Travel to Asia has been taking off over the last couple of years, with a record number of Australians seeking the ultimate way to explore Asia – by cruise. Here are just 6 of the many reasons to cruise to Asia.
1. It’s close to Australia!
For new and veteran cruise-goers alike, Asia holds a timeless appeal unmatched by other global cruise destinations. Why? Perhaps it’s the region’s unique culture, scenic beauty and fascinating heritage. Or, maybe it’s simply the fact that it’s just across the pond.
The cruising hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong are under 10 hours away, making it an easy trip for those not wanting to venture far. The minimal time difference also makes acclimatising far easier than a getaway further afield. Azamara Club Cruises even offer select cruise itineraries directly between Sydney and Asia, making things extra easy. There’s nothing like taking a luxurious voyage to Bali or Singapore.
2. Experience Chinese New Year
One of the most exciting times to cruise to Asia is during Chinese New Year, which is celebrated throughout the region. In 2019 the Year of the Pig will be welcomed from 5 February with celebrations continuing into early March. Embark on shore excursions that will take you into the heart of Asia’s iconic cities, and immerse yourself in the New Year festivities. Pick up New Year goods like traditional robes and indulge in traditional festival foods such as Yusheng in Singapore – a fish served with sundried oranges, red ginger, capsicums, and a sauce famed for its 27 ingredients.
3. The best of Asian cuisine, both onboard and on shore
Which Asian cuisine reigns supreme? It's an almost impossible task to separate them. A cruise through Asia allows you to explore a wide range of local cuisines both onboard and off shore, as the chefs on board often visit local markets to inspire their creations. Meanwhile you can sample local specialities such as Okonomiyaki savoury pancakes in Osaka, explore the local spice market with Azamara’s chefs in Malaysia, or take a cooking class in Hoi An, Vietnam.
4. Stress-free holidaying with Azamara Club Cruises
A challenge of travelling in a country where you are unfamiliar with the local language, is the stress of planning, transiting between destinations, and organising activities. Choose the right Asia cruise and you’ll have an expert team on-hand to streamline the experience and curate experiences for every travel style. Azamara Club Cruises offer custom programmes for seeing life behind the scenes, tasting local food and wine, evening experiences and cycling tours.
You can avoid large crowds, with each excursion catering to a maximum of 25 guests, to preserve the intimacy of the local experience. Then, returning to your luxury lodgings on board after a long day adventuring, is a priceless feeling.
5. Tick off bucket list places, and discover others you’ve never considered
While countries like Japan and Thailand are at the top of many a bucket list, a cruise through Asia allows you to combine destinations with those you might not have otherwise considered. Sure, you’ll visit the beaches of Koh Samui in Thailand and the bright lights of Hong Kong, but a cruise to Asia can also let you explore the leafy streets and colonial architecture of Yangon Myanmar, or the mesmerising limestone pillars that dot Ha Long Bay.
The added benefit of seeing the best of Asia with a cruise, is that you remove the transit time usually wasted on bus or train tours. Just wake up in a new destination each day, and enjoy the leisurely journey that gets you there.
6. Tour parts of Asia not otherwise accessible
Cruising through parts of Asia offers you the ability to visit hard to reach places, often inaccessible by bus or train. The boutique size of the Azamara Journey and Quest mean they can fit into smaller ports that larger ships simply can’t get to. You can sail right up Thailand’s Chao Phraya River, and dock right amongst the bright lights of Bangkok for an overnight stay, or visit the Komodo Islands in Indonesia for a rare look at the dragons.