Crystal Cruises just announced it has amped up its Asia Cruises with new exciting adventures ashore from drinks with former headhunters of Brunei to monasteries and royal residents and tuk-tuks. In all the Los Angeles, California-based luxury operator of two luxury liners: Crystal Serenity and Symphony, is adding 40 new options f or exploring the continent (about twice as many as last year).
Here are a few of the more exciting highlights plus links that fully describe:
- Bandar Seri Begawan: Awe at Brunei’s varied lifestyles, from the Sultan’s Palace -- the world’s largest residential palace – to more traditional homes, such as that of an over-water village and a longhouse, where former headhunting Ibans will welcome you with drinks, music, and dance.
- Yangon (formerly Rangoon): Witness the Novitiation Ceremony that inducts 1000 male “Novices” into Buddhist monk-hood at the Kalaywa Monastery.
- Kota Kinabalu: (Writers note: this is one intriguingly memorable destination). Trek the rainforest of Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinabalu National Park; crab fish from a thatch-roofed raft while cruising through mangroves; or learn island traditions such as making robes from tree bark or a Malay bread called roti canai.
- Lombok: This is Bali’s less-touristed sister island where passengers will learn about the local craftsmanship of ikat dyed fabrics and pearl production or visit a traditional Sasak village, where men still sleep outside their thatched houses to protect their daughters from being kidnapped into marriage.
- Surabaya: A trek through the archaeological ruins of the 14th century Majapahit Empire or watch women handroll Indonesia’s renowned clove cigarettes.
- Makassar: A fascinating journey to a 17th-century king’s traditional adat house for food and dance from local villagers, visit the Dutch East India Company’s Fort Rotterdam, or sightsee via pedicab.
- Andaman Islands: Tuk-tuk to Britain’s former jail for Indian revolutionaries or learn about local agricultural arts at a spice farm and rubber plantation.
- Okinawa: Design traditional fabrics at a textile factory or hike the 900,000 stalagmite and stalactite-filled Gyokusendo Cave, the Orient’s largest cave of its kind.
- Penang: Stroll the 130-year-old Waterfall Gardens, then savor a cocktail at the prestigious Eastern & Oriental Hotel, the precursor to Singapore’s famed Raffles Hotel.
- Tokyo: Participate in eastern Asian shodo handwriting and a traditional sado tea ceremony at a Japanese garden, or tour sites of more recent history, such as Nissan’s Global HQ and the Cup Noodles Museum.
- Malacca: See Dutch, Portuguese, and Malay architectural differences in attractions such as Stadthuys, Christ Church, Villa Sentosa, and “Mini Malaysia” cultural park or watch the harvesting of palm oil and rubber at local plantations.
Crystal is also offering two new multi-night Overland Adventures from Shanghai and Chan May, visiting Xi-an and Beijing, China on the first and Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on the latter.
Crystal’s 2014 schedule includes five- to 15-day all-inclusive voyages are available to/from Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagasaki, and Shanghai starting at $1,520/person if booked by February 28, 2014. Per person credits of up to $800 toward air travel are also available on select Asia cruises.
Crystal Cruises’ passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences are cornerstones of its Crystal Adventures program, helping earn the line top ratings for two decades.
For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.
View the video to learn a little extra on travel to Asia.