Asia - The Emerging Cruise Region!  

by Pool Builders on 05-20-2013 in Articles

The tides have been changing in the global cruise market, with operators turning their attention from the traditional playgrounds of the Caribbean, North America and Europe to Asia. Asia presents a rich and relatively untapped market for the global cruise industry, with its exciting variety of cultures, cuisines as well as leisure and entertainment options. The region's many positive natural attributes, with more than 25,000 islands, year-round warm weather and calm waters; also make it an ideal cruise playground. CruiseBay lists down few of the major cruise hubs and cruise liners operating in Asia.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong, situated in the heart of Asia, is one of the world's favourite ports, offering cruisers the magnificent Victoria Harbour, a stunning skyline; a cosmopolitan East meets West vibe and world-class terminal facilities. Plus, with easy air access from anywhere in the world, and over 20 cruise lines sailing from this cruise hub, Hong Kong truly is the perfect place to start your cruise. There are a number of terminals operating in Hong Kong at the moment, including Ocean Terminal, China Merchants Wharf, and the soon-to-be-open Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. The Cruise Terminal at Kai Tak is scheduled to debut in late spring and will be capable of housing the world's largest passenger ships. This super-size terminal (2,789 feet long) will have the world's largest gangways or passenger boarding bridges and undoubtedly will set the standard for cruise terminals throughout the world.

Hong Kong itself is also a major attraction, and pre- or post-cruise accommodation in the city is always a fantastic way of getting under the skin of its bustling streets, remote islands, ancient Chinese traditions, charming colonial architecture and exciting culinary experiences. You can explore the city with shore excursions offered by the cruise line, or set off on your own adventure. Discover the people and places that shaped Hong Kong €" Visit the Taoist temples and Edwardian edifices that nestle between skyscrapers, interact with local people trading on international markets, light incense to bodhisattvas, explore vestiges of Chinese clan heritage & European colonial history that sit side by side, discover splendid 13th century ancestral halls, walled villages, elegant Victorian architecture and WWII relics that tell the story of Hong Kong's journey from a far flung outpost of Imperial China to a culturally diverse country. If Asia is on your list of €must-cruise€ destinations, Hong Kong is the perfect place to start your adventure!

Singapore
Singapore strategically located at the heart of South East Asia, offers a compelling proposition as a cruise hub of choice with a well-developed maritime eco-system. Singapore is the world's busiest container port, and increasingly a key cruise hub for both round-the-world cruises and forays around South-East Asia. This city-state is both ultra-modern and deeply traditional with an exciting blend of rampant capitalism and ancient Chinese culture. Brimming with unbridled energy and bursting with exciting events, the city offers countless unique, memorable experiences waiting to be discovered. Strategically located in the city's new lifestyle and financial hub of Marina Bay, alongside attractions such as the Singapore Flyer and Marina Barrage, the recent Marina Bay terminal looks set to propel Singapore into the major maritime league. Aiming to establish the country as the cruise hub of Asia, the Marina Bay Cruise Centre built on a massive scale of 30,000 square metre and costing $500 million for construction offers impressive views of the downtown Singapore skyline. Walking around the grounds of the terminal, you'll be able to see impressive views of the downtown Singapore skyline, enjoy a stroll along the waterfront promenade and park, and take in views of the straits of Singapore.

The most important reason being touted as Singapore's advancing in the global panorama of cruising is its pivotal geographical positioning in the Asian continent. The Lion City is an intriguing kaleidoscope of culture, languages, festivals and cuisines. As a passageway to the rest of the region, cruising to or from Singapore could take you to lush tropical rainforests, colourful open air markets, mystifying ancient cities and white sand beaches. Spend time exploring age-old city streets, duty-free shops and absorbing tourist attractions like Jurong Bird Park and Sentosa Island. Visit Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling in their Long Bar, head to the colourful chaos of Chinatown & fragrant Little India, explore open-air wonders await at the Chinese and Japanese gardens, and the stunning National Orchid Garden. Visit Singapore's most recognizable icon Merlion Park - a mythical creature that represents the city's humble origins. Stop by Thian Hock Keng (Temple of Heavenly Bliss) and enjoy Singapore's oldest place of worship. In the evening, take a Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo.

Shanghai
Once known as the Paris of the East, Shanghai now calls itself the Pearl of the Orient. Located in the middle of China's east coastline, Shanghai is a buzzing city separated in two by the Huangpu River. Shanghai is one of the world's busiest ports, and became the largest cargo port in the world in 2005. As one of the biggest economic centers in China, Shanghai enjoys preferential geographic advantages, rapid economic development and plenty of tourist attractions - it's also a city where east meets west. All of these elements make Shanghai an ideal cruise destination in China. In recent years cruising has developed rapidly in Shanghai with the volume of both calls and passenger numbers increasing dramatically. At present, Shanghai Port has three international cruise terminals - Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Wusongkou Cruise International Terminal and Waigaoqiao International Cruise Terminal.

As an international city with strong Western influences, Shanghai offers a variety of mansions, garden estates, clubs and cathedrals built by Westerners and sprinkled throughout the city. You can admire the exquisite Yu Garden with its Teahouse and Bridge of Nine Turnings or the Temple of the Jade Buddha. At the Shanghai Museum, you can peruse its works of art, which simultaneously draw you through the pages of Chinese history. Take a guided walking tour exploring the narrow alleys and cobblestoned lanes of the Old Town. No visit to Shanghai would be complete without seeing the wonderful Jade Buddha Temple; featuring a priceless Buddha statue carved from one piece of white jade. The Temple was built in the Song Dynasty and is still an active venue for Buddhist events. Also pay a visit to the Shanghai Museum, one of this city's foremost treasures. Its collection of 110,000 historical objects and 430,000 reference pieces enjoy worldwide fame.

Cruise liners operating in this region are:
Star Cruises with SuperStar Virgo (Singapore) and SuperStar Libra (Penang)
SuperStar Virgo (Singapore)
Cruise the magical waters of Southeast Asia on the magnificent SuperStar Virgo. Every deck onboard SuperStar Virgo teems with endless fun, entertainment and activities. SuperStar Virgo offers you a luxurious way to cruise through Asian destinations, featuring an art gallery, a video game arcade, four Jacuzzis, and nightly live music. Onboard there are 935 cabins will high-quality amenities. During the day, SuperStar Virgo has a range of entertainment and activities for guests to enjoy. Check in with friends and family back home in Computer World, the internet cafe, or browse the Star Boutique for souvenirs and sundries. As you cruise to the most exotic parts of Asia on this floating five-star resort, its more than 25 outlets of food and beverage, entertainment and recreation outlets will impress you. In fact, it is the only cruise ship in the world that has an authentic Indian restaurant on board that is certified 'halal'.

SuperStar Libra (Penang)
SuperStar Libra is designed to meet the changing needs of today's pass

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