Top 5 Asia Cruises: Enjoy a Different Kind of Vacation

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As the world’s largest continent, Asia is filled with diverse landscapes, cultures, cuisines, and more, making it a top destination for every traveler. Its vastness makes it challenging to explore different destinations, especially by land. Fortunately, Asia cruises allow you to explore Asia in all its glory in a short period.

You can take a leisurely trip through this gorgeous continent, stopping at ports in Japan, China, India, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and other hotspots. Cruises also offer excellent opportunities for beach time and ecotourism, helping you enjoy a top-notch experience. 

Here are the five best Asia cruises to check out along with why it’s a great way to travel and factors to consider. 

Land vs Cruise Vacations: Which Is Better?

Land and cruise vacations are fun and exciting, but each has its own advantages. Let’s look into them below:

1. Cost

Land vacations are typically pricier than cruise vacations as you have to pay more for hotel accommodations, food, local transportation, and other miscellaneous costs. Meanwhile, cruise vacations are less expensive as you spend most of your time on board, so you don’t incur too many expenses.

A few cruise companies, for example CruiseDirect, also provide affordable packages, helping you enjoy more value for money.

2. Amenities and Activities

On land vacations, most high-end hotels have spas, swimming pools, gyms, kids’ playgrounds, and other fun activities and facilities. Cruise vacations offer various activities and amenities that are similar to those you get from land vacations.

But on cruises, you get all these facilities under one roof. Cruise lines also cover many recreational activities in their packages. Meanwhile, on land vacations, you must travel to different spots to participate in these activities, making them time-consuming and costly.

3. Exploration

When you’re on a land vacation, you can explore local tourist areas, hike through forests and hills, and relax at luxurious hotels. Meanwhile, cruises allow you to meet people from around the world in one place, helping you experience different cultures. You also get to see the beauty of the ocean and make stops in many countries.

4. Ease of Planning

Planning land vacations are often more difficult than cruise vacations as they involve booking hotels, restaurants, activities, and more. If you’re visiting many destinations, you also have to do a lot of packing and unpacking.

With cruises, you need to unpack only once upon boarding your ship. Cruise packages also include accommodations, food, entertainment, and more, making planning easier.

Why Should a Cruise Vacation Be on Your Travel List?

A cruise vacation lets you travel from one port to another while exploring beautiful destinations on a single trip. It whisks you away to exciting destinations and helps you immerse yourself in many global cultures.

Cruises offer a range of sights from many destinations along with world-class accommodations, transportation, food, fun, as well as on-board and off-board entertainment. They are also family-friendly and have something for people of all ages. They include restaurants, lounges, bars, casinos, discos, spas, pools, luxury shopping arcades, gaming areas, libraries, shore excursions, water sports, and more.

Their all-inclusive packages also help you enjoy luxury and value in one bundle with minimal planning. You only have to select your ship, cabin, and itinerary before sailing away.

Moreover, you can meet new people on cruises and learn new things.

Top 5 Asia Cruises in 2023

Here are the top five Asia cruises in 2023 that should be on your bucket list:

1. Norwegian

With an impressive passenger capacity of 2,004 and a crew capacity of 934, the Norwegian Sky is one of the best cruises on this list. Launched in 1999, this budget-friendly ship offers a slew of fun non-stop activities, short and exciting itineraries, a gorgeous atrium, many dining venues, bars, and lively lounges.

Its vibrant onboard atmosphere, floor-to-ceiling lounge windows, teak-covered sun deck, and picturesque vistas from the ship’s bow enhance its cruising experience.

It offers different Asia cruises like this 11-night Orient Far East cruise that covers the following destinations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore:

  • Port Klang Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
  • Langkawi, Malaysia
  • Sabang, Indonesia
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Penang, Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Lembar Lombok, Indonesia
  • Benoa Bali, Indonesia

You can also choose from other cruise options here.

2. Celebrity Millennium

Constructed in 2000, the Celebrity Millennium can host up to 2,593 passengers and 1,024 crew members. It had a bow-to-stern renovation in early 2019 that gave it modern cabins, refreshed public spaces, an all-new deep-blue livery, and other cool features and decor elements. It boasts a classic yet contemporary look onboard.

The Celebrity Millennium’s exterior midship elevators offer panoramic oceanic views while maximizing natural light. It also offers many lounges, a dance floor, and wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows. 

The ship also houses varied and excellent restaurants and offers an authentic theater experience. 

If you want to try its cruises to Asia, you can check out the 12-night Orient Far East Cruise that stops at the following Asian tourist hotspots:

  • Tokyo (yokohama) – Japan
  • Kagoshima – Japan
  • Ishigaki – Japan
  • Taipei(keelung) – Taiwan
  • Hong Kong
  • Hue/Da Nang(chan May), Vietnam
  • Singapore

Celebrity Millennium offers other routes that you can check out here.

3. Norwegian Sun

Launched in 2001, the Norwegian Sun underwent a sweeping refit for three weeks in May 2018. It added modern and comfortable staterooms, refreshed restaurants, public rooms, and stylish lounges that helped it enter the new age of cruise ships. It accommodates up to 1,936 passengers and 906 crew, making it a decent-sized ship.

The Norwegian Sun also offers an amazing onboard experience with delicious cuisines and fun activities and itineraries.

One of its best cruises to Asia includes the 12-night Asia – South East cruise that covers the following places:

  • Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand
  • Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Nha Trang, Vietnam
  • Phu My, Vietnam
  • Singapore
  • Penang, Malaysia
  • Phuket, Thailand
  • Langkawi, Malaysia
  • Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia

There are also other routes that include 11 and 14-night tours of Southeast Asia.

4. Celebrity Solstice

One of the first Solstice-class ships, the Celebrity Solstice features a passenger capacity of 2,850 and a crew capacity of 1,250. Launched in 2008, it is high in elegance and sophistication. It also stands out with its 216 solar panels and a half-acre of lush living grass called the Lawn Club.

The Hot Glass Show is a highlight as it allows you to see the live creation of intricate works of glass art. The ship also has impressive dining and drinking venues, six private cabanas, a pool, and a new outdoor movie screen.

You can hop onboard the Celebrity Solstice for the 12-night Orient Far East cruise departing from Hong Kong and travel to these places:

  • Hong Kong – China
  • Hanoi (Halong Bay) – Vietnam
  • Hanoi (Halong Bay) – Vietnam
  • Hue/Da Nang – Vietnam
  • Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam
  • Bangkok/Laemchabang – Thailand
  • Bangkok/Laemchabang – Thailand
  • Ko Samui – Thailand
  • Singapore

The ship also offers other cruises that you can look up for a delightful cruising experience.

5. Spectrum of the Seas

The first of the award-winning Quantum Ultra Class ships, the Spectrum of the Seas was built in 2019 and features a double occupancy of 4,246 passengers. At its Bionic Bar, you can watch robots crafting custom juice creations, while the ship’s luxurious suites offer access to various exclusive amenities.

Its 12-night Singapore to Tokyo cruise helps you take a trip across the following destinations:

  • Singapore
  • Nha Trang, Vietnam
  • Hong Kong
  • Nagasaki, Japan
  • Kumamoto, Japan
  • Kagoshima, Japan
  • Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan

The ship offers other cruises that you can check out.

Shorter Cruises in Asia

If you are looking for shorter cruises around Asia, there are also a lot of great options between 3 and 5 nights. Most of these options leave out of Singapore. Here are some of the best:

3-Night Cruise Singapore & Penang (Malaysia)

Embark on an unforgettable adventure through the enchanting Orient Far East with a 3-night cruise departing from the vibrant city of Singapore. Step aboard the magnificent Spectrum of the Seas, a ship designed to cater to all your desires. As the sun sets, bid farewell to the iconic skyline of Singapore as you sail towards your first destination.

Arriving in Penang, Malaysia, at 3:00 PM, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the rich cultural heritage and vibrant streets of this captivating city. From sampling mouthwatering street food to immersing yourself in the local markets, Penang offers a truly authentic experience. As the night falls, revel in the charming ambiance before returning to the ship at 11:00 PM. After a blissful day at sea, indulging in the ship’s amenities and activities, you’ll find yourself back in Singapore, the Garden City.

Be greeted by the first rays of morning sun as you arrive at 7:00 AM, bringing your incredible cruise experience to a close. This voyage is perfect for families with kids and teens, couples seeking a romantic getaway, seniors looking for relaxation, or even those planning a dreamy honeymoon. Get ready to create lifelong memories as you embark on this unforgettable journey through the Orient Far East.

4-Night Cruise Singapore, Penang (Malaysia) & Phuket (Thailand)

Similar to the 3-night cruise but adding one more destination is this 4-night cruise including Singapore, Penang and Phuket.

Board the luxurious Spectrum of the Seas and set sail at 4:30 PM, bidding farewell to Singapore’s iconic skyline. Your first stop is Penang, Malaysia, where you’ll arrive at 2:30 PM. Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture and sample delectable cuisine before departing at 9:00 PM.

Next, explore the tropical paradise of Phuket, Thailand, arriving at 8:00 AM. Spend the day discovering pristine beaches and vibrant markets. Enjoy a day at sea, taking advantage of the ship’s lavish amenities and entertainment. Finally, return to Singapore at 7:00 AM, cherishing the memories of an unforgettable voyage. Whether you’re a family, a couple, or a senior seeking adventure, relaxation, or a romantic escape, this 4-night cruise aboard the Spectrum of the Seas promises an extraordinary journey through the Orient Far East.

Compare both cruises here.

What Should You Consider Before Taking a Cruise?

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind before booking a cruise: 

Choosing the Right Cruise Line

Choosing a cruise line that serves your needs helps you make the most of your trip. It should be reliable, affordable, and offer superior value for money.

Destination Exploration

The cruise you select must allow you to go on shore excursions. This helps you explore many destinations on a single trip and enjoy your cruising experience completely.

Budget Planning

Ensure the cruise you pick fits within your budget. You can find many cruise packages with amazing deals and discounts.

Cabin Selection

Select a cruise cabin that is comfortable and spacious enough for your needs. It should also offer great views of the ocean and the ports you stop at.

Cruise Ship Amenities

The cruise must have various amenities. It will make your cruising experience worthwhile and help you stay entertained and engaged throughout the trip.

Travel Insurance

Get cruise travel insurance before you embark on a cruise. It protects you in the event of medical emergencies at sea, trip cancellations, luggage delays or losses, loss of valuables, and emergency assistance.


Cruising across Asia helps you explore many destinations at once without breaking the bank. Choose any of the five Asia cruises shared here and discover the continent’s finest and most beautiful countries and cities.

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Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

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