Asia is a land of contrasts - the largest continent, the tallest mountains, the longest coastline and three-fifth's the world's population.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to see the region which extends from Burma and Thailand in the west through Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore through to Vietnam and Cambodia, China and Japan. Clearly with this range of countries and cultures there is something for everyone to enjoy and learn from.
Ancient temples, great Buddha statues, bustling cities, forests and wildlife are just some of the experiences to be enjoyed.
There are now cruise ships based in the region , predominantly in Singapore, that offer year round cruises. The Singapore cruises sail the Straights of Malacca up to Thailand or across the South China Sea to Vietnam and China.
Many of the major cruise lines position a ship here for a few months each year, the timing based on the location they cruise – for example ships visiting Japan tend to be there in the northern spring to enjoy the famous Cherry Blossom period.
Round the world cruises also pass through the region and these also are in the region early in the year.
Cruises are available year round in the region as weather in the South East part is warm all year round – though both cruising and weather are better in the non monsoon period. Cruises to China and Japan tend to be in the northern Spring, ie from March to May.
While the number of different ports visited by the cruise ships is substantial the key embark ports in the region are Singapore, Hong Kong, Osaka and Beijing. Note that the port for Beijing is Tianjn which is an hour and a half away.
Weather in the south east of the region is tropical so it is warm and humid all year round. The Tropics don’t have seasons as such, they have the wet and dry periods. The wet season or monsoon period is from June to September.
The more northerly ports in China and Japan are seasonal and cruises here are in the northern spring ans summer.
Photo Credit: John Simos