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Five Reasons to Venture to the Far East on Your Next Holland America Line Cruise

More and more travelers have their eye on a trip to Asia for its unique culture, welcoming people, exotic cuisine and coastal beauty, but planning a trip to a region so vast can be difficult to do alone. That’s where Holland America comes in! Here are five reasons why your trip to Asia should be on a Holland America Line cruise, and five itineraries that will make the trip one you’ll remember forever.

1. Travel in Comfort
Traveling on a Holland America Line cruise is traveling in premium luxury and comfort. The real beauty of a cruise is that we do all of the work for you so you can sit back, relax and immerse yourself in the adventure. Our staterooms are elegantly appointed, assuring that you’ll have a restful sleep. And Holland America Line’s fleet of 15 ships has anything and everything you could ask for. Looking for some pampering? Head to the Greenhouse Spa for a massage or facial. Want to learn more about the local culture? On Location activities bring traditions and customs onboard. Eager to cook like a pro? Head to the Culinary Arts Center for a demonstration. All of your dining and entertainment is at your fingertips, so your hardest decision of the day will be steak or lobster.

Top left: Ayutthaya, bottom left: Angkor Wat, right: local market offerings

Ayutthaya (top left), Angkor Wat (bottom left), local market offerings (right)

Embark ms Volendam’s 14-day Far East Passage, roundtrip Singapore, departing Dec. 8, 2015. With two days at Bangkok, you will have time to see the juxtaposition of bustling streets and markets that stand side by side with serene golden temples and glitzy nightclubs. The cruise also affords the opportunity to see the unforgettable beauty of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the ancient capital of Thailand; Angkor Wat at Cambodia, the largest temple in the world; and Ho Chi Minh City’s City Museum with its notable collection of artifacts. Additional ports of call include Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Phy My and Nha Trang, Vietnam; Sabahlaem, Malaysia; and Muara, Brunei Darussalam.

2. Organized Shore Excursions
It’s no surprise why people love traveling to Asia. It’s a region full of mystery and adventure. Glistening temples seem to appear around every corner, there’s an abundance of exciting wildlife, the cuisine is dynamic, the culture places emphasis on spiritual enlightenment and self reflection, the climate is tropical, the landscapes are breathtaking and you just can’t beat that exchange rate.

When traveling to a place you’ve never been before, it can be difficult to plan out various activities. When making plans on your own, you risk missing out on the best the city has to offer! Holland America Line’s shore excursions are carefully crafted to offer all of the best experiences at each port, and they include knowledgeable guides who will further enrich the adventure! All you have to do is show up and enjoy!

Bali is about as exotic as a destination can get with stunning vistas, beautiful fauna and interesting culture.

Bali is about as exotic as a destination can get with stunning vistas, beautiful fauna and interesting culture.

The 14-day Indonesian Discovery on ms Volendam, roundtrip from Singapore, departs Jan. 5, 2016, and features great shore excursion opportunities. You will get to explore Indonesia from all angles with seven different ports of call. An overnight at Benoa (Denpasar), Bali, located between Java and Lombok, features a location as mysterious and beautiful as a South Sea island pearl. You can trek up a hill to the Tanah Lot Temple, immerse yourself in Balinese dance or discover intricate teak and ebony masks and hand-carved treasures in the artist colony Ubud. The Sangeh Monkey Forest is a must-see for travelers who enjoy exotic plants and animals. Additional calls include Tanjung Priok, Jakarta; Semarang and Probolinggo, Java; Lembar, Lombok; Komodo Island; and Surabaya. The cruise ends on a high note with an overnight at Singapore.

3. We’ll do the Cooking and Cleaning!
When you’re vacationing in Asia there’s no time to spare for daily chores like cooking and cleaning! We do the hard work so you have more time to spend enjoying your cruise. Forfeit the tiresome responsibilities to Holland America’s award-winning service staff.

Kuala Lumpur (left), Shwedagon Pagoda (top right), Phuket (bottom right)

Kuala Lumpur (left), Shwedagon Pagoda (top right), Phuket (bottom right)

Enjoy local flavors onboard during the 14-day Asian Adventure on Volendam, roundtrip from Singapore departing Feb. 16, 2016. This itinerary is highlighted by three days at Thilawa, Myanmar. Thilawa lies at the mouth of the Yangon River about an hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Yangon (Rangoon, Burma). This destination features a wealth of cultural must-see sites, natural attractions and excellent shopping. When in Yangon, travelers enjoy visits to the Shwedagon Pagoda, counted by Burmese devotees as the most sacred Buddhist temple. Guests also take time to see Myanmar’s street markets. In addition to Thilawa, this itinerary includes calls at Phuket, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Malacca, Malaysia; and ends with an overnight at Singapore.

4. Effortlessly Travel to Many Cities and Countries
You want to visit as many cities and countries as possible, but if we’re being honest, no one really enjoys the painstaking process of traveling from hotel to hotel in each new city. Logistics can be tricky and time-consuming, not to mention costly. You can rid yourself of those headaches with a Holland America Line cruise. You’ll go to bed at night in your elegant and relaxing stateroom, then wake up the next morning just steps from your next adventure in an entirely new city. No repacking and unpacking. And your cruise fare includes meals, accommodations, entertainment and so much more, making it an incredible value. Traveling doesn’t get any easier than this!

Two days at Bombay offer guests the opportunity to explore all it has to offer.

Two days in Bombay offer guests the opportunity to explore all it has to offer.

The 50-day Passage to the Far East cruise on ms Rotterdam departs Singapore Feb. 17 and features an extraordinary itinerary that not only lets you explore many cities, but also many countries. The cruise is highlighted by overnight calls at Singapore; Surabaya, Indonesia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Mumbai (Bombay), India; Aqaba, Jordan; and a transit of the Suez Canal. At Surabaya, guests can visit the Grand Mosque of Surabaya or Al-Akbar Mosque, the largest in east Java. At Mumbai, guests can spend one day exploring the ancient, religious India at Elephanta Island, with its network of caves sculpted by Hindu and Buddhist artisans, and the second day discovering the British colonial side at Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Both sides feature UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

5. Communicate with Ease
While many of the locals speak English, there’s nothing more comforting than always being able to communicate with ease. We’ll assist you in English (and many other languages of our international guests) throughout your trip, both onboard and off, so you can have an exciting and stress-free holiday.

Vacation is all about being able to relax and enjoy the limited time you have away from life’s daily grind. A Holland America Line cruise ensures safety and comfort, without forfeiting adventure.

China is filled with interesting history.

China is filled with interesting history.

Access to English-speaking guides and destination experts will come in handy on the 30-day Far East Discovery, China & Japan Collectors’ Voyage that visits multiple locales speaking different languages! Volendam departs Singapore March 17, 2016, with the trip ending at Yokohama, Japan. Aside from exciting calls at Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, including an overnight at Bangkok, this itinerary features some of China’s and Japan’s most interesting ports. In China, the ship calls at Hong Kong and Dalian, and overnights at Shanghai and Xingang (Beijing). Guests then head to Incheon (Seoul), South Korea, before calls at Nagasaki and Kobe, Japan.

Volendam's cruises from Singapore offer an in depth exploration of Asia.

Volendam and Rotterdam’s cruises from Singapore offer an in depth exploration of Asia.

Book your Asia cruise with Holland America Line’s exclusive Explore 4 promotion on select January 2016 through April 2017 sailings that provides four added-value extras: a free Signature Beverage Package valued at up to US$1,400, free Pinnacle Grill dinner for two, reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits. Suite bookings also receive a $300 onboard spending credit per stateroom ($150 per person) and a free Canaletto dinner in addition to the other offers.

And remember that the shore excursions can be pre-booked so you’re sure to get the tour of your choice.

Have you ever wanted to visit Asia? Tell us why in the comments below!

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