Asia Cruise Yearbook : ASEAN Yearbook 2018
EXPERT OPINION ASEAN CRUISE DIRECTORY 2018/2019 25 DEBRA FOX APT Travel Group Chief Commercial Officer APT have operated in Vietnam and Cambodia since 2011. Starting with 12 departures in the first season, we’ve grown to 36 departures in 2018/19. With easy access to the Mekong river, cruising is by far the best way for our guests to get off the tourist trail and see Vietnam and Cambodia through the eyes of the locals. Vietnam has had a resurgence over the past few years and with the increase in airlines servicing the country it is becoming more accessible and appealing as a destination for Australians wanting to learn more about their welcoming culture and rich history. Following the success of Vietnam and Cambodia with Australians, APT has ventured further into the ASEAN nations with tours and river cruises in Myanmar in 2016, for authentic experiences our guests couldn’t do independently. In 2019, APT ambassador and acclaimed celebrity chef Luke Nguyen will be hosting an exclusive culinary journey through Myanmar aboard the boutique river ship RV Samatha, for an authentic look at the region’s produce and cooking techniques. Luke will also be hosting his annual Mekong River Cruise in 2018. With his family ties and newly opened restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, this is a truly unique way to experience the region. APT’s Small Ships program gives us the flexibility to introduce new itineraries from year to year, previously hosting unique sailings in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, visiting locations not available to larger ships. With the popularity of the ASEAN nations increasing, they are all possibilities for this program in the future. With all the destinations so close and easily accessible from Australia, the ASEAN region is an ideal holiday choice. Not only are they on a similar time zone so there is no jet lag, it is a holiday that is rich in cultural experiences like nothing most Australians have experienced. DAVID ROUSHAM Cunard Vice President UK and International Development This year sees the most Australians and New Zealanders ever travel with Cunard. This growth is in response to the breadth of our itineraries and shows just how much of the world the Cunard fleet covers. We will continue showing our guests the world with a new ship joining our fleet in 2022. In 2019, for the first time, Cunard will base a ship in Australia for a 54-day season, with a season almost double that length in 2020. Despite these record-breaking seasons Down Under, the fly-cruise market remains important for Cunard and allows Australians more freedom to board in any international embarkation port. Additionally, we know Australians enjoy visiting the ASEAN countries, with the recent CLIA Ocean Source Market Report finding Asia is the most popular long-haul fly-cruise region for Australian cruisers, accounting for 7.3 per cent of travellers. We’ve tailored our 2019 and 2020 itineraries to incorporate calls to some of the most popular ports and attractions, as well as lesser known ones, in this region. In particular, our flagship vessel Queen Mary 2 will spend a significant part of 2019 sailing in Asia as part of her world voyage. Itinerary highlights in 2019 range from relaxing in the beautiful beach resort of Vietnam’s Nha Trang to meeting the Mah Meri indigenous tribe of Kuala Lumpur to learn about their culture. It’s important to get the right mix of traditional versus undiscovered when crafting itineraries – especially when appealing to Australians, who tend to be adventurous seafarers. We have a variety of itinerary lengths to suit different types of travellers – from a seven-night voyage from Singapore to Hong Kong, to a 21-night voyage – so travellers can choose the perfect sailing in Southeast Asia, whether it be a short getaway or a longer break. MICHAEL GOH Genting Cruises Senior Vice President, International Sales Singapore is a popular destination and the perfect gateway to the ASEAN region with regular flights from Australia. Dream Cruises’ year-round homeporting of Genting Dream in Singapore adds a new option for travelling within the ASEAN region that is unique, exciting and convenient for many Australian fly-cruise travellers. Australian holiday-makers seeking a new way to explore ASEAN, as well as those who are already familiar with cruise vacations, will now be able to do so with Genting Dream’s thrilling itineraries to various timeless ASEAN destinations. At Dream Cruises, we have carefully planned and put together a series of exciting ASEAN cruise itineraries on Genting Dream that will appeal to many Australians. We have included a variety of destinations that will allow travellers to relax in the region’s famous sun-drenched beaches and crystal clear waters as well as experience the sounds and sights of cultural hotspots, without the need to pack and unpack at each destination. Genting Dream’s exciting cruise itineraries from Singapore to various popular ASEAN destinations are infused with a wide variety of unique offerings, warm hospitality, pampering recreational services, delectable cuisines, fun-filled activities, spectacular performances and more to create innovative and memorable onboard experiences for our guests. One of Dream Cruises’ highlights is the exclusive Dream Palace accommodations, a “ship within a ship” concept that offers the most spacious suites in Asia with exclusive access to Dream Cruises’ European butler service and private areas, including their own restaurant, lounge, sundeck, and other special privileges. Also not be missed is Dream Cruises’ signature Dream Night with Asia’s only Fireworks at Sea, which illuminate the ocean and night skies with rainbow colours.
ASEAN Yearbook 2015