Southeast Asia is growing as a cruise destination, with an expanding array of cruise styles and itineraries. You can see this colorful, culture-rich region on an ocean cruise departing from Singapore, Hong Kong or Australia; on a segment of a world cruise; or on a cruise along the Mekong or Irrawaddy rivers.
Many deep water cruises of Southeast Asia sail between Singapore and Hong Kong, offering an opportunity to get to know each city through pre- and post-cruise stays. A seven-day cruise can take you to exotic ports in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia. Longer cruises often include overnight stays in some ports, so you can take extended excursions to historic sites that lie further inland.
River cruises take guests more directly to inland destinations, sailing rivers that have served as lifelines in Southeast Asia for centuries. From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a combination of Mekong River cruising and land tour will take you to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and the Angkor Wat temple. Or, sail the Irrawaddy River through Myanmar, stopping to tour temples and watch village artisans at work on your way to Mandalay.
Some of the Southeast Asia’s most popular ports of call include:
Bangkok, Thailand, teems with activity, giant Buddhas, palaces, temples and skyscrapers. Highlights include the markets of Chinatown; Wat Po, the oldest temple in Thailand; and delicious, fresh Thai cuisine.
Halong Bay, Vietnam, where nearly 2,000 limestone islands rise high above the emerald-green water in a unique and memorable seascape.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has a stunning cityscape of temples, mosques and soaring towers. Don’t miss the Central Market, built in 1888, which has everything from designer clothing to authentic Malaysian crafts.
Sihanoukville, Cambodia, is a gateway for excursions to Ream National Park; the Silver Pagoda in the capital city of Phnom Penh; and the world-famous temples of Angkor Wat.
Yangon, Myanmar, is less modernized than other Southeastern Asia port cities: you’ll find a fascinating mix of British colonial architecture, Buddhist pagodas, and bustling markets.
Most cruise lines offer Southeast Asia cruises from November through March, which are the region’s driest and coolest months. Still, be prepared for varying weather conditions as you cruise; nights can be cool in ports further from the equator, while inland locations can be very warm and humid. Ask your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert to help you select your ocean or river cruise of Southeast Asia.