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Best Cruise Deals and Destinations This Winter

Posted on 28-Oct-2016 by Administrator

What is a good cruise destination for the winter? Of course, you have to leave out popular destinations like Alaska and Scandinavia, since these are too cold for a winter cruise. For a warm and fun winter cruise destination, consider the Far East. With moderate climate and exciting cruise packages, the Far East has become one of the most popular cruise options during the winter season. There are a wide number of exciting cruise itineraries in this part of the world, that either start or end at major Asian cruise hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Cruises Starting From India
Up until now, Indian travellers had to travel atleast to Dubai, Singapore or Hong Kong to embark on a cruise holiday. Not anymore! This winter, there are three cruise options from India starting from Mumbai:

  • Genting Dream: This magnificent cruise ship has 1,700 staterooms, 35 restaurants and bars, various entertainment and health zones, giving passengers one of the finest experiences at sea. Genting Dream from Star Cruises will be launching its operations with a maiden voyage from Mumbai to Colombo on a 2 night itinerary (starting at INR 22,449 pp) and a six night itinerary from Mumbai to Singapore (starting at INR 62,584 pp).
  • Costa Cruises: A true combination of European sophistication and Italian heritage, Costa Cruises focus on cruising Italian style. Costa neoClassica will make its sailing debut from and to India for the first time this December The elegant ship has 2 restaurants, 9 bars, 2 swimming pools and 4 whirlpools. It. A cruise from Mumbai to Male with Costa neoClassica starts at $657 (approx. INR 44,000) pp.
  • Monarch Cruises: They offer the world’s first Cricket and Bollywood cruise, which gives you a chance to meet some of the best cricketers and Bollywood actors on board. The cruise liner has 800 cabins, a kids club and many exciting activities. With celebrities, entertainment and so much more, you get the experience of a lifetime. The cruise starts from Mumbai or Kochi and travels along the Indian coastline to cover scenic destinations like Goa over 4 nights. Prices start at INR 74,990 pp.

Cruises Starting from Singapore Singapore is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The island nation features on the itineraries of some of the world’s leading cruise liners like Star Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises.

  • Star Cruises: This is the largest cruise line operating out of Singapore. The SuperStar Gemini starts at Singapore and sails to multiple ports such as Malacca, Pulau Redang, Pulau Tioman, Langkawi, Penang and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Phuket in Thailand. Cruisers this season have a number of itineraries to choose, from 2 nights to 5 nights starting at INR 15,700 pp.
  • Royal Caribbean – Mariner of the Seas: This leading cruise company has exciting cruise packages aboard the Mariner of the Seas starting from Singapore and covering key destinations like Port Klang, Langkawi, Penang in Malaysia and Phuket in Thailand. Travellers can choose from a range of itineraries of 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 nights. Prices start from INR 30,700 pp.
  • Royal Caribbean – Ovation of the Seas: This is one of the Quantum Class of ships of Royal Caribbean. It has 3, 4, 5 and 12 night itineraries starting from Singapore. Tariffs range from USD 340 to USD 1,251 pp. The 12 day cruise covers destinations like Ho Chi Minh City and Hue (Vietnam), Hong Kong, Incheon (South Korea) and Tianjin – Beijing (China).
  • Princess Cruises: The Diamond Princess offers cruise packages to exotic destinations like Ho Chi Minh City, Koh Samui, Kota Kinabalu, Laem Chabang, Nha Trang, Penang, Port Klang, Bangkok and many more key ports, starting from Singapore. It offers a variety of cruise packages, from short cruises of 3 nights (starting from INR 23,000 pp) all the way to 10 night cruises (starting at INR 91,000 pp).
  • Costa Cruises: Costa Victoria by Costa Cruises offers interesting itineraries covering beautiful ports like Malacca, Penang, Langkawi and Phuket. Cruise options include 3, 4 and 5 night sailings starting at INR 19,600 pp.
  • Azamara Club Cruises: The Azamara Journey is an exciting ship that offers luxury cruises with 10 to 15 night itineraries, covering destinations like Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Hong Kong, Bangkok and Koh Samui (Thailand), Komodo Island, Krakatoa, Semarang-Java, Lombok, Benoa – Bali & Celukan-Bawang (Indonesia).

Cruises Starting from Hong Kong
With an impressive skyline, vibrant markets, the golden Buddha Square, Clock Tower, Temple Street Nigh Market, Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong is an ideal holiday destination for the entire family. Travellers to Hong Kong can avail of exciting deals from leading cruise liners such as Dream Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea and Compagnie du Ponant. Itineraries cover many major ports such as Guangzhou, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Min City, Nansha, Sanya, Klong Toey, Koh Samui, Ha Long Bay, Da Nang and Singapore.

Popular cruise packages from Hong Kong include:

  • Genting Dream: It offers 6-9 day cruises that start and end in Hong Kong, and covers Vietnam and China. Destinations include Guangzhou (China), Ho Chi Min City and Nha Trang (Vietnam). Prices range from INR 72,700 to INR 145,400 per person.
  • Royal Caribbean – Voyager of the Seas: It has 4, 5 and 7 night packages from Hong Kong covering Sanya (China), Na Trang & Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Keelung – Taipei (Taiwan) and Singapore. Prices start at USD 532 pp.
  • Silversea: Starting at Hong Kong, the Silver Shadow covers great destinations like Chan May, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) along with Klong Toey and Koh Samui (Thailand). The cruise ends at Singapore. The price Is USD 5,350 pp.
  • Compagnie du Ponant: L’Austral has a 9 night cruise from Hong Kong taking cruisers to the most beautiful destinations along the Vietnam coastline, such as Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Chan May and Ho Chi Minh City. Prices range from USD 2,761 to USD 4,673 pp.

Niche Destinations for Indian Travellers
Many Indians travellers are now exploring new cruise destinations like Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand during the winter season.

Antarctica Known as the white continent, Antarctica is one of the most beautiful, pristine and least explored places on this planet. Travellers are drawn to Antarctica because of its unmatched natural beauty. Places to visit include Whaler’s Bay, Half Moon Island, Yankee Harbor, Cuverville Island, Neko Harbor, Almirante Brown, Petermann Island and Antarctic Sound. Travellers have multiple interesting cruise packages to choose from:

  • Poseidon Expeditions: Covering Antarctica and the North Pole
  • Holland America: South America and Antarctica cruises, with 14 and 21 day packages, starting at USD 93 per night
  • Linbald Expeditions: 14 day cruise from Buenos Aires, covering Antarctica at USD 13,360 pp

Australia & New Zealand
With extraordinary wildlife, climate, deserts, mountains and rainforests, Australia and New Zealand are very popular for both adventure seekers and nature lovers. Experience the vibrant energy of cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, seep in the native aboriginal culture or visit unexplored destinations. Major ports of call include Auckland, Bay of Islands, Milford Sound and Christchurch in New Zealand, and Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.

There are a number of leading cruise liners with special cruises packages to Australia and New Zealand.

  • Holland America: Cruise packages from 12 to 27 nights, starting at USD 1,599 pp. Holland America offers an Explore 4 package where passengers receive upto USD 400 onboard spending money (per stateroom). Suite guests receive an additional USD 200 internet credit and prepaid gratuities.
  • Princess Cruises: Short cruises covering important Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle and Auckland, starting at USD 164 pp. It also offers 5 day cruises along the Australian coastline, starting at USD 564 pp.
  • Seabourn: Luxury 16 day cruises from Sydney to Benoa (Denpasar), starting at USD 7999 pp. It includes complimentary verandah upgrades for select passengers.

With winter around the corner, this is probably the best time to book your cruise holiday and get great offers on cruises. Besides, a large number of cruise ships will be docking in India this year, including the magnificent Genting Dream that sails from Mumbai, starting October 29. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Mumbai-on-a-cruise-35000-more-tourists-likely-to-sail/articleshow/55042403.cms). Indian travellers now have access to world-class entertainment and recreation aboard some of the world’s finest cruise liners.

Author The author tracks and covers holiday packages and popular tourist places. He has recently forayed into coverage of cruise packages and alternative holiday destinations. In this particular article, he provides his views on popular winter cruise options and destinations.

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