Destination > Asia & Orient

Asia-Orient

To most North Americans, a cruise to Asia and the Orient defines the essence of exotic destinations. Far from home in nearly every sense, these countries dazzle and enthrall travelers with their enduring traditions, stunning beauty, and rich history and cultural heritage.

Centuries ago a Venetian merchant named Marco Polo journeyed deep into Asia, following caravan routes and the Silk Road in search of jewels, silks, spices and ivory. What he found were great civilizations and religions, already ancient when Christianity was born. Today the monuments of those vanished dynasties are the top attractions for visitors, and those who journey here can also delight in the region's stunning architecture, delicious cuisine and beautiful art.

With three-fifths of the world's population, the variety of cultures in China, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand that must be experienced first-hand to be fully appreciated. The crowded whirlwind of activity found in the cities is a blend of Eastern philosophy and Western modernity, creating a truly unique environment of temples and skyscrapers. But concealed behind high-tech industries and high-rise buildings lives a society with an ingrained sense of conservative Confucian values. Strong beliefs center around extended families, piety, discipline, respect and work ethic. A cruise offers the perfect way to travel all of these provocative, distant lands in comfort and convenience and feel the true heartbeat of Asia.
 

What can I do on an Asia-Orient Cruise?


Over the millennia the focus of a trip to Asia hasn't changed much with sightseeing and shopping topping the list. There are literally thousands of temples and shrines, plus palaces, monasteries, gardens and other national treasures all with their own mystical qualities. Of course, no trip to China is complete without a comprehensive sightseeing tour of important landmarks such as The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Tian An Men Square. In addition, the archeological site surrounding the emperor's tomb in Xian is not to be missed. Here, 7,000 statues of warriors all individually crafted of terra cotta guard the sarcophagus.

The rural countryside of Asia exists in sharp contrast to the modern cities and plenty of escorted day trips are offered through the cruise lines' shore excursions program to allow you the opportunity to experience every-day life, sample local cuisine, visit artists studios or even orchid farms. One of the most intriguing is the elephant kraal in Thailand. Seen nowhere else in the world, the Elephant Kraal is literally a gathering of wild elephant herds. This exotic event features a spectacular demonstration of two methods of capturing the elephants and how they are trained for work. Witness a colorful procession of the beasts and you even have a chance to ride and feed the elephants.
 
Which places should I visit on an Asia-Orient cruise?

Because of the variety of destinations that make up this area, it is very rare that you'll begin and end your cruise in the same port city. With this in mind, depending on which cruise you choose, you may visit many of these countries and ports. In addition, overnight stays in port on board the ship are common to coordinate with flight arrivals and departures.

  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Bankok(Laem Chabang)
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Hanoi
  • Da Nang
  • Shanghai
 
  • Beijing
  • Nagasaki
  • Osaka
  • Kobe
  • Hiroshima
  • Tokyo
  • Taipei


What is the best time to travel on an Asia-Orient Cruise?


Apart from world cruises that sample key ports in Asia and The Orient as they circle the globe, most cruises in this part of the world focus on specific areas, such as Japan and eastern China or Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. Typically the luxury cruise lines such as Radisson Seven Seas, Crystal Cruises, Silversea and Seabourn, and two premium lines, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, offer the widest variety of itineraries and land tours.

Cruise itineraries are generally about two weeks and travel time from the US is lengthy, so at least two days should be added to the start of the cruise and two days after to ensure timely and convenient flight connections.
 

How do I get there?

Some of the most familiar cruise lines in the world have ships sailing to Alaska this year. You can cruise aboard Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

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