Join us on a transformative small ship ocean cruise through the distinctive cultures, nuanced cuisines, and stunning landscapes of six nations — Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China — while reveling in the luxury and ease of Vantage Deluxe World Travel's second 5-star small ship, the Ocean Odyssey.
Thanks to the small size of your ship, in most ports you’ll dock onshore and be able to walk right into the places you visit (please note, there will be some tendering where you will be required to have the physical agility to maneuver getting on and off of tenders/Zodiac boats.) Not to mention the experience of an ocean cruise — savor fine cuisine in our elegant restaurant, or sip a drink on the sundeck while taking in the scenic coastlines of East Asia. Enjoy luxury amenities — such as the onboard spa, or full-service hair salon — as well as a series of enlightening lectures lead by your Resident Lecturer to keep you informed about the contemporary and historical culture of the destinations you visit. And each day, our onboard Concierge will be eager to help you make your own plans in port!
Experience the dynamic pulse of Singapore, where out-of-this-world luxury vies with the old traditions of its diverse citizenry. Unwind on the seductive beaches of Thailand. See the elaborate temples on Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where you'll enjoy the added bonus of an overnight stay at a Deluxe hotel and delve further into the glories of the "Pearl of Asia." Cruise among the emerald islands and limestone pinnacles of Vietnam's Halong Bay. And finally, sail into the spectacular harbor of Hong Kong, dotted with red-sailed junks and ringed by a brace of gleaming glass skyscrapers.
Kick off your holiday season on our December 6 departure and enjoy Christmas in Singapore, with a dinner at the famous Raffles Hotel. In addition to 25 unforgettable included features and Cultural Discoveries — you’ll also be joined by an expert Resident Lecturer to enrich your discoveries as you journey across Asia on this unforgettable voyage!
Board an overnight flight to Singapore
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Singapore. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.
Cross the International Date Line
You’ll cross the International Date Line today, meaning that you’ll arrive in Singapore on Day 3.
Arrive in Singapore
Selamat datang! Welcome to Singapore! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to acclimate before a welcome briefing later today. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Reception at the legendary Raffles Hotel — birthplace of the Singapore Sling cocktail — and sip a few before joining your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner.
Explore Singapore's cultural diversity
Singapore is known by many names, the "Garden City" and the "Lion City" among them, and you’ll get insight into these monikers as you explore the city’s beauty and dynamism today. During your full-day guided city tour, you’ll see the historic Parliament House, Supreme Court, City Hall, and Merlion Park — featuring impressive views of Marina Bay and the city’s futuristic architecture. Then, delve a little deeper into Singapore’s diverse culture during visits to the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Little India, and the Yong Gallery, which displays handcrafted woodcarvings and artworks by Chinese artists.
This afternoon, explore the alleys around popular Bugis Street in “local” style during a trishaw ride. After a visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a 161-year-old tropical garden and UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll have the rest of the day at your leisure.
Take in Singapore’s lush views, then embark the Ocean Odyssey
After breakfast, you'll depart for a half-day city tour, featuring sweeping views of Singapore from the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, and a visit to the awe-inspiring Gardens by the Bay nature park. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant during the tour.
Then, it’s time to embark the Ocean Odyssey and begin your ocean cruise! Thanks to the intimate size of your ship, it will be docked right at the port, allowing you to simply stroll aboard! This will be the case for most stops on your ship, with the exception of a few ports that will require tendering. After settling in, take some time to explore the ship and its amenities. Take a walk around the sun deck or meet your Concierge to arrange a spa appointment, then convene in the dining room for your first dinner on board — one of many memorable meals on this journey! This evening, the Ocean Odyssey sets sail toward Malaysia.
Discover Kuantan, Malaysia
A morning at leisure lets you relax for a day of discovery in Malaysia. After lunch on board, we’ll disembark to explore the capital of Pahang province, Kuantan. The city is popular for its excellent beaches, but our touring will concentrate on some of the more interesting cultural and historical attractions.
Your exploration begins in Sungai Lembing, an old tin mining town that was once known as the “El Dorado of the East” because of the wealth it generated. During their peak at the turn of the century, these were among the world’s longest and deepest mines, and you’ll have the chance to peer into them. You’ll also visit the Sungai Lembing Museum, which displays many old photographs and mining equipment. Back in Kuantan, you’ll see its main sights, such as the imposing Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah mosque and Teluk Chempedak Beach.
The Kuantan region is famous for its beautiful, intricate batik prints that adorn clothing and many other decorative objects.
Relax on board with a day at sea
Enjoy a full day at sea to relax and enjoy the luxurious amenities of the brand-new Ocean Odyssey. Pamper your body with a relaxing massage, a facial, or a soothing soak in the hot tub. Or, stimulate your mind with a lecture on Malaysia or a great book borrowed from our library. The choice is yours!
Admire local culture in Koh Samui, Thailand’s romantic beach paradise
Relax on board as your ship plows through the turquoise waters around Koh Samui. After lunch, get ready for a cultural tour that will whisk you around the island! Since we will be anchored offshore, we’ll have to tender inland from the ship. Keep in mind that this may require you to have the agility to embark and disembark smaller vessels on potentially-choppy seas.
Your exploration starts at Wat Khunaram, where the mummified body of a monk named Luang Pho Daeng sits in a meditative pose, looking very much alive. Stop for refreshments at the impressive Na Muang waterfall, which cascades 59 feet into a sparkling natural pool below. You’ll pass the unusual Grandma and Grandpa rock formations, then continue to Ladd Koh for panoramic views of famed Chaweng Beach. See the golden Buddha at Wat Phra Yai, who sits on hill and is nearly 50 feet tall. Heading back to the ship you’ll pass many stands selling handicrafts such as batiks and products made from seashells and coconuts. Time pending, you might stop at a local market in Nathon to browse the beachwear and other Koh Samui specialties. This evening, enjoy an off board dinner with a traditional Thai dance performance.
Enjoy a free day in Koh Samui
Take advantage of your free time to savor another day in this seaside heaven. Koh Samui is a foodie favorite, so ask your onboard Vantage Concierge for recommendations. Perhaps you’ll just relax on a secluded beach or indulge in a Thai massage.
Cruise to Sihanoukville; overnight excursion in Phnom Penh
Today you’ll disembark ship and travel inland to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, staying overnight at an elegant 5-star hotel. Once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” Phnom Penh nestles on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers, and was renowned as one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina. After surviving the destructions of the Khmer Rouge regime, it is once again a vibrant, youthful capital.
Spend a sobering but important half day learning about the turbulent Khmer Rouge years as you visit sites related to the infamous “Killing Fields.” Tuol Sleng, a high school turned interrogation prison known as S-21, is now a genocide museum. You’ll also call at Choeung Ek, a large memorial commemorating the 17,000 victims who died there under the reign of Pol Pot. While disturbing, these somber relics also provide an appreciation for the courageous struggles that Cambodian people have faced.
This evening during dinner, you’ll enjoy a traditional Apsara Dance Show with beautifully costumed performers.
Tour Phnom Penh and return to ship in Sihanoukville
After checking out of your hotel, you’ll transfer to Phnom Penh for some more city touring, beginning with the Royal Palace, home to the present King Norodom Sihamoni. Opened in 1870, it now contains the Royal Residence, Throne Hall, Silver Pagoda, and other historic buildings. The Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo Morokat) is named for its more than 5,000 silver floor tiles. The building is a repository of cultural treasures, such as the famous Emerald Buddha, and a life-sized gold Buddha adorned with 2,086 diamonds.
At the National Museum, admire a collection of Khmer art that includes more than 5,000 objects, such as statues and other artifacts from Angkor Wat. Then, you’ll get around Phnom Penh as the locals do, riding past the elegant Post Office, Central Market, and Public Library on board a bicycle-powered carriage called cyclo.
Back in Sihanoukville and on board the Ocean Odyssey, you’ll enjoy another memorable dining experience and a relaxing evening at leisure.
Enjoy a day of leisure at sea
Relax with a day at sea or enjoy your ship’s resort amenities. Perhaps you’ll join a morning stretching class, read on your balcony, or catnap on the sun deck. Then, join friends for cocktails in the multilevel lounge, browse the boutique, or attend a lecture by an onboard lecturer.
Today, you'll enjoy and onboard lecture which will walk you through the fascinating history of Cambodia.
Experience old Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City
Take your time over breakfast and relax as we sail into Nha Rong, the port for Ho Ch Minh City. Once known as Saigon, the city is Vietnam’s business and financial hub.
Upon arrival this afternoon, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, a neo-Romanesque, red brick edifice with twin spires topped with iron. It was constructed around 1888 with materials imported from France. Across the way, the classic 1960s exterior of the Reunification Palace may seem familiar to you. It was here that the first Communist tanks rolled into town and the building was prominently on the news when South Vietnam fell in 1975. On the other side of the square admire the Central Post Office, completed in 1891. With its barrel-vaulted central hall and pale pink façade, it seems just too pretty to be relegated to mail! Also featured are the restored exteriors of the Saigon Opera House and the elegant City Hall (the former Hotel de Ville), two of Saigon’s most stunning French colonial monuments.
This evening, enjoy a Vietnamese cultural performance specially arranged for the Ocean Odyssey, with dinner on board.
Explore more of Ho Chi Minh City
We’ve left this morning free so you can pursue your own interests here in Saigon. Perhaps you’ll nibble on exotic street food at the Ben Tranh Market, where your choices range from savory spring rolls to skewers of tarantulas and everything in between! Step back in time at the War Remnants Museum, or admire the masterworks at the Fine Arts Museum. Your onboard Vantage Concierge can assist with all your plans. You'll enjoy lunch on board before the Ocean Odyssey departs Ho Chi Minh City, bound for Nha Trang.
Nha Trang countryside tour or a day at the beach
Watch the sun rise during breakfast as the ship arrives in Nha Trang, then take your pick of two wonderful tours; either spend the day in the countryside learning about the culture from locals, or opt for a more relaxing alternative enjoying the picturesque beaches for which Nha Trang is renowned.
Travel beyond the beautiful beaches of Nha Trang, and get a true slice of Vietnamese life. It begins at Po Nagar Cham Towers, a beautiful Cham temple dating to 781 BC that is dedicated to the goddess of the countryside. From here you’ll walk along a tiny alley to a dock where you’ll begin a river cruise aboard a small boat. Drift through peaceful scenes of sleepy villages nestled under coconut shade, wooden bridges, and uniformed children walking to school. You’ll disembark at a village market, and get an eyeful of the colorful fruits, flowers, clothing and household implements. Then, drive to an ancient house to share a cup of tea and seasonal fruit. You’ll also visit a workshop where village elders weave mats from sedge, keeping alive an age-old tradition that is fast disappearing. Your tour includes lunch at local restaurant.
On the other hand, Nha Trang is famous for its sandy beaches and you’ll enjoy one of its best on this easygoing excursion. Ride to a private beach club where you can swim, snorkel, or snooze beneath your own shaded canopy. The staff will be happy to serve you cool beverages or snacks by the sea, or explore the restaurant, spa, and other beachside facilities.
Afterward, you will arrive back mid-afternoon from the countryside or beach right in time for dinner on board.
Enjoy a day at sea
Spend today at your leisure onboard the 5-star Ocean Odyssey. Perhaps you'll take a dip in the hot tub, schedule a massage, or try your hand at the ancient art of hot-rock cooking!
Then, learn about the transformation of Vietnam when an expert historian presents a lecture on "Vietnam, Past & Present."
Cruise idyllic Halong Bay or explore the best of Hanoi
Good morning, Vietnam! Your ship will drop anchor in the Halong Bay Cruise terminal and after breakfast you’ll tender to the shore. Please be aware that again, you may have to embark and disembark a smaller vessel. Once onshore have a choice of two exciting tours!
Behold the nearly 2,000 jutting limestone outcrops of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose mystique has inspired artists for centuries. Legend says that its emerald pinnacles are the humps of a sea-dragon’s back. Your tour takes place on board a small, private boat that will glide you through the silent channels and hidden lagoons. As you cruise, you’ll see an entire city on boats, including a bank, bar, shops and houseboats. Waving children, mothers hanging laundry, old men mending their fishing nets — here is where the everyday life of traditional Vietnam reveals itself. This tour includes a deluxe multicourse lunch featuring many fresh seafood specialties.
Alternatively, you may discover the capital city of Hanoi, an amalgam of French colonial mansions, tree-lined avenues, and traditional Vietnamese architecture that was known as the “Paris of the East.” Your tour begins with a visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in 1070, and dedicated to Confucius. A highlight will be your electric cart tour through the famed Old Quarter. Lunch is included at the Cau Go Vietnamese restaurant, located on the top floor of a building that offers amazing views of distant Hoan Kiem Lake.
Whether your explorations take you to Halong Bay or to the streets of Hanoi, you'll re-embark the ship after a full day of adventure and enjoy leisure time before another delicious dinner.
Cruise in utter relaxation
Once again, today is yours to spend as you please on your ship. Break bread with your fellow travelers and make a toast to the discoveries you've made so far, or rest up for tomorrow's discoveries.
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey and discover the best of Hong Kong
This morning after breakfast, bid farewell to the Ocean Odyssey and discover Hong Kong’s most iconic attractions on a half-day city tour.
Aberdeen was the original tiny village for which all of Hong Kong is now named. It was settled by the Tanka people, who speak their own dialect and have historically lived on fishing boats in floating villages. This is where locals came for the freshest seafood, and jostling next to the tiny traditional junks you’ll see famous, grand floating restaurants like the iconic Jumbo. A sampan ride through the harbor brings it all to you, up close. Then, for a totally different perspective, you’ll ride to the top of Victoria Peak by tram, and enjoy lunch atop Hong Kong’s highest hill.
Experience the dim sum tradition on an included lunch, where servers bring carts of small plate dishes to tempt you. Dim sum literally means “touch the heart,” and perhaps yours will be filled by some fluffy, pork-filled bao buns . . . mouthwatering siu mai dumplings . . . translucent shrimp cheung fan rolls . . . beef balls seasoned with coriander . . . and more.
Later in the afternoon, you’ll return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, with dinner on your own.
Vantage Exclusive Feature:
Lantau Island and Po Lin Monastery visit
This morning after breakfast you will embark on a half-day tour of Lantau Island, where Hong Kong comes out to play.
Lantau is popular for its beaches, shopping outlets, and theme parks, but you will focus on its historic attractions and traditional culture. See the classic Po Lin Monastery, and just above it on a hilltop, the Tian Tan Buddha, an 85-foot high bronze statue. Then, where the mountains meet the sea you will explore Tai-O, a 300-year-old fishing village of stilt houses, traditional boats, and more. Before leaving, you’ll get a birds-eye view of it all when you ride the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to Tung Chung peak. Enjoy a traditional vegetarian lunch at the Po Lin Monastery before heading back to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Or, join our Hong Kong post-trip extension!
Please note: Ocean-cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Cruise DIrector or regional expert.