Secrets of Asia 1
Marble Temple in Bangkok, Thailand.
Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Malacca Straits Mosque, Malacca, Malaysia.
Eagle Square & harbour view. Langkawi, Malaysia.
Port Blair, Andaman Islands
Seema Malaka temple on Beira Lake. Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Far East awaits on this 15-day Secrets of Asia cruise onboard Marella Discovery. From the markets of Bangkok to the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, river cruising in Malacca to the temples of Colombo, this vast continent offers a myriad of cultural, gastronomical and natural delights.
* The order of the itinerary may differ depending on your chosen departure date and airport.
Day 1-2 - Laem Chabang (for Bangkok), Thailand
Arrive in port: 23:59 (Day 1)
Depart from port: 16:00 (Day 2)
You’ll start your Secrets of Asia 1 cruise in Thailand. You’ll fly to Bangkok airport, and as your ship is in port for two days, you’ve got plenty of time to explore the city before setting sail. It’ll take around an hour and a half to get from Bangkok to the port, and transfers are included with your cruise.
Visit Wat Pho Buddhist temple and see the golden Reclining Buddha. You can even grab a Thai massage while you’re there. The Grand Palace was once home to the King of Thailand and is the city’s best-known landmark.
If you’re an animal lover, stop in one of the city’s pet cafés and have coffee with a kitty. If you’re an aeroplane buff, visit the Airplane Graveyard in Ramkhamhaeng, where you’ll see a decommissioned plane which is now home to three families. In the evening, take in a world-famous Ladyboy Cabaret show.
Day 3 - Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Time in port: 07:00 - 21:00
Asia Cruises visit some of the most appealing places on the continent and Sihanoukville is no exception. Ochheuteal beachfront is full of restaurants and cafes offering local specialities like bam hoaw (noodles in fish sauce). You can also try something exotic such as snake or fried grasshoppers.
Head for the Wat Krom Buddhist temple, a colourful building with ornate statues, and impressive views over the city. Take a tuk tuk to the Golden Lions Roundabout where you’ll come face-to-face with two huge lion statues in the middle of the road.
Day 4 - At Sea
Start the day with breakfast in Islands where you can watch your omelette being made on a cooking station. After a dip in the pool, pull up a sun lounger on the Veranda and relax with a book from the library that's just tucked away in the Coffee Port.
Make the most of your evening and have a meal of three courses at 47º, Marella Discovery's main eatery. Then finish with a ‘movie by moonlight’ in the open air cinema on pool deck.
Day 5 - Phú My (for Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam
Time in port: 07:00 - 18:00
Today your Secrets of Asia 1 itinerary finds you in Phú My, the gateway for Ho Chi Minh City, an hour and a half from the port.
History buffs can learn about the Vietnam War at the War Remnants Museum, then visit the Cu Chi tunnels, an intriguing network of underground tunnels where Vietnamese soldiers lived during the war.
Hop on a riverboat tour and sail past the skyscrapers of the urban skyline to the green jungle down the river. See the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, made with materials imported from France, and stop at a street vendor for a bowl of pho, traditional Vietnamese soup.
Day 6 - At Sea
Time to try out the sports facilities. Get a sweat on at the jogging track on deck 10, or do a weights session at Ocean’s Gym before cooling off in the pool. Have a treatment at the Ocean’s Spa and Beauty Salon then admire the sea views over lunch in the Glasshouse.
Have a look around the boutiques at the Broad Street shops then head to the Squid and Anchor for a traditional British pint. The Surf & Turf Steakhouse awaits at dinner time before a show at the Broadway Show Lounge, where you can see everything from musicals to comedians.
Day 7 - Malacca, Malaysia
Time in port: 07:00 - 14:00
Walk around this historic city and see sights like Dutch Square with its windmill and bright flowerbeds, and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the oldest in the country. Take a trip along the river on a water boat and see Queen Victoria’s Fountain and the Dutch influenced Jalan Hang Jebat (Joncker Street).
Have your camera handy when you visit Al Azim Mosque with its grand white and green exterior, and St Paul’s Church which stands on a hill and has tremendous views over the city.
Day 8-9 - Langkawi, Malaysia
Arrive in port: 06:00 (Day 8)
Depart from port: 16:00 (Day 9)
Days 8 and 9 of your Secrets of Asia 1 itinerary gives you two days in Langkawi, Malaysia. For the best views of the city and its lush green setting, head up to the summit of Gunung Machinchang Mountain on a cable car where you can walk along the suspended walkway of the Langkawi Sky Bridge.
Adventurers can hike to the Telaga Tujuh waterfalls, deep in the rainforest where seven waterfalls gush into seven pools. Take a river cruise in the Kilim Nature Park, where you’ll see monkeys and eagles as you cruise through mangroves, see limestone formations and get up close with bats in the Bat Cave.
Day 10 - At Sea
There’s plenty to keep everyone occupied as Marella Discovery delivers you to your next destination. Flex those arms and show the kids your upper body strength on the climbing wall while taking in the sea views from the top. Then, challenge your travelling companions to a game of mini-golf before relaxing with a drink in the Live Room.
Have dinner in Gallery 47, a laid-back Italian restaurant, then make a beeline for Bar Eleven and the best views across the sea. Sample the cocktail menu while you dance until the small hours at the disco.
Day 11 - Port Blair, Andaman Islands
Time in port: 08:00 - 18:00
The rugged, forested coastline of Port Blair is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. With scuba, deep-sea diving and snorkelling on offer, there’s lots to explore along the shore and surrounding islands.
There are plenty of cultural sights to see too, such as the gold tribute to Gandhi in the town centre, the Cellular Jail where freedom fighters were incarcerated during the fight for independence, and the Murugan Hindu Temple in South Point. Head for the hustle and bustle of Aberdeen Bazaar where you can pick up trinkets and spices to take home.
Day 12-13 - At Sea
You'll enjoy another couple of days at sea as Marella Discovery heads to Sri Lanka. Why not do a few laps in the pool before relaxing in one of the hot tubs nearby? Pop to the Deck Bar for a refreshing drink before getting a professional photo taken in the Pure Portrait Studio.
A visit to the Atrium Bar will ensure you have the best seat in the house for any entertainment being performed on stage in the Atrium itself. If you fancy learning how to play cards head to the casino and ask the croupier for lessons.
Day 14 - Colombo, Sri Lanka
Time in port: 08:00 - 17:00
The capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a mishmash of colonial buildings, skyscrapers, Buddhist monuments and bustling market streets. Take a tuk tuk ride to the colonial Old Parliament and the Town Hall, and the Buddhist Temple of Asokaramaya with its brightly coloured, intricate statues.
Book a shore excursion to see baby turtles in a protected hatchery in Kosgoda, and visit the city of Galle around two hours from Colombo. There, you’ll see mosques side by side with colonial buildings and landmarks, and you can buy souvenirs from the wood carvers and lace makers in the Old Town.
Day 15 - Cochin, Kerala
The final day of your Secrets of Asia 1 cruise finds you saying namaste to your ship in Cochin, or Kochi as it's also known. If you’ve got time to look around this bustling port before your flight leaves, hail a tuk tuk and head for the Mattancherry Palace with its huge Hindu murals and art gallery. Carry on your exploration of Cochin's historic landmarks at Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest in the Commonwealth.
End your holiday on a high with a visit to the Elephant Training Centre in Kodanad. Go on an elephant safari and get to know the many rescue elephants that the centre cares for.