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Asia's mystique is downright magnetic, and a cruise in the region is the perfect way to explore a vast and exotic continent -- with destinations as diverse as China, Japan, Thailand and India -- while avoiding many of the hassles and costs of planning a trip through distinctly foreign terrain. Cruise travelers get a convenient and comfortable floating home base to deliver them, with maximum time efficiency, from port to exotic port. They can sample several countries over a broad stretch of Asia, while ticking off some big bucket-list spots en route, or set out to tackle primed-for-cruising island locales (like Japan or Indonesia) or even the most remote destinations (think Borneo or the Maldives). More than 30 cruise lines operate Asian itineraries across more than 200 ports in 17 countries. With all of that choice, figuring out just where to start planning your Asian cruise vacation can feel like an overwhelming task. Here, we distill it down to the basics to help get you on your way, outlining which Asian cruise regions you can opt to sail to, and what kind of cruise ships you can count on to get you there. So, get ready to head East and explore.
Obsessed with "country counting," the practice of tabulating your travels to see how many places you've been? Take it to another level by cruising your way into the Travelers' Century Club. The Travelers' Century Club is a real organization, with local member chapters, social gatherings and a website with a member forum. Founded in 1954 -- when "overseas leisure travel was still a rarity" -- TCC has a list of 325 territories (the world's 195 sovereign countries plus additional territories and islands) that would-be members check off, bucket-list style. Once you hit 100, you're in. Whether you actually want to be a club member or are just trying to see as much of the world as possible, we think reaching 100 countries on the Travelers' Century Club list is a milestone worth celebrating -- and why not do it all by cruise? Here are our continent-by-continent tips on how to get there, both by maximizing itineraries that get you lots of countries in one trip and by highlighting places you might not have known you could cruise to.