Top 7 coastal gems in Southeast Asia with Dream Cruises

Cruise to new beach destinations and more

An aerial view of the lagoons and limestone cliffs of Coron, Palawan in the Philippines. An aerial view of the lagoons and limestone cliffs of Coron, Palawan in the Philippines.

An aerial view of the lagoons and limestone cliffs of Coron, Palawan in the Philippines. (Credit: rmnunes/Getty Images)

An aerial view of the lagoons and limestone cliffs of Coron, Palawan in the Philippines. (Credit: rmnunes/Getty Images)

Dive into a marine world among lion fish in the waters of Myanmar’s Mergui Archipalego.

Dive into a marine world among lion fish in the waters of Myanmar’s Mergui Archipalego. (Credit: acro_phuket/Getty Images)

Dive into a marine world among lion fish in the waters of Myanmar’s Mergui Archipalego. (Credit: acro_phuket/Getty Images)

Nature at its best
It's not just the Maldives that has clean, white powder soft sand and sparkling turquoise ocean.

Visit the unspoilt paradise of Macleod Island.

Visit the unspoilt paradise of Macleod Island. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

Visit the unspoilt paradise of Macleod Island. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

Located in the Mergui Archipalego off the coast of Myanmar, Macleod Island in the Andaman sea, noted as a surf spot, is also an unspoilt beach paradise, home to a nomadic people, the sea gypsies who live on boats. Diving and snorkeling is unparalleled, as is the flora and fauna of the lush forest.

El Nido Cadlao Island Palawan  (Credit: miniloc/Getty Images)

El Nido Cadlao Island Palawan (Credit: miniloc/Getty Images)

El Nido Cadlao Island Palawan (Credit: miniloc/Getty Images)

Another unspoilt island destination is South Palawan, Philippines. Various islands, waterfalls, ancient caves and the towering 2,085m Mount Matalingajan make up the landscape.

Vietnam’s Nha Trang in the country's south has 6km of white sand beaches with teeming marine life, several offshore islands and is surrounded by mountains. Its diverse culture is present in the Buddhist temples, gothic-style churches and historical sites from the Champa Kingdom.

Going Local

Cham towers of Po Nagar in Nha Trang. (Credit: VuCongDanh/Getty Images) Cham towers of Po Nagar in Nha Trang. (Credit: VuCongDanh/Getty Images)

Cham towers of Po Nagar in Nha Trang. (Credit: VuCongDanh/Getty Images)

Cham towers of Po Nagar in Nha Trang. (Credit: VuCongDanh/Getty Images)

Another popular destination in Vietnam is bustling Ho Chi Minh. Navigate winding traffic to visit French colonial-style buildings, do some shopping or take some time out and enjoy authentic Vietnamese coffee.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall, built 1902-1908 in a French colonial style in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. (Credit: rmnunes/Getty Images)

Ho Chi Minh City Hall, built 1902-1908 in a French colonial style in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. (Credit: rmnunes/Getty Images)

Ho Chi Minh City Hall, built 1902-1908 in a French colonial style in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. (Credit: rmnunes/Getty Images)

UNESCO World Heritage site Malacca is also a hot spot. Its multicultural heritage of Asian and colonial influences is reflected in the churches, temples, historical sites, main Jonker Street and local food.

Malacca is home to Gothic Revival architecture, such as the Church of St Francis Xavier.  (Credit: Travel and Still life photography/Getty Images)

Malacca is home to Gothic Revival architecture, such as the Church of St Francis Xavier. (Credit: Travel and Still life photography/Getty Images)

Malacca is home to Gothic Revival architecture, such as the Church of St Francis Xavier. (Credit: Travel and Still life photography/Getty Images)

Elsewhere in Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu has its own attractions. Most often a base for hikers going to conquer Mount Kinabalu, the city is also home to the Sabah State Mosque, floating City Mosque and cultural villages.

Kota Kinabalu's City Mosque floats on a man-made lagoon at Likas Bay. (Credit: Ra'uf Hussin/Getty Images)

Kota Kinabalu's City Mosque floats on a man-made lagoon at Likas Bay. (Credit: Ra'uf Hussin/Getty Images)

Kota Kinabalu's City Mosque floats on a man-made lagoon at Likas Bay. (Credit: Ra'uf Hussin/Getty Images)

Nearby in wealthy Brunei, architectural treasures such as the Royal Palace, Omar Saifuddin Mosque, Royal Regalia building and Kampong Ayer water villages on stilts are an insight into local culture.

Built on the banks of the Brunei River, the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is most recognised for its pure-gold topped Main Dome. (Credit: axel2001/Getty Images)

Built on the banks of the Brunei River, the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is most recognised for its pure-gold topped Main Dome. (Credit: axel2001/Getty Images)

Built on the banks of the Brunei River, the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is most recognised for its pure-gold topped Main Dome. (Credit: axel2001/Getty Images)

Why travel by cruise?

All these places are part of Dream Cruises’ new itineraries from now till October 2019 and the 18-deck Genting Dream will call at these ports.

Family-friendly activities for the young and old, international cuisines to savour and different destinations to explore, cruising offers a fulfilling experience without the hassle of packing and navigating on a traditional multi-city holiday.

Genting Dream's waterslide park provides endless fun for parents and kids. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

Genting Dream's waterslide park provides endless fun for parents and kids. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

Genting Dream's waterslide park provides endless fun for parents and kids. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

Cruise operators have improved their onboard offerings and expanded itineraries to attract more.

This year alone sees 1,922 cruises scheduled in Asia and 119 voyages through the region, according to data from the 2018 Asia Cruise Trends report by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Last year, four million Asian travellers took an ocean cruise, an increase of 20.6% from 2016, and that number shows no sign of slowing down.

66% of travellers opted for four- to six-night cruises and 26% for two- to three-night cruises.

The Ageless Dreamers programme offers fun and wellness activities for for passengers aged 55 and above. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

The Ageless Dreamers programme offers fun and wellness activities for for passengers aged 55 and above. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

The Ageless Dreamers programme offers fun and wellness activities for for passengers aged 55 and above. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

Young at heart
The relaxed pace of cruises make it suitable for all ages and Genting Dream enhances the experience for its more mature passengers with its Ageless Dreamers programme. From October, passengers 55 and above can attend tai chi classes and wellness talks, watch classic Cantonese opera by world-class performers, participate in indoor and outdoor games and even a talent show.Selected sailings until November 11 will host Cantonese opera classics such as Di Nü Hua, Swallows Fly Apart and Love and Passion. Ageless Dreamers also includes complimentary offers and exclusive shopping discounts.

On board World Dream, passengers can indulge in haute cuisine and specially-crafted menus. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

On board World Dream, passengers can indulge in haute cuisine and specially-crafted menus. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

On board World Dream, passengers can indulge in haute cuisine and specially-crafted menus. (Credit: Dream Cruises)

Christian Yang will be serving up western fine dining flavours.

Christian Yang will be serving up western fine dining flavours. (credits: Dream Cruises)

Christian Yang will be serving up western fine dining flavours. (credits: Dream Cruises)

Bigger and bolder flavours

On Dream Cruises’ other luxury ship, World Dream, passengers will be treated to the finest in haute cuisine with Taste the Dream - Wine and Dine at Sea, a culinary extravaganza produced by Asian celebrity chefs in collaboration with the cruise’s culinary team.

Available on Taste the Dream two-night Weekend Escape cruise packages, guests will be treated to specially-crafted 4-hand menus by chefs Christian Yang (November 9 to 11) and Martin Yan (November 23 to 25).

These menus will be available in speciality restaurants, complimentary for those staying in The Palace rooms. There will also be some thematic dishes in the a-la-carte menus and buffets of selected restaurants.

Hong Kong chef Christian Yang, who hosts and produces local and international culinary shows, is known as a culinary magician and is a whizz of western fine dining flavours.

World-renowned Canada-based chef Martin Yan, host of his own cooking show Yan Can Cook is a familiar face as well and will present a fusion of Asian and western cooking.

With exclusive privileges at sea, the cruise experience offers travellers a short getaway with a whole package that satiates all senses visually and gastronomically.

This article is brought to you by Dream Cruises.