From February through April 2014, Crystal Cruises is offering its largest collection of Overland Adventures in Asia. A total of 15 one- and two-night optional, mid-cruise journeys will take guests far from the ports of Yangon, Shanghai, Laem Chabang, Ho Chi Minh City, Xiamen and Chan May. The voyages include:
Myanmar/Burma (three Adventures, from Yangon):
· Former royal cities of Amarapura and Mandalay, a showcase for Myanmar’s 19th-century art and architecture
· Bagan, home of over 2,000 pagodas, temples, and monasteries, including the city’s pilgrimage center, Shwezigon Pagoda
· Mandalay Hill, the country’s most iconic, holy landmark
· Lake Inle, for a tranquil boat ride through floating gardens
· 2,500 year-old Shwedagon Pagoda, covered by over 6,500 diamonds, rubies and other stones
· Varied monastic disciplines, from Mahagandayon Monastery, where 1000 monks eat dinner in silence, to Nga Phe Chaung Monastery
Vietnam (two Adventures, from Ho Chi Minh City and Chan May):
· A dragon boat ride down Perfume River
· Regal homes such as the Royal Citadel, Presidential and Imperial Palaces, and Palace of Supreme Harmony
· Heavenly Lady Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s holiest pagodas and 1960’s protest site
· Cities such as former capital Hue; Hoi An, an UNESCO World Heritage Site; and colonial architecture-filled Ho Chi Minh City
Bangkok area (three Adventures, from Laem Chabang):
· Elephant ride through Ayuthaya, a 14th-century UNESCO World Heritage city
· Boat past the stilt houses and rustic shops on the khlongs, or canals, that make Bangkok the “Venice of the East”
· Temples such as that of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Trimit, each housing larger-than-life Buddhas made of jasper and gold, respectively.
China (six Adventures, from Xiamen and Shanghai):
· The Li River, where guests will take a traditional cormorant fishing excursion and sail past water buffalo and rafts to the town of Yangshuo
· Guilin, home of China’s unique cone-shaped Karst hills
· Hangzhou, considered the most beautiful and elegant city in the world by Marco Polo
· Ancient marvels like the Great Wall, Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors, and Beijing’s Forbidden City
· More recent historical landmarks such as Tiananmen Square and 2008’s Olympic Green
Cambodia (two Adventures, from Ho Chi Minh City and Laem Chabang):
· The country’s temples, including UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, jungle-engulfed Temple of Ta Promh, Banteay Srei Temple, and Angkor Thom
· A private Apsara/Hindu celestial dance
All Overland Adventures include air, shuttle, and/or boat transport to and from ports; meals, featuring traditional fare like Peking Duck or a Myanmar-style royal dinner and show; and luxury accommodations such as Bangkok’s Peninsula, Siem Reap’s Sokha Hotel and Myanmar’s Aureum Palace Hotel.
Next winter, spring, and fall, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sail through China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and India on 31 five- to 29-day itineraries, including abbreviated Crystal Getaways and extended combination cruises. Fares for the 2014 Asia cruises begin at $1,520/person if booked by Jan. 3. Asian Overland Adventures fares begin at $869/person, double occupancy.
For more information, visit www.crystalcruises.com.