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Top four itineraries to explore Asia with Holland America Line

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Asia is a place many UK holidaymakers are desperate to travel to, but picking where exactly to go in this beautiful country can be tricky. Here's some advice for your 2023 Asia cruise holiday.

A cruise is therefore the perfect way to explore multiple destinations - and Holland America Line offers the ideal opportunity for holidays in 2023.

Holland America cruises offer diverse views of Asia, whether it's experiencing the modern shopping streets of Hong Kong, streaking past the countryside on board a bullet train in Japan, or admiring the stunning gardens of Kyoto.

The cruise line's perfectly sized Westerdam carries 1,964 guests in classic style with the majority of staterooms boasting private balconies and sumptuous suites, so there's no denying you'll be cruising Asia in comfort and style.

What's more, there's nearly one staff member for every two guests so there will always be someone on hand to tend to your needs.

You can expect fine dining with casual to formal options, regional cuisine, destination experiences, indulgent spa treatments and overnight stays in iconic cities. to name just a few perks of a Holland America Line (HAL) cruise.

So, here are four hand-selected Asia cruises with Holland America Line for you to enjoy...

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1. Indonesian Discovery

Imagine 14 nights of pure bliss, visiting the most exciting and cultural destinations you have ever explored - from Celukan Bawang in Bali to Probolinggo, Java, Indonesia.

The 'Indonesian Discovery' itinerary kicks off in Singapore, where only around half the island is developed - leaving the perfect fusion of modernity and open spaces.

Probolinggo, Java in Indonesia is home to one of Indonesia's most spectacular volcanoes - Bromo. Grab a pedicab to explore the town of Probolinggo to admire squares and quaint churches.

Another highlight of this itinerary is Benoa (Denpasar), Bali in Indonesia. Bali is an unmistakably beautiful island and Benoa boasts stunning temples and shrines encapsulated by lush jungle and dramatic rock formations.

We recommend the 'Munduk highlights' excursion, where you will visit the famed Sangeh monkey forest where you can watch hundreds of monkeys in awe explore the trees.

You'll then continue to the mountains of Bedugul to see Lake Bratan, at a staggering 4,000 feet above sea level - make sure you snap a picture of the temple dedicated to the water goddess, Pura Ulun Danu. Finish off with a delectable lunch at a local restaurant in the peaceful village of Bedugul.

Miyako is home to the iconic white-pebble Jodogahama Beach. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Japan, Taiwan & The Philippines Collector

Visit the perfect combination of eclectic villages and bustling cities in this 27-day itinerary.

Beginning in Yokohama and ending in Hong Kong, China, this collector itinerary spans from 15 October to 11 November and brings you to an impressive 18 ports of call.

Highlights include your first official port of call, Miyako in Japan. Miyako is home to the iconic white-pebble Jodogahama Beach, a National Scenic Reserve - the water will be calling your name so ensure you go for a swim before stopping at Miyako Fish Market for lunch.

Kaohsiung is not only the largest port in Taiwan but also features the perfect blend of modern and ancient with towering skyscrapers contrasting the 2,500 acre Kenting National Park.

The Philippines certainly make for a memorable visit, especially Manila with its 1.6 million residents - making it one of the most densely packed cities in the world. To explore this buzzing city properly, start in the oldest neighbourhood Intramuros to see Fort Santiago, Casa Manila and San Agustin.

Afterwards, explore Rizal Park to wander around several museums - even venture as far as Corregidor Island for the day.

Singapore packs a punch as one of the world’s wealthiest destinations. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Indonesia Discovery

14 days of discovery await, starting with a bang in Singapore an urban and modern mecca before heading to Tanjung Priok Jakarta - considered Indonesia's most technologically advanced seaport. Feel the buzz of people, cars and mopeds navigating the busy streets and appreciate that this is home to nearly 10 million people.

Probolinggo, Java is located on the north coast of East Java and is a popular port for seeing the mighty Mount Bromo. Top tip - this mountain is best seen at sunrise or sunset.

Komodo Island, unsurprisingly, features Komodo National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to around 5,700 Komodo dragons (also known as the largest lizards in the world at three meters).

Other top spots on this itinerary include Calukan Bawang in Bali - perfect for those who love to get spiritual and enjoy watersports. A must-do is to get a classic beach photo on the black sand beaches.

Holland America Line: Tour the ancient capital of Kyoto with its Geisha traditions. Credit: Adobe

4. Southern Japan Explorer itinerary

There's also HAL's 14-night Southern Japan Explorer which travels from Yokohama to Osaka and Kochi before onto Naha with Shuri Castle, the royal residence, and its extraordinary gardens — both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Also on the itinerary are two stops to Taiwan and the gorgeous scenery of Hualien followed by the multi-cultural port of Keelung (gateway to the city of Taipei) before returning to Japan.

Just one of the reasons why travelling with Holland America line is the best way to enjoy Japan with the experts is the line's exciting and exclusive Explorations Central destination programme.

Thanks to this, guests will gain a deeper understanding of the places they visit with local cultural insights, insider travel tips, cooking demonstrations, unique shore excursions and more.

Foodies will love the culinary shore excursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE. They can explore Kagoshima’s fascinating food scene or visit the Yoichi Whiskey factory and learn how this distinctive spirit undergoes an unusual heating distillation.

Holland America Line: The Pinnacle Grill is just one of the fantastic restaurants onboard Noordam. Credit: HAL

The ideal base to explore Asia

Of course, back at your hotel at sea, there's lots to enjoy.

HAL boasts a dedicated Culinary Council of eight world-renowned chefs — plus experts in wine and spirits — who guide our onboard dining experiences, from the exceptional Dining Room to a range of speciality restaurants.

What's more, guests will enjoy cuisine inspired by the flavours of the region onboard - and all delicious meals are included.

Music fans will also be well and truly entertained. Days and nights are filled with lively, soul-stirring music by an all-star cast of musicians. There’s music for every taste.

Comfort and elegance are the name of the game with HAL’s ships.

HAL's spacious perfectly sized ships are known for their sophisticated style, spacious public areas and wraparound decks - ideal for cruising the world’s stunning waters and coastlines.

Another string to HAL's bow is the gracious, friendly service from a crew whose goal is to always be available but never in the way.

Their genuine warmth and personalised attention earn rave reviews that turn first-time guests into loyal Mariners.

And don't you worry - you'll be in safe hands as Holland America Line is celebrating 150 years of cruising.

For more incredible worldwide discoveries visit; call 0344 338 8605 or contact your travel professional.

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is a cruise journalist who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.