Asia Cruise Yearbook : ASEAN Yearbook 2018
AGENT TIPS ASEAN CRUISE DIRECTORY 2018/2019 19 ”Asia is rapidly developing its cruise product and is very accessible for Australians, either by joining cruises originating from Australia or flying to somewhere like Singapore.“ Asia remains one of the more popular cruise destinations for Australians as they continue to choose cruise holidays in record numbers. The figures from CLIA show that in 2017 the Australian cruise market grew by 4.4 per cent, equating to almost 6 per cent of the Australian population taking a cruise last year. With more than 1.34 million Australians taking an ocean cruise we’re seeing an ever- increasing range of itineraries being offered with Asia as their focus. Asia remains the most popular long-haul fly-cruise destination for Australian cruisers, accounting for 7.3 per cent of travelers. Asia is rapidly developing its cruise product and is very accessible for Australians, either by joining cruises originating from Australia or flying to somewhere like Singapore, which has become a key port for many cruise operators. The Asian cruise industry is expanding in terms of size and Cruise itineraries – both river and ocean – have really opened up some areas which would have been difficult or impossible to reach before cruising started. Classic examples would be the Mekong and Irrawaddy river cruises, where companies like Pandaw are taking people into really remote areas in Laos and northern Thailand, as well as the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar. On the oceans there are some great expedition cruises through Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia – Silversea Expeditions and Ponant are some that come to mind. I did a fantastic expedition cruise into Indonesian Borneo and visited the Camp Leakey orangutan rehabilitation centre. Plus, there are companies now like Star Clippers cruising the smaller Indonesian islands. In the mainstream, the cruise lines are investing heavily in the ships they are GARETH EVISON PRODUCT MANAGER, CRUISE 1ST infrastructure and is being developed to cater for the increasing number of ships operating out of the region. Singapore is strategically stationed in the region and has invested in building two cruise terminals to accommodate bigger and newer ships. Asia is popular because it offers a wide variety of experiences in different countries across the region, making for interesting and varied itineraries virtually on our doorstep. Asia’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, is set to return to Southeast Asia for a six-month season in 2019/2020 following a multi-million dollar refurbishment. This longest-ever deployment in the region for a ship of its class will enable Quantum of the Seas to bring hundreds of thousands of tourists to Malaysia, which has grown to be one of the region’s most significant cruise destinations – and the growth is expected to continue. PHIL SMETHURST DIRECTOR, BICTON TRAVEL sending to the region. The likes of Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Norwegian are all sending great ships which are perfect for any age group. Dream Cruises, in particular, have some amazing new ships in the region with more to come. Then there are the more luxurious and intimate style ships which are suited to those wishing to explore the more adventurous destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines while not compromising on comfort. For that you have the likes of Silversea, Seabourn and Windstar. One benefit of cruising ASEAN is the close proximity to Australia so no long haul flights are required. Plus, airfares are now so low, lots of cruise lines in the region are competing on price, and the Aussie dollar is so strong against local currencies, it makes for a very good value for money proposition.
ASEAN Yearbook 2015