Bangkok to Bali and Beyond
Global Traveler|August 2021
Sail to the cultural wonders of Southeast Asia.
By J.D. Brown and Margaret Backenheimer

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.

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