A Southeast Asia cruise offers a little bit of everything for families.
You’ll find high tech cities and ancient wonders, tropical beachside towns and mountain escapes, some of the world’s most delicious food and a whole host of cool cultures.
South East Asia has a flourishing cruising market – both love river cruises and ocean lines.
Just about every cruise line is now active in South East Asia. Many cruises originate in Australia, Singapore or Hong Kong. Asia’s main cruise hubs have fantastic ports hosting some of the biggest cruise liners in the world. In developing countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma, where tourism is comparatively new, port facilities are a little rustic, but infrastructure is being developed at a fast pace.
For families, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland America and P&O Australia are ideal choices for a cruise, as they boast extensive facilities like kids’ clubs, swimming pools and entertainment for everyone. Select from a variety of itineraries with stops in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Shore excursion options are broad from kicking back under a palm tree to immersion in the culture. Most of the itineraries and shore excursions focus on South East Asia’s ample coastal attractions. Those seeking inland adventures, exploring Ancient temples in Angkor or climbing mountains and visiting animal sanctuaries in Borneo, will find plenty of options too.
Some of the more popular Southeast Asia cruise ports for families include Singapore and Bali. In Vietnam, popular ports include Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh City and the pretty colonial town of Hoi An. Bangkok is another possibility. This city offers just a small taste of Thailand’s incredible culture and cuisine. In Malaysia, kid-friendly Kuala Lumpur offers a huge assortment of fun. Kota Kinabalu is the gateway to adventures in Malaysian Borneo. More and more cruise lines are adding the beautiful beaches and national parks of Cambodia’s Sihanoukville to their itineraries, and Myanmar’s Yangon is one of the hottest new destinations for cruisers.
Another other option for families is a river cruise. While River Cruise ships may not boast all the bells and whistles of the bigger ocean liners, they are luxurious, comfortable and offer a more intimate and immersive experience, with easier access to inland destinations. Cruise lines such as APT, Viking, Uniworld and Avalon offer exciting river cruising itineraries throughout South East Asia that the kids will love.
Families keen on cultural immersion can journey down the Irrawaddy River. This trip wanders through Myanmar, from legendary Mandalay to incredible Bagan. You can see up to 2000 temples, monasteries and pagodas. One of the most culturally rewarding voyages is traversing the mighty Mekong River from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City to Cambodia’s Siem Reap. These tours include the temples of Angkor – the stuff of childhood adventure fantasies.
Top tip: Despite being within relatively close proximity of one another, each South East Asian nation has varied climates. But it is always warm and often wet, so whatever time you travel you’ll need to pack your swimmers and a raincoat.
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