6 Luxurious New Reasons to Explore Asia by Boat

New itineraries in this part of the world are taking a close look at a single destination or region, immersing their passengers in their culture, food, and history. Choose the cruise that’s right for you.

01 of 06

Pandaw Expeditions - India

Kiosk built in 1921 by Mr. Roquitte, City of Chandannagar, West Bengal, India
Bruno Morandi/Robert Harding Image Library/Getty Images

In December, Pandaw Expeditions will debut weeklong Lower Ganges river voyages on the Orient Pandaw, sailing from Kolkata to Farraka (and vice versa) through the heart of West Bengal. Experiences along the way include colonial-heritage tours in Chandannagar, ruled by the French until 1950; visiting the brass works in the village of Matiari; and taking in the famed terra-cotta temples of Baranagar. (From $1,700 per person, all-inclusive.)

02 of 06

Mekong Kingdoms - Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar

Mekong Kingdom Gyspy cruise vessel
Courtesy of Mekong Kingdoms

Mekong Kingdoms just launched the two-cabin, exclusive-use Gypsy — a vision of wood, thatch, bamboo, and vibrant Thai silk that takes small groups between Luang Prabang and the Golden Triangle (where Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar meet). Land options include guided jungle treks and weaving workshops; on board, there are folk dancing, cooking, and Lao language classes. (From $5,450 for three nights for up to four people.)

03 of 06

Seabourn - Thailand and Vietnam

People at the beach in Koh Rong, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Southeast Asia.
Michael Marquand/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

For a comprehensive tour of Southeast Asia, nothing beats Seabourn’s 14-day Thailand and Vietnam voyages, aboard new luxury ship Seabourn Ovation. The 600-passenger vessel, launched this year, was designed by Adam D. Tihany and features an on-board restaurant from Chef Thomas Keller. You’ll visit major capitals and scenic ports including Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Sihanoukville, and Halong Bay. (From $6,999 per person, all-inclusive.)

04 of 06

Tauck - Japan

Le Soleal cruise ship partnership between Tauck and Ponant
Courtesy of Tauck

Tour operator Tauck is known for its active, off-the-beaten path itineraries. On their 14-day trips in Japan, travelers will be able to visit lesser-known ports such as Sakurajima, known as cherry blossom island, or Kurashiki, an old merchant’s village. Eight nights are spent aboard the intimate chartered ship Le Soléal, while the other five are at hotels in Osaka and Tokyo. (From $12,490 per person.)

05 of 06

Aqua Expeditions - Vietnam and Cambodia

Aqua Mekong ship sailing on the Mekong River
Tony Law

One of Southeast Asia’s most celebrated chefs, David Thompson is hosting two 2019 voyages aboard the Aqua Mekong, Aqua Expeditions’ luxury river cruise boat on the Mekong River. On these four-night sailings between Vietnam and Cambodia, which depart August 16 and September 13, Thompson will interact with passengers on market tours and cooking classes, giving them an in-depth look at how he incorporates local tradition into his innovative recipes. (From $5,400 per person.)

06 of 06

Viking Cruises - China

Viking Cruises to Hong Kong
Courtesy of Viking Cruises

Viking’s 15-day Far East Discovery voyage on the 930-passenger Viking Orion gives you plenty of time to tour and shop in China’s greatest cities, including Shanghai and Hong Kong. In lesser-known Qingdao, you can visit the former Governor’s Residence and the Qingdao Beer Museum, on the site of the original Tsingtao Brewery, founded by German colonists in 1903. (From $4,799 per person.)

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles