28 nights onboard Westerdam

28-Day Far East, Japan & The Philippines Collector

Winners 2022 Best Premium Cruise Line
Winners 2022 Best for Enrichment

Superbly refreshed, Westerdam cruise ship features excellent bar, entertainment and dining venues, plus completely reimagined suites.

Leaving from: Singapore
Cruise ship: Westerdam
Visiting: Singapore Ko Samui Laem Chabang Laem Chabang
Holland America Line Logo
Holland America Line

Holland America Line, which has been sailing for 150 years, visits 400 ports in 114 countries every year. Dutch heritage shines through in some of the $4million-worth of artwork to be seen onboard, complimenting the luxurious cruise experience.

Live music remains HAL's forte, with venues including the Rolling Stone Rock room and BB King's Blues Club. For foodies, a wide range of restaurants serve the finest of fayre.

1964
Passengers
817
Crew
2004
Launched
2023
Last refit
82348t
Tonnage
290m
Length
32m
Width
22kts
Speed
11
Decks
USD
Currency
Cruise Itinerary
Day 1
Singapore, Singapore
Day 3
Ko Samui, Thailand
Days 4 - 5
Laem Chabang, Thailand
Day 6
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Day 8
Phu My, Vietnam
Day 9
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Day 11
Da Nang, Vietnam
Day 13
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Day 15
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Day 18
Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
Day 19
Boracay Island, Philippines
Day 20
Manila, Philippines
Day 22
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Day 23
Keelung (Chilung), Taiwan
Day 24
Ishigaki, Japan
Day 25
Naha, Okinawa, Japan
Day 27
Osaka, Japan
Day 29
Yokohama, Japan
Singapore, Singapore image
Day 1
Singapore, Singapore

Spirited Singapore in Southeast Asia is the world’s only sovereign island city-state. The nation’s contemporary identity as a city-island hybrid stems from its colonial history as a British-controlled trading territory, founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. Today, an amalgamation of multiracial influences give rise to Singapore’s diverse culture - primarily a fusion of Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western traditions. This rich multiculturalism is one of Singapore’s top selling points, drawing in visitors from all over the world who are keen to explore the island’s divergent neighbourhoods, from the colourful pagodas of Chinatown to the ornate temples of Little India. Singapore’s natural landscape is as varied as its culture, with stark contrasts between the luscious, tropical Singapore Botanic Garden and the perfectly sculpted, futuristic “Supertrees” of Gardens by the Bay. A quirky mishmash of old and new, Singapore is without a doubt one of Asia’s most unique and memorable islands with which travellers cannot help but fall in love along a Singapore cruise.

Ko Samui, Thailand image
Day 3
Ko Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui is the most popular tourist destination on the Western Gulf coast, which isn't surprising, considering the island's gorgeous beaches, perfect weather, and sparkling blue, almost turquoise, water. Koh Samui has seen rapid development since the 1990s, and you'll encounter hotels in all price ranges.Koh Samui is half the size of Phuket, so you could easily drive around it in a day. But Koh Samui is best appreciated by those who take a slower, more casual approach. Most people come for the sun and sea, so they head straight to their hotel and rarely venture beyond its beach. But it's worth exploring beyond your lodging. Every beach has its own character, and you might find the perfect one for you. One beach many visitors find to their liking is Chawaeng. On Koh Samui's east coast, this stretch of glistening white sand is divided into two main sections—Chawaeng Yai (yai means "big") and Chawaeng Noi (noi means "little"). You'll find the greatest variety of hotels, restaurants, and bars here. Despite the crowds, Chawaeng is no Pattaya or Patong—the mood is very laid-back. A rocky headland separates Chawaeng Lamai Beach, whose clear water and long stretch of sand were the first place on the island to attract developers. More budget accommodations are available here than in Chawaeng, and there are some happening nightclubs.On the west coast of Koh Samui, Na Thon is the island's primary port and the spot where ferries arrive from the mainland. It's home to the island's governmental offices, including the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and there are banks, foreign-exchange booths, travel agents, shops, restaurants, and cafés by the ferry pier. A few places rent rooms, but there's really no reason to stay here—nicer accommodations can be found a short songthaew ride away.To the north and east of Na Thon lie a few beaches worthy of exploration. Laem Yai, 5 km (3 miles) north, has great seafood. East of here, a small headland separates two low-key communities on the northern shore, Mae Nam and Bophut Beach. Mae Nam is also the departure point for boats bound for Koh Phangan and Koh Tao . Just south of the Samui's northeastern tip you'll find sandy Choengmon Beach, a good area for swimming that's not overdeveloped.
Laem Chabang, Thailand image
Days 4 - 5
Laem Chabang, Thailand
There are two Bangkoks, the ancient soul of Thailand with its long and fascinating history and the frantic, modern metropolis that embraces the latest trends both Eastern and Western. The two blend together remarkably well—even the most jarring juxtapositions of old and new somehow make sense. Bangkok is not only the biggest city in Thailand, but also the most mesmerizing, with some of the country's most beautiful temples and shrines. The city's energy is palpable, especially at night, when traffic opens up a bit, its famous markets get going, and everything seems lit up—from its proudest monuments to its seediest streets. When Ayutthaya was besieged and pillaged by the Burmese in 1766, Thonburi became Thailand's capital. The Thais call Bangkok Krung Thep (City of Angels), and in 1782 King Rama I moved his capital here, just across the Chao Praya River. Laem Chabang is approximately 130 km (81 mi) from Bangkok.
Sihanoukville, Cambodia image
Day 6
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Phu My, Vietnam image
Day 8
Phu My, Vietnam
Nha Trang, Vietnam image
Day 9
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Da Nang, Vietnam image
Day 11
Da Nang, Vietnam
Da Nang is the third largest city in Vietnam with the land area of 1283 square kilometre and the population of approximately 1million people. Da Nang is growing into one of the most organized urban area, with attractive beach front villas on the one side and Han River flowing on the other. Of the few attractions that belong to the city, Museum of Cham stands out with its rich collection of Cham artefacts. For those who crave for more outdoors activities, My Khe beach is a good place to spend time, either by yourself or with your loved ones. Da Nang is in close proximity to Hue- 3 hours North and Hoi An- 30 minutes south, which makes it a perfect stop point for those who need a break from touristy areas. Hue was once the Royal Capital of Viet Nam. The city represents the outstanding demonstration of the power of the vanished Vietnamese feudal empire, including a complex of monuments, tombs and pagodas that attract tourists coming from all over the world. Hoi An has to this days well preserved its most sacred treasure, the centuries-old architecture. The town used to harbour foreign traders back in the 17-18th, and once is an important heavily-frequented trading port in Southeast Asia.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam image
Day 13
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
A visit to the north is not complete without a trip to Halong Bay, where placid waters give way to more than 3,000 limestone karsts and wind-sculpted limestone formations that jut from foggy lagoons. Dotting the bay are tiny islands bordered by white sandy coves and hidden caves, adding to the majestic landscape of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Adding to this naturalist’s dream is the biodiversity of islets, grottos, and Cat Ba Island National Park. The bay, however, shows tourism’s impact: the clearing of mangrove forests to make way for jetties and piers, marine life threatened by game fishing, and garbage from passenger boats and fishing villages washed up on the shores.Beyond its geological uniqueness are activities like hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, or exploring one of the many floating villages where fishermen bring in their daily catch. The downside to all this allure is the large number of unlicensed boats it draws to the bay each day.Boat trips out onto the bay are the main tourism stock in trade farther north, but a more multifaceted side of the area can be experienced at Cat Ba Island. The largest island in Halong Bay, Cat Ba is very much its own entity. Its national park offers incredible biodiversity, with more than a thousand species of plants having been recorded here. Animal life is slightly thinner on the ground, but alert visitors may spy inhabitants such as the endangered golden-headed langur, wild boar, deer, civets, and several species of squirrel. Trekking through the wilderness is a highlight with a number of fascinating trails to follow.Cat Ba Island has also become a firm favorite with the adventure sports set. Indeed, along with Railay Beach in Thailand, it is recognized as one of the top spots in the region for rock climbing. Other outdoor pursuits include sailing and kayaking around the karsts. Although Halong Bay has arguably been tainted by over-exposure, Bai Tu Long Bay farther east toward China, retains all the majesty of Vietnam’s premier bucket-list natural attraction but sees a fraction of the traffic of its immediate neighbor to the west. Here, visitors will find islands of substantial size with deserted beaches and untamed jungle. Halong Bay's 3,000 islands of dolomite and limestone cover a 1,500-square-km (580-square-mile) area, extending across the Gulf of Tonkin nearly to the Chinese border. According to legend, this breathtaking land- and seascape was formed by a giant dragon that came barreling out of the mountains toward the ocean—hence the name (Halong translates into "descent of the dragon"). Geologists are more likely to attribute the formations to sedimentary limestone that formed here between 300 and 500 million years ago, in the Paleozoic Era. Over millions of years water receded and exposed the limestone to wind, rain, and tidal erosion.Today the limestone formations are exposed to hordes of tourists—but don't let that discourage you. Hundreds of fishing trawlers and tour boats share space on these crystal waters, yet there seems to be room for everyone. Most people use the main population center, Halong City, as a base from which to venture into the bay. Although it's now officially one municipality, Halong City was, until 1996, two separate towns: Bai Chay is now Halong City West, where Halong Road winds its way around the coast and past the lifeless central beach; Hon Gai is the grimier Halong City East, where a coal transportation depot dominates the center of town and covers nearby roads and buildings with a sooty film. Locals still refer to the towns by their old names, but they are now inexorably lassoed together by a bridge. Boat trips through Halong Bay are the main attraction. Little of the majesty of this region can be found in the city, so head out onto the water and start exploring. Countless 10- and 30-foot fishing boats have been converted into Halong Bay's formidable tourist-boat fleet. Hotels or travel agencies in Halong City or Hanoi can arrange boat trips for you (often they are part of organized tours from Hanoi). It is still possible to go down to the wharf and bargain yourself onto a boat for the day, but you are likely to be charged (sometimes significantly) more than you would pay for a prebooked tour, so this is not advised. Self-sufficient travelers have fallen victim to the old bait-and-switch: they've arranged a next-day boat tour with local fishermen, only to be told in no uncertain terms the following morning that they could not board their chosen boat, but they could take a different one for quite a bit more money. You may have no choice in the end. Usually travel agencies, however, have their tried-and-true favorites.
Hong Kong, Hong Kong image
Day 15
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Home to more than seven million people and with more skyscrapers than any other city on the planet, Hong Kong is a big dollop of frenetic energy. But there are also ancient monasteries, quiet fishing villages and green corners aplenty to quieten the mind when you need a break from the chaos. Part urban jungle, part spiritual hub and an indisputable noodle-mecca, the city is dissected by Victoria Harbour, studded with tiny wooden sampan boats, which serve as a daily reminder of Hong Kong’s rich seafaring past.

Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines image
Day 18
Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
The Spanish arrived at this beautiful corner of the world in March of 1872, founding the city, that would eventually become the Capital of Palawan. In 2011, the area received a huge boost, when New7 announced its list of the 7 Wonders of Nature – counting 500 million votes in the process. Puerto Princesa’s stunning underground river - complete with a cavernous, sunken lagoon - beat off wonderful sites like the Great Barrier Reef, to claim a spot on the final, prestigious list. Set sail across the glowing green water, on a journey into the gaping mouth of the limestone caves at Puerto Princesa. Known for being one of the least densely populated, cleanest and most environmentally friendly cities in the Philippines, there’s a raft of natural wonders to explore - from diving hotspots to towering limestone cliffs, and the entrancing underworld of the underground river.
Boracay Island, Philippines image
Day 19
Boracay Island, Philippines
Manila, Philippines image
Day 20
Manila, Philippines

It might not rank quite as highly as the likes of Singapore or Hong Kong when it comes to the most popular ports of call on an Asia cruise, but Manila is an exciting and dynamic Asian metropolis that should not be overlooked. Visitors to Philippines’ capital will discover the rich history of its Spanish colonial past, still visible throughout the city, while enjoying the throng and excitement of the city’s teeming modern streets, complete with cultural centres, bars, clubs and restaurants. This is truly the city that never sleeps.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan image
Day 22
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s second largest city, its biggest seaport, and the world’s fourth largest container port. It entered the 21st century as a newly emerging international metropolis. In the forefront of Taiwan’s expansion and modernisation efforts are the China Steel Corporation and China Shipbuilding. They are perfect examples of what Taiwan’s export-oriented economy is all about. The Love River, which has seen some recent landscaping, adds to the beauty of the city. Coffee shops along its banks offer good opportunities to view the river’s activities and enjoy a nice breeze. A 495-feet (150 metres)-long urban corridor of light, known as Urban Spotlight, was designed by local artists who wanted to make light and shadows the theme of the hall. The result is an urban space in the Central Park area teeming with artistic vision. A very important event in Taiwan’s recent history occurred here in 1979, and is known as the Kaohsiung Incident. It was the day of the first major human rights celebration on the island. Until that time, the authorities had never allowed any expression of discontent. When the day came, however, the celebration ended in chaos when police encircled the peaceful crowd and started using teargas, and pro-government instigators incited violence. Kuomintang (KMT) authorities used this as an excuse to round up all well-known opposition leaders and imprison them. Although it was hardly noticed internationally, it is recognised locally as an important turning point in the island’s transition to democracy, and it galvanised the Taiwanese people into action.
Keelung (Chilung), Taiwan image
Day 23
Keelung (Chilung), Taiwan
With the glittering lights of Taipei - a futuristic metropolis of culture and ideas - sparkling nearby, Keelung is the first calling point for many visitors arriving in Taiwan. While this port city essentially serves as Taipei's ocean gateway, you shouldn’t be too hasty in dashing off to Taipei's neon-lit magic – first it’s well worth spending some time exploring the famous glowing night market, which hums with life each evening and is famous for its local seafood.
Ishigaki, Japan image
Day 24
Ishigaki, Japan
Naha, Okinawa, Japan image
Day 25
Naha, Okinawa, Japan
Osaka, Japan image
Day 27
Osaka, Japan
From Minami's neon-lighted Dotombori and historic Tenno-ji to the high-rise class and underground shopping labyrinths of Kita, Osaka is a city that pulses with its own unique rhythm. Though Osaka has no shortage of tourist sites, it is the city itself that is the greatest attraction. Home to some of Japan's best food, most unique fashions, and warmest locals, Osaka does not beg to be explored—it demands it. More than anywhere else in Japan, it rewards the impulsive turn down an interesting side street or the chat with a random stranger. People do not come here to see the city, they come to experience it.Excluded from the formal circles of power and aristocratic culture in 16th-century Edo (Tokyo), Osaka took advantage of its position as Japan's trading center, developing its own art forms such as Bunraku puppet theater and Rakugo comic storytelling. It was in Osaka that feudal Japan's famed Floating World—the dining, theater, and pleasure district—was at its strongest and most inventive. Wealthy merchants and common laborers alike squandered fortunes on culinary delights, turning Osaka into "Japan's Kitchen," a moniker the city still has today. Though the city suffered a blow when the Meiji government canceled all of the samurai class's outstanding debts to the merchants, it was quick to recover. At the turn of the 20th century, it had become Japan's largest and most prosperous city, a center of commerce and manufacturing.Today Osaka remains Japan's iconoclastic metropolis, refusing to fit Tokyo's norms and expectations. Unlike the hordes of Tokyo, Osakans are fiercely independent. As a contrast to the neon and concrete surroundings, the people of Osaka are known as Japan's friendliest and most outgoing. Ask someone on the street for directions in Tokyo and you are lucky to get so much as a glance. Ask someone in Osaka and you get a conversation.The main areas of the city, Kita (north) and Minami (south), are divided by two rivers: the Dojima-gawa and the Tosabori-gawa. Between Kita and Minami is Naka-no-shima, an island and the municipal center of Osaka. Kita (north of Chuo Dori) is Osaka's economic hub and contains Osaka's largest stations: JR Osaka and Hankyu Umeda. The area is crammed with shops, department stores, and restaurants. Nearby are a nightlife district, Kita-shinchi; Naka-no-shima and the Museum of Oriental Ceramics; Osaka-jo (Osaka Castle); and Osaka Koen (Osaka Park). Restaurants, bars, department stores, and boutiques attract Osaka's youth to Minami (south Chuo Dori); theatergoers head to the National Bunraku Theatre and electronics-lovers to Den Den Town. For a glimpse of old Osaka, visit Tenno-ji Temple and Shin Sekai. The main stations are Namba, Shin-sai-bashi, Namba Nankai, and Tenno-ji. There's easy access to the Municipal Museum of Fine Art and Sumiyoshi Taisha (Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine).The bay area, to the west of the city center, is home to the Osaka Aquarium and Universal Studios Japan. The Shinkansen stops at Shin-Osaka, three stops (about five minutes) north of Osaka Station on the Mido-suji subway line. To the north of Shin-Osaka is Senri Expo Park.
Yokohama, Japan image
Day 29
Yokohama, Japan
In 1853, a fleet of four American warships under Commodore Matthew Perry sailed into the bay of Tokyo (then Edo) and presented the reluctant Japanese with the demands of the U.S. government for the opening of diplomatic and commercial relations. The following year Perry returned and first set foot on Japanese soil at Yokohama—then a small fishing village on the mudflats of Tokyo bay. Two years later New York businessman Townsend Harris became America's first diplomatic representative to Japan. In 1858 he was finally able to negotiate a commercial treaty between the two countries; part of the deal designated four locations—one of them Yokohama—as treaty ports. In 1859 the shogunate created a special settlement in Yokohama for the growing community of merchants, traders, missionaries, and other assorted adventurers drawn to this exotic new land of opportunity. The foreigners (predominantly Chinese and British, plus a few French, Americans, and Dutch) were confined here to a guarded compound about 5 square km (2 square miles)—placed, in effect, in isolation—but not for long. Within a few short years the shogunal government collapsed, and Japan began to modernize. Western ideas were welcomed, as were Western goods, and the little treaty port became Japan's principal gateway to the outside world. In 1872 Japan's first railway was built, linking Yokohama and Tokyo. In 1889 Yokohama became a city; by then the population had grown to some 120,000. As the city prospered, so did the international community and by the early 1900s Yokohama was the busiest and most modern center of international trade in all of East Asia. Then Yokohama came tumbling down. On September 1, 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake devastated the city. The ensuing fires destroyed some 60,000 homes and took more than 40,000 lives. During the six years it took to rebuild the city, many foreign businesses took up quarters elsewhere, primarily in Kobe and Osaka, and did not return. Over the next 20 years Yokohama continued to grow as an industrial center—until May 29, 1945, when in a span of four hours, some 500 American B-29 bombers leveled nearly half the city and left more than half a million people homeless. When the war ended, what remained became—in effect—the center of the Allied occupation. General Douglas MacArthur set up headquarters here, briefly, before moving to Tokyo; the entire port facility and about a quarter of the city remained in the hands of the U.S. military throughout the 1950s. By the 1970s Yokohama was once more rising from the debris; in 1978 it surpassed Osaka as the nation's second-largest city, and the population is now inching up to the 3.5 million mark. Boosted by Japan's postwar economic miracle, Yokohama has extended its urban sprawl north to Tokyo and south to Kamakura—in the process creating a whole new subcenter around the Shinkansen Station at Shin-Yokohama. The development of air travel and the competition from other ports have changed the city's role in Japan's economy. The great liners that once docked at Yokohama's piers are now but a memory, kept alive by a museum ship and the occasional visit of a luxury vessel on a Pacific cruise. Modern Large as Yokohama is, the central area is very negotiable. As with any other port city, much of what it has to offer centers on the waterfront—in this case, on the west side of Tokyo Bay. The downtown area is called Kannai (literally, "within the checkpoint"); this is where the international community was originally confined by the shogunate. Though the center of interest has expanded to include the waterfront and Ishikawa-cho, to the south, Kannai remains the heart of town. Think of that heart as two adjacent areas. One is the old district of Kannai, bounded by Basha-michi on the northwest and Nippon-odori on the southeast, the Keihin Tohoku Line tracks on the southwest, and the waterfront on the northeast. This area contains the business offices of modern Yokohama. The other area extends southeast from Nippon-odori to the Moto-machi shopping street and the International Cemetery, bordered by Yamashita Koen and the waterfront to the northeast; in the center is Chinatown, with Ishikawa-cho Station to the southwest. This is the most interesting part of town for tourists. Whether you're coming from Tokyo, Nagoya, or Kamakura, make Ishikawa-cho Station your starting point. Take the South Exit from the station and head in the direction of the waterfront.
Ship Details
Holland America Line
Westerdam

Superbly refreshed, Westerdam cruise ship features excellent bar, entertainment and dining venues, plus completely reimagined suites.

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