Small luxury cruise line Windstar Cruises is returning to Asia, offering guests itineraries which visit countries like Japan, China, South Korea, Thailand and Asia.
The line which is known for its boutique ships will be sailing the region later this year and includes four new itineraries as well as more departures from Tokyo – one of the highlights being Japan’s cherry blossom season.
Windstar will also be offering pre and post cruise packages including land tours to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and the Great Wall of China.
“Windstar is able to do so many things in Asia that only small ships can do,” says Windstar President John Delaney.
“We can sail up rivers and dock in the central areas of Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok. We can anchor off Patong Bay in Phuket, Thailand and small islands in Indonesia like Pulau Bawean on the Java Sea.
“All of our itineraries are carefully crafted by knowledgeable experts with scenic cruising and active exploration in mind.”
Comprehensive Indonesia Exploration
The 11-day Singapore to Bali (Benoa) (or reverse) cruise includes stops in Jakarta and Semarang in Indonesia, where guests can explore Dutch trading buildings in the Old Quarter or take a day trip to Borobudur, the Buddhist temple and UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 8th century. Guests can walk along beaches on Bali or check out the steaming vents on the Mount Bromo volcano.
For relaxing, Windstar offers two “beach days” on two small islands – Pulau Bawean and Pulau Menyawakan, remote locations where only small ships and ferries can visit. The cruise occurs over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, with Christmas Day in Jakarta and New Year’s Eve in Komodo National Park.
Thai Temples, Malaysian Monarchs
The 11-day Bangkok to Singapore cruise sails along the coasts of Thailand, Malaysia, and China. Ports alternate between relaxing and exploring beaches and cities, and an overnight in Phuket means time for dining, dancing, or watching nightlife at the waterfront along Patong Bay. Guests can try Jonkers Walk street food and restaurant fare in Malacca. Travelers can take a double-decker elevator to the observation deck on the 86th floor of Petronas Towers high above Kuala Lumpur, or they can snorkel and swim off at an isolated beach near Langkawi. This cruise concludes in Singapore.
Comprehensive China Exploration
The 11-day cruise from Hong Kong to Beijing (or reverse) visits the four major cities in greater China, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taipei, with overnights in both Shanghai and Hong Kong for extra exploration. The cruise also stops at Ishigaki Island, Japan, and Qingdao, China – the home of Tsingtao Beer and a former German outpost/colony. Guest can also climb the Great Wall for a view of China’s past.
Pop Culture Kings of Asia
The 11-day cruise from Tokyo to Beijing (or reverse) is a balance of big, modern cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul (via Busan), and Beijing in addition to smaller and more off-the-beaten path places like Karatsu, Japan and Tamano/Uno port in the Inland Sea of Japan. J-pop, Harajuku culture, and Korean dramas are born from the center of Asian pop culture – Japan and South Korea, and on this sailing, Windstar guests can shop in the largest underground mall in Seoul and then see geishas with overnights in Busan and Osaka. Guests can take in the view cruising the Inland Sea and experience equal parts pop culture and cultural heritage throughout the journey.
Longer sailings such as the returning Star Collector: The Grandeur of Southeast Asia, a 26-day cruise from Singapore to Bangkok (or reverse) combine Windstar’s most popular itineraries for a more in-depth exploration of each region and multiple country visits. Star Collector Voyages in Asia, ranging from 14 to 47 days, include few repeat ports to hidden harbors and classic cities, guest speakers, free daily laundry and unpacking once, allowing more time to get closer to the diverse places the ship will visit.
New for 2018-19 in Asia for Windstar are Star Collector: Shrines and Cities of Asia, a 22-day cruise from Tokyo to Hong Kong; and Star Collector: Epic East Asia, a 47-day cruise from Bangkok to Tokyo departing Feb. 8, 2019.