FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Sail to the Cultural Wonders of Southeast Asia

by Margaret Backenheimer and J.D. Brown

Aug 15, 2021

PHOTO: © ERIX2005 | DREAMSTIME.COM

August 2021

Following a decade of phenomenal growth, Asia has become the second-most popular cruise destination in the world, trailing only the Caribbean. Most of the nearly 4 million passengers who annually sail in Asia are drawn to the ports and cultural sites in China and Japan, but one in five maritime travelers go on to explore the world-class temples, multiple cuisines, vast jungles, glowing beaches and exotic markets of Southeast Asia.

A typical Southeast Asia cruise takes place in winter (avoiding the worst of the heat and rain) and originates in Hong Kong or Singapore, often making one- to two-week tours of adjacent tropical nations, most notably Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. A number of premium and high-luxury cruise lines offer competing itineraries out of Hong Kong and Singapore. Celebrity Cruise Lines, for example, has more than two dozen Southeast Asia cruises on tap between now and 2023, all starting in Singapore aboard the 2,852-passenger Celebrity Solstice. A typical two-week cruise introduces passengers to Bangkok and Ko Phi Phi in Thailand; Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang in Vietnam; Boracay and Manila in the Philippines; and Penang in Malaysia, with special excursions to the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia and Ha Long Bay via wooden sampan in Vietnam.

Cruising

© SEABOURN

Silversea Cruises, another top luxury line, operates 12- to 14-day cruises from Singapore and Hong Kong on its 596-passenger Silver Moon, where each suite comes with a butler and every passenger is afforded one free shore excursion per port. Seabourn, too, conducts luxury 14- and 24-day voyages from Hong Kong and Singapore but will add a 10-day “Gems of Java” cruise March 11–21, 2022, on the 300-passenger Seabourn Ovation. Starting in Bali and ending in Singapore, it will stop at Indonesia’s fabled Komodo Island for a look at its “dragons.”

Oceania Cruises slated a 12-day Singapore round-trip cruise (Feb. 24–March 8, 2022) that visits Thailand’s resort getaway Ko Samui as well as Malaysia’s city of cats, Kuching. Oceania also offers a 20-day Bangkok–Hong Kong cruise departing Feb. 11, 2023, sailing to Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Muara (Brunei), the Philippines and Borneo (Malaysia).

Meanwhile, Holland America Line offers a multitude of 14-day Hong Kong– Singapore regional cruises (visiting the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand), as well as a 14-day Indonesia cruise, on the 1,924-passenger Noordam at far less cost than the all-inclusive luxury liners.

Several Southeast Asia cruises offer more unusual itineraries, events and features. Star Clipper Cruise’s 170-passenger, four-masted barquentine, Star Clipper, for example, makes its round-trip cruises from Phuket with an emphasis on snorkeling, diving, windsurfing and beach activities. The ship keeps the wheelhouse open to passengers around the clock, is equipped with a marina platform and maintains two pools on its sundeck, underscoring its casual elegance and easygoing style.

Windstar Cruises presents a family cruise with a twist. The “families” are those of crew members from the Philippines and Indonesia. The families step aboard to entertain passengers with dance and music. This Windstar voyage departs Hong Kong Oct. 14, 2022, ending two weeks later in Bali.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has a two-week Bali-to-Bangkok sweep embarking Feb. 4, 2022. In addition to the certified bridge masters on hand, this cruise puts some Public Broadcasting stars in the spotlight, including Judy Woodruff and Bloomberg’s Al Hunt, to celebrate PBS’s 50-plus seasons.

Ponant also sets out from Bali on a 15-day voyage to Ho Chi Minh City, disembarking Sept. 19, 2022, on the 184-guest Le Laperouse. Unusual points of interest include Mount Bromo, a Java volcano; the Borobudur reserve, featuring 240 eighth- and ninth-century Buddhist temples; and the remains of history’s most famous volcanic eruption, Krakatoa.

MEKONG FURLOUGH

Southeast Asia is home to one of the world’s great rivers, the Mekong. A cruise immerses passengers in the history, culture and everyday life of Cambodia and Vietnam.

One of the top international operators, Viking River Cruises, updated its fleet with the introduction of the brand-new 80-guest Viking Saigon. Its weeklong river passage, with stops at silk farms, fishing villages, monasteries and floating markets, is bookended by hotel stays in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Excursion sites along the way include the celebrated temple complex, Angkor Wat.

Cruising

© AVALON WATERWAYS

Avalon Waterways offers even more intimate weeklong Mekong cruises on two of its 36-passenger river ships, the Avalon Saigon and the Avalon Siem Reap. The route follows the Mekong between Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Emerald Cruises offers four itineraries for passengers on its new luxury 42-cabin Emerald Harmony, from a seven-night “Majestic Mekong River Cruise” to an expanded 20-night “Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia” that includes Siem Reap, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An and Hue in its journey, along with two nights aboard a classic junk in stunning Ha Long Bay.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Food
Oct 28, 2021

Vegan Dishes from Around the World for World Vegan Day

Celebrate World Vegan Day Nov. 1, with these vegan dishes from around the world.

The Future of Hamad International Airport

Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.

eFlyer Reviews
Oct 27, 2021

AMERON Zürich Bellerive au Lac Review

The Hotel AMERON Zurich Bellerive au Lac, forged from the collaborative efforts of interior design firm Monoplan AG and other cutting-edge design firms, bills itself as a celebration of the 1920s and ‘30s aesthetic. The story behind it is compelling as the building dates to 1928 and has connections with the early days of Switzerland's movie industry. However, there are several fun Mid-Century Modern and late 20th-century design touches in the public and private areas. Clearly, it's going for the "modern luxury" vibe Millennial and Gen-X business and leisure travelers look for when seeking a quality smaller property with a great location.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 27, 2021

The 1946 Offer from InterContinental New York Barclay

InterContinental New York Barclay is the perfect spot for luxury in the heart of Manhattan. With the 1946 Package, enjoy a two-night stay in the Penthouse Suite, an exclusive InterContinental75 cocktail lesson with a mixologist, 75-minute couples massage with Zeel, a movie screening on the Penthouse Suite terrace with classic films from the year of InterContinental’s birth with a premium 1946 vintage wine to enjoy.

Register Today for the Most Important Gathering of Business Travel Professionals

The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 27, 2021

Buy One, Get One 50 Percent Off with Uniworld

On Black Friday, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering a one-of-a-kind chance to score two luxury river cruise sailings by the end of 2021, with the second cruise at 50 percent off.

Class Act 2021
Oct 26, 2021

Travel Brands Revamp Loyalty Programs to Keep Customers Engaged

One of the many fallouts from the turbulent past 1.5 years of pandemic-related travel restrictions and lockdowns has been the rethinking and imminent restructuring of loyalty programs throughout the travel industry, from airline and hotel brands to cruise and rental car companies. Loyalty programs are more than a perk for customers; they can be worth more than the brand itself for the program owners and operators. For example, the world’s largest airline, American Airlines, is valued at roughly $6 billion, whereas its passenger loyalty program, AAdvantage, boasts an estimated worth of $24 billion according to a recent analysis by Financial Times.

‘Tis the Season for a Luxurious Retreat

This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.

Daily
Oct 26, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Ayutthaya, Thailand, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Ayutthaya, Thailand, with us.