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Home Cruises Far East Discovery & China Explorer Collector Westerdam 2024-01-20

Far East Discovery & China Explorer Collector - W411A MS Westerdam departing 20 Jan 2024

Call now 01246 819 819 to book

MS Westerdam
  • Carefully crafted journeys
  • Spacious-mid-sized ships
  • Exclusive onboard activities
  • Family friendly
Ship
Cruise Line
Embark
20 Jan 2024
Duration
28 Nights
From / To
Singapore / Yokohama (Tokyo)
Ports of call
Singapore - Koh Samui - Bangkok (Laem Chabang) - Bangkok (Laem Chabang) - Phnom Penh (Sihanoukville)

Inside from £3,449pp

Outside from £2,730pp

Balcony from £4,332pp

Suite from £5,841pp

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Itinerary

Show sea days

Date Date
Location Location
 
In In
Out Out
Date 20/01/2024
Location Singapore
In
Out 17:00

City-states are rare in the present day—and none are quite like Singapore. In the 20th century, the Southeast Asian nation hurtled itself into the modern world, and it continues to expand its state-of-the-art transportation system and build its edgy skyline. Yet Singapore’s urban plan wisely maintained its intimate neighborhoods, many with streets lined with colorful shophouses (a type of building unique to parts of Asia, with businesses located on their ground floors and residences above). Add the city’s mix of ethnic groups—mainly Malays, Chinese and Indians—and you get a vibrant cultural scene that attracts a cosmopolitan, international community.

Singapore’s food scene—which is arguably the world’s most dynamic and runs the gamut from beloved street hawkers to Michelin-starred venues—would merit a trip alone, as would its never-ending shopping options. But the city is also packed with world-class museums, many designed by celebrated architects, and it hosts many major international events, such as the Formula One Grand Prix. Yet only about half of the 720-square-kilometer (278-square-mile) island is developed, which leaves plenty of room for parks and open spaces such as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, where an old-growth forest still thrives.

Date 21/01/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 22/01/2024
Location Koh Samui
In 07:00
Out 15:00

Koh Samui can feel like a screensaver landscape. As if designed by Mother Nature for posters, calendars and daydreams, it’s Thailand’s most famous island for a number of reasons. The beach-fringed coast is edged with vivid, blue water that’s a surf-and-sand playground for snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, building sandcastles and simply lounging. Along with busy food stalls and restaurants where you can find a whole world of cuisine made with local produce and fresh seafood as well as authentic Thai dishes, the lively streets are lined with bars, boutiques, markets and spas.

By contrast, the island’s interior can provide moments of reflection and replenishing solitude. Enter the dense, hilly jungles for hikes to ancient temples and pristine waterfalls and quaint villages where you can experience true Thai hospitality.

With dreamy landscapes and island adventures from boat excursions to nature treks, you’ll soon be enchanted by Koh Samui.

Date 23/01/2024
Location Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
In 07:00
Out

Thailand, known as Siam until 1932, is the only country in Southeast Asia (and one of the few in the world) never to have been colonized by a European power. Its capital, Bangkok, reflects the country’s unique status. It has embraced modernity on its own terms as the seat of a beloved monarchy that dates back to the 13th century. In this city, Buddhist temples and gilded palaces coexist with the bustle of one of Asia’s major metropolises. The contrast between the golden glow of sunrise along the Chao Phraya River, which runs through the municipality, and the neon lights of downtown can feel intoxicating. There are few places in the world where you can spend the morning visiting a centuries-old stupa, have lunch at one of the world’s top Michelin-starred restaurants and then shop for exquisite silk garments. And wherever you explore, you’ll be struck by the warm welcome you receive. “The Land of Smiles” may be a cliché and a tourism-marketing slogan, but it’s also a fitting nickname for Thailand.

Many of the country’s most important historic areas can be found not far from Bangkok. Ayutthaya, the former Thai capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with impressive Buddhist ruins. The 16th-century town of Chachoengsao is known for its many temples, including Wat Saman Rattanaram with its 22-meter-long (72-foot-long) statue of the Hindu god Ganesha. In Pattaya, on the coast, the Pattaya Elephant Village is a sanctuary for Asian elephants.

Whether you travel by boat, bus or tuk-tuk (a three-wheeled motorized taxi) to explore Bangkok’s temples, palaces and markets, be prepared to fall in love with this city that somehow manages to be both chaotic and captivating at the same time.

Date 24/01/2024
Location Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
In
Out 15:00

Thailand, known as Siam until 1932, is the only country in Southeast Asia (and one of the few in the world) never to have been colonized by a European power. Its capital, Bangkok, reflects the country’s unique status. It has embraced modernity on its own terms as the seat of a beloved monarchy that dates back to the 13th century. In this city, Buddhist temples and gilded palaces coexist with the bustle of one of Asia’s major metropolises. The contrast between the golden glow of sunrise along the Chao Phraya River, which runs through the municipality, and the neon lights of downtown can feel intoxicating. There are few places in the world where you can spend the morning visiting a centuries-old stupa, have lunch at one of the world’s top Michelin-starred restaurants and then shop for exquisite silk garments. And wherever you explore, you’ll be struck by the warm welcome you receive. “The Land of Smiles” may be a cliché and a tourism-marketing slogan, but it’s also a fitting nickname for Thailand.

Many of the country’s most important historic areas can be found not far from Bangkok. Ayutthaya, the former Thai capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with impressive Buddhist ruins. The 16th-century town of Chachoengsao is known for its many temples, including Wat Saman Rattanaram with its 22-meter-long (72-foot-long) statue of the Hindu god Ganesha. In Pattaya, on the coast, the Pattaya Elephant Village is a sanctuary for Asian elephants.

Whether you travel by boat, bus or tuk-tuk (a three-wheeled motorized taxi) to explore Bangkok’s temples, palaces and markets, be prepared to fall in love with this city that somehow manages to be both chaotic and captivating at the same time.

Date 25/01/2024
Location Phnom Penh (Sihanoukville)
In 08:00
Out 21:00

Known for its white sand beaches, warm Gulf of Thailand waters, and laid back atmosphere, Sihanoukville is a premiere beach lovers’ destination. Built in the late 1950s, the town is much newer and more cosmopolitan than most Cambodian provincial cities. Spend the day exploring miles of unspoiled beaches or chose one and swim, snorkel or simply relax under a beach umbrella. Sample shore excursions: Sihanoukville & Environs; Swimming at Sokha Beach Resort.

Date 26/01/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 27/01/2024
Location Ho Chi Minh Ciity (Phu My)
In 06:00
Out 18:00

Whether you are on a wide boulevard admiring the French Colonial architectural influence, or in a bustling market haggling with a street vendor, you cannot escape the culture and history of this bustling city. Ho Chi Minh City is home to many colorful pagodas, cathedrals and palaces-including one of the city’s oldest, Giac Lam Pagoda, dating from 1744. Sample shore excursions: Cambodia & Angkor Overland Adventure or Highlights of Ho Chi Minh City.

Date 28/01/2024
Location Nha Trang
In 09:00
Out 18:00

White sand beaches, turquoise waters, beachfront cafés. Nha Trang’s days as an underappreciated treasure are over. Still very much intact since the 7th century are the venerated towers of the Cham Ponagar Temple complex. Sample shore excursions: Nha Trang City Tour; Nha Trang Countryside.

Date 29/01/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 30/01/2024
Location Chan May (Hue/Da Nang)
In 07:00
Out 23:59

Located halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the port city of Da Nang has a small-town charm despite its lack of big-ticket attractions. It is home to a stunning 30-kilometer (18-mile) coastline that is popular for water sports such as waterskiing, paddleboarding and surfing. It’s also known for its great street food—and an extremely quirky bridge that you can’t miss. The place was previously occupied by both the French and the Americans (this was the first place U.S. Marines landed in March 1965), and vestiges of both can be seen in the city, from the remnants of the vast U.S. air base and hospital to the city’s wide boulevards and old villas.

Da Nang is a great launchpad for day trips, whether to the picturesque city of Hoi An to the south, the old imperial capital of Hue to the north, or the majestic Marble Mountains to the southwest. The UNESCO-protected Champa temple complex, My Son, which lies 69 kilometers (43 miles) southeast, is definitely worth the trip—but for those who don’t want to leave the urban environs, many of the ruins have ended up at Da Nang’s excellent Museum of Cham Sculpture, where you can learn all about the history and architecture of this fascinating culture.

Date 31/01/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 01/02/2024
Location Hanoi (Ha Long Bay)
In 08:00
Out 21:00

Like a combination of Thailand’s famous limestone islanded Phang Nga Bay and old Hong Kong’s harbor with its dragon-sailed junks, Vietnam’s Halong Bay is fast making its way to the top of everyone’s Asian must-see travel list. The bay and its almost two thousand islands were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 giving an official stamp of recognition to this natural wonder that has captivated painters and poets for centuries. Halong City has several markets and restaurants worth visiting, and is also a convenient base before setting out for places like Cat Ba Island and some of the smaller islets with their underground caves and biodiverse wildlife. As you sail the bay or look at it from the mainland, you may feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard or a painting from the classic era of Vietnamese art.

Some travelers come here for active days filled with kayaking, caving and islet-hopping but you can also sit back and simply sail through this stunning bay or take a day trip to fishing villages with their colorful markets. If you are up for venturing farther afield, it’s a three-hour trip (each way) to Hanoi but worth the effort if you have yet to visit the city.

Date 02/02/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 03/02/2024
Location Hong Kong
In 07:00
Out 21:00

Can any city in the world top Hong Kong’s phenomenal energy? Judge for yourself as you ride the tram to the top of Victoria Peak, join the surge into countless markets and watch the hardworking world of Aberdeen’s fishing junks. Sample shore excursions: Morning Tai Chi & Cooking Tour; Hong Kong Island City Sightseeing; Explore Lantau Island & Monastery.

Date 04/02/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 05/02/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 06/02/2024
Location Shanghai
In 08:00
Out

Shanghai is one of Asia’s most dynamic cities, and one of juxtapositions. It’s divided in two by the Huangpu River—to the west is Puxi and to the east Pudong. Puxi is the city’s downtown and its historic center; on this side of the river, much of the city was historically divided into the famous foreign concessions, and it’s here that much of the shopping, dining and nightlife is concentrated today. Shanghai has more than 30,000 restaurants, from humble soup dumpling spots to formal affairs helmed by Michelin-starred chefs. Its museums, particularly the Shanghai Museum with its 120,000-strong collection of antiquities, are equally impressive. Pudong is where the city’s major skyscrapers stand, among them the Jin Mao and Oriental Pearl towers.

Nowhere is Shanghai’s rich history and bright future more evident than along the Huangpu River. Stand on the Puxi side and, with the Bund—along which curve Shanghai’s stately early-20th-century heritage buildings—behind you, you can gaze across the river at some of the world’s tallest buildings, soaring skyscrapers that glow nightly, their lights reflected in the river.

Date 07/02/2024
Location Shanghai
In
Out 18:00

Shanghai is one of Asia’s most dynamic cities, and one of juxtapositions. It’s divided in two by the Huangpu River—to the west is Puxi and to the east Pudong. Puxi is the city’s downtown and its historic center; on this side of the river, much of the city was historically divided into the famous foreign concessions, and it’s here that much of the shopping, dining and nightlife is concentrated today. Shanghai has more than 30,000 restaurants, from humble soup dumpling spots to formal affairs helmed by Michelin-starred chefs. Its museums, particularly the Shanghai Museum with its 120,000-strong collection of antiquities, are equally impressive. Pudong is where the city’s major skyscrapers stand, among them the Jin Mao and Oriental Pearl towers.

Nowhere is Shanghai’s rich history and bright future more evident than along the Huangpu River. Stand on the Puxi side and, with the Bund—along which curve Shanghai’s stately early-20th-century heritage buildings—behind you, you can gaze across the river at some of the world’s tallest buildings, soaring skyscrapers that glow nightly, their lights reflected in the river.

Date 08/02/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 09/02/2024
Location Kagoshima
In 08:00
Out 18:00

Situated at the southern tip of Japan, Kagoshima is the capital of the prefecture of the same name and famous for its dramatic views of Sakurajima, an active volcano that smolders across the bay. One of the most popular activities is taking a ferry to Sakurajima and hiking on the 100-year-old lava flow that is now a grassy peninsula. Kagoshima, however, offers much more than the volcano’s almost overwhelming beauty. The food scene provides opportunities to experience the area’s rich culinary culture and features dishes using locally caught fish and regional specialties, like satsuma a’ge (deep-fried fish cake) and shōchū, a traditional beverage made at more than 100 distilleries in Kagoshima alone. Although the city was officially founded in 1889, it has an even longer history that is reflected in the 17th-century gardens of Sengan-en. More recent events are covered at a museum dedicated to the kamikaze pilots who flew out of Kagoshima. Other popular attractions include the City Aquarium, the Museum of the Meiji Restoration with its exhibits exploring local history and the City Museum of Art with its collection that covers both local contemporary and older art. With so much to do, visitors may want to consider the Cute transit card. Available at tourist information offices, one-day Cute cards cover city buses, trams and Sakurajima ferries and also provide discounted admission to several attractions.

Date 10/02/2024
Location Nagasaki
In 08:00
Out 18:00

City of melancholy memories. Visit Glover House, where Puccini’s Madame Butterfly reputedly awaited her errant Lt. Pinkerton; pay tribute to lives lost in WWII at Peace Memorial Park. Sample shore excursions: Nagasaki Half-day Tour; Sakai Bridge & 99 Islands;Arita, Birthplace of Ceramics.

Date 11/02/2024
Location Busan
In 08:00
Out 17:00

South Korea’s second-largest city (after the capital, Seoul), Busan is located in the southeastern corner of the country along the Sea of Japan. It combines a vibrant, big-city atmosphere with a famously laid-back attitude and subtropical landscapes. Often described as the “San Francisco of Korea,” thanks mainly to its hilly terrain and close-knit neighborhoods, it offers visitors a little of everything: fashionable boutiques, dynamic culture and buzzy nightlife, as well as sandy beaches, hot springs and nearby mountains crossed with hiking trails and dotted with temples. Cultural highlights include the Gamcheon Cultural Village; the spectacular Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, built into the side of a cliff; and Art Street in Sinchang-dong, which hosts art competitions, exhibitions and cultural events such as the annual Busan International Film Festival. Those who enjoy hiking can explore the famed cliffs of Taejongdae Park, while the white sand beaches at Gwangalli and Haeundae are ideal places to relax by the seashore. Foodies will love Busan, too, not just for its excellent restaurants but also for the many atmospheric markets: the low-key Millak Hoe Town Market, tourist spots like Jagalchi Fish Market and the market at Haeundae with its ramshackle stalls selling gukpab (a traditional rice soup).

Date 12/02/2024
Location Fukuoka
In 08:00
Out 11:00
Date 13/02/2024
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 14/02/2024
Location Himeji
In 06:00
Out 23:59

Himeji is a city in Hyōgo prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. It has one of the most beautiful castles in Japan. At one point, in the late 1500s, it was the largest castle in all of Asia. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other attractions in Himeji include Engyō-ji Temple, Seppiko-san Mountain, Himeji Central Park (a safari park), Himeji City Tegarayama Botanical Garden, and Koko-en Garden.

Things to see and do:
* Himeji Castle
* Kōkoen Garden
* Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History
* Senhime Shrine
* Engyo-ji Temple

Date 15/02/2024
Location Osaka
In 07:00
Out 16:00

Think of Osaka, Japan (accent on the O), as a combination of Los Angeles and Chicago. It very definitely has L.A.’s second-city complex, but its attitude is pure Chicago. The only business that matters is business, and so what if the Hanshin Tigers, the local baseball team, are frequently the worst professional athletes in the world? They’re the home team. People in Osaka laugh louder, play harder and drink more than Tokyo’s most decadent dreams. Osaka even has its own dialect, one the rest of the country calls “dirty Japanese,” one entirely different than even Kobe’s—and Kobe is an Osaka suburb.

Nothing is old in Osaka. The place was flattened during the war (and then again in 1962 and 1989, by Godzilla). During the reconstruction, they forgot to include much in the way of parks or green space, and the sheer amount of concrete and steel sights can get overwhelming.

But Osaka has its attractions and interesting things to do. Sumo wrestlers wait for trains, reeking of chanko-nabe (traditional sumo food; pure energy and calories), just daring the official railway pushers to push them. Yakuza (Japanese gangsters) get train cars to themselves, but if you get on with them, it’s like you’re invisible. Busy markets, the visual noise of neon and nonstop action on shopping streets offer insight into the energy and ambition of Osaka.

And if all that isn’t enough, Osaka is less than an hour from some of the most beautiful temples, shrines and ancient Japanese tourist attractions in the world—a thousand years of Japanese history—waiting in the old capitals of Kyoto and Nara.

Date 16/02/2024
Location Shimizu (Mount Fuji)
In 10:00
Out 18:00

A thriving harbor town for centuries, Shimizu is best known for its incredible scenic beauty. Take an excursion to Miho no Matsubara and enjoy stunning views of Mount Fuji and expansive black sand beaches; stroll through the graceful gardens and unique art installations of Tokachi Millennium Forest; and visit Kongofukuji Temple, first built by Kobo-daishi in 822 and rebuilt from 1662.

Date 17/02/2024
Location Yokohama (Tokyo)
In 06:30
Out

Until the mid-19th century, Japan lived in isolation, closed off from the rest of the world, and Yokohama was a mere fishing village. But in 1853, American naval officer Matthew Perry demanded the country open to foreign trade, and Yokohama was changed forever. The city quickly emerged as an international trading center, and while today it is often overshadowed by nearby Tokyo, it continues to be one of Japan’s liveliest, and most international, destinations. With its microbreweries and international restaurants, Yokohama has a decidedly different feel from many other Japanese cities.

From Yokohama, it’s a quick trip to peaceful Kamakura, home to Daibutsu, Japan’s second-largest bronze Buddha, and to the important Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Head to Hakone National Park on a clear day and you’ll be rewarded with picture-postcard views of majestic Mt. Fuji.

Tokyo is the largest city on earth and packed with some of the world’s best shops, museums and restaurants, big and small. While the bright neon lights and the bustle of contemporary Tokyo may be what comes to mind when you think of the city, there is another side. Tokyo’s historic gardens and neighborhoods of traditional homes on narrow lanes speak to a timeless Japan that has survived into the 21st century.

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