Cruise to Asia

Top deck of cruise ship cruising through the Phi Phi Islands

Overview

  • Lady in white dress with traditional temple/shrine in the background
  • Lady in kayak cruising through the Phi Phi Islands
  • Couple holding hands in front of the Taj Mahal

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Frequently asked questions

Japan 

Avid foodies, history buffs and pop-culture addicts flock to this country that fuses innovation, traditional customs, gastronomic delights and deep spiritual experiences.  

China 

Cruise ports in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and beyond offer a fascinating gateway to this ancient nation’s thought-provoking history, modern attractions and natural wonders.  

Hong Kong 
Renowned for its memorable skyline, street food, busy markets and the famous Victoria Peak, Hong Kong is another popular port in China.  

Thailand 

Ancient Buddhist temples meet tropical blue-sky days, with cruise ships visiting the exotic capital Bangkok and the beautiful beaches of Phuket.  

Vietnam 

Be awed by the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay, visit bustling cities and historic port towns, eat delicious food, and sail along the mighty Mekong River. 

Malaysia 

Malaysia has so much to offer cruisers, with a fascinating mix of cultures, intricate architecture, colourful dance and some of the world’s best street food. 

Bali & Indonesia 

From the tropical island paradise of Bali to the fascinating Komodo Islands, remote archipelagos and untouched reefs, Indonesia is a magical cruise destination. 

Singapore  

This global financial hub is a spellbinding destination with luxurious shopping malls, elegant hotels, awe-inspiring man-made waterfalls and incredible cuisine. 

South Korea 

A handful of cruise lines sail to South Korea, usually combining it with Japan, visiting Busan, famed for its Buddhist temples and the majestic island of Jeju.


The best season to cruise Asia depends on the specific region you're keen on. You generally want to avoid monsoon seasons and aim for cooler, drier months. In Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, the peak cruise season is between November and April. Mekong River cruises are also popular during this dry season. Northern Asian picks like China, Japan and South Korea, are popular in their summer season, from June to August.


Yes, many cruises offer activities tailored for kids and families. Larger ships will have kids’ clubs for all ages, swimming pools, games rooms and fun organised activities. You can also book shore excursions that will be suitable for the whole family.


Cruises offer a mix of international dishes and local Asian cuisines, from sushi to stir-fried noodles and Thai curries. Some cruise lines will also pick up fresh produce and ingredients as they sail through a region, so you will have a chance to sample local specialties. But make sure you visit a restaurant or street food market while you’re on shore in Asia to taste unique dishes you won’t find anywhere else.


If you prefer to cruise in a more serene environment (and don’t want to get splashed in the pool), several cruise lines offer adults’ only sailings around Asia. Recommended lines include Viking and Virgin Voyages are strictly adults’ only, while other lines like Celebrity Cruises, Princess, MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have adults-only areas onboard. Try to avoid sailing during school holiday periods if you’d prefer to travel with less kids onboard.


They can range from five days to three weeks, depending on the itinerary. If you are cruising to Asia from Australia, expect to be sailing for at least 20 days. If you fly into an Asian cruise hub, like Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai or Tokyo, there plenty of shorter cruise options.


Elaborate temples, busy local markets, fascinating historical sites and cultural encounters await across Asia. Food will be a highlight of any Asian cruise from the buzzy street food markets of Hong Kong to the famed xiao long bao dumplings of Shanghai, spicy laksa in Malaysia, sushi and Kobe beef in Japan, and fiery curries in Thailand. Visit Hindu temples in Bali, Buddhist temples in Busan South Korea and Shinto shrines in Japan. Explore UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Great Wall of China and Halong Bay in Vietnam. There are also gorgeous beaches, adventures in nature and world-class shopping on offer.


Depending on your nationality and the countries visited, multiple visas might be necessary. For Australian travellers, some countries do not require a visa and some (like Indonesia) will issue a visa on arrival, but countries like China and Vietnam require you to apply for a visa before you travel. Check with your travel consultant when you make your booking and always check the revelant government authority website for your nationality.


Yes, many cruises offer themed nights, live music and dance performances specific to Asian culture. On board cultural presentations will give you the opportunity to learn about the countries and ports you are visiting. Smaller ships, and particularly river cruise vessels, may even bring local performers on board for special shows as you stop at their home port.


Each country in Asia has its own currency, though you will be able to use Australian and international credit cards in major cities. It’s a good idea to have some local currency for smaller purchases (especially at markets and street stalls) and for rural areas. You will be able to exchange currency on your cruise ship but options may be limited.


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