Pearls of Southeast Asia
Experience the vibrant and fascinating cultures of Southeast Asia by land and sea on this comprehensive journey to Bali, Java, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, featuring major historic sites such as Borobudur and Angkor Wat
- A Q&A with Expert Francesca Casertano
- A Tale of Two Monuments (and Three Centuries of Tourists)
- A Magical Tour of the City of Light
- Incredible, unforgettable India!
Experience the vibrant and fascinating cities of Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, and Phnom Penh as well as the breathtaking archaeological treasures and stunning scenery of Borobudur and Bali on this exciting cruise. Discover the deeply spiritual and unique culture of Bali during a three-night hotel stay, featuring the artist enclave of Ubud, the Badung Market, Bali Museum, and Jagatnatha Temple. On the island of Java, marvel at the magnificent temple of Borobudur, which was abandoned and hidden for over 1,000 years. Savor the energy and dynamism of Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City (staying overnight onboard ship), and travel to Cambodia’s exotic capital of Phnom Penh, with its fragrant markets, bustling riverfront, and monks in saffron robes. Sail up the Chao Phraya River and enjoy three nights in Bangkok and a special two-night excursion to the World Heritage site of Angkor.
January 31 - February 1 — Depart the U.S. and Cross the International Dateline
Air Program travelers depart their gateway city and cross the International Date Line as they fly to Bali. Meals – In Flight
February 2 — Bali, Indonesia
Arrive in Bali and transfer to the InterContinental Bali Resort. (Transfer is included for Air Program passengers.)
February 3 — Bali
Experience everyday Balinese life at a traditional family home and compound. Visit terraced rice fields and learn about ageless rice farming methods. Motor to Ubud, Bali’s artist colony, where local artists will provide examples of local arts and crafts. Stroll through the sacred Monkey Forest temple sanctuary and observe the amusing macaques that live protected lives there. A visit will be made to Ubud Palace. Built in the 19th century, it is still used by the royal family of Ubud today. (B)
February 4 — Bali
Spend the morning exploring the city life of Denpasar, capital of Bali. Visit Badung Market. Open 24 hours a day, it is the largest traditional market on the island. Continue to the Bali Museum, which showcases artifacts that date from the Bronze Age as well as contemporary arts and crafts. Visit Jagatnatha Temple and Majra Sandhi Monument before stopping at a batik factory to observe the process of making this traditional textile. (B)
February 5 — Bali, At Sea
Enjoy a leisurely morning at the resort before embarking the M.V. Aegean Odyssey. (B,D)
February 6 — At Sea
Enjoy informative lectures, films, and the many amenities found on board ship. This evening enjoy a Welcome Reception hosted by the ship’s Captain. (B,L,D)
February 7 — Semarang, Java
Semarang is the gateway to Borobudur, an awe-inspiring 9th-century complex of Buddhist temples, which stand unique among other Buddhist temples. The temples of Borobudur were created without the use of modern engineering and technology. Your local, experienced guide has extensive knowledge of the site, and you will also have the opportunity to explore the site at your own pace. Borobudur has arguably the finest examples of ancient Buddhist reliefs in the world. (B,L,D)
February 8 - 9 — At Sea
These days at sea are a perfect time to relax and enjoy life aboard the ship. MV Aegean Odyssey offers a full array of social activities and lectures. (B,L,D)
February 10 — Singapore
Begin your exploration of Singapore on a cruise along the Singapore River. Sail beneath the sweeping arches of Esplanade Bridge to arrive at Merlion Park. See the city's Parliament House and the Supreme Court then continue through the Padang to view historic buildings in the heart of the Colonial District. Visit the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore, Thian Hock Keng Temple; gilded designs and intricately carved stone pillars decorate this Hokkien temple dedicated to the goddess of the sea. Pass by the Sri Mariamman Hindu temple before concluding your tour with a stroll through the National Orchid Garden, the home of 60,000 orchid plants from 40 species. (B,L,D)
February 11 — Singapore
Spend the day at leisure exploring Singapore on your own. (B,L,D)
February 12 — Kuantan, Malaysia
In this beautiful seaside town, see a Hindu temple, which features colorfully painted idols of Hindu gods, as well as the State Mosque. Continue to Esplanade Tanjung Api to witness life in a local fishing village then take a scenic drive of the Residential Suburbs, home to dignitaries. End the day at Teluk Campedak, a renowned beach. (B,L,D)
February 13 — At Sea
Today, sail through the South China Sea and choose from a full array of activities on board the ship. (B,L,D)
February 14 — Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Called Saigon until 1975, this city is a potpourri of pagodas, modern towers, and grand buildings influenced by its French colonial past. Today, choose one of two sightseeing tours offered.
City Tour with War Remnants Museum
See Notre Dame Cathedral and visit the Central Post Office, designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel. In sharp contrast to this, explore the newly renovated War Remnants Museum. The grounds are dotted with an array of American aircraft, tanks, and other weaponry left behind. From the museum, step into the lively world of Ho Chi Minh City today at the Ben Thanh Market, and find everything from coffee beans to bowls of the local noodle soup, pho. If you wish, linger to explore and later make your own way back to the ship.
City Tour with Fine Arts Museum
Enjoy the same city tour, but instead of the War Remnants Museum, explore cultural treasures at the Fine Arts Museum. (B,L,D)
February 15 — Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Today, you may want to enjoy a leisure day to venture out on your own, or choose to take an optional excursion to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, built by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. (B,L,D)
February 16 — At Sea
Enjoy the panoramic views from the ship's Observation Lounge or cool off in the outdoor pool during this day at sea. (B,L,D)
February 17 — Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Today, there is a choice of sightseeing tours. You may choose one of two tours that travel to Phnom Penh, or alternatively, elect to explore Sihanoukville and environs.
Start your sightseeing with a short drive through the open countryside, where you'll have opportunities to stop and photograph Cambodia's attractive rural landscape. Then head downtown see the low-rise buildings and open-fronted shops. Visit the indoor market and discover an array of images: fresh meat, live poultry, and prawns of truly eye-popping size. After this exotic glimpse into everyday life, discover the wonderful stretches of powdery sand along the coast. Drive past Serendipity Beach, a favorite with backpackers, en route to private Sokha Beach. Stop at the beautifully preserved Independence Hotel, built in the early 1960s to accommodate overseas dignitaries.
Phnom Penh: Grand Palace, Silver Pagoda, and National Museum
Long considered one of the loveliest cities in Indochina, Cambodia's capital is imbued with the feel of Old Asia. It's a lengthy trip of approximately 115 miles, but well worth it to see Phnom Penh's Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and an unrivaled cache of Khmer cultural treasures. The drive takes you by rice paddies, silt houses, and water buffaloes. Vestiges of French colonial times can still be seen in the tree-lined boulevards. Visit the magnificent National Museum and see the statue of the Leper King.
Phnom Penh: Genocide Museum and Killing Fields
Enjoy the Cambodian countryside en route to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which the Khmer Rouge used as a detention and torture center in the 1970s. Today, it houses exhibits, paintings, and photographs of the victims. See the cells and torture devices. Continue to the Killing Fields of Cheung Ek, where more than 17,000 people were killed and buried in mass graves. (B,L,D)
February 18 — At Sea
Spend your last full day at sea relaxing in the well-stocked library, resting in your stateroom, or taking in the views from the deck. (B,L,D)
February 19 — Bangkok, Thailand
Our exploration of Bangkok begins with a cruise on the Chao Phraya River through the Thonburi Canals to see the homes and temples that line the waterway. The cruise will stop to visit Wat Arun, explore the magnificent Grand Palace, and enter the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Following the tour check in to the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok. (B,L)
February 20 — Bangkok, Siem Reap, Cambodia
This morning, depart the hotel for the flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Transfer to the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort. Explore the Angkor Wat, considered a myth until its rediscovery in the 1800s, this 12th-century temple exhibits the pinnacle of Khmer architecture. Built for King Suryavarman II to honor the Hindu god Vishnu, it is the largest single religious building in the world. Revel in the blazing colors of a famous Angkor Wat sunset. (B,L)
February 21 — Siem Reap
Explore Angkor Thom, which means "Great City" in Khmer. See the Bayon, a multistory temple, and other treasures. Continue to Ta Prohm, a jumgle temple, then visit the temple complex of Preah Khan. (B,L)
February 22 — Bangkok
This morning, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival, check in to the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. (B)
February 23 — Bangkok
This morning, travel to ancient Ayutthaya, the royal capital of Thailand from 1350-1767. Imagine the city in it's former glory as we walk amongst the ruins. After visiting the site, motor to the 17th-century Royal Palace at Bang Pa-In, an island on the Chao Phraya River. Depart for the airport late this evening. (B)
February 24 — Depart Bangkok for US.
Board the return flight to your gateway city. (Transfer and flights included for Air Program participants.)
Note: The information presented is preliminary. Itineraries, included features and schedules are subject to change. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking.