This Week in Cruise: Three Big Announcements in Asia

seabourn sojournThis week in cruise news, Asia was top of mind as several lines made new itinerary announcements.

Seabourn announced its lineup of late 2015 and early 2016 itineraries in Asia onboard Seabourn Sojourn.

Available voyages include:

A pair of 14-day Myanmar & Malaysia voyages roundtrip from Singapore featuring three days to explore Thilawa (Rangoon), the city of Mandalay, and the 2,000-plus temples at Bagan. Cruises depart December 6, 2015, and February 14, 2016. (From $4,999 per person, based on double occupancy.) 

Between December 2015 and February 2016, the line is offering its Vietnam & Thailand 14-day cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong. The cruise visits Halong Bay, as well as offers an optional two-day shore excursion to Angkor Wat in Cambodia - both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A stop on Ko Kood Island in Thailand includes Seabourn's signature Caviar in the Surf and beach barbecue party. (From $5,999 per person, based on double occupancy.) 

The 14-day Taste of Asia Food & Wine cruise departs Hong Kong bound for Singapore on January 3, 2016, with a team of leading culinary experts onboard offering cooking demonstrations, extended onshore shopping excursions, daily tastings of local food with wine pairings, regional tea time rituals, and more. (From $5,999 per person, based on double occupancy.) 

The 21-day China, Japan & Korea cruise departs Hong Kong on March 13, 2016, with ports of call at Hualien and Keelung (Taipei) Taiwan; Naha, Kobe, Hiroshima, Fukuoka (Hakata) and Nagasaki, Japan; three days to explore Shanghai, and Zhujiajian (Putuoshan) and Xiamen in China. (From $12,499 per person, based on double occupancy.) 

Departing Hong Kong on April 3, 2016, is a 14-day Pearls of the Philippines & Borneo voyage, visiting a bevy of islands in the Philippine Archipelago. (From $7,999 per person, based on double occupancy.)

Additionally, the line is offering optional UNESCO World Heritage Tours and special World Heritage Discovery Tours, featuring enhanced content developed in cooperation with UNESCO World Heritage site managers and tour experts. Sample ports featuring tours to World Heritage Sites include Ha Long Bay, Vietnam; Angkor Wat, Cambodia; and Mt. Kinabalu National Park in Borneo.

In river cruise news, Pandaw announced the launch of four new reconnaissance voyages in the south of Myanmar and the remote Mergui Archipelago.

The sailings will depart in February and March 2016 aboard the MY Drenec, an expedition ship with five cabins, including a spacious upper deck owner’s suite. Each cabin has its own bathroom. 

The new coastal voyages explore the southern region of Myanmar between the small Mon town of Thanbyuzayat and southernmost town of Victoria Point (Kawthaung). The region was closed to tourism until mid-2013 and there is still little tourism infrastructure in the town and cities, but now it is possible to explore the old colonial ports and the little known Mergui Archipelago, with its thousand tropical islands and white beaches. Pandaw’s itinerary also visits Moulmein and includes a stop at Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, famous for its Golden Rock.

Finally, MSC Cruises announced its first sailing to China: MSC Lirica will call in Shanghai as part of its Grand Voyage in 2016. 

The newly-renovated ship will make a maiden call in Shanghai on May 1, 2016, following a 60-day world cruise that departs March 3, 2016, from Rio de Janeiro

MSC Cruises is offering travelers the opportunity to choose from three different versions of the Grand Voyage, with the ability to embark in either Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (60 nights), Genoa in Italy (41 nights) or Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (26 nights), before arriving in Shanghai.

Before setting sail, MSC Lirica will be fully renovated and enlarged under MSC Cruises’ Renaissance Program, which entails a comprehensive overhaul of the ship due to be completed in November 2015.

Prices for the full 60-day Grand Voyage on MSC Lirica will start at $4,799 per person. Included in the price are beverage and laundry packages, as well as eight shore excursions.

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