Jumping ashore to experience Asia’s culture and stunning historic buildings is now a part of Crystal Cruises’ new extended adventures itineraries for 2014 tours. From February to April, the luxury cruise line will be offering its guests a chance to get to know Asia through 15 one- and two-night optional, mid-cruise journeys on land. Each trip will showcase different aspects of the city’s history, culture, treasured sites and its surrounding landscapes. The tours will depart from the following ports: Yangon, Shanghai, Laem Chabang, Ho Chi Minh City, Xiamen and Chan May.
Of the Asian Overland itineraries available, the Myanmar/Burma trip will feature three adventures from Yangon. On this cruise, guests will experience Myanmar’s 19th century architecture and art from the former royal cities of Amarapura and Mandalay. Home of over 2,000 pagodas, temples, monasteries and the city’s pilgrimage center, travelers will also make a stop in Bagan. Following Bagan, Mandalay Hill will give guests an inside look at the country’s most iconic landmark before embarking on boat ride through Lake Inle’s floating gardens. Prior to visiting Mahagandayon Monastery and experiencing a number of monastic disciplines, travelers will get to observe the 2,500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda, laced with 6,500+ diamonds, rubies, and other stones.
"It's humbling to stand next to a thousand-year-old golden temple reaching toward the sky, or to walk where ancient emperors were crowned," says John Stoll, vice president of land programs. "These carefully-crafted exotic excursions give our guests the opportunity to experience even more of incredible Asia beyond that which is accessible by sea."
For those interested in the Asia’s most legendary temples, the Cambodia adventures from Ho Chi Minh City and Laem Chabang offers travels through the UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, jungle-engulfed Temple of Ta Promh, Banteay Srei Temple, and Angkor Thom. To get a taste of its culture, you’ll also be invited to view a private Apsara/Hindu celestial dance.
Other trips include:
Vietnam (2 Adventures, from Ho Chi Minh City and Chan May):
- A dragon boat ride down Perfume River
- Regal homes such as the Royal Citadel, Presidential and Imperial Palaces, and Palace of Supreme Harmony
- Heavenly Lady Pagoda, one of Vietnam's holiest pagodas and 1960's protest site
- Cities such as former capital Hue; Hoi An, an UNESCO World Heritage Site; and colonial architecture-filled Ho Chi Minh City
China (6 Adventures, from Xiamen and Shanghai):
- The Li River, where guests will take a traditional cormorant fishing excursion and sail past water buffalo and rafts to the town of Yangshuo
- Guilin, home of China's unique cone-shaped Karst hills
- Hangzhou, considered the most beautiful and elegant city in the world by Marco Polo
- Ancient marvels like the Great Wall, Xi'an's Terracotta Warriors, and Beijing's Forbidden City
- More recent historical landmarks such as Tiananmen Square and 2008's Olympic Green
If booked by January 3, fares for the 2014 Asia cruises begin at USD $1,520/person. The Asian Overland Adventures are priced at USD $869/person, double occupancy. Air, shuttle, and/or boat transport to and from ports; meals, and luxury accommodations are included in rates.