From Royal Caribbean to Norwegian Cruise Line, cruising in Asia is back and lines are expanding their cruise offerings as they respond to growing demand — both by the local market and increased interest from outside the region.
Asia offers a little bit of everything — beautiful beaches, bustling urban centres, unforgettable cultural experiences along with amazing food. Travellers are keen to embrace this and many lines are offering longer, more immersive itineraries to enable cruisers to get the most out of these fabulous destinations.
Here’s a rundown of which cruise lines have ships sailing in Asia.
Adora Cruises Adora Magic City is China’s First Domestically Built Cruise Ship
Shanghai’s vibrant skyline (Photo:chuyuss/Shutterstock)
Adora Magic City
Highlights: Guests will get to experience China’s first domestically built cruise ship. The ship will have the largest shopping centre at sea thanks to an alliance with duty-free behemoth China Duty Free Group. It will also be the first cruise ship to be covered by a 5G network. The ship is commonly referred to by its colloquial name Ada Modu, which is also the nickname for Shanghai.
Itineraries: Adora Magic City will sail from Shanghai providing four and five-night northeast Asia itineraries to Japan and South Korea in 2024.
Azamara Will Provide a Mix of Sailings Across Asia on Three of its Ships
Azamara Onward (Photo: Azamara)
Highlights: Azamara Onward is the line’s newest ship.
Azamara’s small ships allow guests to reach smaller, less visited locations and are known for their immersive itineraries, allowing guests more time in port.
Itineraries: Azamara will have three ships in the region in 2024/25, Azamara Journey, Azamara Onward and Azamara Pursuit. Itineraries include a 15-night Vietnam and Thailand Pathways Voyage a 12-night Japan Intensive Voyage and a 17-night Ancient Trade Routes Voyage.
Carnival Cruise Line Has Two Ships in Asia, Including Vista-class Carnival Panorama
Carnival Splendor will spend a season in Asia (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Highlight: Splendor is a family-friendly ship with a huge personality – best seen in its bright, whimsical decor. Its expansive spa is among the most elaborate in the fleet. Also watch out for new vegan menus which will offer a selection of vegan appetisers, entrees and desserts fleet-wide in 2024.
Itineraries: Carnival Splendor sails from Singapore and Sydney. Itineraries include cruises from Singapore to Sydney with stops at Bali, Jakarta, Lombok and Darwin.
Highlights: Panorama’s Carnival Kitchen program offers a hands-on culinary experience led by the line’s chefs. It also has the first indoor trampoline park at sea and plenty of activities – including Sky Ride to keep the whole family entertained.
Itineraries: These include a 25-day trans Pacific sailing from Singapore to Long Beach and including visits to Ho Chi Minh (Phu My), Vietnam; Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; Guam; Honolulu, HI, and Maui.
Celebrity Cruises Has Two Ships in Asia, Though No Edge-Class Vessels
Highlights: Newly refurbished in 2019, Celebrity Millennium now boasts new staterooms and elevated design concepts. For a five-star experience book The Retreat which gives guests upgraded accommodations, a private restaurant and a dedicated team of attendants.
Itineraries: Celebrity Millennium is sailing 12-night itineraries across Northeast and Southeast Asia, including Japan, China, Malaysia, Thailand and the Spice Route from September 2023.
Guests will be able to explore new departure ports in Benoa Bali, Indonesia and Mumbai, India along with new ports of call in Celukan Bawang, Bali, Indonesia; and Hambantota, Sri Lanka.
Highlights: Enjoy an outdoor picnic at sea on real grass — Solstice has a half acre of grass on its top deck.
Itineraries: From November 2023 Celebrity Solstice will sail 12-night itineraries that highlight Vietnam and Thailand, departing from Hong Kong and Singapore – these itineraries also include several overnight stays giving guests the opportunity to explore nightlife and shopping opportunities.
Crystal’s Luxurious Crystal Symphony will Sail in Asia
Crystal Symphony at anchor (Photo: Jason Leppert)
Highlights: The 960 capacity Symphony has just returned to service after a substantial refurbishment to excellent reviews. Guests can enjoy one complimentary reservation per person, per cruise at Umi Uma restaurant by legendary Master Chef Nobuyuki (Nobu) Matsuhisa.
Itineraries: Symphony itineraries include a 12-night Bangkok to Hong Kong and an 11-night Mumbai to Singapore. Crystal Serenity also sails an 18-night Perth to Mumbai itinerary, including stops at Bali, Singapore and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth Will Offer a Single Japan Circumnavigation
Queen Elizabeth will sail a Japan circumnavigation (Photo: Cunard)
Highlights: The stately Queen Elizabeth draws on Cunard’s nostalgic heritage. Guests can go ballroom dancing, play lawn bowls and enjoy afternoon tea in the Garden Lounge.
Itineraries: Queen Elizabeth sails an annual 10-night Japan Circumnavigation from Tokyo. This port-rich voyage balances sea days on board with calls ashore in the Japanese ports of Akita, Kanazawa and Nagasaki, and the city of Busan in South Korea.
Holland America Has a Diverse Range of Cruises Across Asia
Majestic Mt. Fuji in Japan
Highlights: The daily afternoon tea with High Tea on select days. Also look out for a new pop-up restaurant ‘Morimoto by Sea’ launching in November across the fleet – celebrating HAL’s fresh fish program.
Itineraries: Noordam will explore Asia throughout 2024-25 in what will be the line’s most diverse Asia season, departing from Yokohama and Tokyo; Hong Kong; and Singapore. The ship – which was refurbished in 2019 — will sail 14-night itineraries as well as longer, Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 28 to 42 nights.
Highlights: America’s Test Kitchen theatre provides complimentary cooking demonstrations and audience taste tests.
Itineraries: Westerdam sails a new 53-day “Majestic Japan” Legendary Voyage roundtrip from Seattle. Travellers can visit the Far East with a convenient North American flight.
MSC Cruises Will Deploy MSC Bellissima and MSC Splendida in Asia
Bellissima is one of two ships in Asia (Photo: MSC Cruises)
Highlights: MSC Bellissima has an award-winning family offering with kids’ activities and services from partners LEGO and Chicco with a dedicated family deck area. There’s also a personal assistant called Zoe powered by artificial intelligence in every cabin. The ship has MSC’s ‘ship within a ship concept’ — MSC Yacht Club — which gives guests a premium cabin, a 24-hour butler and concierge service and access to exclusive venues among other perks.
Itineraries: MSC Bellissima will homeport in Keelung and operate 12 four- and five-night cruises to Okinawa, Ishigaki and the Miyako islands.
It will also sail from Shanghai for cruises to Japan with nine four- and five-night voyages to Naha, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, and Sasebo.
MSC will also deploy MSC Splendida as its second ship in China in 2024. MSC Splendida’s winter 2024 itineraries from Shenzhen are currently being finalised.
Norwegian Cruise Lines Has Four Vessels in Asia, Including the Refurbished Norwegian Spirit
Highlights: The ship underwent a $100 m USD bow to stern refurbishment in 2022 the most expensive ever undertaken by the line.
Itineraries: Norwegian Spirit’s eight-month 2024/25 Asia season will offer 14 itineraries sailing from five departure ports, including Manila, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, and Seoul from September 2024 through to April 2025.
Highlights: The 1936-passenger ship had a bow-to-stern refurb in 2018.
Itineraries: Norwegian Sun’s six-month Asia-Pacific season has twelve itineraries between October 2024 and April 2025 – four of which have never been offered before including departures from Melbourne. Other departure ports include Sydney, Auckland, Honolulu and Papeete.
Highlights: The Haven – located at the top of the ship, houses NCL’s premier suites and villas accommodating up to eight people, complete with concierge and 24-hour butler service and a private sundeck.
Itineraries: Norwegian Jewel’s six-month Asia season will offer 16 immersive, port-rich itineraries visiting 11 countries and sailing from nine different departure ports, including Tokyo and Yokohama in Japan; Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan; Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand; Bali (Benoa), Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia. Cruises range from 10-14 days.
Highlights: Refurbished in 2019 and includes popular NCL eateries The Local Bar & Grill and Italian restaurant La Cucina.
Itineraries: Norwegian Sky will sail a range of Asian itineraries – including Singapore to Manila and Tokyo to Seoul from Dec 2024.
Oceania Cruises Will Offer Sailings on Three Ships in Asia
The Pool & Whirlpools on Riviera (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Oceania Riviera, Insignia & Regatta
Highlights: Riviera has undergone a sweeping rejuvenation with all staterooms and suites refurbished. Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms and Veranda Staterooms are the largest standard staterooms afloat at 27 square metres.
Itineraries: Riviera begins her inaugural season in the region, sailing through Arabia, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. Voyages range from 10 to 82 days.
A 12-day round trip from Tokyo offers an intriguing exploration of Japan. Ports of call include Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Beppu, Hiroshima and an overnight stay in Kyoto (Kobe).
Oceania Insignia sails a range of itineraries in the region including a 16-day Bali to Tokyo, while Oceania Regatta’s itineraries include Tokyo-Singapore and Hong Kong to Bali.
P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Explorer & Pacific Adventure will Sail in Asian Waters
P&O Australia Pacific Explorer (Photo/P&O Australia)
Highlights: Refurbished in 2018 this is a popular family-friendly ship (fans nickname it Dora) with water slides, lawn bowls, a zip line and a games arcade.
Itineraries: Among its Asian itineraries is an 11-night cruise from Fremantle to Singapore calling at Lombok, Port Kelang to see the sights of Kuala Lumpur, and Langkawi.
Highlights: Adventure has The Byron Beach Club – a premium retreat that features a private outdoor pool, whirlpool spas and comfy seating situated on the top deck of the ship.
Itineraries: A 15-night Singapore to Sydney cruise calling in at Benoa Bali, Lombok, Cairns and Port Douglas.
Paul Gauguin’s Le Paul Gauguin Will Sail Faraway Shores in Asia
Air Terjun Tiu Kelep waterfall near Rinjani, Senaru, Lombok, Indonesia (Photo: Michail_Vorobyev/Shutterstock)
Highlights: Le Paul Gauguin was renovated in 2021 – guests enjoy an expansive deck space and a 1:1.5 crew to guest ratio. Its size allows access to shallow lagoons and secluded islands.
Itineraries: Three voyages of 14, 16 and 20 nights in 2025 take in Oceania, Indonesia and Melanesia, featuring maiden calls to Parai Beach and Surabaya, Indonesia, while a new 15-day journey from Singapore to Darwin explores Java, Flores, Banna and Timor Seas. Guests can enjoy world-class snorkelling amidst coral reefs at Parai Beach, and Javanese cuisine in Surabaya. The cruise also calls at Borobudur in Semarang, home to the world’s largest Buddhist temple.
Princess Cruises Has Three of its Popular Fleetmates in Asia
Diamond Princess will offer a programme of Asia sailings (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Highlights: Diamond Princess is the only ship in the fleet with sushi restaurant Kai Sushi, as well as the only one to carry a traditional Japanese bath facility.
Itineraries: Diamond Princess sails a range of itineraries – from 10 to 20 nights – focused on Japan and South Korea.
Highlights: Refurbished in 2018, the ship now has Princess Luxury Beds in every room, rebranded poolside dining options and an upgraded kids’ centre.
Itineraries: Crown Princess will sail a 16-night cruise from Brisbane to Singapore in September 2025, visiting five ports including Lombok, Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Highlights: At just 1,970 passengers Coral Princess offers cruisers a relaxed vacation experience. Popular with more mature cruisers.
Itineraries: Coral Princess Asian itineraries include an 11-day Treasure of Southeast Asia with calls at Bali, Phuket, Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Will Have Three of its Plush Ships in Asia
Pool Deck on Seven Seas Explorer (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Highlights: Seven Seas Explorer has 2,500 art pieces, including works Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. It also has one of the best steakhouses at sea in Prime 7.
Itineraries: Seven Seas Explorer sails the most Asian itineraries and will arrive in Tokyo in October 2023 for three, round-trip immersions of Japanese culture before making its way down to Australia and New Zealand, visiting South-East Asia’s most exciting ports of call along the way.
Seven Seas Voyager sails Bangkok to Dubai while Seven Seas Mariner itineraries include Bali to Hong Kong and Tokyo to San Francisco.
Resorts World Cruises’ Genting Dream and Resorts World One is a New Luxurious Brand in Asia
Genting Dream (Photo: Dream Cruises)
Resorts World Cruises is a newly established luxury and dynamic lifestyle cruise brand. The brand aims to position itself as the leading cruise line in the region for Asian sourced markets.
Highlights: Genting Dream is the world’s first OIC/SMIIC standard Halal-friendly cruise ship, offering Halal and authentic Jain Vegetarian certified cuisines in dedicated venues.
Itineraries: Genting Dream (guest capacity 3352) and Resorts World One (1 856 guests) sail a range of itineraries around Asia – destinations include Bintan Island, Penang and Phuket, Macleod Island, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur and the isles of Malaysia.
Royal Caribbean Has Anthem of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas Based in Asia
Spectrum of the Seas, anchored off Phuket, Thailand (Photo/Heidi Sarna)
Anthem of the Seas
Highlights: Anthem of the Seas is full of fun adventures, whimsical art and A Queen Musical. The ship also caters to families with children, offering dedicated spaces like the H2O Zone water park and the Adventure Ocean youth program.
Spectrum of the Seas
Highlights: Spectrum of the Seas is the biggest ship in Asia, boasting one of the best theatres on a cruise ship, and unforgettable Chinese food — try the hotpot restaurant. Perfect for families and those of an adventurous mindset, with plenty to do on sea-days including Sky Diving, rock climbing and bumper cars.
Itineraries: Spectrum of the Seas, a ship designed specifically for the Asian market, will return to China in April 2024 sailing out of Shanghai to popular getaway destinations like Fukuoka, Okinawa, Nagasaki and Osaka, Japan.
Seabourn Has the Sophisticated Seabourn Quest in Asia
The beatiful Seabourn Quest (Photo: Seabourn Cruises)
Highlights: The yacht-like 468 passenger Seabourn Quest is equipped with SpaceX’s Starlink, the leader in Low Earth Orbit satellite technology, and provides guests with greater connectivity throughout their cruise. It also has The Grill by renowned chef Thomas Keller – an art deco-style American steakhouse.
Itineraries: Seabourn Quest sails a range of voyages in Asia from 14 to 34 days in 2025 with options to combine voyages for a comprehensive exploration of Asia. Quest sails to the northernmost and southernmost islands of Japan, at the height of the cherry blossom season. Select voyages will offer the chance to sail Japan’s Seto Inland Sea—an exclusive experience for small ships.
Silversea Will Offer Luxury Sailings in Asia Across its Fleet
Silver Moon’s expansive Pool Deck (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Highlights: Both Silver Moon and Silver Nova feature Silversea’s culinary enrichment programme S.A.L.T (Sea and Land Taste) which enables guests to experience a range of destination-focused gastronomic experiences — both on board and ashore. Guests can also travel guilt free as the new 728-guest Silver Nova is set to become the most sustainable ultra-luxury ship ever launched.
Itineraries: Silver Moon will be sailing out of Singapore from January 2024 while Silver Nova, the line’s newest ship, will call into Singapore regularly from Autumn 2024. A sixteen-day Tokyo to Singapore itinerary on Silver Nova takes in Hong Kong, Incheon and Ho Chi Minh City and, with eight sea days, gives guests plenty of time to enjoy the ultra-luxury of Silversea’s newest ship. In early 2025, Silver Whisper will embark on a 70-day in-depth exploration of Asia.
Viking Cruises has Two of Its Identical Ocean Vessels in Asia
Viking Venus will offer sailings in Asia in 2024 (Photo: Viking)
Highlights: Venus is a luxurious, adults only ship that’s popular with a mature demographic who expect five-star service and love the onboard enrichment programs. These may include talks by authors, tech titans, archaeologists, former diplomats and news correspondents.
Itineraries: A 12-night itinerary departs Bangkok and concludes in Bali along the way guests get to marvel at Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers, take an evening walk through the bustling Jalan Mangga Besar neighbourhood of Jakarta and discover the hidden history of Surabaya a bustling Indonesian city, known as the “City of Heroes.”
Highlights: Orion, which debuted in 2018, is the first ship in the Viking fleet to feature a high-tech planetarium. Cabins are exceptional – with heated floors, spacious balconies and a large living area. The stunning thermal suite is included in the cost of the cruise.
Itineraries: Orion will sail itineraries in South-east Asia ranging from 15-17 days – including Bangkok to Hong Kong and Bangkok to Bali.
Virgin Voyages to Debut Resilient Lady in Asia
The Sea Terrace Room on Virgin Voyages’ Resilient Lady (Photo: Kyle Valenta/Cruise Critic)
Highlight: Resilient lady has won Cruise Critic awards for its food, offering some of the best dining at sea on a mainstream cruise ship. High end suites are dubbed Rock Star quarters and come with a bar, turntable, a King-size bed and curated Virgin records.
Itineraries: Resilient Lady will set off on a 44-night repositioning from Athens to Australia in October 2024, making stops in Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore and Bali.
Source : Cruise Critic