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Cruises to Langkawi

Langkawi (Photo:Nataliia Sokolovska/Shutterstock)
Langkawi (Photo:Nataliia Sokolovska/Shutterstock)

About Langkawi

Aptly named "The Jewel of Kedah," Langkawi is one of the most spectacular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Located about 17 miles off the coast of Kuala Kedah, Malaysia (and less than five miles from Ko Tarutao, Thailand), this beautiful cluster of 99 islands (104 during low tide) boasts year-round tropical climates, pristine white- and black-sand beaches and an abundance of natural wonders just begging to be explored. And, if that's not enough, the islands also offer an array of opportunities to get up-close-and-personal with many species of wildlife. One worth noting is the sea eagle, since Langkawi derives its name from this majestic creature. In Malay, helang is the word for "eagle," and kawi translates to "reddish-brown." So, it's no surprise that a statue of a massive reddish-brown eagle stands tall and proud in the Kuah harbor and welcomes visitors to this fabulous locale year-round.

Langkawi's heritage is steeped in myths and legends, with the most famous story surrounding a young maiden who cursed the islands with seven generations of bad luck (see "Don't Miss"). Following her death, Langkawi spent many years in turmoil and passed through the hands of the Siamese, British and Thai before finally gaining permanent independence in 1957. Whether it's coincidence or truth, Langkawi began to flourish in the 1970's, right around the time that the curse is said to have lifted. With a population of more than 60,000 people, today Langkawi thrives on tourism as well as many other industries, including the exporting of rubber, rice, teak wood and palm oil.

Pulau Langkawi, where the cruise ships dock, is the largest of Langkawi's isles and houses the majority of tourist attractions. The island is only about 154 square miles, making it a manageable size for taking in many sights during the course of a day. A rental car will buy you the freedom to wander at your leisure, and the best place to start is along the coast. Regardless of the direction you take, you'll be rewarded with sweeping views of the ocean, endless beaches for a quick or lingering dip, and a window into the lives of the Malay people as you pass by countless quaint and inviting villages along the way.

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DAY 1: Dubai

14 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Dubai
Visiting:
Muscat, Mormugao ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Singapore

14 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Singapore
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Surabaya, Bali ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Singapore

11 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Phuket, Langkawi ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Singapore

38 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Kelang, Langkawi ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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56 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kona ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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111 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kona ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Kelang, Langkawi ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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111 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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100 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Melbourne
Visiting:
Dunedin, Akaroa ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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97 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kona ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Phuket, Myanmar ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Bangkok
Visiting:
Koh Samui, Nha Trang ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

27 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Airlie Beach, Cairns ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Yangon
Visiting:
Phuket, Sabang ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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70 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Dubai
Visiting:
Sir Bani Yas Island, Muscat ...
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Cruise Line:
Seabourn Cruise Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Mumbai
Visiting:
Mormugao, Mangalore ...
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Cruise Line:
Silversea Cruises
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66 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Langkawi, Phuket ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Perth
Visiting:
Bali, Kelang ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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36 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Langkawi, Phuket ...
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Cruise Line:
Seabourn Cruise Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Malacca, Langkawi ...
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Cruise Line:
Star Clippers
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28 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Dubai
Visiting:
Doha, Sir Bani Yas Island ...
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Cruise Line:
Seabourn Cruise Line
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36 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Aghios Nikolaos, Jerusalem ...
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Cruise Line:
Seabourn Cruise Line
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35 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Athens
Visiting:
Aghios Nikolaos, Haifa ...
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Cruise Line:
Seabourn Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Langkawi

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Malacca, Langkawi ...
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Cruise Line:
Star Clippers
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Why go to Langkawi?

Pros:

Traditional Malay villages against a backdrop of limestone islands and alluring beaches

Cons:

A car is needed to see the more authentic side of the island

Bottom Line:

This understated destination amazes with its spectacular beauty

Langkawi Cruise Port Facilities?

There are no facilities of any kind at the Star Cruises Jetty. It's just a concrete dock, and passengers must be driven from there to get to any activity. The closest town is Kuah, which has shops, ATM's and other facilities nearby.

The main attraction of Kuah is Eagle Square, where you'll want to head for one of the best photo ops in town. The square's iconic and imposing statue, with its wings outstretched toward the sea, is what visitors see first when approaching the island by air or sea (even cruise ships not docking directly in Kuah). So, there's no better way to commemorate your visit to Langkawi than by striking a pose underneath this massive, 39-foot-tall bird. You'll also find a number of souvenir kiosks at the nearby shopping and performance pavilion. And, if you don't pick up a fun trinket there, the Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall is an easy 10-minute walk from the square.

Good to Know?

Langkawi is an extremely safe place for tourists. Many locals depend on tourism for their livelihood, so you're almost certain to be met with friendly faces everywhere you go. Although the island is practically crime-free, you should still protect your valuables. Don't invite someone to take something from you by leaving it unattended, no matter how comfortable you might feel.

Getting Around?

If you decide to head out on your own, the easiest -- but most expensive -- option is to hire a taxi for the day. (They hover as you're disembarking.) This will run you about 15RM an hour, but drivers will negotiate, depending on how much of the day will be spent driving versus waiting.

The more economical choice is to rent a car, starting at approximately 80RM for the day. You can book a car in advance or rent one once you get there from locations near downtown Kuah or Pantai Cenang. And, if the car company does not offer pickup at the dock, a taxi can take you from there to the rental place. For a wind-in-your-hair kind of ride, motorbikes and bicycles are also available for rent.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The Ringgit (RM) is the official currency of Malaysia. Some tourist shops will take U.S. dollars, but those places are few and far between. And, despite Langkawi's proximity to Thailand, store owners will not take Baht. The best places to exchange money are at the airport, banks and some of the larger resorts. And, if you find yourself running low, there are several ATM's in Kuah and at the Kuah jetty near Eagle Square. For current exchange rates, visit XE.com.

Language?

Bahasa Malaysia is the official language, but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't speak -- or at least understand -- English. And, since Langkawi is a popular tourist destination, a great deal of the signage is also translated into English.

Where You're Docked?

The Star Cruises jetty, where many big cruise lines dock, is about eight miles west of Kuah. Aside from a few resorts, this port isn't close to any of the main tourist attractions, so when you dock you'll need to either rent a car or take a taxi to explore the island. If you've booked a tour, the buses meet you right at the dock to start the excursion.


Langkawi Cruise Reviews

Sapphire Princess
Bushy69
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Phuket got replaced with Langkawi. We took the free shuttle to town and then hired a driver for the day ($200Ring ~ $55USD / $70 AUD). We drover around the island and decided to do the Bat Caves and Fish Farm... Read More
Diamond Princess
Fortunatefew
Sail Date: Dec 2018
Hired a taxi and went to a beautiful beach and a drive around some of the island. We enjoyed Langkawi.... Read More
Costa Fortuna
Irene Yang
Sail Date: Jan 2020
extremely far from city center and the shuttle bus service was a rip off. hired our own grab at one third the price. nothing at the harbour and long unsheltered walking distance to the Resort World hotel for our... Read More
Costa Fortuna
KGracie
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Taxi driver was very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful... Read More
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