Tokyo to Hong Kong – Holland America Westerdam
Cruise The Far East
The Far East is an exotic Asia – from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia in the south through the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and China to Korea and Japan in the north. This is a vast area that remains relatively undeveloped in cruising terms and yet a cruise ship provides the comfort and security of a base from which to explore the wide cultural and scenic diversity on offer. Exotic destinations like Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo can all be reached. The Far East is almost always included on world cruises and there will be quite a few that pass through and offer these destinations and less frequently visited places like Brunei, the East Coast of Malaysia, and Manila.
When to Go
If you’re a fan of spring blossoms and autumn foliage, then you’ll appreciate cruising Japan during the shoulder months of March – April or October. Go during this time to catch cherry tree and maple leaf festivals, celebrated with flower-viewing boating excursions and fairs. Infrequent rainstorms characterize both spring and fall, and the weather is mild, making both ideal periods for a tour of Japan. The best time to cruise Japan can often be decided on travellers’ weather and festival preferences. The climate in Japan falls into four distinct seasons, and each comes with unique seasonal festivals.
If you want to see the vibrant pink of the cherry blossoms in bloom, the best time to visit South Korea is between March & May. If you want to see the leaves change colour and enjoy cooler weather, then we’d recommend visiting between
September and November. June, July, and August offer the best conditions, but the weather is hot and humid away from the mountains. In December, January, and February, winter is bitterly cold, with temperatures regularly falling below -10 °C (14 °F) and even lower.
A cruise down the awe-inspiring Yangtze River is a must for any visitor to China. The best time to visit is during April-May and September-October when the weather is warm and mild and flight schedules are stable. Of course, since this is the peak time for Yangtze River Cruises, booking far in advance or flexible travel dates are necessary.
Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar
Other stops on a cruise of Asia may include Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. The southern regions of these countries, particularly coastal areas, experience a monsoon season from May to October. Summers in these areas are hot and humid. A more enjoyable time to visit is later in autumn through January, when temperatures are cooler, and rain is unlikely.