Asia Cruise Yearbook : ASEAN Yearbook 2018
EXPERT OPINION 26 ASEAN CRUISE DIRECTORY 2018/2019 PETER MCCORMACK Royal Caribbean Head of Sales Cruising is a spectacular – and seamless – way to experience the sights and sounds of many of ASEAN’s member nations, with guests able to visit several destinations in just one trip, and usually with just one set of flights. Royal Caribbean offers a number of enticing itineraries in Southeast Asia that are appealing for the both the adventurous family or the couple wanting to travel its destinations with ease. For example, a short trip to Singapore can be followed by one of Royal Caribbean’s four- to seven-night cruises to must-see cities in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam onboard Voyager of the Seas. The five-night Spice of Southeast Asia Cruise leaves Singapore on December 29 this year to visit Kuala Lumpur, Phuket and Langkawi, and gives guests the opportunity to celebrate New Year’s Eve onboard. In April 2019, we’ll offer a seven-night Hong Kong to Singapore cruise for those wanting to see the best of Vietnam, calling at the feast-for-the-eyes destinations of Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang and historic Ho Chi Minh City. A new itinerary for 2019 sees a four- night cruise from Hong Kong to the sublime Subic Bay in the Philippines, onboard Voyager of the Seas. In January 2020, we’ll offer a seven- night Thailand and Vietnam cruise from Singapore, which will stop in the vibrant cities of Bangkok and Ho Chin Minh City. This cruise takes place onboard the awe-inspiring Quantum of the Seas with newly designed staterooms, game- changing technology and an array of outstanding dining options. That’s just some of the sailings we’re offering, so we encourage anyone who wants to immerse themselves in Southeast Asia to consider a cruise for their next trip. MONIQUE PONFOORT Ponant Vice President Asia Pacific Region As the world leaders of luxury small-ship expeditions, we offer our guests immersive experiences in places larger ships simply cannot reach. Our ultra-modern fleet of small ships are purpose built for expeditions, which means when they’re not in luxury cruise mode they can swing into action with experienced expedition teams of marine biologists, naturalists, photographers and conservationists to inform and educate our guests – often in-situ from the fleet of Zodiacs – on the flora, fauna, geology and history of the places visited. Small ships provide intimate experiences. For example, rather than moor offshore at the mouth of the Saigon River, like large ships are obliged to do, our small ships can navigate the waterway all the way to the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, wending through rural landscapes, past busy trading and fishing vessels until the city emerges. France’s colonial years in French Indochina may have concluded in 1954, yet enduring aspects of the culture, cuisine, style and architecture remain a fascinating drawcard for tourism, and a natural destination for Ponant’s clientele today. Time ashore is an important element for Ponant passengers. In Brunei, try to spot orangutans in the wild. In Indonesia, visit the incredible UNESCO-listed Buddhist temple of Borobudur. In the Philippines, travel down Puerto Princesa’s amazing underground river. For thrill seekers, the chance to climb Mount Kinabalu is a real drawcard, while others will enjoy the bustle of shopping in Singapore. All our Southeast Asian itineraries in 2019 feature the newly launched luxury expedition ship, Le Laperouse. With just 92 suites and staterooms, all with balconies, this ship features the latest in maritime design, safety and environmental technologies to reduce emissions. STUART ALLISON Princess Cruises Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific Commercial & Operations Asia is now the number one longer- haul destination for Australian cruisers. Australians are rediscovering the region by sea, and it may well soon take its place as the top international destination for Australian cruisers. Asia has a rich mix of history and culture that really appeals to Princess guests, who are searching for meaningful experiences when they travel. Australian cruisers already love our cruises in Southeast Asia, and they are starting to see Singapore as an extended homeport, with an easy flight and plenty of Princess’s fly-cruise options on offer. Tens of thousands of passengers have tried our itineraries – some taking back-to-back cruises around the region lasting three weeks or more. The proximity and historical ties mean many feel a close affinity with our neighbours. So, along with our success in establishing a locally sourced market, Australians are becoming among our biggest overseas clients. Princess Cruises sails Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess and Sun Princess in the region. Sapphire Princess was refurbished earlier this year, with enhanced onboard spaces, improved shops and the installation of a giant LED screen in her theatre. She was also fitted with the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed, recently awarded the highest ranking for Best Cruise Ships Beds by Cruise Critic. One itinerary which will really appeal to this growing market is a 12-day Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam cruise that sails to seven ports with calls at some of our highest-rating ports – Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok – on Sapphire Princess departing Singapore in February 2019, with fares starting at $2,309 per person twin share.
ASEAN Yearbook 2015