Asia: surely the ultimate continent of contrasts — from the volcano-dotted island of Java at the heart of Indonesia, to the ancient edifices of Angkor Wat; the ultra-modern skylines of Hong Kong; Taipei and Shanghai to the tranquil gardens of Kyoto; the vibrant culture and bustling cities of Japan, Singapore and Malaysia to the picturesque and secluded island destinations of the Maldives and Seychelles, scattered across the vast Indian Ocean. And everywhere you go in this diverse and beautiful part of the world are fascinating cultures, idyllic natural landscapes and a host of historic monuments and world-famous landmarks.
COSMOPOLITAN SIGHTS – Step off the gangplank at Singapore’s spectacular new Marina Bay Cruise Centre and you’ll find yourself immersed in all of the aforementioned within just a few steps. Take a stroll through the wonderfully walk-friendly streets of this bustlings cosmopolitan city and its ubiquitous collage of cultures becomes apparent at every turn: Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, Katong and Joo Chiat — a melting pot of people of different ethnicities and beliefs.
Alongside these, a world-class living environment encompasses a landscape of modern architecture accentuated by green space and gardens — and even a primary rainforest, with a wealth of beautiful trail options for nature lovers (don’t miss the Tree top Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir).
By day you can explore Gardens by the Bay with its two-acre Cloud Forest, the three-acre Flower Dome and Supertree Grove, with its 160-foot sculptural ‘trees’ (actually vertical garden structures), the Singapore Botanic Gardens — a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the recently opened National Gallery of Singapore, or Sentosa Island with its beaches and world-class entertainment including Universal Studios, ONE°15 Marina Club and SEA Aquarium— one of the largest oceanariums in the world. By night you can choose between a multitude of world-famous cuisine, from Michelin-starred street food (as awarded in the latest guide) to modern Singaporean delicacies from local, rising chefs.
Then move onto soak up some of the city’s vibrant night life, whether at one of the hip and very happening rooftop bar, such as 1-Altitude, LeVeL33, Ce La Vi; at 28 Hong Kong Street bar — ‘the best cocktail bar in Asia’; or perhaps at the iconic Longbar at Raffles hotels where a masterclass from the bartenders will reveal the secret to the legendary Singapore Sling Little wonder, then, that Seabourn Cruises have chosen Singapore for the prestigious launch of their brand new, Adam D Tihany designed ship Seabourn Encore. Crowning a fleet that is already acclaimed as the most innovative on the seas, the strikingly beautiful new Seabourn Encore is set to be launched in Singapore on 7 January 2017. After lavish christening celebrations and the traditional bottle-smashing against the hull, her first fortunate guests can step aboard in eager anticipation of a truly six-star sailing experience around Asia.
SIX APPEAL – Six star? Absolutely. This is Seabourn, after all — which means that every one of the spacious, all-suite accommodations has ocean views — and, on Seabourn Encore, every suite has a veranda, all the better to enjoy them from. Above -and-beyond accessories include a complimentary in-suite bar always stocked with your favourite wines and spirits, fine Egyptian cotton and fluffy duvets, and specially created Molton Brown bath products.
Above-and-beyond service comes as standard: with nearly one staff member to every one of the 600 or so guests, there’s always someone on hand to create your favourite cocktail, plump up the pillows in one of The Retreat’s private, poolside cabanas, deliver a refreshing sorbet unprompted after a night spent dancing at The Club, or simply serve up exceptional cuisine created under the culinary genius of world-renowned Michelin-star chef Thomas Keller. And thanks to their smaller size (just 300 suites) these intimate ships can journey into the very heart of Asia.
Explore the haunting jungle-clad ruins of Java’s Borobudur; soak up the spectacular seascape of limestone pillars at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay Vietnam; take in the ultra-modern skylines of Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai, relax in the tranquil gardens of Kyoto; sail up the Saigon River into Ho Chi Minh City; thread through the Philippines’ unspoiled Hundred Islands: a new dawn, a new day a new dreamy destination.