Visit Asian arts & culture capitals
Witness the fascinating juxtapositions of Southeast Asia, where long-held traditions infuse bustling capitals. See the floating markets of Bangkok with a Thai guide. Marvel at Kuala Lumpur’s soaring Petronas Towers. Absorb the vast cultural diversity of Singapore with a resident by your side. And gain unmatched insight into the spiritual and arts culture of Java, from the enormous temple of Borobudur to the historic riches of Jakarta and Surabaya.
Bangkok, Thailand / Bali (Benoa), Indonesia
2023 Sailings on November
2024 Sailings on March, and on November
2025 Sailings from March to April
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Cruise fare from $6,499.0 per person
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. Often called the “City of Angels,” Bangkok is Thailand’s largest and most populous city. A sprawling and heady mix of modern skyscrapers, floating markets and longtail boats skimming the Chao Phraya River, the scintillating capital of old Siam engages all the senses. Yet it all seems devoutly grounded by the presence of its revered gilded wats, or temples. Wat Arun, in particular, can be seen from all corners of the city. This majestic riverside “Temple of Dawn” catches the first light of each day like a pearl, casting a soft glow on one of Asia’s most remarkable cities.
Historic Siam of old, Bangkok is beautifully set on the Chao Phraya River. Thai culture is rich and engaging in this bustling center, and its origins are reflected through centuries-old Buddhist wats, or temples. The towering Wat Arun, named for the god of the rising sun, stands dramatically on the river’s banks. The revered temples and elegant buildings within the walls of the renowned Grand Palace date to the late 1700s. A gilded array of golden pagodas and stupas (shrines), it has been the royal family’s residence for more than 150 years.
The Gulf of Thailand, the massive sea basin bordered by Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, is still known as the Gulf of Siam to the Malay and Khmer people. Long stretches of sandy beach, low-lying emerald hills and soaring mountains surround this oval-shaped gulf. The lush hills of Botum Sakor National Park unfold north of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Along Thailand’s shores, several beach-ringed islands point the way to Laem Chabang port.
This narrow passage between Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra was a major route for early traders shipping glassware, precious stones, camphor, ivory and sandalwood. Today, it is one of the busiest shipping channels in the world, linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Along this historic waterway, the lush shores of Sumatra grace the horizon to the south, stretching out to lowlands, mangroves and swamps. The more urban skylines of Malaysia—George Town and Kuala Lumpur among them—shimmer in the distance to the north.
The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur was built by Chinese tin prospectors in the mid-1800s. Since then, the city of KL, as the locals call it, has grown into a stunning mix of colonial, Moorish, Tudor, neo-Gothic and Grecian-Spanish architecture. The two-story shophouses of Old Market Square, with storefronts below and residences above, reveal the lives of merchants. The magnificent Petronas Towers are the centerpiece of this fascinating city; the side-by-side twin spires resemble a pair of rockets, connected by a two-story sky bridge that spans the 41st and 42nd floors.
Singapore is the world’s only island city-state. Established in 1819 for the East India Company by Sir Stamford Raffles, after whom the famed hotel is named, it grew from a secluded backwater into a shabby port city before transforming itself into a sophisticated metropolis. The technology and economy are highly advanced here, yet the islands host plentiful green parks with tree-lined footpaths and the stunning National Orchid Garden. For a panoramic view of it all, the observation deck of the Marina Bay Sands towers offers the perfect solution.
Sail the Java Sea and navigate a vast archipelago of lush beauty. Today’s nation of Indonesia encompasses more than 13,000 islands. As you sail, explore our well-curated library, tucked in a private alcove of The Living Room, and select from a broad range of titles. Read a book by the Main Pool, a calming oasis in any weather with its retractable roof, allowing for year-round swimming.
Jakarta is a melting pot of cultures and a bustling capital. The city has been important to trade since the 4th century; it was founded as Sunda Kelapa, a significant trading port for the Sunda Kingdom, the Hindu realm that once occupied this area. The Dutch arrived in 1619 to establish the Dutch East Indies, renaming the city Batavia and proclaiming it their capital. Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and more were exported from here. During the Japanese occupation of World War II, the Dutch were expelled and the city took its current name, which it retained after independence.
Jakarta is an enormous mélange of cultures imported from Indonesia’s 6,000 inhabited islands. Whether strolling the capital’s outdoor markets or dining at a high-end restaurant, the city’s menus reveal a cornucopia of cuisines that reflect the varied traditions of today’s Jakartans. The local Betawi food is the culmination of centuries of Malay, Chinese, Javanese and other influences. Gado-gado, salad in peanut sauce, is one popular dish. Countless variations of skewered meats, fried rice and dumplings are also on offer.
Java is Indonesia’s repository of history and island culture. The bustling port of Semarang was founded by the Dutch and hints of the island’s colonial past dot the cityscape. Outside the city, Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world, strikes a dramatic pose against a backdrop of four volcanoes. A popular place of pilgrimage and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the massive pyramidal temple towers to a great height. The devout walk up a clockwise path to the pinnacle, passing 2,672 reliefs and 504 Buddha statues along the way.
Surabaya played a central role in the Indonesian War of Independence. The memorials to that struggle stand as soaring testaments to the will and courage of the Javanese. Today, Surabaya is a diverse patchwork of vibrant cultures. Mosques stand proudly in the Arab district and elegant churches adorn the European quarter. But perhaps the most authentic way to fully experience Java’s varied cultural influences is by tasting them. A stroll through the Pasar Pabean traditional market reveals fresh fish, vegetables, spices, incense and countless other specialties.
With a thriving arts scene, lush beauty and magnificent seaside vistas, Bali has long beckoned travelers in search of ultimate beauty. The island’s rich Hindu culture has forever held that gods live in all things natural—from mountains to streams to pebbles on the beach—lending the island a peaceful air. Denpasar is the island’s thriving capital. Founded as a market town, it still bustles with colorful stalls and vast emporiums selling bright sarongs and intricately patterned batik.
With its distinct flavors and traditions, Bali’s food culture stands apart from that of the rest of Indonesia. Indigenous ingredients, recipes and techniques blend with influences from the island’s Chinese and Indian heritages to create dishes found nowhere else. For many, a daily ritual may involve shopping for ginger, turmeric and kaffir lime in spice markets or for fruits, vegetables and meats in a pasar pagi. Traditional warungs, tiny family-owned food stands, often specialize in a particular dish, such as babi guling (suckling pig) or bebek betutu (crispy duck). After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.
* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.