24 October 2016
Being one of only two luxurious Princess Cruise ships built in Japan, it’s not surprising the exotic gem Diamond Princess can often be found sailing to the most intriguing holiday destinations. Great-tasting cuisine can be found throughout the ship and there are superb restaurants, swanky lounges, a luxurious spa and buzzing casino to keep you entertained as you sail from Singapore and back stopping at Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, Koh Samui and Bangkok in Thailand and Nha Trang and Saigon in Vietnam.
Your wonderful cruise begins when you board the Diamond Princess in Singapore with plenty of time to explore before she sets sail. Singapore - the very name summons visions of the mysterious East. The commercial centre of Southeast Asia, this island city-state of four million people is a metropolis of modern high-rise buildings, Chinese shop-houses with red-tiled roofs, sturdy Victorian buildings, Buddhist temples and Arab bazaars. See the sights on a tour or explore on your own.
The first of three full days at sea on the cruise and a good time to get to know all that the Diamond Princess has to offer. In the elegant dining rooms, you’ll find sommeliers to help you enhance your meal with paired wines, poolside, hand-tossed pizza is always served just out of the oven and Sabatinis is a popular Italian restaurant. And, as an added bonus, both Movies Under the Stars and The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven exclusively for adults, have recently been added to make your sailing days extra special.
Kota Kinabalu sprawls between the South China Sea and the towering ramparts of the Crocker Range. The capital of Malaysia's Sabah State in Northern Borneo, the town dates from 1963 and occupies the site of Jesselton, the old British colonial capital. Kota Kinabalu is your gateway to the natural wonders of Northern Borneo - offshore sit the five coral islands of Tunku Rahman National Park, a Mecca for hikers and divers and Mt. Kinabalu National Park has the highest mountain between New Guinea and the Himalayas.
Another full day at sea to relax and enjoy all that the Diamond Princess has to offer as you head for your next destination, Vietnam. Fill your day with activities or do absolutely nothing and soak up the sun on one of the decks with a cocktail and a good book. Today you may like to take a personal enrichment class, take part in a yoga session, go duty-free shopping, just take a refreshing dip in one of the pools or have a pampering treatment in the state of the art spa.
One of Vietnam's most popular seaside resorts, Nha Trang offers white sand beaches, clear blue waters and palm trees swaying in the gentle breezes. Brightly painted fishing boats line the harbours and small farm villages nestle in the lush valleys. Nha Trang was the capital of the Champa Kingdom, which dominated this corner of Southeast Asia for 13 centuries. North of the city, the great Cham Tower complex overlooks the Cai River and offers mute testimony to the kingdom's glory.
More than 30 years have passed since the Vietnam War ended with the fall of Saigon. Today, the name of this bustling metropolis on the Mekong River is Ho Chi Minh City, yet the essence of the place, a major trading centre since the 18th century, remains unchanged. The air is filled with the cries of street hawkers and honking horns. Bicycles, motorbikes and cars fly down the boulevards at dizzying speeds. And everywhere you are met by friendly faces and warm greetings.
The third of your full days at sea on the cruise and another chance to relax and enjoy all that the Diamond Princess has to offer as you head for your next destination, Thailand. Fill your day with activities or do absolutely nothing and soak up the rays on one of the decks with a drink in one hand and a good book in the other. Take part in organised games, attend a lecture, check out the duty-free shops and take a refreshing dip in one of the pools or have a pampering treatment in the ship's state of the art spa.
Laem Chabang, where you dock today, is your gateway to Bangkok. This enchanting capital city on the Chao Phraya River is a magical place where graceful dancers perform in shimmering silk gowns, temples with gold-leaf spires harbour priceless Buddhas and riverboats cruise a maze of canals. The only nation in Southeast Asia to escape colonial rule, Thailand offers a rich and ancient culture that flowered unhindered by Western influence. Proud and strongly nationalistic, the Thai people call their nation "Land of the Free."
Thailand's third largest island has been attracting international travellers for less than half a century. Before then, this island in the Gulf of Thailand was noted for its coconut plantations and rubber production. Today, Koh Samui's premier charms are its powdery white beaches, its Buddhist temples or wats, and its crystalline waters. Despite the island's increasing popularity, it retains a casual and unspoiled air that offers a bracing tonic to the visitor. Passengers who want to explore will be taken ashore on the ship's tenders.
The last of your full days of sea on the cruise so make the most of it as the Diamond Princess heads back from Thailand to Singapore. Relax on a lounger and soak up the sun, try a different dining option, take part in some of the deck games, attend an informative lecture, enjoy a relaxing treatment in the spa, watch a top class show and after dinner tonight try to win back some or all of your holiday money in the ship's plush casino.
Today your wonderful cruise comes to an end when the Diamond Princess docks back at Singapore. Say farewell to new found friends then spend some more time exploring the city, visiting the famous Botanical Gardens or the fun island of Sentosa, and shopping in the designer store malls. Then perhaps you can stay on for a few more days before heading to the airport to catch your flight home.
Inside Stateroom fr £929pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated