Why choose a cruise to Langkawi?

The island of Langkawi is part of an archipelago of 99 islands lying off the coast of Malaysia. It’s a stunning place to explore, with numerous beautiful beaches wrapping around the coastline. Some are completely deserted, others lined with restaurants serving chicken satay and cocktails on the beach. The clear waters surrounding the island make Langkawi a Mecca for diving and water-sports enthusiasts everywhere.

After the beaches, many people take a Langkawi cruise for the shopping. Langkawi is a duty-free island, so you’ll find bargains everywhere. Hit up the main town of Kuah for the best shopping opportunities. However, Langkawi is more than just beaches and shopping. Inland you’ll discover swathes of tropical rainforest and craggy limestone mountains.

A guide to Langkawi’s hotspots

Drive inland to the foothills of Machinchang Mountain, and take a cable car up to the top. There you’ll find the iconic Sky Bridge, suspended 700 metres in the air. Walk along the curved, 125-metre-long bridge and you’ll have an amazing bird’s-eye view of the forest and mountains below, and the islands rising from the ocean beyond.

Head on down to the town of Kuah to shop until you drop. The Jetty Point Duty Free Complex is full of shops selling local handicrafts, chocolates, clothes and perfume at bargain prices. What’s more, it’s right next to the port, so you can stop off there after you’ve explored the island.

Relax on tranquil Tanjung Rhu Beach, the island’s most beautiful bay. This strip of pristine white sand is lapped by clear, lagoon-like waters, and limestone islets are scattered just offshore. If you tire of sunbathing you can explore the adjacent mangroves on a kayak tour.

Take a catamaran cruise over the waters, weaving in and out of the small islands around Langkawi. You can drop anchor for a swim in the ocean, or to explore secluded, footprint-free beaches. Many cruises also include a delicious barbecue lunch.

Cruise lines that sail to the port of Langkawi

The best time to visit Langkawi

Many people visit during the dry season, between December and March. Spend Christmas or New Year sunning yourself on the beach, when temperatures average 28°C.

In April, the mid-season before monsoon, temperatures average 29°C and rains are infrequent. Visit during this month for the Langkawi International Water Festival, which offers tourists numerous water-based activities, from underwater treasure hunts to sandcastle-building competitions.

Did you know?

· Langkawi has UNESCO status for its ancient rainforests and biodiverse mangrove forests

· The island is renowned for its barbecued fish (ikan bakar)

· There’s a night market selling delicious local food. It’s in a different location every night