsailingscanincludecallsinMalaysia,notably at the capital Kuala Lumpur and thehistoric Dutch trading port of Malacca.
ASIA, AUSTRALASIAAND BEYOND
Cruise passengers keen to venture further afield can take longer cruises through south-eastAsiato India, theMiddleEastoreven theMediterranean.
26
TheTravel&LeisureMagazine November/December 2009
Cruises in exotic Far East andAustralasia waters are growing inappeal as more cruise lines send their showboats to China and other Oriental locations.
Sara Macefield
reports on cruising inthe East and looks at another fast-growing sector – world cruises
Steering
 
Many cruises start or end in Sydney
Seabourn is among cruiselines with Far East-based ships
     Y    a    c     h    t    s    o     f     S    e    a     b    o    u    r    n
Orient  
 
 November/December 2009 TheTravel&LeisureMagazine
27
Another option is to sail from the Far EasttoAustralia and enjoy a completely contrast-ing range of destinations on lines such asSilversea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises or Princess Cruises.Such voyages tend to take two weeks, call-ing 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-try’s most beautiful, remoteAboriginal lands.Then it’s simply a case of sailing downAustralia’s east coast. Passengers can experi-ence one of nature’s great wonders, the GreatBarrier Reef, during stops at Cairns, PortDouglas orAirlie Beach.From there they may get the chance to wit-ness the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands,and the modern city of Brisbane before end-ing the cruise in Sydney.Taking to the sea is an ideal way to exploreAustralia as its main cities and tourist attrac-tions are on the coast and travelling by cruiseship gives passengers the chance to combinethese with the islands of the South Pacific and  New Zealand.Other popular stops in Australia on suchsailings include Melbourne and Hobart inTasmania, while New Zealand ports of callinclude Christchurch, Dunedin, the Fiordland  National Park, Napier, Picton, Tauranga and Auckland.InPolynesiastopsatidyllicoutpostssuchasBora Bora, the islands of Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa,
 
FAR EAST,AUSTRALASIA & WORLD CRUISES
Fred Olsen’s Balmoral in Shanghai
Star Flyer in Thailand
allABOARD
     F    r    e     d     O     l    s    e    n     C    r    u     i    s    e     L     i    n    e    s
     S    t    a    r     C     l     i    p    p    e    r    s     /     A    n     d    y     L    o    v    e    r     i    n    g
Princess Cruises
Cruise
tips
Far East cruises run year-round, butchoose your time carefully to avoidmonsoons.The best choice of cruisestends to be in winter when moreships sail to the region.
Remember that some of the must-seesights in Asia involve a lengthyoverland journey, and sometimes evenrequire an overnight stay.
On world cruises, if you only want todo a segment, study the itinerarycarefully to ensure you don’t spendtoo many days at sea – unless youwant to, of course!
Onboard activities are worthconsidering on world cruises as thesewill add more variety on the days atsea.The bigger the ship, the morefacilities it will have.
 
andRarotongaintheCookIslandsalsofeature.One-ship cruise line Paul Gauguin Cruises is based in the region all year, offering sailingsthrough several South Pacific islands and call-ingatNewZealandonlongeritineraries.
 WORLD CRUISES
When it comes to spending time at sea, world cruises are still the ultimate thrill.Being able to wave goodbye to Britishshoresfortwoorthreemonthsatatimeandsailacross the globe to some of the world’s mostinaccessibleplacescarriesapremiumcachet.At one time, such voyages were the pre-serve of the very rich who had the money, aswell as the time, to spend on such adventures.But not any more! Potential globe-trottersare increasingly realising that a world cruisedoes not have to be a once-in-a-lifetimeoccasion. Nowadays there are more ships and morelong voyages than ever before. Being able tochoose shorter sectors instead of the wholesailing means passengers can buy into a world cruise even if they can’t afford the wholething.A true world cruise is one that circumnavi-gates the globe, but there are plenty of so-called “grand voyages” which take a similar amount of time and visit all the places youwould expect such as Asia, Latin America,Australasia or Africa – but only cover two-thirds or so of the world.These cruises normally depart in January,returning in March orApril.P&O Cruises and Cunard Line have tradi-tionally offered world cruises fromSouthampton, but lines such as Fred OlsenandSagaCruisesalsoofferlongvoyagesfromBritish shores.P&O has also increased the number of world cruises it offers. Customers can choosefrom four different sailings betweenSeptember 2010 and January 2011, whileYachts of Seabourn is offering its first world cruise next year.Lines such as Crystal Cruises, PrincessCruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises alsooffer global voyages.
Mix of destinations
World cruises and long voyages generally callat around 30 ports, including a mix of tried and tested destinations and offbeat locations – some of which are only accessible by ship.They tend to last between 80 and 110 daysand are split into segments ranging fromaround 12 nights to 30 nights – the so-called “line” voyages that sail from one point toanother. The most popular one is generallyAustralia or New Zealand.Some world cruises depart and return toUK ports such as Southampton or Dover while others sail from ports including Miami,LosAngeles, Fort Lauderdale and NewYork.Those departing from the UK tend to sailtoAustralia via the Mediterranean, calling at ports such as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Sydney.An alternative route could be sailingsouthfromEuropetoSouthAfricaandreturn-ing via LatinAmerica and the Caribbean.Passengers who book the full voyage oftenenjoy extra benefits, with lines such asSilversea and Crystal offering free shore-sideactivities and selected excursions.Other perks include onboard spendingcredits and a free hotel stay on the eve of departure.
 
Far East, Australia &World Cruise facts
TL
     P    r     i    n    c    e    s    s     C    r    u     i    s    e    s
Sample cruises
Yachts of Seabourn (0845 070 0500;
) is offering a 14-night voyage from Hong Kong to Singapore, viaVietnam andThailand on January 30, 2010. Prices start at £3,399, excluding flights.A 12-day sailing from Sydney toAuckland is offered by Princess Cruises (08453555 800,
) on January 28,2010,from £2,612,including flights.P&O Cruises (0845 678 0014,
) is offering a 94-nightworld cruise on its shipArcadia,departing Southampton on January 10 for 34 ports in 23 countries.Prices start at £8,406.
Other useful cruise contacts
Crystal Cruises (020 7287 9040,
 www.crystalcruises.co.uk
)Cunard Line (0845 678 0013,
)Fred Olsen Cruises (01473 746175,
)Holland America Line (0845 351 0557,
 www.hollandamerica.co.uk
)Oceania Cruises (0845 858 0827,
)Orion Expedition Cruises (020 8545 2617,
)Paul Gauguin Cruises (020 7434 0089,
 www.pgcruises.co.uk
)Regent Seven Seas Cruises (02380 682280,
)Royal Caribbean International (0844 493 4005,
)Saga Cruises (0800 096 0079,
 www.saga.co.uk/travel
)Spirit of Adventure (0800 015 6984,
)Star Clippers (0845 200 6145,
 www.starclippers.co.uk
)Star Cruises (0845 201 8913,
)Silversea Cruises (0844 770 9030,
)Swan Hellenic (0845 246 9700,
 www.swanhellenic.com
)Voyages of Discovery (0845 018 1808,
)Make sure you check out the website of the Passenger Shipping Association,which represents all the main cruise lines, at
28
TheTravel&LeisureMagazine November/December 2009
P&O’s Aurora in Hong Kong
P&O Cruises

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