Private balconies, ocean views and world-class international fine dining at your fingertips… If this floats your boat, you might want to book a cruise, stat. The combination of convenience with international exploration is just too tantalising to say no to—especially when five-star luxury penthouse suites are thrown into the mix.
As the popularity of cruises soar, so do their standards, and these five cruise companies have got your holiday indulgences covered with their stunning new routes through Asia.
You don’t get much newer than this. Currently on her maiden voyage, the Norwegian Joy is the first ship from Norwegian Cruise Line custom-designed for China. On her journey to her port city, Shanghai, Norwegian Joy will stop-off at a number of cities, including Hong Kong, before her christening ceremony on June 27. Her official cruise calendar will kick off from Winter 2017, so get ahead of the game and book up now.
With luxury suites and staterooms for 3,850 guests, the ship features a 180-degree observation deck, a two-level competitive racetrack, a laser-tag course, hovercraft bumper cars, multi-story waterslides, a luxury duty-free shopping complex and an open-air park.
Launched this month, the Genting Dream now features a Hong Kong to Okinawa five-day cruise. What Dream Cruises really specialises in is an exceptionally well-coordinated event programme, so there’s never a dull moment on board: the new route incorporates Japanese tradition into the cruise experience, from workshops to evening entertainment, including live performances from Japanese dancer Kumeta Aya.
Returning for the summer is the Mermaid Academy, led by German underwater stunt worker and professional mermaid, Mermaid Kat. First class passengers who are staying in the luxurious Dream Palace accommodation, which features access to private balconies and the exclusive use of the Dream Palace pool, also have the option to use Dream Cruises’ special glass-bottomed submarine, to explore the ocean at new depths.
Get in-depth in Indonesia, traverse the Pacific to see the Alaskan coast, explore the spice trade routes past India, or have a dip in the Great Barrier Reef—wherever you want to go, Seabourne have mapped out the seven seas and their courses take travellers through Asia and beyond. Their exclusive programmes range from extensive 152-day global tours, to 10-day cruises through places like the Java Sea.
Their luxurious fleet have ushered in an era of small-ship cruising, where guest numbers are kept low to maximise exclusivity and personal space on board their all-suite accommodation: their Odyssey liner carries just 458 passengers.
The intrepid itinerary of far-flung destinations will keep you busy for most of your days: but should you find yourself stuck on the ship, you’ll have a multitude of fine-dinings restaurants, cocktail bars, swimming pools, and fitness suites, not to mention a golf course, movie theatre, spa and casino (amongst other things) to keep you occupied.
Both awarded the World’s Best Cruise Ship, the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony ships are floating paradises. Channelling California-chic, Crystal Serenity’s vibe is casual and cool, while Crystal Symphony blends old-time charm with innovative technology for an indulgent voyage. While they sail all over the world, their Asian itineraries start from next year, porting in Singapore, Mumbai, Manila, Tokyo and of course, Hong Kong.
The cherry on top of this gorgeous cruise is the butler-serviced penthouse suites: over 900 square-feet of plush leather upholstery, jacuzzi tubs and sweeping panoramic views on private verandahs. It’s the seaside home-away-from-home you’ve been dreaming of.
Seven Seas Voyager
One of several fleets from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, who recently unveiled the most luxurious cruise in the world, this floating wonderland boasts 350 all-suite, all-balcony accommodation for a limited number of guests exploring the Asia-Pacific region. From the Hong Kong port alone, you can explore top destinations like Auckland, Sydney, Bali, Singapore, Beijing and Bangkok, all while relaxing in five-star luxury with fine-dining restaurants, spas and pools at your fingertips.
Ever fancied doing yoga at sunrise while sailing down a river? Belmond creates a new cruise experience with their wellness-focused Road To Mandalay adventure on the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar. This exclusive mindfulness cruise is for just 82 guests and promotes healthy and sustainable living in an intimate but indulgent environment.
For three to seven nights, guests can digitally detox and pursue spiritual enlightenment or emotional balance with expert-led private or group meditation sessions and Tibetan yoga practices. With a mix of open-air deck space and peaceful indoor lounges, a spa and fitness suite and a juice bar, the cruise creates the perfect space for guests to relax and reset.
During the trip, the ship will stop at culturally significant landmarks, including Ananda Temple, Bagan’s old archaeological zone, and Mandalay’s artisan workshops, with additional stops at monasteries, rural pagodas and unexplored gardens for yoga and meditative practices.
If you fancy more than just a one-off trip, then those who are true ocean babies (and possess the wallet to satiate that passion) can take their cruise experience to the next level: The World is your oyster, quite literally, with a cruise accommodating 165 privately owned luxury residences. Rental is only available to prospective buyers, preserving the private and intimate community.
All of the suites can be fully customised to suit the owner's tastes and needs, from studios to 4,184 square-foot penthouses. Better still, as an owner rather than a mere guest on board this massive 644 foot ship, you have an active role in selecting your destination.
Some of the other unique features of this ship include the wine selection, the largest collection at sea featuring over 17,000 temperature-controlled bottles. With libraries, spas, salons, tailors, tennis courts, swimming pools, a theatre, deli and five indulgent fine-dining restaurants, this is more than a home away from home.