Around the World in 180 Days - Los Angeles to New York
14th January 2024 FOR 180 NIGHTS | Insignia
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This fly cruise holiday is financially protected by OCEANIA CRUISES under ATOL 10527
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what's included on-board?
Los Angeles, California06:00 - 19:00
Home of the famous Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame, Los Angeles is the place to visit for anyone interested in film and television and hoping to get a glimpse at some famous actors and artists. Stroll down the Walk and enjoy the glamorous atmosphere and famous surroundings, or take a break on the Santa Monica pier and watch the sun set on the sea.
14 Jan 2024
Pacific Ocean Cruising
15 Jan 2024 - 19 Jan 2024
Honolulu, Hawaii08:00 - 22:00
Capital of Hawaii, and a popular tourist destination, Honolulu is known for surfing and water sports. However, there's more to the city than surfing; with museums, the only royal palace in the country, and a mall, there's bound to be something of interest for any visitor.
20 Jan 2024
Kahului-Maui, Hawaii08:00 - 18:00
Delight in the breathtaking sight of whales breeching just yards away from your excursion boat; meander through the tropical gardens of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, play a round of golf, explore Haleakala's crater on horseback or find paradise on a secluded beach.
21 Jan 2024
Hilo, Hawaii07:00 - 17:00
Located on the lush windward side of Hawaii’s Big Island, Hilo is the starting point to explore the eastern part of this lovely isle. Drive the 11-mile rim of Kilauea volcano and marvel at the dramatic lava formations of Volcanoes National Park. At the majestic Akaka Falls, water cascades more than 400 feet into a pool below, and the splendid Liliuokalani Gardens are authentic Japanese gardens created in the early 1900s.
22 Jan 2024
23 Jan 2024 - 26 Jan 2024
Nuku Hiva Island10:00 - 18:00
Visit the entrancing Vaipo Waterfalls and Cascade Tevaipo, which is one of the world’s tallest falls at over 1,100 feet. Wander the black sand beaches, marvel at the giant tiki at Piki Vehini, or get adventurous on an all-terrain vehicle excursion around the craggy island.
27 Jan 2024
South Pacific Cruising
28 Jan 2024
Rangiroa08:00 - 17:00
Stunning, beautiful, this South Pacific atoll is a "natural aquarium," its lagoon filled with colorful undersea life. Visit the pearl farms, dive with manta rays, explore the atoll's unique winery or just choose a calming respite on a pink sand beach.
29 Jan 2024
Papeete, Tahiti08:00 - 20:00
Papeete will be your gateway to the tropical paradise of French Polynesia, where islands fringed with gorgeous beaches and turquoise ocean await to soothe the soul. This spirited city is the capital of French Polynesia, and serves as a superb base for onward exploration of Tahiti – an island of breathtaking landscapes and oceanic vistas. Wonderful lagoons of crisp, clear water beg to be snorkelled, stunning black beaches and blowholes pay tribute to the island's volcanic heritage, and lush green mountains beckon you inland on adventures, as you explore extraordinary Tahiti. Visit to relax inside picturesque stilted huts, which stand out over shimmering water, as you settle into the intoxicating rhythm of life, in this Polynesian paradise.
30 Jan 2024
Bora-Boraundefined - 16:00
Simply saying the name Bora Bora is usually enough to induce gasps of jealousy, as images of milky blue water, sparkling white beaches and casually leaning palm trees immediately spring to mind. The imagination doesn't lie, either, and if you visit, you’ll soon realise this island is every bit as gorgeous as you ever imagined. Thatched wooden huts stand out over shallow, sparkling seawater, with vivid fish swirling just below. Soak up the sun, scuba dive, or simply revel in the opulent luxury of one of the island's many magnificent resorts. If blissful inactivity doesn't appeal, then get active, and hike the greenery of the sharp Mount Pahia.
31 Jan 2024 - 01 Feb 2024
02 Feb 2024 - 03 Feb 2024
Pago Pago08:00 - 18:00
American Samoa is a tropical paradise, located in the Pacific Ocean and home to some of the world's most unique flora and fauna. Pago Pago is the main harbour and village of Tutuila island. It is considered the capital of the territory and is the entry point for visitors exploring the picturesque volcanic islands.
04 Feb 2024
Cross International Date Line
05 Feb 2024
Apia08:00 - 17:00
Samoa is a group of ten islands located in the South Pacific. The tropical climate and volcanic landscape create a picturesque location for visitors to explore, together with the experience of Fa'a Samoa, the three thousand year old way of life on Samoa.
06 Feb 2024
07 Feb 2024
Suva08:00 - 19:00
Fiji is a collection of tropical islands in the South Pacific and is well known for soft coral diving, white sandy beaches, and idyllic and peaceful surroundings. Because of its paradisiac surroundings, Fiji is a popular location for weddings and honeymoons. Suva is the capital of the Fiji archipelago, located on the southeastern coast of the island of Viti Levu and is the second most populated city of Fiji.
08 Feb 2024
09 Feb 2024 - 10 Feb 2024
Bay of Islands08:00 - 18:00
The Tasman Sea on the west and the Pacific Ocean on the east meet at thetop of North Island at Cape Reinga. No matter what route you take, you'll passfarms and forests, marvellous beaches, and great open spaces. The East Coast,up to the Bay of Islands, is Northland's most densely populated, often withrefugees from bigger cities—looking for a more relaxed life—clustered aroundbreathtaking beaches. The first decision on the drive north comes at the footof the Brynderwyn Hills. Turning left will take you up the West Coast throughareas once covered with forests and now used for either agricultural orhorticulture. Driving over "the Brynderwyns," as they are known,takes you to Whangarei, the only city in Northland. If you're in the mood for adiversion, you can slip to the beautiful coastline and take in Waipu Cove, anarea settled by Scots, and Laings Beach, where million-dollar homes sit next tosmall Kiwi beach houses.An hour's drive farther north is the Bay of Islands, known all over theworld for its beauty. There you will find lush forests, splendid beaches, andshimmering harbors. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840 betweenMāoriand the British Crown, establishing the basis for the modern New Zealandstate. Every year on February 6, the extremely beautiful Waitangi Treaty Ground(the name means weeping waters) is the sight of a celebration of the treaty andprotests by Māori unhappy with it. Continuing north on the East Coast, theagricultural backbone of the region is even more evident and a series ofwinding loop roads off the main highway will take you to beaches that are bothbeautiful and isolated where you can swim, dive, picnic, or just laze. .The West Coast is even less populated, and the coastline is rugged andwindswept. In the Waipoua Forest, you will find some of New Zealand's oldestand largest kauri trees; the winding road will also take you past mangroveswamps. Crowning the region is the spiritually significant Cape Reinga, theheadland at the top of the vast stretch of 90 Mile Beach, where it's believedMāori souls depart after death. Today Māori make up roughly a quarter of thearea's population (compared with the national average of about 15%). The legendaryMāori navigator Kupe was said to have landed on the shores of Hokianga Harbour,where the first arrivals made their home. Many different wi (tribes) livedthroughout Northland, including Ngapuhi (the largest), Te Roroa, Ngati Wai,Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngaitakoto, Ngati Kahu, and Te Rarawa. Many Māoriherecan trace their ancestry to the earliest inhabitants
11 Feb 2024
Aucklandundefined - 20:00
Auckland is called the City of Sails, and visitors flying in will see why. On the East Coast is the Waitemata Harbour—a Māori word meaning sparkling waters—which is bordered by the Hauraki Gulf, an aquatic playground peppered with small islands where many Aucklanders can be found "mucking around in boats."Not surprisingly, Auckland has some 70,000 boats. About one in four households in Auckland has a seacraft of some kind, and there are 102 beaches within an hour's drive; during the week many are quite empty. Even the airport is by the water; it borders the Manukau Harbour, which also takes its name from the Māori language and means solitary bird.According to Māori tradition, the Auckland isthmus was originally peopled by a race of giants and fairy folk. When Europeans arrived in the early 19th century, however, the Ngāti-Whātua tribe was firmly in control of the region. The British began negotiations with the Ngāti-Whātua in 1840 to purchase the isthmus and establish the colony's first capital. In September of that year the British flag was hoisted to mark the township's foundation, and Auckland remained the capital until 1865, when the seat of government was moved to Wellington. Aucklanders expected to suffer from the shift; it hurt their pride but not their pockets. As the terminal for the South Sea shipping routes, Auckland was already an established commercial center. Since then the urban sprawl has made this city of approximately 1.3 million people one of the world's largest geographically.A couple of days in the city will reveal just how developed and sophisticated Auckland is—the Mercer City Survey 2012 saw it ranked as the third-highest city for quality of life—though those seeking a New York in the South Pacific will be disappointed. Auckland is more get-up and go-outside than get-dressed-up and go-out. That said, most shops are open daily, central bars and a few nightclubs buzz well into the wee hours, especially Thursday through Saturday, and a mix of Māori, Pacific people, Asians, and Europeans contributes to the cultural milieu. Auckland has the world's largest single population of Pacific Islanders living outside their home countries, though many of them live outside the central parts of the city and in Manukau to the south. The Samoan language is the second most spoken in New Zealand. Most Pacific people came to New Zealand seeking a better life. When the plentiful, low-skilled work that attracted them dried up, the dream soured, and the population has suffered with poor health and education. Luckily, policies are now addressing that, and change is slowly coming. The Pacifica Festival in March is the region's biggest cultural event, attracting thousands to Western Springs. The annual Pacific Island Secondary Schools’ Competition, also in March, sees young Pacific Islander and Asian students compete in traditional dance, drumming, and singing. This event is open to the public.At the geographical center of Auckland city is the 1,082-foot Sky Tower, a convenient landmark for those exploring on foot and some say a visible sign of the city's naked aspiration. It has earned nicknames like the Needle and the Big Penis—a counterpoint to a poem by acclaimed New Zealand poet James K. Baxter, which refers to Rangitoto Island as a clitoris in the harbor.The Waitemata Harbour has become better known since New Zealand staged its first defense of the America's Cup in 2000 and the successful Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in early 2009. The first regatta saw major redevelopment of the waterfront. The area, where many of the city's most popular bars, cafés, and restaurants are located, is now known as Viaduct Basin or, more commonly, the Viaduct. A recent expansion has created another area, Wynyard Quarter, which is slowly adding restaurants.These days, Auckland is still considered too bold and brash for its own good by many Kiwis who live "south of the Bombay Hills," the geographical divide between Auckland and the rest of New Zealand (barring Northland). "Jafa," an acronym for "just another f—ing Aucklander," has entered the local lexicon; there's even a book out called Way of the Jafa: A Guide to Surviving Auckland and Aucklanders. A common complaint is that Auckland absorbs the wealth from the hard work of the rest of the country. Most Aucklanders, on the other hand, still try to shrug and see it as the parochial envy of those who live in small towns. But these internal identity squabbles aren't your problem. You can enjoy a well-made coffee in almost any café, or take a walk on a beach—knowing that within 30 minutes' driving time you could be cruising the spectacular harbor, playing a round at a public golf course, or even walking in subtropical forest while listening to the song of a native tûî bird.
12 Feb 2024 - 13 Feb 2024
Tauranga07:00 - 16:00
The population center of the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is one of New Zealand's fastest-growing cities. Along with its neighbor, Whakatane, this seaside city claims to be one of the country's sunniest towns. Unlike most local towns, Tauranga doesn't grind to a halt in the off-season, because it has one of the busiest ports in the country, and the excellent waves at the neighboring beach resort of Mount Maunganui—just across Tauranga's harbor bridge—always draw surfers and holiday folk.
14 Feb 2024
Napier11:00 - 19:00
The earthquake that struck Napier at 10:46 am on February 3, 1931, was—at 7.8 on the Richter scale—the largest quake ever recorded in New Zealand. The coastline was wrenched upward several feet. Almost all the town's brick buildings collapsed; many people were killed on the footpaths as they rushed outside. The quake triggered fires throughout town, and with water mains shattered, little could be done to stop the blazes that devoured the remaining wooden structures. Only a few buildings survived (the Public Service Building with its neoclassical pillars is one), and the death toll was well over 100.The surviving townspeople set up tents and cookhouses in Nelson Park, and then tackled the city's reconstruction at a remarkable pace. In the rush to rebuild, Napier went mad for art deco, the bold, geometric style that had burst on the global design scene in 1925. Now a walk through the art deco district, concentrated between Emerson, Herschell, Dalton, and Browning streets, is a stylistic immersion. The decorative elements are often above the ground floors, so keep your eyes up.
15 Feb 2024
Wellington10:00 - 19:00
New Zealand's capital is, arguably, the country's most cosmopolitan metropolis. It's world-class Te Papa Tongarewa-Museum of New Zealand is a don't-miss attraction, and the burgeoning film industry led, of course, by the Lord of the Rings extravaganzas has injected new life into the local arts scene. Attractive and compact enough to be explored easily on foot, Wellington is a booming destination. Modern high-rise buildings gaze over Port Nicholson, surely one of the finest natural anchorages in the world. Known to local Māori as The Great Harbor of Tara, its two massive arms form the jaws of the fish of Maui from Māori legend. Sometimes referred to as the windy city, Wellington has been the seat of New Zealand's government since 1865.
16 Feb 2024
Lyttelton08:00 - 18:00
Your initial impression of Christchurch will likely be one of a genteel, green city. Joggers loop through shady Hagley Park, and punters ply the narrow Avon River, which bubbles between banks lined with willows and oaks. With a population approaching 350,000, Christchurch is the largest South Island city, and the second-largest in the country. It is also the forward supply depot for the main U.S. Antarctic base at McMurdo Sound. The face of Christchurch is changing rapidly, fueled by both internal and international immigration. The Māori community, although still below the national average in size, is growing. Ngai Tahu, the main South Island Māori tribe, settled Treaty of Waitangi claims in 1997 and have been investing in tourism ventures. Old wooden bungalows are making way for town houses, the arts scene is flourishing, and the city's university attracts cutting-edge technology companies. In short, there's plenty of fresh energy percolating underneath the English veneer.
17 Feb 2024
Dunedin08:00 - 17:00
Clinging to the walls of the natural amphitheater at the west end of Otago Harbour, the South Island's second-largest city is enriched with inspiring nearby seascapes and wildlife. Because Dunedin is a university town, floods of students give the city a vitality far greater than its population of 122,000 might suggest. Its manageable size makes it easy to explore on foot—with the possible exception of Baldwin Street, the world's steepest residential street and home to the annual "gutbuster" race, in which people run up it, and the "Jaffa" race, in which people roll the namesake spherical chocolate candy down it.Dunedin, the Gaelic name for Edinburgh, was founded in 1848 by settlers of the Free Church of Scotland, a breakaway group from the Presbyterian Church. The city's Scottish roots are still visible; you'll find New Zealand's first and only (legal) whisky distillery, a statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns, and more kilts, sporrans, and gillies than you can shake a stick at! The Scottish settlers and local Māori came together in relative peace, but this wasn't true of the European whalers who were here three decades before, as places with names such as Murdering Beach illustrate.Dunedin has always had a reputation for the eccentric. Wearing no shoes and a big beard here marks a man as bohemian rather than destitute, and the residents wouldn't have it any other way. The University of Otago was the country's first university and has been drawing writers ever since its founding in 1871, most notably Janet Frame and the poet James K. Baxter. Dunedin also has a musical heritage, which blossomed into the "Dunedin Sound" of the 1970s and '80s.
18 Feb 2024
Cruising The Fjords Of Milford Sound
19 Feb 2024
20 Feb 2024 - 21 Feb 2024
Sydney, New South Walesundefined - 18:00
Sydney belongs to the exclusive club of cities that generate excitement. At the end of a marathon flight there's renewed vitality in the cabin as the plane circles the city, where thousands of yachts are suspended on the dark water and the sails of the Opera House glisten in the distance. Blessed with dazzling beaches and a sunny climate, Sydney is among the most beautiful cities on the planet.With 4.6 million people, Sydney is the biggest and most cosmopolitan city in Australia. A wave of immigration from the 1950s has seen the Anglo-Irish immigrants who made up the city's original population joined by Italians, Greeks, Turks, Lebanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thais, and Indonesians. This intermingling has created a cultural vibrancy and energy—and a culinary repertoire—that was missing only a generation ago.Sydneysiders embrace their harbor with a passion. Indented with numerous bays and beaches, Sydney Harbour is the presiding icon for the city, and urban Australia. Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the 11-ship First Fleet, wrote in his diary when he first set eyes on the harbor on January 26, 1788: "We had the satisfaction of finding the finest harbor in the world."Although a visit to Sydney is an essential part of an Australian experience, the city is no more representative of Australia than Los Angeles is of the United States. Sydney has joined the ranks of the great cities whose characters are essentially international. What Sydney offers is style, sophistication, and great looks—an exhilarating prelude to the continent at its back door.
22 Feb 2024 - 23 Feb 2024
24 Feb 2024
Brisbane, Queensland08:00 - 19:00
Founded in 1824 on the banks of the wide, meandering Brisbane River, the former penal colony of Brisbane was for many years regarded as just a big country town. Many beautiful timber Queenslander homes, built in the 1800s, still dot the riverbanks and inner suburbs, and in spring the city's numerous parks erupt in a riot of colorful jacaranda, poinciana, and bougainvillea blossoms. Today the Queensland capital is one of Australia's most up-and-coming cities: glittering high-rises mark its polished business center, slick fashion boutiques and restaurants abound, and numerous outdoor attractions beckon. In summer, temperatures here are broilingly hot and days are often humid, a reminder that this city is part of a subtropical region. Wear SPF 30-plus sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat outdoors, even on overcast days.Brisbane's inner suburbs, a 5- to 10-minute drive or 15- to 20-minute walk from the city center, have a mix of intriguing eateries and quiet accommodations. Fortitude Valley combines Chinatown with a cosmopolitan mix of clubs, cafés, and boutiques. Spring Hill has several high-quality hotels, and Paddington, New Farm, Petrie Terrace, West End, and Woolloongabba are full of an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars. Brisbane is also a convenient base for trips to the Sunshine and Gold coasts, the mountainous hinterlands, and the Moreton Bay islands.
25 Feb 2024
26 Feb 2024
Airlie Beach08:00 - 17:00
Enjoy spectacular beaches, snorkel in crystalline waters, or dive and explore the exquisite underwater world of fish and coral. Visit the nearby Great Barrier Reef and enjoy its breathtaking wonders. While in Airlie Beach, take in the laid-back atmosphere at the picturesque lagoon and tropical garden.
27 Feb 2024
Cairns, Queensland10:00 - 21:00
Tourism is the lifeblood of Cairns (pronounced Caans). The city makes a good base for exploring the wild top half of Queensland, and tens of thousands of international travelers use it as a jumping-off point for activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the Barrier Reef, as well as boating, fishing, parasailing, scenic flights, and rain-forest treks.It's a tough environment, with intense heat and fierce wildlife. Along with wallabies and grey kangaroos in the savannah and tree kangaroos in the rain forest, you'll find stealthy saltwater crocodiles, venomous snakes, and jellyfish so deadly they put the region’s stunning beaches off- limits to swimmers for nearly half the year. Yet despite this formidable setting, Cairns and tropical North Queensland are far from intimidating places. The people are warm and friendly, the sights spectacular, and—at the right time of year—the beachside lounging is world-class.
28 Feb 2024
Cooktown, Queensland07:00 - 17:00
Cooktown is a coastal town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. Cooktown is at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770.
29 Feb 2024
01 Mar 2024
Thursday Island, Queensland07:00 - 17:00
Discover the distinct culture of this remote island and its people, who follow a traditional lifestyle. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and expansive views over the Torres Strait. Visit the impressive fortress, the pearl divers' monument and the historic buildings. Or journey across the strait to Cape York and its wilderness.
02 Mar 2024
03 Mar 2024 - 04 Mar 2024
Darwin, Northern Territory07:00 - 16:00
Darwin is Australia's most colorful, and exotic, capital city. Surrounded on three sides by the turquoise waters of the Timor Sea, the streets are lined with tropical flowers and trees. Warm and dry in winter, hot and steamy in summer, it's a relaxed and casual place, as well as a beguiling blend of tropical frontier outpost and Outback hardiness. Thanks to its close proximity to Southeast Asia and its multicultural population it also seems more like Asia than the rest of Australia. Darwin is a city that has always had to fight for its survival. The seductiveness of contemporary Darwin lifestyles belies a history of failed attempts that date from 1824 when Europeans attempted to establish an enclave in this harsh, unyielding climate. The original 1869 settlement, called Palmerston, was built on a parcel of mangrove wetlands and scrub forest that had changed little in 15 million years. It was not until 1911, after it had already weathered the disastrous cyclones of 1878, 1882, and 1897, that the town was named after the scientist who had visited Australia's shores aboard the Beagle in 1839. During World War II it was bombed more than 60 times, as the harbor full of warships was a prime target for the Japanese war planes. Then, on the night of Christmas Eve 1974, the city was almost completely destroyed by Cyclone Tracy, Australia’s greatest natural disaster. It's a tribute to those who stayed and to those who have come to live here after Tracy that the rebuilt city now thrives as an administrative and commercial center for northern Australia. Old Darwin has been replaced by something of an edifice complex—such buildings as Parliament House and the Supreme Court all seem very grand for such a small city, especially one that prides itself on its casual, outdoor-centric lifestyle. Today Darwin is the best place from which to explore Australia's Top End, with its wonders of Kakadu and the Kimberley region.
05 Mar 2024
Cruising The Timor Sea
06 Mar 2024
Komodo Island10:00 - 17:00
Pink Beach earned its name for the way the beach can appear to have a rosy hue in certain lights. The color comes from small flecks of red coral mixed in with the fine white reef sand. With a few trees along the beach for shade, this stretch of coast makes a fine place to relax or enjoy a snorkel or dive in the crystal clear waters. It is possible to spot a striped clown fish nestled among the protective tentacles of its sea anemone host, or to see a grouper lazily swimming by a flamboyant soft coral. The reef here is now protected by law and the maturing corals are a joy to behold.
07 Mar 2024
Benoa, Baliundefined - 21:00
Bali really is as alluring as everyone says. This island, slightly bigger than Delaware, has it all: beaches, volcanoes, terraced rice fields, forests, renowned resorts, surfing, golf, and world-class dive sites. But what sets Bali apart from other nearby tropical destinations is Balinese tradition, and villagers dedicated to celebrating it. The hundreds of temples, dances, rituals, and crafts linked to their ancient Hindu faith aren't a show for tourists, but a living, breathing culture in which visitors are warmly received by the Balinese, who cherish their own identities.
08 Mar 2024 - 09 Mar 2024
Celukan Bawang, Bali08:00 - 17:00
Explore the hidden wonders of northern Bali from this busy port, where modern seagoing vessels mingle with traditional Bugis schooners, high-prowed wooden ships that have plied these waters for centuries. More eclectic charms await in Bali’s former capital of Singaraja, whose colonial Dutch influence contrasts with the island’s age-old stone temples. Immerse yourself in the untamed wilderness of Bali Barat National Park, perhaps snorkeling among the luminous coral reefs surrounding Menjangan Island or sighting the graceful Bali starling in a lush monsoon forest. Stroll exotic botanical gardens in the lakeside village of Bedugul and browse a colorful farmer’s market for an authentic glimpse of Bali’s timeless allure.
10 Mar 2024
Surabaya08:00 - 18:00
Showcasing a dizzying array of cultural influences, this second-largest city in Indonesia was once the most important port of the Dutch East Indies. A prime example is the stately 19th-century House of Sampoerna, a colonial-style cigarette factory that houses a fascinating museum. Discover a vast selection of wares at Pasar Pabean, a lively market that links Chinatown and the Arab Quarter. At the Grand Mosque of Surabaya, one of Indonesia’s largest, climb the soaring minaret for better views of the gleaming blue and green tiles adorning the sanctuary’s domes. As a tranquil respite, settle in for high tea at the elegant Majapahit Hotel, a highlight of Surabaya’s complex and absorbing historical legacy.
11 Mar 2024
12 Mar 2024 - 13 Mar 2024
Muara11:00 - 20:00
The microscopic Sultanate of Brunei lays claim to one of the most dramatic rags-to-riches stories. Thanks to oil, the Sultan of Brunei is one of the richest men in the world, and the Sultanate is often dubbed a Shell-fare-state. Brunei's citizens do not pay income tax; they enjoy free education, medical care and old-age pensions. The government employs a third of the workforce, who are probably the best-paid bureaucrats in the world. Brunei Darussalam, as the country is officially called, is the rump of what was once a sprawling empire that occupied a land area of about twice the size of Luxembourg. On January 1, 1984, after nearly 100 years as a British Protectorate, Brunei became a fully independent sovereign nation. In August of 1967, Hassanal Bolkiah was crowned the 29th Sultan of Brunei. He succeeded his father, Sir Omar Ali Saifuddien III, who started to modernize the capital and is known as the architect of modern Brunei. Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital and the only town of any size in the country. It is a neat, modern city, split into three main areas. The "old" sector, built in the 1950s, is being redeveloped with new buildings around the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque; the Seri Complex, a commercial area dates from the 1970s, and Gadong boasts a recently shopping center and numerous restaurants: Bandar or, simply BSB, as the capital is commonly called, still features a sprawling maze of wooden houses built on stilts along the Brunei River.
14 Mar 2024
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah07:00 - 17:00
The capital of Sabah, Borneo's northernmost state, Kota Kinabalu is wedged between a tropical rainforest and the South China Sea. Many explorers use it as a launching point to venture off and see the surrounding jungle and marine life. Mt. Kinabalu challenges climbers daily, and top diving spots reel in underwater adventurers. The city is made up of a dense grid of concrete buildings built over reclaimed land along the coast. Several waterfront seafood restaurants and a diverse mix of hotels appeal to the travelers passing through, mostly off to explore the region.
15 Mar 2024
16 Mar 2024
Manila07:00 - 17:00
MANILA, the capital city of the Philippines, was founded in, 1571 by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. It is one of the oldest cities in the country and was the seat of power for most of the colonial rules of the Philippines. It is situated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and contains a multitude of landmarks, some of which date back to the 16th century. It is home to the baroque 16th-century San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and military prison. In the 19th century Manila became one of the most modern cities in Asia. Before the Spanish–American War, Manila saw the rise of the Philippine Revolution. Under the American rule following the Spanish-American War, the United States changed the official language from Spanish to English. Towards the end of World War II, during the Battle of Manila, most of the city was flattened by intensive aerial bombardment. Today, tourism is a vital industry in Manila. Major shopping malls and bazaars thrive around Manila.
17 Mar 2024
Salomague10:00 - 19:00
18 Mar 2024
19 Mar 2024
Keelung (Chilung)08:00 - 19:00
With the glittering lights of Taipei - a futuristic metropolis of culture and ideas - sparkling nearby, Keelung is the first calling point for many visitors arriving in Taiwan. While this port city essentially serves as Taipei's ocean gateway, you shouldn’t be too hasty in dashing off to Taipei's neon-lit magic – first it’s well worth spending some time exploring the famous glowing night market, which hums with life each evening and is famous for its local seafood.
20 Mar 2024
21 Mar 2024
Kagoshima09:00 - 18:00
Kagoshima city is the capital of Kagoshima prefecture and also Kyushu’s southernmost major city. This city is often compared to its Italian sister city Naples, due to its’s similarities such as mild climate and active volcano, Sakurajima. Sakurajima is one of the most renowned active volcanos not only in Japan but also in the whole entire world. This smoking Sakurajima is centred in Kinko Bay and is one of the main symbols of this prefecture. We cannot talk about Sakurajima without the history of continuous eruption. Sakurajima used to be an isolated island; however, the land has banded together with Osumi peninsula from the eruption in 1914. You may have a chance to see the smoke coming from the top of Sakurajima depending on the weather condition. Not only does the scenery of Sakurajima represent the beauty of Kagoshima City but Senganen garden is also symbolic to elegance in the Kagoshima region. This Japanese garden was constructed by a feudal lord, Mitsuhisa Shimazu, as a guest house of the Kagoshima castle which attracts many visitors for its splendid view.
22 Mar 2024
23 Mar 2024
Tokyoundefined - 19:00
Lights, sushi, manga! Sprawling, frenetic, and endlessly fascinating, Japan’s capital is a city of contrasts. Shrines and gardens are pockets of calm between famously crowded streets and soaring office buildings. Mom-and-pop noodle houses share street space with Western-style chain restaurants and exquisite fine dining. Shopping yields lovely folk arts as well as the newest electronics. And nightlife kicks off with karaoke or sake and continues with techno clubs and more. Whether you seek the traditional or the cutting edge, Tokyo will provide it.
24 Mar 2024 - 25 Mar 2024
Shimizu07:00 - 16:00
The salt and pepper cone of Japan's most famous natural landmark won’t fail to take your breath away, as it soars into the sky in a vision of spectacular symmetry. Make sure your camera is fully prepared before you dock in Shimizu’s port, where unparalleled views of the extraordinary Mount Fuji’s dramatic peak await. Take your time to soak up one of Japan's most iconic views, before dipping your toes into the rest of what this destination of tranquil temples has to offer. While there’s a bustling fish market, and a charming amusement park waiting close to the port, most new arrivals immediately set off in pursuit of the best views of Mount Fuji, or to see the stunning panorama on offer from the heights of the Kunozan Toshogu Shrine. Take the cable car up to the top, to experience the tranquillity around the forested shrine, and to enjoy its stunning architecture of deep scarlets and gleaming golds. You can also enjoy heart-stopping views out over the Bay of Suruga, and the tea plantations below.
26 Mar 2024
Kobeundefined - 18:00
Located on the calm waters of the Inland Sea, Kobe has served as an important port town for hundreds of years. It was one of the first harbours to accept foreign traders in 1868 when Japan was just emerging from its centuries of isolation. What followed was a surge of Western trade and exports. Today, Kobe is quite multicultural, with expatriates from 98 different nations in residence, providing a cultural diversity most easily visible in restaurants serving every kind of cuisine, including the now world famous Kobe beef. The Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 set back Kobe’s development, but not for long. Kobe emerged more vibrant than before - with additional attractions, hotels and urban redevelopment, and only a few remnants of the extensive damage. It is a cosmopolitan place with lively shopping arcades, interesting museums, great restaurants, and a port that is still at the heart of things. Kobe is well known for its nightlife, in an intimate quarter of neon lights, cosy bars and sophisticated nightclubs. It also serves as the gateway to the ancient Japanese capitals of Kyoto and Nara.
27 Mar 2024 - 28 Mar 2024
Hiroshima07:00 - 16:00
History buffs will want to write home Hiroshima. Despite being devastated in 1945, this Japanese city is known to all for its commitment peace – its ruin on the 6th August 1945 led to the end of the war and today, the Peace Memorial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) , is a constant reminder of the destruction that war brings. A walk in the leafy boulevards of Peace Memorial Park brings quiet contemplation. The Flames of Peace – set in the park’s central feature pond – burn brightly and will continue to do so until all the nuclear bombs I the world have been destroyed. There are many other inspiring messages of hope around the city too; the Children’s’ Peace Monument just north of the park is a homage to little Sadako Sasaki, who was just two in 1945. When she developed leukemia in 1956, she believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes – a symbol of longevity and happiness in Japan – she would recover. Sadly she died before she finished her task but her classmates finished the rest. It is impossible to ignore the events of 1945 in Hiroshima, but this is far from a depressing place. The great efforts that have been made in rebuilding of the city over the years have given Hiroshima a vibrant, eclectic edge, with the downtown shopping area and street food stalls being well worth a visit. The proximity to Miyajima and its iconic, impressive, Torii gate should not be overlooked either. If you are lucky enough to visit during the unpredictable and short-lived Sakura (cherry blossom) season, then the extraordinary sight of the delicate pink blossom floating across the water to the red gate, means you can consider yourself one of the luckiest people on the planet.
29 Mar 2024
Kanmon Straits, Japan
30 Mar 2024
Busan11:00 - 20:00
White-sand city beaches and hot-spring resorts may not be everyone's first image of Korea, but these are what Koreans flock to Busan for all year. And there are plenty of opportunities for rest, relaxation, retail therapy, and even a touch of glamour every October with the Busan International Film Festival. Busan's beaches are the big summertime draw but there is plenty to be seen year round. Quintessential experiences include taking some rest and relaxation at a local spa and exploring the Beomeosa temple complex.
30 Mar 2024
Nagasaki08:00 - 17:00
Nagasaki city has developed into one of the most important port cities in Japan. During Japan’s period of isolation in the 17th century, Nagasaki played a prominent role in foreign trade relation and only a very few ports were open to restricted numbers of foreign traders. Even though Holland was a major country who conducted trading during this period, Dutch people were only allowed to stay in Dejima Island and were not allowed to have contact with the Japanese people. Today, you will still find the strong influence of Dutch and Chinese culture in the city which is very different from all other cities in Japan. In the more recent history, Nagasaki became the second city after Hiroshima to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the end of World War II. From the visit to Atomic bomb museum and peace memorial park, people could understand how chaotic the situation was and the agony that the people in the days have experienced from the damage inflicted by the atomic bomb. It continues to appeal to the world with their wish for world peace.
31 Mar 2024
Shanghaiundefined - 16:00
See the amazing contrasts of this burgeoning city, from the broad European-style Bund to the soaring ultra-modern buildings. Visit the magnificent art museum and the renowned 16th century Yu Yuan Gardens. Enjoy the city by night, see an acrobatic show, browse in local markets or take a trip to one of the famed garden cities of Suzhou or Wuxi.
01 Apr 2024 - 04 Apr 2024
Xiamenundefined - 17:00
Xiamen has been a major seaport since ancient times and is known today as one of China’s most livable and most romantic cities. The natural beauty of the island and the clean environment have attracted thousands of egrets to the area. Visit South Putuo Temple, a beautiful complex built in the 17th century, and Gulangyu Island, a lovely and serene community that only allows electric-powered vehicles.
05 Apr 2024 - 06 Apr 2024
Hong Kongundefined - 21:00
The Hong Kong Island skyline, with its ever-growing number of skyscrapers, speaks to ambition and money. Paris, London, even New York were centuries in the making, while Hong Kong's towers, bright lights, and glitzy shopping emporia weren't yet part of the urban scene when many of the young investment bankers who fuel one of the world's leading financial centers were born. Commerce is concentrated in the glittering high-rises of Central, tucked between Victoria Harbor and forested peaks on Hong Kong Island's north shore. While it's easy to think all the bright lights are the sum of today's Hong Kong, you need only walk or board a tram for the short jaunt west into Western to discover a side of Hong Kong that is more traditionally Chinese but no less high-energy. You'll discover the real Hong Kong to the east of Central, too, in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and beyond. Amid the residential towers are restaurants, shopping malls, bars, convention centers, a nice smattering of museums, and—depending on fate and the horse you wager on—one of Hong Kong's luckiest or unluckiest spots, the Happy Valley Racecourse. Kowloon sprawls across a generous swath of the Chinese mainland across Victoria Harbour from Central. Tsim Sha Tsui, at the tip of Kowloon peninsula, is packed with glitzy shops, first-rate museums, and eye-popping views of the skyline across the water. Just to the north are the teeming market streets of Mong Kok and in the dense residential neighborhoods beyond, two of Hong Kong's most enchanting spiritual sights, Wong Tai Sin Temple and Chi Lin Nunnery. As you navigate this huge metropolis (easy to do on the excellent transportation network), keep in mind that streets are usually numbered odd on one side, even on the other. There's no baseline for street numbers and no block-based numbering system, but street signs indicate building numbers for any given block.
07 Apr 2024 - 08 Apr 2024
Hanoi (Ha Long Bay), Vietnam
Drink in the exquisite beauty of Ha Long Bay with its breathtaking monolithic limestone islands and famous morning mists before traveling along the Red River to Vietnam's capital city, Hanoi. Enjoy the broad boulevards, French colonial architecture and wonderful Old Quarter. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Vuon Bach Thao park where locals practice Tai Chi.
09 Apr 2024
Hanoiundefined - 15:00
Drink in the exquisite beauty of Ha Long Bay with its breathtaking monolithic limestone islands and famous morning mists before traveling along the Red River to Vietnam's capital city, Hanoi. Enjoy the broad boulevards, French colonial architecture and wonderful Old Quarter. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Vuon Bach Thao park where locals practice Tai Chi.
10 Apr 2024 - 11 Apr 2024
Chan Mayundefined - 13:00
Hue (pronounced hway), bisected by the Perfume River and 13 km (8 mi) inland from the South China Sea, in the foothills of the Annamite Mountains (Truong Son Mountains), stands as a reminder of Vietnam's imperial past. The seat of 13 Nguyen-dynasty emperors between 1802 and 1945, Hue was once Vietnam's splendid Imperial City. Although it was devastated by the French in the 19th century and again by fighting between the Vietnamese Communists and the Americans in the 20th, the monument-speckled former capital has a war-ravaged beauty. One can still imagine its former splendor, despite gaping holes in its silhouette. Hue is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city's gems are slowly being restored.
12 Apr 2024 - 13 Apr 2024
Nha Trang08:00 - 16:00
Discover the rich heritage of Saigon and the rural Mekong Delta. See the city's lovely pagodas, colonial architecture and broad boulevards. Ride a local pedicab through the bustling streets; visit the vibrant markets, Chinatown and the fascinating Cu Chi tunnels. Explore the lush countryside of farms, rice paddies and villages with a cruise on the Mekong.
14 Apr 2024
Ho Chi Minh Cityundefined - 14:00
Romantically referred to by the French as the Pearl of the Orient, Ho Chi Minh City today is a super-charged city of sensory overload. Motorbikes zoom day and night along the wide boulevards, through the narrow back alleys and past vendors pushing handcarts hawking goods of all descriptions. Still called Saigon by most residents, this is Vietnam's largest city and the engine driving the country's current economic resurgence, but despite its frenetic pace, it's a friendlier place than Hanoi and locals will tell you the food—simple, tasty, and incorporating many fresh herbs—is infinitely better than in the capital.This is a city full of surprises. The madness of the city's traffic—witness the oddball things that are transported on the back of motorcycles—is countered by tranquil pagodas, peaceful parks, quirky coffee shops, and whole neighborhoods hidden down tiny alleyways, although some of these quiet spots can be difficult to track down. Life in Ho Chi Minh City is lived in public: on the back of motorcycles, on the sidewalks, and in the parks. Even when its residents are at home, they're still on display. With many living rooms opening onto the street, grandmothers napping, babies being rocked, and food being prepared, are all in full view of passersby.Icons of the past endure in the midst of the city’s headlong rush into capitalism. The Hotel Continental, immortalized in Graham Greene's The Quiet American, continues to stand on the corner of old Indochina's most famous thoroughfare, the rue Catinat, known to American G.I.s during the Vietnam War as Tu Do (Freedom) Street and renamed Dong Khoi (Uprising) Street by the Communists. The city still has its ornate opera house and its old French city hall, the Hôtel de Ville. The broad colonial boulevards leading to the Saigon River and the gracious stucco villas are other remnants of the French colonial presence. Grisly reminders of the more recent past can be seen at the city's war-related museums. Residents, however, prefer to look forward rather than back and are often perplexed by tourists' fascination with a war that ended 40 years ago.The Chinese influence on the country is still very much in evidence in the Cholon district, the city's Chinatown, but the modern office towers and international hotels that mark the skyline symbolize Vietnam's fixation on the future.
15 Apr 2024 - 16 Apr 2024
Indulge your senses in the city's fabulous golden temples and palaces, the royal barges and the Emerald Buddha. Explore the hidden city of teak mansions and lovely gardens or learn about Thai culture. The Royal Palace, familiar to many as the scene of the true story of Anna and the King of Siam, is a massive complex of carved and gilded buildings still used by the Thai royal family. Or visit the home of Jim Thompson, former spy and promoter of the local silk industry who disappeared mysteriously.
17 Apr 2024
Bangkokundefined - 15:00
Bangkok, also known as the City of Angels and Venice of the East thrills with energy. There's such a vast array of sightseeing, shopping, and eating possibilities that you'll have little time to rest. When you do find a moment, pamper yourself with spa treatments, skyline-view bars, luxurious hotels, and excellent restaurants. The city is a mesmerizing blend of old and new, East and West, and dizzying contradictions. Temples and red-light districts, languid canals and permanent gridlock, streetside vendors and chic upscale eateries, all make their home together, all at the same time. Bangkok rarely fails to make an impression, and yes, you might need to go spend a few days on the beach to recover from it all. Although Bangkok is not known for jaw-dropping tourist attractions, it does have an endless supply of worthwhile pilgrimages. The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and the Emerald Buddha are tops on every visitor's itinerary, and lesser-known temples, such as Wat Benjamabophit, the golden stupa of Wat Sakhet, and Wat Suthat, are all worthy of a stop. Besides temples, there are plenty of other interesting niches and touring possibilities to fit just about every interest. Take in a venom extraction and python feeding show at the Queen Saowapha Snake Farm, or go to the nearby Jim Thompson House to learn all about the famed Thai silk industry. If architecture is your forte, there is the Suan Pakkard Palace with its antique teak house collection, and the even more astounding Vimanmek Palace, which contains the world's largest golden teak building. Bangkok's Chinatown merits at least a day on every travel itinerary—be sure to check out the sprawling labyrinthine Flower and Thieves markets. Thai food is unrivaled for spice, taste, and variation. From multicourse meals to small street vendors, the one constant here is fresh and delicious at every level. You can have superlative roast duck or wonton noodles on a street corner for lunch and then be dining on world-class chef creations in the Oriental or Shangri-La hotels for supper. It doesn't have to be all spicy Thai either, as Bangkok is home to excellent French, Italian, and other world cuisines, and you need a few years just to make a dent in all the options that are available. The Old City is a major destination for travelers, as it's home to opulent temples like Wat Po and Wat Phra Kaew. Across the river is Thonburi, a mostly residential neighborhood, where you can find Wat Arun. At the northern tip of the Old City is Banglamphu, one of Bangkok's older residential neighborhoods. It's best known now for Khao San Road, a backpacker hangout, though the neighborhood has much more to offer, especially when it comes to street food. North of Banglamphu is Dusit, the royal district since the days of Rama V. East of the Old City is Chinatown, a labyrinth of streets with restaurants, shops, and warehouses. Farther down the Chao Phraya River is bustling Silom Road, one of the city's major commercial districts. Patpong, the city's most famous of several red-light districts, is also here. Bang Rak is home to some of the city's leading hotels: the Mandarin Oriental, the Peninsula, the Royal Orchid Sheraton, and the Shangri-La. To the north of Rama IV Road is Bangkok's largest green area, Lumphini Park. Continue north and you reach Sukhumvit Road, once a residential area. More recently, Thong Lor, farther east along Sukhumvit, has become the "in" neighborhood for those want to see and be seen. The Nana and Asok areas of Sukhumvit are now home to the even busier red-light entertainment districts (Nana and Soi Cowboy) than Patpong.
18 Apr 2024 - 19 Apr 2024
Ko Samui08:00 - 17:00
Koh Samui is the most popular tourist destination on the Western Gulf coast, which isn't surprising, considering the island's gorgeous beaches, perfect weather, and sparkling blue, almost turquoise, water. Koh Samui has seen rapid development since the 1990s, and you'll encounter hotels in all price ranges.Koh Samui is half the size of Phuket, so you could easily drive around it in a day. But Koh Samui is best appreciated by those who take a slower, more casual approach. Most people come for the sun and sea, so they head straight to their hotel and rarely venture beyond its beach. But it's worth exploring beyond your lodging. Every beach has its own character, and you might find the perfect one for you. One beach many visitors find to their liking is Chawaeng. On Koh Samui's east coast, this stretch of glistening white sand is divided into two main sections—Chawaeng Yai (yai means "big") and Chawaeng Noi (noi means "little"). You'll find the greatest variety of hotels, restaurants, and bars here. Despite the crowds, Chawaeng is no Pattaya or Patong—the mood is very laid-back. A rocky headland separates Chawaeng Lamai Beach, whose clear water and long stretch of sand were the first place on the island to attract developers. More budget accommodations are available here than in Chawaeng, and there are some happening nightclubs.On the west coast of Koh Samui, Na Thon is the island's primary port and the spot where ferries arrive from the mainland. It's home to the island's governmental offices, including the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and there are banks, foreign-exchange booths, travel agents, shops, restaurants, and cafés by the ferry pier. A few places rent rooms, but there's really no reason to stay here—nicer accommodations can be found a short songthaew ride away.To the north and east of Na Thon lie a few beaches worthy of exploration. Laem Yai, 5 km (3 miles) north, has great seafood. East of here, a small headland separates two low-key communities on the northern shore, Mae Nam and Bophut Beach. Mae Nam is also the departure point for boats bound for Koh Phangan and Koh Tao . Just south of the Samui's northeastern tip you'll find sandy Choengmon Beach, a good area for swimming that's not overdeveloped.
20 Apr 2024
Singaporeundefined - 18:00
Discover a delightful city of contrasts, from its old Chinese quarter and colorful Hindu temples to its modern skyscrapers, famous Tiger Balm Gardens and magnificent National Orchid Garden. Stroll along the Esplanade. Take a short cruise along the Singapore River and a tri-shaw ride through town. Visit the Kranji Memorial and Changi Chapel and Memorial, dedicated to those who lost their lives here during World War II.
21 Apr 2024 - 23 Apr 2024
Port Klang09:00 - 19:00
Kuala Lumpur, or KL as locals refer to it, intrigues visitors with its diversity and multicultural character. The city's old quarter features stretches of shop houses that hint at its colonial past, while modern buildings—including the iconic Petronas Towers—give a glimpse of its modern financial ambitions. The city is filled with culturally colorful quarters dedicated to Chinese, Malay, and Indian communities. New shopping malls with designer labels, five-star hotels, and top-notch restaurants also proliferate in this bustling city of 1.6 million.
24 Apr 2024
Georgetown, Penang10:00 - 19:00
An island off the northwest coast of peninsular Malaysia, Penang is blessed with a multicultural history that's led to a fascinating fusion of East and West. Claimed by the British East India Company in 1786, the island's city center of Georgetown—listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is filled with colonial architecture, temples, and museums. The island has also attracted many Chinese immigrants, who now make up the majority of the population. On Penang you'll find an exciting mix of jungle, coast, farmland, and fishing villages, along with the country's largest Buddhist temple.
25 Apr 2024
Phuket07:00 - 17:00
Though few tourists linger here, Phuket Town, the provincial capital, is one of the more culturally interesting places on the island to spend half a day. About one-third of the island's population lives here, and the town is an intriguing mix of old Sino-Portuguese architecture and the influences of the Chinese, Muslims, and Thais that inhabit it. The old Chinese quarter along Talang Street is especially good for a stroll, as its history has not yet been replaced by modern concrete and tile. And this same area has a variety of antiques shops, art studios, and trendy cafés. Besides Talang, the major thoroughfares are Ratsada, Phuket, and Ranong roads. Ratsada connects Phuket Road (where you'll find the Tourism Authority of Thailand office) to Ranong Road, where there's an aromatic local market filled with fruits, vegetables, spices, and meats.
26 Apr 2024
Yangonundefined - 16:00
See the magnificent splendor of the Shwedagon Pagoda, a golden shrine towering to a height of 326 feet. Nearby visit the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda with its reclining 230-foot-long Buddha statue, which was completed in 1966. Rising up from the Royal Lake, Karaweik Hall was built in the shape of the mythical Karaweik bird. The Botahtaung Pagoda was named after the 1,000 military leaders who escorted the sacred hair relics of Buddha, brought from India over 2,000 years ago. Opened in 1906 and located near the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, the Yangon Zoo is noted for its collection of wild animals from around the world.
27 Apr 2024 - 30 Apr 2024
01 May 2024 - 02 May 2024
Cochin (Kochi), India
Discover the amazing contrasts of this cosmopolitan, Portuguese-founded city with its lovely colonial architecture, Dutch-style palaces, historic churches, Jewish quarter and huge Chinese fishing nets. Or explore tranquil canals by boat and see ancient villages, exquisite scenery, plantations and temples. See Indian cotton made in traditional fashion.
03 May 2024
Cochin10:00 - 19:00
Kochi, formerly and still commonly known as Cochin, is one of the west coast's largest and oldest ports. The streets behind the docks of the historic Fort Cochin and Mattancherry districts are lined with old merchant houses, godowns (warehouses), and open courtyards heaped with betel nuts, ginger, peppercorns, and tea. Throughout the second millennium this ancient city exported spices, coffee, and coir (the fiber made from coconut husks), and imported culture and religion from Europe, China, and the Middle East. Today Kochi has a synagogue, several mosques, Portuguese Catholic churches, Hindu temples, and the United Church of South India (an amalgamation of several Protestant denominations). The city is spread out over mainland, peninsula, and islands. Ernakulam, on the mainland 2 km (3 miles) from the harbor, is the commercial center and the one-time capital of the former state of Cochin. Willingdon Island, which was created by dredging the harbor, holds several luxury hotels as well as a navy base. The beautiful Bolghatty Island, north of Ernakulam, is a favorite picnic spot for locals. On it there's a government-run hotel in a colonial structure that was once used by the Dutch governor and later by the British Resident. Another local favorite is Cherai beach on Vypin Island, which is a 10-minute ferry ride from Fort Cochin. The Fort Cochin district, Kochi's historic center, is at the northern tip of the Mattancherry peninsula. Houses here often recall Tudor manors; some have been converted to hotels, others remain in the hands of the venerable tea and trading companies. South of Fort Cochin, in the Mattancherry district, is where you'll find the city's dwindling Jewish community. Their small neighborhood, called Jew Town, which is now dotted with cafés and shops selling curios and antiques, is centered on the synagogue.
04 May 2024
Mangalore09:00 - 19:00
New Mangalore Port, established in 1974, is the major port of Karnataka. It has the distinction of the ninth biggest port of India. Its construction got completed in 12 years using the latest technology to provide the best port facilities. The port has been established in such a way that it can bear all kinds of climatic hazards. Mangalore is named after the goddess Mangaladevi. Mangalore is a panorama of palm-fringed beaches, lush green fields and enchanting forests. It is sheltered by the soaring western ghats on the east and the mighty Arabian sea roaring along its western shores. With an important port, this coastal town is a major commercial centre that still retains its old world charm-old tile-roofed buildings amidst coconut groves, fishing boats silhouetted against the darkening skyline, fishermen hauling in rich catch of fish, sea food served in spicy coconut curries.
05 May 2024
Mormugao, Goa08:00 - 17:00
As the gateway to Goa, Mormugao is a storied city, surrounded by beaches, fascinating heritage sites, and ocean-wary fortifications. As a former capital of Portuguese India, the colonisers who landed here embarked on an extensive programme of fortification, springing up defences along the region's pretty beaches. Mormugao was also an important location for the spread of Christianity, with significant missionaries landing here including Saint Francis Xavier - whose final resting place can be found in Old Goa.
06 May 2024
Mumbai (ex Bombay)undefined - 20:00
Mumbai, sometimes called the Maximum City, after Suketa Mehta’s 2004 nonfiction book of the same name, encapsulates the dynamism and chaos of modern India better than any other city. In this sprawling, muscular place by the sea that you'll find everything from succulent street food to haute cuisine, bargain-basement bazaars to haute couture, humbling poverty to staggering wealth, sacred temples to hedonistic nightclubs. Mumbai is in many ways the New York City of India, and the many of the locals carry the same kind of chip on their shoulders—despite the madness, they wouldn’t trade it for any other place on Earth.Mumbai is a city of extremes, where slum-dwelling strivers making dollars a day serve Bollywood stars and industrial billionaires. It's a 24-hour city stocked with some of the best late-night street food in the world, as well as fine-dining restaurants of renowned chefs. It's a cosmopolitan city of people from all over India that's nonetheless home to strident parochialism. It's a city of dreams for millions of Indians that, at the same time, affords so few any measure of comfort. And it's a beautiful city of silver towers when viewed by twilight from the Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge over the Arabian Sea, but that sight quickly turns into a maze of winding, dirty streets and alleys when viewed up close.Sensory overload is the name of the game on the island formerly known as Bombay (and yes, most locals still call it by its previous moniker). The first thing that hits you when you arrive at the airport is the smell—spicy, fishy, and, to be honest, often not altogether pleasant. Next comes a crazed cab ride through the seemingly lawless streets (should your driver run a red light or, just as likely, drive on the wrong side of the road, try to remain calm). Then a traffic jam in the midst of a veritable symphony of honking, in which barefoot children, often holding infants, and tragically disfigured men and women knock at your window, begging for change. Persevere through, though; embrace and try to understand the natural hazards of the developing world, and you'll find yourself in the middle of a beautiful, often inspiring city.
07 May 2024 - 08 May 2024
09 May 2024
Khasabundefined - 20:00
Khasab is an eclectic and off-the-beaten-path port with pristine seas and jagged peaks. It’s location at the northern tip of the peninsula makes this city the apex of the triangle between Dubai and Muscat. Choose to take a dhow cruise along the Strait of Hormuz or go on a humpback dolphin watching excursion on the bay, either way your experience will be far from ordinary.
10 May 2024 - 11 May 2024
Dubaiundefined - 19:00
Dubai sits on a golden sandy coastline in the Arabian Gulf, where the warm azure waves of the sea meet the desert. A high-rise oasis, this city is a pleasure-dome surrounded by dunes; one of the most fashionable on the planet thanks to its ability to satisfy the needs of legions of demanding vacationers. Dubai is about having fun—and it's one big adult playground.Nature plays her part here, with year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, dramatic arid landscapes, and warm waters, but it's the man-made attractions that make Dubai so alluring. You can launch yourself into high-adrenaline desert adventures, diving and water sports, and some of the world's best golf courses. The 5-, 6-, and 7-star hotels offer the ultimate in luxury, and the party scene is hot. Shopping malls are the biggest in the world and are packed full of high-class merchandise. And with hundreds of restaurants with cuisine from around the world, you can munch your way from Mexico to Malaysia.Dubai is an Arab country with a long history as a trading port. Traces of its traditional life, customs, and architecture can still be seen and explored, but today and tomorrow are much more important than yesterday. Almost every building in this metropolis is less than 20 years old and the most dramatic developments—groundbreaking megaprojects—have just been completed or are still under construction.The city is certainly unique. Islam is its anchor, but it has opened its doors to the rest of the world and has invited them in to work, rest, and play, which creates a truly international atmosphere. Unashamedly modern and materialistic, life here takes place at breakneck speed. The landscape is stark, the confidence is sky high, the can-do spirit is palpable, and the bling is in your face. Dubai produces strong reactions in people, but one thing is certain—love it or loathe it—you will not forget it. It is without a doubt, one of the world's true must-see destinations.Shisha: Smoke Without Fire. Emirati men love socializing, but as they don't drink alcohol they get together over coffee and shisha instead of a drink at the bar after work. The shisha, or hookah, is a smoking device, usually made of glass, that filters smoke through water before it reaches the smoker's mouth. Shisha tobaccos are aromatic and are often mixed with apple, cinnamon, or cherry, so their taste isn't as strong as other tobaccos. Smoking shisha is said to induce relaxation—but you'll have to decide if it's for you!
12 May 2024 - 13 May 2024
Al Fujayrah10:00 - 20:00
A visit to the Emirate of Fujairah is a chance to see a different side to the United Arab Emirates, swapping the flashy mega-towers for heritage-rich mosques and crumbling forts. While elements of Dubai’s and Abu Dhabi's skyward dash are present in Fujairah city, on the whole, you can expect to enjoy a much more down to earth version of the UAE than you might be used to, as you explore this intriguing destination of history and heritage.The Al Bidya Mosque is a true link to the past, and this incredible building is the UAE's oldest mosque. With a history dating back to 1446, the builders of the mosque remain unknown. It's still in use, and is even kitted out with air conditioning, behind its walls of rusty red bricks. Having the oldest mosque isn’t the Emirate of Fujairah’s only claim to fame - it also has the UAE’s second largest. Pay a respectful visit to the sprawling Sheikh Zayed Mosque – which features huge prayer towers that reach up and puncture the deep blue sky.
14 May 2024
Muscat08:00 - 18:00
Oman's capital city is hemmed in on one side by spectacular jagged-peaked mountains and on the other by royal blue sea. The architecture is a traditional, sophisticated arabesque blend of white-washed, low-rise buildings surrounded by manicured palms, intricately designed domes set atop the minarets of the mosques, sand-colored villas, a surprising blend of modern art installations, like a giant incense burner that towers over the Corniche, and ancient forts set in the rocky hills. Though tradition abounds, from distinct, local cuisine to the widely worn national dress, the dishdasha, Muscat is a completely modern city, featuring opulent luxury hotels, international restaurants, excellent cellular and data service, sprawling shopping malls, pristine beaches, lively nightlife, world-class performing arts, and a highly educated population, most of whom speak English, Arabic, and often Hindi. Muscat is the ideal base for exploring other areas of the country since many of the most desirable destinations are within a few hours' drive.
15 May 2024
Salalahundefined - 18:00
Discover this lovely old city, its charming streets, museums and lively souks. Travel into a lush countryside of coconut and banana plantations, mountains and seascapes to Job's Tomb. Or explore a rugged landscape of desert, fishing villages and starkly beautiful mosques. Visit ancient Mirbat, the medieval capital of Dhofar and the starting point for camel caravans.
16 May 2024 - 17 May 2024
18 May 2024 - 19 May 2024
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Jeddah, a Saudi Arabian port city on the Red Sea, is a modern commercial hub and gateway for pilgrimages to the Islamic holy cities Mecca and Medina. Resort hotels, beaches and outdoor sculptures line the Corniche, a seafront promenade anchored by the iconic King Fahd’s Fountain. The city’s Al-Balad historic district dates to the 7th century and retains traditional homes built from coral.
20 May 2024
Jeddah06:00 - 21:00
21 May 2024
Visit Aqaba’s castle fortress, archaeological museum and mosque. Or journey to magnificent Petra, an ancient city hidden behind rugged mountains. As you enter Petra’s main square through a narrow chasm, the superb facades of imposing monuments carved into the cliffs are revealed, the hues of the stone changing as the sun moves across the sky.
22 May 2024
'Aqaba07:00 - 21:00
The resort town of Aqaba, on the Red Sea at the southern end of Jordan, is a popular spot for divers with some of the best coral reefs in the world. Snorkeling and other water sports are popular, and it's easy to hire a boat for a day or half-day, including lunch.Aqaba has become quite a bustling destination, with several large luxury hotels and a large shopping area. There are many jewelry stores selling pearls, gem stones, and gold and silver jewelry. It's worth noting that although it's an international beach resort, Aqaba is quite conservative—certainly much more so than Amman—and North Americans tend to be more comfortable at the private hotel beaches.
23 May 2024
Safagaundefined - 23:00
Port Safago has been undergoing a transformation, slowly metamorphosing into a holiday rsort. Like other cities on the Red Sea, the commercial port town sits close to great offshore dive sites. Unlike others, however, tourist development hasn't taken off in a meaningful way. But if the mass tourism in Hurghada is a turnoff, Safaga offers a small-scale and much more low-key alternative, though the best dive sites can still be seen on a day trip from Hurghada. Safaga is also the closest beach resort to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, which lies 200 km (124 mi) to the southwest; when cruise ships offer land excursions to Luxor, they often do so through Safaga.
24 May 2024 - 25 May 2024
Suez Canal Transit
26 May 2024
Jerusalem (Haifa), Israel
Visit the land of miracles - Galilee, the Jordan River, the Mount of the Beautitudes and Tabgha. Venture to Nazareth, home of the young Jesus. See the largest hanging gardens in the world at the Bahai Gardens of Haifa. Or visit the Nahalal Moshav, a commune established in 1921 by Jewish immigrants.
27 May 2024
Haifaundefined - 21:00
Spilling down from the pine-covered heights of Mount Carmel, Haifa is a city with a vertiginous setting that has led to comparisons with San Francisco. The most striking landmark on the mountainside is the gleaming golden dome of the Baha'i Shrine, set amid utterly beautiful garden terraces. The city is the world center for the Baha'i faith, and its members provide informative walking tours of the flower-edged 100-acre spot, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the top of the hill are some small but interesting museums, the larger hotels, and two major universities. At the bottom is the lovingly restored German Colony, a perfect area for strolling.Israel's largest port and third-largest city, Haifa was ruled for four centuries by the Ottomans and gradually spread its tendrils up the mountainside into a cosmopolitan city whose port served the entire Middle East. The climate is gentle, the beaches beautiful, and the locals friendly.You don't see the religious garb of Jerusalem or the tattoos and piercings of Tel Aviv in this diverse but fairly conservative city. In fact, you can't always tell at a glance who is part of an Arab or Jewish Israeli family, or if someone is a more recent immigrant from the former Soviet Union.
28 May 2024 - 29 May 2024
Santoriniundefined - 17:00
Visit the beautiful whitewashed hilltop towns of Oia and Fira and their breathtaking views of the caldera below. See the stunning artifacts in Fira's museum, including recent finds from the excavation of Akrotiri, thought by many to be the legendary city of Atlantis, or visit a winery. Stroll through the winding streets with fantastic views around every corner.
30 May 2024 - 31 May 2024
Spend a day exploring the fabulous ruins of ancient Pompeii or Herculaneum with their stunning temples, frescoes and mosaics. Explore fascinating Naples and its famed museums, visit charming Sorrento or take a boat trip to the beautiful Isle of Capri.
01 Jun 2024
Naples09:00 - 19:00
Naples, in the Campania region, is Italy's third largest city. Its claim to fame is the spectacular location along one of the world's most splendid bays, backed by the perfect cone of Mount Vesuvius. In addition to its beautiful setting, Naples' surprises with other outstanding attractions such as the Royal Palace, San Carlos Opera House, the impressive National Archaeological Museum and the Castel Nuovo, dating from the 13th-century. The city's central area is best explored on foot. Chaotic traffic conditions make driving around the city a very frustrating experience. Naples provides a convenient starting point for trips to such favored destinations as Pompeii, Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius. The Isle of Capri can be reached via a 45-minute hydrofoil service. The region of Campania was home to Greeks settlers some 300 years before Rome was founded. Pompeii, too, was a Greek town before being conquered by the Romans during the 5th century BC. It was under the Romans that Pompeii flourished and grew prosperous. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the population of 20,000 was wiped out, but dozens of buildings were preserved under layers of cinder more than 20 feet deep. The most important finds from Pompeii are displayed in Naples' National Archaeological Museum. A visit here will no doubt enhance a visit to ancient Pompeii.
02 Jun 2024
Civitavecchia08:00 - 20:00
Italy's vibrant capital lives in the present, but no other city on earth evokes its past so powerfully. For over 2,500 years, emperors, popes, artists, and common citizens have left their mark here. Archaeological remains from ancient Rome, art-stuffed churches, and the treasures of Vatican City vie for your attention, but Rome is also a wonderful place to practice the Italian-perfected il dolce far niente, the sweet art of idleness. Your most memorable experiences may include sitting at a caffè in the Campo de' Fiori or strolling in a beguiling piazza.
03 Jun 2024
Monaco11:00 - 19:00
The 202-hectare Principality of Monaco is located east of France’s Mediterranean coast. Known for its royal family, especially Prince Albert of Monaco, its casinos and racetracks and for being a wealthy state with no applied taxes. Monaco is reachable by air through the French airport of Nice Côte d'Azur, located approximately 16 miles from the principality.
04 Jun 2024
Barcelonaundefined - 18:00
The infinite variety of street life, the nooks and crannies of the medieval Barri Gòtic, the ceramic tile and stained glass of Art Nouveau facades, the art and music, the throb of street life, the food (ah, the food!)—one way or another, Barcelona will find a way to get your full attention. The capital of Catalonia is a banquet for the senses, with its beguiling mix of ancient and modern architecture, tempting cafés and markets, and sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. A stroll along La Rambla and through waterfront Barceloneta, as well as a tour of Gaudí's majestic Sagrada Famíliaand his other unique creations, are part of a visit to Spain's second-largest city. Modern art museums and chic shops call for attention, too. Barcelona's vibe stays lively well into the night, when you can linger over regional wine and cuisine at buzzing tapas bars.
05 Jun 2024 - 06 Jun 2024
Alicante09:00 - 17:00
The provincial capital of the Valencian Community serves as a gateway to the huge influx of tourists that flock to the Costa Blanca resorts every year. Alicante is popular with holidaymakers who arrive for the warm, Mediterranean climate and seemingly endless golden beaches. However, there is much more to this city than sand and sun. With a picturesque waterfront, a hugely impressive castle, buzzing nightlife and a rich, complex history, Alicante is a fascinating destination all year round.
07 Jun 2024
Motril08:00 - 21:00
Motril is located in the Spanish region of Andalucia on the Costa Tropical. It is the biggest town on the Costa with a thriving commercial, fishing and leisure port. An hour and a half's drive east of Malaga and within easy reach of the magnificent Sierra Nevada mountain range, Motril makes an ideal base for exploring the many delights of the Andalucian coastline and its hinterland. Halfway between the resorts of Malaga to the west and Almeria to the east, nestling in the foothills of the Sierra Lujar mountains, Motril is at the heart of one of the most fertile and productive agricultural areas of Spain. The Costa Tropical takes its name from its sub-tropical climate which enables the cultivation of exotic fruits and crops such as sugar cane, oranges, lemons, apples, avocadoes, mangoes and bananas. One of the sights of Motril is the 17th-century church of Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza, dedicated to the town's patron saint.
08 Jun 2024
Gibraltar07:00 - 19:00
Tagged on to the end of Iberia, the intriguing British outpost of Gibraltar is dominated by a sandy peninsula and the stunning 1,400-feet-high limestone Rock. Although small, Gibraltar has always been seen as having great strategic importance on account of its advantageous position where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, just 12 miles from the coast of Africa. Ever popular with British holidaymakers, Gibraltar is very much a home from home, boasting excellent duty-free shopping in many familiar British high street shops. Please note: Gibraltar’s small size and narrow winding roads mean that excursions are operated by 22-seater mini-buses, accompanied by a driver/guide. Local health and safety regulations prohibit the carriage of walking aids and collapsible wheelchairs on these vehicles. If you do wish to bring a mobility aid, we can arrange the Rock Tour by taxi, which has extra space. If this suits your requirements, please advise the Tours and Travel office when you join the ship, as numbers are limited.
09 Jun 2024
Cádizundefined - 22:00
Believed to be the oldest town on the Iberian Peninsula, the Andalusian port of Cádiz enjoys a stunning location at the edge of a six-mile promontory. The town itself, with 3,000 years of history, is characterised by pretty white houses with balconies often adorned with colourful flowers. As you wander around be sure to take a stroll through the sizeable Plaza de Espãna, with its large monument dedicated to the first Spanish constitution, which was signed here in 1812. Cádiz has two pleasant seafront promenades which boast fine views of the Atlantic Ocean, and has a lovely park, the Parque Genoves, located close to the sea with an open-air theatre and attractive palm garden. Also notable is the neo-Classical cathedral, capped by a golden dome.
10 Jun 2024 - 11 Jun 2024
Portimão10:00 - 19:00
Portimão is a major fishing port, and significant investment has been poured into transforming it into an attractive cruise port as well. The city itself is spacious and has several good shopping streets—though sadly many of the more traditional retailers have closed in the wake of the global economic crisis. There is also a lovely riverside area that just begs to be strolled (lots of the coastal cruises depart from here). Don’t leave without stopping for an alfresco lunch at the Doca da Sardinha ("sardine dock") between the old bridge and the railway bridge. You can sit at one of many inexpensive establishments, eating charcoal-grilled sardines (a local specialty) accompanied by chewy fresh bread, simple salads, and local wine.
12 Jun 2024
Lisbon07:00 - 17:00
Set on seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus, Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal since the 13th century. It is a city famous for its majestic architecture, old wooden trams, Moorish features and more than twenty centuries of history. Following disastrous earthquakes in the 18th century, Lisbon was rebuilt by the Marques de Pombal who created an elegant city with wide boulevards and a great riverfront and square, Praça do Comércio. Today there are distinct modern and ancient sections, combining great shopping with culture and sightseeing in the Old Town, built on the city's terraced hillsides. The distance between the ship and your tour vehicle may vary. This distance is not included in the excursion grades.
13 Jun 2024
Porto07:00 - 16:00
Lively, commercial Oporto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. Also called Porto for short, the word easily brings to mind the city's most famous product - port wine. Oporto's strategic location on the north bank of the Douro River has accounted for the town's importance since ancient times. The Romans built a fort here where their trading route crossed the Douro, and the Moors brought their own culture to the area. Oporto profited from provisioning crusaders en route to the Holy Land and enjoyed the riches from Portuguese maritime discoveries during the 15th and 16th centuries. Later, port wine trade with Britain compensated for the loss of the spice trade and the end of gold and gem shipments from Brazil. In the 19th century, the city went through a period of new prosperity with the rise of industries. In its wake followed the building of workers' quarters and opulent residences. Since the declaration of Oporto as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the city aims to build up a cultural reference that will provide it with a new image, based on deep historical roots. Among the attractions that make Oporto such an interesting place are its graceful bridges spanning the Douro River, a picturesque riverfront quarter and, most notable, its world-famous port wine lodges. Although Oporto is a bustling centre and home to many different businesses, the source of its greatest fame is the rich, sweet fortified red wine we know as port.
14 Jun 2024
La Coruña07:00 - 16:00
La Coruña, the largest city in Spain's Galicia region, is among the country's busiest ports. The remote Galicia area is tucked into the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula, surprising visitors with its green and misty countryside that is so much unlike other parts of Spain. The name "Galicia" is Celtic in origin, for it was the Celts who occupied the region around the 6th-century BC and erected fortifications. La Coruña was already considered an important port under the Romans. They were followed by an invasion of Suevians, Visigoths and, much later in 730, the Moors. It was after Galicia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Asturias that the epic saga of the Pilgrimage to Santiago (St. James) began. From the 15th century, overseas trade developed rapidly; in 1720, La Coruña was granted the privilege of trading with America - a right previously only held by Cadiz and Seville. This was the great era when adventurous men voyaged to the colonies and returned with vast riches. Today, the city's significant expansion is evident in three distinct quarters: the town centre located along the isthmus; the business and commercial centre with wide avenues and shopping streets; and the "Ensanche" to the south, occupied by warehouses and factories. Many of the buildings in the old section feature the characteristic glazed façades that have earned La Coruña the name "City of Crystal." Plaza Maria Pita, the beautiful main square, is named after the local heroine who saved the town in 1589 when she seized the English standard from the beacon and gave the alarm, warning her fellow townsmen of the English attack.
15 Jun 2024
Bilbao09:00 - 18:00
Time in Bilbao (Bilbo, in Euskera) may be recorded as BG or AG (Before Guggenheim or After Guggenheim). Never has a single monument of art and architecture so radically changed a city. Frank Gehry's stunning museum, Norman Foster's sleek subway system, the Santiago Calatrava glass footbridge and airport, the leafy César Pelli Abandoibarra park and commercial complex next to the Guggenheim, and the Philippe Starck AlhóndigaBilbao cultural center have contributed to an unprecedented cultural revolution in what was once the industry capital of the Basque Country.Greater Bilbao contains almost 1 million inhabitants, nearly half the total population of the Basque Country. Founded in 1300 by Vizcayan noble Diego López de Haro, Bilbao became an industrial center in the mid-19th century, largely because of the abundance of minerals in the surrounding hills. An affluent industrial class grew up here, as did the working class in suburbs that line the Margen Izquierda (Left Bank) of the Nervión estuary.Bilbao's new attractions get more press, but the city's old treasures still quietly line the banks of the rust-color Nervión River. The Casco Viejo (Old Quarter)—also known as Siete Calles (Seven Streets)—is a charming jumble of shops, bars, and restaurants on the river's Right Bank, near the Puente del Arenal bridge. This elegant proto-Bilbao nucleus was carefully restored after devastating floods in 1983. Throughout the Casco Viejo are ancient mansions emblazoned with family coats of arms, wooden doors, and fine ironwork balconies. The most interesting square is the 64-arch Plaza Nueva, where an outdoor market is pitched every Sunday morning.Walking the banks of the Nervión is a satisfying jaunt. After all, this was how—while out on a morning jog—Guggenheim director Thomas Krens first discovered the perfect spot for his project, nearly opposite the right bank's Deusto University. From the Palacio de Euskalduna upstream to the colossal Mercado de la Ribera, parks and green zones line the river. César Pelli's Abandoibarra project fills in the half mile between the Guggenheim and the Euskalduna bridge with a series of parks, the Deusto University library, the Meliá Bilbao Hotel, and a major shopping center.On the left bank, the wide, late-19th-century boulevards of the Ensanche neighborhood, such as Gran Vía (the main shopping artery) and Alameda de Mazarredo, are the city's more formal face. Bilbao's cultural institutions include, along with the Guggenheim, a major museum of fine arts (the Museo de Bellas Artes) and an opera society (Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera, or ABAO) with 7,000 members from Spain and southern France. In addition, epicureans have long ranked Bilbao's culinary offerings among the best in Spain. Don't miss a chance to ride the trolley line, the Euskotram, for a trip along the river from Atxuri Station to Basurto's San Mamés soccer stadium, reverently dubbed "la Catedral del Fútbol" (the Cathedral of Football).
16 Jun 2024
Le Verdon-sur-Mer06:00 - 12:00
Situated on the Garonne River, 70 miles (113 km) inland from the Atlantic, Bordeaux's origin can be traced back to the 3rd century when it was Aquitaine's Roman capital called Burdigala. From 1154 to 1453, the town prospered under the rule of the English, whose fondness for the region's red wines gave impetus to the local wine industry. At various times, Bordeaux even served as the nation's capital: in 1870, at the beginning of World War I, and for two weeks in 1940 before the Vichy government was proclaimed. Bordeaux's neo-classical architecture, wide avenues and well-tended public squares and parks lend the city a certain grandeur. Excellent museums, an imposing cathedral and a much-praised theatre add to the city's attractions. The principal highlights, clustered around the town centre, can easily be explored on foot.
17 Jun 2024
Bordeauxundefined - 17:00
Bordeaux as a whole, rather than any particular points within it, is what you'll want to visit in order to understand why Victor Hugo described it as Versailles plus Antwerp, and why the painter Francisco de Goya, when exiled from his native Spain, chose it as his last home (he died here in 1828). The capital of southwest France and the region's largest city, Bordeaux remains synonymous with the wine trade: wine shippers have long maintained their headquarters along the banks of the Garonne, while buyers from around the world arrive for the huge biennial Vinexpo show (held in odd-number years).Bordeaux is, admittedly, a less exuberant city than many others in France, but lively and stylish elements are making a dent in its conservative veneer. The cleaned-up riverfront is said by some, after a bottle or two, to exude an elegance reminiscent of St. Petersburg, and that aura of 18th-century élan also permeates the historic downtown sector—“le vieux Bordeaux"—where fine shops invite exploration. To the south of the city center are old docklands undergoing renewal—one train station has now been transformed into a big multiplex movie theater—but the area is still a bit shady. To get a feel for the historic port of Bordeaux, take the 90-minute boat trip that leaves Quai Louis-XVIII every weekday afternoon, or the regular passenger ferry that plies the Garonne between Quai Richelieu and the Pont d'Aquitaine in summer. A nice time to stroll around the city center is the first Sunday of the month, when it's pedestrian-only and vehicles are banned.
17 Jun 2024 - 18 Jun 2024
London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.
19 Jun 2024
Saint-Malo07:00 - 17:00
Thrust out into the sea and bound to the mainland only by tenuous man-made causeways, romantic St-Malo has built a reputation as a breeding ground for phenomenal sailors. Many were fishermen, but others—most notably Jacques Cartier, who claimed Canada for Francis I in 1534—were New World explorers. Still others were corsairs, "sea dogs" paid by the French crown to harass the Limeys across the Channel: legendary ones like Robert Surcouf and Duguay-Trouin helped make St-Malo rich through their pillaging, in the process earning it the nickname "the pirates' city." The St-Malo you see today isn’t quite the one they called home because a weeklong fire in 1944, kindled by retreating Nazis, wiped out nearly all of the old buildings. Restoration work was more painstaking than brilliant, but the narrow streets and granite houses of the Vieille Ville were satisfactorily recreated, enabling St-Malo to regain its role as a busy fishing port, seaside resort, and tourist destination. The ramparts that help define this city figuratively and literally are authentic, and the flames also spared houses along Rue de Pelicot in the Vieille Ville. Battalions of tourists invade this quaint part of town in summer, so arrive off-season if you want to avoid crowds.
20 Jun 2024
Southampton06:00 - 21:00
Lying near the head of Southampton Water, a peninsula between the estuaries of the Rivers Test and Itchen, Southampton is Britain’s largest cruise port. It has been one of England’s major ports since the Middle Ages, when it exported wool and hides from the hinterland and imported wine from Bordeaux. The city suffered heavy damage during World War Two and as a result the centre has been extensively rebuilt, but there are still some interesting medieval buildings including the Bargate, one of the finest city gatehouses in England.
21 Jun 2024
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Delight in this vibrant city of ornate Victorian and Edwardian architecture, gracious gardens and friendly pubs. Thrill to the natural phenomenon of the Giants' Causeway, a stunning geological anomaly of tightly packed, uneven basalt columns disappearing into the sea, and the enigmatic ruins of Grey Abbey.
22 Jun 2024
Dublin08:00 - 21:00
Dublin is making a comeback. The decade-long "Celtic Tiger" boom era was quickly followed by the Great Recession, but The Recovery has finally taken a precarious hold. For visitors, this newer and wiser Dublin has become one of western Europe's most popular and delightful urban destinations. Whether or not you're out to enjoy the old or new Dublin, you'll find it a colossally entertaining city, all the more astonishing considering its intimate size.It is ironic and telling that James Joyce chose Dublin as the setting for his famous Ulysses, Dubliners, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man because it was a "center of paralysis" where nothing much ever changed. Which only proves that even the greats get it wrong sometimes. Indeed, if Joyce were to return to his once-genteel hometown today—disappointed with the city's provincial outlook, he left it in 1902 at the age of 20—and take a quasi-Homeric odyssey through the city (as he so famously does in Ulysses), would he even recognize Dublin as his "Dear Dirty Dumpling, foostherfather of fingalls and dotthergills"?For instance, what would he make of Temple Bar—the city's erstwhile down-at-the-heels neighborhood, now crammed with cafés and trendy hotels and suffused with a nonstop, international-party atmosphere? Or the simple sophistication of the open-air restaurants of the tiny Italian Quarter (named Quartier Bloom after his own creation), complete with sultry tango lessons? Or of the hot–cool Irishness, where every aspect of Celtic culture results in sold-out theaters, from Once, the cult indie movie and Broadway hit, to Riverdance, the old Irish mass-jig recast as a Las Vegas extravaganza? Plus, the resurrected Joyce might be stirred by the songs of Hozier, fired up by the sultry acting of Michael Fassbender, and moved by the award-winning novels of Colum McCann. As for Ireland's capital, it's packed with elegant shops and hotels, theaters, galleries, coffeehouses, and a stunning variety of new, creative little restaurants can be found on almost every street in Dublin, transforming the provincial city that suffocated Joyce into a place almost as cosmopolitan as the Paris to which he fled. And the locals are a hell of a lot more fun! Now that the economy has finally turned a corner, Dublin citizens can cast a cool eye over the last 20 crazy years. Some argue that the boomtown transformation of their heretofore-tranquil city has permanently affected its spirit and character. These skeptics (skepticism long being a favorite pastime in the capital city) await the outcome of "Dublin: The Sequel," and their greatest fear is the possibility that the tattered old lady on the Liffey has become a little less unique, a little more like everywhere else.Oh ye of little faith: the rare ole gem that is Dublin is far from buried. The fundamentals—the Georgian elegance of Merrion Square, the Norman drama of Christ Church Cathedral, the foamy pint at an atmospheric pub—are still on hand to gratify. Most of all, there are the locals themselves: the nod and grin when you catch their eye on the street, the eagerness to hear half your life story before they tell you all of theirs, and their paradoxically dark but warm sense of humor. It's expected that 2016 will be an extra-special year in the capital, as centenary celebrations of the fateful 1916 Easter Rising will dominate much of the cultural calendar.
23 Jun 2024
Belfast06:00 - 16:00
Before English and Scottish settlers arrived in the 1600s, Belfast was a tiny village called Béal Feirste ("sandbank ford") belonging to Ulster's ancient O'Neill clan. With the advent of the Plantation period (when settlers arrived in the 1600s), Sir Arthur Chichester, from Devon in southwestern England, received the city from the English Crown, and his son was made Earl of Donegall. Huguenots fleeing persecution from France settled near here, bringing their valuable linen-work skills. In the 18th century, Belfast underwent a phenomenal expansion—its population doubled every 10 years, despite an ever-present sectarian divide. Although the Anglican gentry despised the Presbyterian artisans—who, in turn, distrusted the native Catholics—Belfast's growth continued at a dizzying speed. The city was a great Victorian success story, an industrial boomtown whose prosperity was built on trade, especially linen and shipbuilding. Famously (or infamously), the Titanic was built here, giving Belfast, for a time, the nickname "Titanic Town." Having laid the foundation stone of the city's university in 1845, Queen Victoria returned to Belfast in 1849 (she is recalled in the names of buildings, streets, bars, monuments, and other places around the city), and in the same year, the university opened under the name Queen's College. Nearly 40 years later, in 1888, Victoria granted Belfast its city charter. Today its population is nearly 300,000, tourist numbers have increased, and this dramatically transformed city is enjoying an unparalleled renaissance.This is all a welcome change from the period when news about Belfast meant reports about "the Troubles." Since the 1994 ceasefire, Northern Ireland's capital city has benefited from major hotel investment, gentrified quaysides (or strands), a sophisticated new performing arts center, and major initiatives to boost tourism. Although the 1996 bombing of offices at Canary Wharf in London disrupted the 1994 peace agreement, the ceasefire was officially reestablished on July 20, 1997, and this embattled city began its quest for a newfound identity.Since 2008, the city has restored all its major public buildings such as museums, churches, theaters, City Hall, Ulster Hall—and even the glorious Crown Bar—spending millions of pounds on its built heritage. A gaol that at the height of the Troubles held some of the most notorious murderers involved in paramilitary violence is now a major visitor attraction.Belfast's city center is made up of three roughly contiguous areas that are easy to navigate on foot. From the south end to the north, it's about an hour's leisurely walk.
24 Jun 2024
Stornoway, Isle of Lewis09:00 - 17:00
Tour description Stornoway, Scotland The Isle of Lewis and Harris is the northernmost and largest of the Outer Hebrides-the Western Isles in common parlance. The island's only major town, Stornoway, is on a nearly landlocked harbor on the east coast of Lewis. It's the port capital for the Outer Hebrides and the island's cultural center, such that it is. Stornoway has an increasing number of good restaurants. Lewis has some fine historic attractions, including the Calanais Standing Stones-a truly magical place. The Uists are known for their rare, plentiful wildlife. Stornoway. Besides being the island's main entry point for ferries, Stornoway is also Lewis's main arts center. You'll find some good restaurants in town if you want to have lunch off the ship. The town can be explored by bicycle if you are so inclined. Local rental shops can give you advice on where to ride, including a route to Tolsta that takes in five stunning beaches before reaching the edge of moorland. An Lanntair Arts Centre. The fabulous An Lanntair Arts Centre has exhibitions of contemporary and traditional art, as well as a cinema, a gift shop, and a restaurant serving international and Scottish fare. There are frequent traditional musical and theatrical events in the impressive auditorium. Kenneth St.. Black House. In the small community of Arnol, the Black House is a well-preserved example of an increasingly rare type of traditional Hebridean home. Once common throughout the islands-even into the 1950s-these dwellings were built without mortar and thatched on a timber framework without eaves. Other characteristic features include an open central peat hearth and the absence of a chimney-hence the soot and the designation black. On display inside are many of the house's original furnishings. To reach Arnol from Port of Ness, head south on the A857 and pick up the A858 at Barvas. Off A858, 21 mi southwest of Port of Ness. Admission charged. Calanais Standing Stones. These impressive stones are actually part of a cluster of several different archaeological sites in this area. Probably positioned in several stages between 3000 BC and 1500 BC, the grouping consists of an avenue of 19 monoliths extending northward from a circle of 13 stones, with other rows leading south, east, and west. Ruins of a cairn sit within the circle on the east side. Researchers believe they may have been used for astronomical observations, but you can create your own explanations. The visitor center has an exhibit on the stones, a gift shop, and a tearoom. On an unmarked road off A858. Admission charged. Dun Carloway. One of the best-preserved Iron Age brochs (circular stone towers) in Scotland, Dun Carloway dominates the scattered community of Carloway. The mysterious tower was probably built around 2,000 years ago as protection against seaborne raiders. The Dun Broch Centre explains more about the broch and its setting. Off A857. Gearrannan. Up a side road north from Carloway, Gearrannan is an old black-house village that has been brought back to life with a museum screening excellent short films on peat cutting and weaving. For a unique experience, groups can rent the restored houses. Leverburgh. At Leverburgh you can take the ferry to North Uist. Nearby Northton has several attractions; St. Clement's Church at Rodel is particularly worth a visit. MacGillivray Centre. Located in a round building overlooking the bay, the MacGillivray Centre gives insight into the life and work of William MacGillivray (1796-1852), a noted naturalist with strong links to Harris. MacGillivray authored the five-volume History of British Birds. This is a great location for a picnic (there are tables for just such a purpose). A walk to a ruined church starts at the parking lot. A859, Northton. Seallam! Visitor Centre and Co Leis Thu? Genealogical Research Centre. The center is where you can trace your Western Isles ancestry. Photographs and interpretive signs describe the history of Harris and its people. The owners organize guided walks and cultural evenings weekly between May and September. Off A859, Northton. Admission charged. St. Clement's Church. At the southernmost point of Harris is the community of Rodel, where you can find St. Clement's Church, a cruciform church standing on a hillock. This is the most impressive pre-Reformation church in the Outer Hebrides; it was built around 1500 and contains the magnificently sculptured tomb (1528) of the church's builder, Alasdair Crotach, MacLeod chief of Dunvegan Castle. Rodel is 3 mi south of Leverburgh and 21 mi south of Tarbert. A859, Rodel. Port of Ness. The stark, windswept community of Port of Ness, 30 mi north of Stornoway, cradles a small harbor squeezed in among the rocks. Butt of Lewis Lighthouse. At the northernmost point of Lewis stands the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, designed by David and Thomas Stevenson (of the prominent engineering family whose best-known member was not an engineer at all, but the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson). The structure was first lighted in 1862. The adjacent cliffs provide a good vantage point for viewing seabirds, whales, and porpoises. The lighthouse is northwest of Port of Ness along the B8014. Shopping Harris tweed is available at many outlets on the islands, including some of the weavers' homes; keep an eye out for signs directing you to weavers' workshops. Harris Tweed Artisans Cooperative. The Harris Tweed Artisans Cooperative sells stylish and quirky hand-crafted tweed clothing, hats, accessories, all made by artists belonging to the cooperative. 40 Point St., Stornoway. Borgh Pottery. At Borgh Pottery, open from Monday to Saturday 9:30 to 6, you can buy attractive hand-thrown studio pottery made on the premises, including lamps, vases, mugs, and dishes. Fivepenny House, A857, Borve.
25 Jun 2024
Tórshavn09:00 - 18:00
Although remotely located in northwest Iceland and surrounded by ruggedly beautiful fjords, Isafjordur is surprisingly cosmopolitan. The capital of the Westfjords has long been a cultured oasis in the midst of this haunting beauty, fueled by the rewards of being one of Iceland's largest fishing centers. The first merchants lived in wooden houses now preserved in the Neöstikaupstaöur section of town, which is alive with shops and restaurants. Two museums are of particular interest - the West Fjords Folk Museum for tools and heritage items and the Maritime Museum for a look at the 19th century fishing industry.
26 Jun 2024
Discover this fascinating land where the forces of nature hold sway as you visit the modern capital with its thermally heated outdoor swimming pool, remarkable botanic gardens and folk museum. Explore the starkly beautiful countryside of lava formations, glaciers and incredible waterfalls and the site where the first parliament sat in 930 A.D.
27 Jun 2024
Isafjørdur10:00 - 19:00
Two colossal terraces of sheer rock stand either side of this extraordinarily located town - which rides a jutting spit onto an immensity of black fjord water. Surprisingly, considering the remoteness of its location and its compact size, Isafjordur is a modern and lively place to visit, offering a great choice of cafes and delicious restaurants – which are well stocked to impress visitors. The town is a perfectly located base for adventures amongst Iceland's fantastic wilderness - with skiing, hiking and water-sports popular pursuits among visitors.
28 Jun 2024
Reykjavíkundefined - 16:00
Sprawling Reykjavík, the nation's nerve center and government seat, is home to half the island's population. On a bay overlooked by proud Mt. Esja (pronounced eh-shyuh), with its ever-changing hues, Reykjavík presents a colorful sight, its concrete houses painted in light colors and topped by vibrant red, blue, and green roofs. In contrast to the almost treeless countryside, Reykjavík has many tall, native birches, rowans, and willows, as well as imported aspen, pines, and spruces.Reykjavík's name comes from the Icelandic words for smoke, reykur, and bay, vík. In AD 874, Norseman Ingólfur Arnarson saw Iceland rising out of the misty sea and came ashore at a bay eerily shrouded with plumes of steam from nearby hot springs. Today most of the houses in Reykjavík are heated by near-boiling water from the hot springs. Natural heating avoids air pollution; there's no smoke around. You may notice, however, that the hot water brings a slight sulfur smell to the bathroom.Prices are easily on a par with other major European cities. A practical option is to purchase a Reykjavík City Card at the Tourist Information Center or at the Reykjavík Youth Hostel. This card permits unlimited bus usage and admission to any of the city's seven pools, the Family Park and Zoo, and city museums. The cards are valid for one (ISK 3,300), two (ISK 4,400), or three days (ISK 4,900), and they pay for themselves after three or four uses a day. Even lacking the City Card, paying admission (ISK 500, or ISK 250 for seniors and people with disabilities) to one of the city art museums (Hafnarhús, Kjarvalsstaðir, or Ásmundarsafn) gets you free same-day admission to the other two.
29 Jun 2024 - 30 Jun 2024
The largest city in Greenland, Nuuk is the cultural and economic center of the country. Explore the picturesque colonial harbor with its quaint old buildings and the newly renovated market where locals sell their daily catch. Greenland’s history comes alive in the National Museum, and its culture thrives in the Nuuk Museum of Art and the Katuaq Cultural Centre. Nuuk’s extensive fjord system is home to many whales, and the area is also populated by seals, reindeer, arctic foxes, arctic hares and ravens.
01 Jul 2024
This colorful fishing village is rich with Inuit culture and a strong connection to the sea. Learn about the town’s history and culture on a guided tour revealing archaeological discoveries that indicate the area was inhabited as far back as 1500 BC. Explore the stunning coastline on a ferry and perhaps catch a glimpse of the minke whales, fin whales, humpback whales and orcas that swim in pods in the surrounding waters.
02 Jul 2024
Nuuk (Godthaab)10:00 - 19:00
Nuuk, meaning “the cape”, was Greenland’s first town (1728). Started as a fort and later mission and trading post some 240 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, it is the current capital. Almost 30% of Greenland’s population lives in the town. Not only does Nuuk have great natural beauty in its vicinity, but there are Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, the parliament, and the Church of our Saviour as well. The Greenlandic National Museum has an outstanding collection of Greenlandic traditional dresses, as well as the famous Qilakitsoq mummies. The Katuaq Cultural Center’s building was inspired by the undulating Northern Lights and can house 10% of Nuuk’s inhabitants.
03 Jul 2024
Paamiut (Fredrikshaab)08:00 - 18:00
04 Jul 2024
Qaqortoq (Julianehaab)08:00 - 17:00
The largest town in southern Greenland, Qaqortoq has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Upon arrival in this charming southern Greenland enclave, it's easy to see why. Qaqortoq rises quite steeply over the fjord system around the city, offering breath-taking panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, deep, blue sea, Lake Tasersuag, icebergs in the bay, and pastoral backcountry. Although the earliest signs of ancient civilization in Qaqortoq date back 4,300 years, Qaqortoq is known to have been inhabited by Norse and Inuit settlers in the 10th and 12th centuries, and the present-day town was founded in 1774. In the years since, Qaqortoq has evolved into a seaport and trading hub for fish and shrimp processing, tanning, fur production, and ship maintenance and repair.
05 Jul 2024
Sydney, Nova Scotia
06 Jul 2024
07 Jul 2024
Sydney, Nova Scotia08:00 - 17:00
If you come directly to Cape Breton via plane, ferry, or cruise ship, Sydney is where you’ll land. If you’re seeking anything resembling an urban experience, it’s also where you’ll want to stay: after all, this is the island’s sole city. Admittedly, it is not the booming center it was a century ago when the continent’s largest steel plant was located here (that era is evoked in Fall on Your Knees, an Oprah Book Club pick penned by Cape Bretoner Anne-Marie MacDonald). However, Sydney has a revitalized waterfront and smattering of Loyalist-era buildings that appeal to visitors. Moreover, it offers convenient access to popular attractions in the region—like the Miner’s Museum in nearby Glace Bay (named for the glace, or ice, that filled its harbor in winter), the Fortress at Louisbourg, and beautiful Bras d'Or Lake.
08 Jul 2024
09 Jul 2024
Boston, Massachusetts08:00 - 23:00
There’s history and culture around every bend in Boston—skyscrapers nestle next to historic hotels while modern marketplaces line the antique cobblestone streets. But to Bostonians, living in a city that blends yesterday and today is just another day in beloved Beantown.
10 Jul 2024
(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).
Following a dramatic re-inspiration, Insignia is now a completely transformed ship without peer. Each luxurious suite and stateroom is entirely new from floor to ceiling, including the bathrooms. The public spaces have been tastefully refreshed with a soft sea and sky palette of fabrics, designer furnishings and custom light fixtures that exquisitely showcase the inimitable style and comfort of Oceania Cruises. Insignia features four unique, open-seating restaurants, the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center, eight lounges and bars, a casino and 342 lavish suites and luxurious staterooms, nearly 70% of which feature private verandas. From the bejeweled new chandeliers in the gracious Grand Dining Room to the beckoning Reception Hall, Insignia invites you to celebrate a rejuvenation so sweeping, you will find it positively unimaginable to resist her welcoming embrace.