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Covering over two million square miles in size, Asia offers enormously varied experiences when it comes to Asia cruises. As one of the world's largest and most populous continents, Asia has an Eastern coastline that is wrapped up in the many cultures, religions, and ethnicities that call the continent home. From the great cities and jungles of the south-east to the bustling metropolises and great mountains of Japan and China, the history and culture of Asia - faith, innovation, creativity, and colonization - are laid bare like nowhere else by sea.
The most popular departing ports are Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Yokohama. There are hundreds of smaller ports interspersed serving destinations all over Asia's eastern coast too. A majority of the itineraries are only available seasonally. During the summertime, cruises to East Asia such as those that explore China and Japan are popular as these countries experience long dry summers with temperatures averaging in the high 80s while other parts of Asia are experiencing typhoons and heavy rain.
Princess Cruises and the Royal Caribbean International Cruises offer a multitude of itineraries and durations to choose from. For those who want to maximize their vacation by seeing more countries in one go, the Diamond Princess from Princess Cruises has the 12 Night Southern Islands Explorer that sails through Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea with a stop at a different port each night. The Ovation of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International offers several 4-5 itineraries that depart from Hong Kong and cruise to the picturesque beaches of either Vietnam or Boracay in the Philippines.
During the wintertime, the destinations for Asian cruises gravitate towards Southeast and South Asia as their tropical weather attracts vacationers who want to escape the winter cold. Pack sunscreen and head to Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, or Singapore for an exotic holiday onboard a luxury cruise. The Norwegian Jewel by Norwegian Cruise Lines leaves from the cosmopolitan city-state of Singapore and stops at world-class beaches such as Koh Samui in Thailand and the thriving port of Chan May in Vietnam. It’s ideal for families as kids travel free and can enjoy a multitude of onboard activities and games such as the Splash Academy. Whether it's history, culture or scenery you're after, there's something for everyone.
The most expensive months to travel on Asian cruises is between October and February, when American and European tourists head to the warmer climates of Asia during the winter. If you can stomach the soaring temperatures and high humidity of the summer between June and October, you'll also escape the crowds and find bargains as prices decrease.
A wealth of cultural treasure awaits travelers on shore excursions too, from Beijing to China's Great Wall. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat temple complex, the limestone karsts of Halong Bay or the beautiful river deltas of Cambodia are all popular too. Whether it's history, culture or scenery you're after, there's enough for everyone.
On board these cruise ships, you'll find all the luxuries and entertainment you'll need during your sea voyage. Choose the Windstar Star Legend if you're after a more intimate, private feel - with just over 200 passengers. Your experience on the Mariner of the Seas couldn't be more different, with as much glitz, glamour and entertainment as you can handle - with Broadway Shows, lounges and restaurants galore. If it's true luxury you're after, the Sapphire Princess has it all - with suites and balconies available for those who just want to relax and watch the world go by.