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Intrigued by the Far East? We Share Insiders' Tips For Your First or Next Cruise
Sponsored by Silversea Cruises Whether you're booking a nine-day trip from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City or setting aside two glorious weeks for an unforgettable journey from Bali to Tokyo, Silversea's Asia itineraries offer a peerless selection of celebrated ports. What follows are 10 of our favorites, which you can explore via organized shore excursions or by asking your ship's concierge desk to hire a private car and guide. There aren't enough hours in the day to experience it all, but it's worth trying.
Best Time to Cruise
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. For example, fall foliage enthusiasts will find September and October the best time to cruise Canada/New England, whereas families prefer to sail in summer when temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summer and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travelers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
Southeast Asia Cruise Tips
Southeast Asia is a traveler's nirvana, offering natural wonders like the mystical limestone islands of Halong Bay, timeless treasures in the storybook temples of Thailand and Cambodia, and booming cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore. The people are courteous and welcoming, proud of their rich culture, distinctive crafts, magical architecture and captivating cuisine. All combine to offer cruisers an unforgettable experience. Today, Southeast Asian countries and culture reflect thousands of years of interaction with empires in the Middle East, Tibet and especially China. Though the ports of call remain distinct, wars, conquests, colonization, migration and trade have impacted the area for centuries, changing boundaries and political systems, and spreading religions and customs. More recently, the Europeans and Americans have made their marks in the major cities of the region, influencing architecture, fashion and social trends. In Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma), cruise tourism is a relatively new phenomenon, and it shows in the rustic port facilities and transportation. But tourism is vital to these growing economies, and new hotels, roads and other infrastructure are being developed at a rapid pace. On the other end, cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok have been tourist destinations for a much longer time, which is reflected in their new port facilities, sophisticated public transportation systems, upscale accommodations and fine dining options. It's this blend of old and new that makes Southeast Asia such a dynamic place to explore.