Cruising Into The Best Instagrammable Hotspots

For travellers searching for a vacation packed with authentic attractions, vibrant entertainment and immersive experiences that can all be captured on their phone, look no further.

Shrouded in intriguing myths, crystal waters married with fine beaches and lush tropics, Langkawi proudly wears Malaysia’s only Global Geopark badge accorded by UNESCO.

Shrouded in intriguing myths, crystal waters married with fine beaches and lush tropics, Langkawi proudly wears Malaysia’s only Global Geopark badge accorded by UNESCO.

Shrouded in intriguing myths, crystal waters married with fine beaches and lush tropics, Langkawi proudly wears Malaysia’s only Global Geopark badge accorded by UNESCO.

The travel industry has shifted into a new era, one driven by the experiential traveller. While it’s still important to plot itineraries, hit the usual tourist spots and take photos to say “been there, done that,” this breed of tourist wants to be engaged and immersed in a destination’s culture like never before – then share it with their friends and family.

They want curated and personalised services, increased flexibility and elevated experiences over predictable travel products. Asia's pioneer luxury cruise line – Dream Cruises for instance, created the “One Day Greater Bay Cruise”, which allows first-time cruisers a taste of ship life without the usual time and financial commitment of a regular voyage.

Here are some other popular ways of incorporating experiential travel into your next trip:

1. Include a uniquely local activity

In its heyday, Penang had over 3,500 trishaws on its streets but today, there’re only about 160 plying the streets of George Town and Batu Ferringhi.

In its heyday, Penang had over 3,500 trishaws on its streets but today, there’re only about 160 plying the streets of George Town and Batu Ferringhi.

In its heyday, Penang had over 3,500 trishaws on its streets but today, there’re only about 160 plying the streets of George Town and Batu Ferringhi.

Many cities have worked out the balance between conserving their cultural, natural and historical wonders and making them immersive experiences for visitors. In Penang, Malaysia, hop on one of the last vestiges of local history, a trishaw, and visit Peranakan mansions-turned-museums, and feast heartily at one of the hawkers.

Or head to Langkawi, a UNESCO Global Geopark that features lush rainforest, mangroves, caves and formidable rock formations dating back 550 million years. Book a boat ride deep into the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and witness Brahminy kites and white-bellied sea eagles swooping into the waters around your boat for food – a thrilling experience and instant Instagram moment.

Onboard your World Dream cruise, be sure to check out the exciting ESC Experience Lab, where virtual reality will take you on rollercoaster rides, speeding through underwater worlds and even into space in Star Wars™ Battle Pods.

Onboard your World Dream cruise, be sure to check out the exciting ESC Experience Lab, where virtual reality will take you on rollercoaster rides, speeding through underwater worlds and even into space in Star Wars™ Battle Pods.

Onboard your World Dream cruise, be sure to check out the exciting ESC Experience Lab, where virtual reality will take you on rollercoaster rides, speeding through underwater worlds and even into space in Star Wars™ Battle Pods.

2. Sign up for classes

Participating in activities taught by locals is one of the best ways of getting a firsthand account of the lay of the land. But if getting out there among the crowds is too much of a hassle, there’s always the comfort of a cruise to count on.

Onboard Dream Cruises’ fleet, a passenger’s ticket automatically grants access to a slew of complimentary activities, such as rock-wall climbing, a waterslide park, mini golf, a cinema and the Sportsplex, which offers the choice of football, basketball, volleyball or archery sessions. For the perfect social media post, those on board World Dream should check into the ESC Experience Lab, where virtual reality will take you on rollercoaster rides, speeding through underwater worlds – and even into space in Star Wars™ Battle Pods. Be warned though, this will likely cause your followers to have a serious case of F.O.M.O (fear of missing out).

3. Stray onto paths less travelled

Sail into the picturesque waters of Okinawan beach haven Miyakojima, then proceed to enjoy your slice of sun, sand and sea – without thronging tourists in your photos!

Sail into the picturesque waters of Okinawan beach haven Miyakojima, then proceed to enjoy your slice of sun, sand and sea – without thronging tourists in your photos!

Sail into the picturesque waters of Okinawan beach haven Miyakojima, then proceed to enjoy your slice of sun, sand and sea – without thronging tourists in your photos!

Land tour itineraries usually slot in activities catering to a mass audience. For a more authentic experience, consider spending time in lesser-known areas – for example, choosing the untouched Okinawa over tourist-heavy Tokyo. Visitors with a taste for local food can enjoy everything from melt-in-your-mouth Japanese beef to sea grapes – a type of seaweed farmed off the Okinawan island of Miyako. Passengers onboard World Dream (departing from Hong Kong or Guangzhou) will also make a stop at Okinawan beach haven Miyakojima.

But exclusivity can also be found on the high seas, without even taking a step onto shore. The perfect indulgence comes in the form of Dream Cruises’ ship-within-a-ship concept, The Palace, which is the largest private resort at sea of its kind serving up the epitome of enjoyment. Up for the ‘gram are VIP facilities including private pool deck and lounge access, suites crossing the 42sqm mark, decadent meals across six specialty private restaurants, and one-to-one butler service to pamper you silly.

Whether Manila or Subic Bay, Ho Chi Minh or Nha Trang Bay – cruises give the freedom of packing different city cultures into one trip, perfect for those on shorter vacation schedules.

Whether Manila or Subic Bay, Ho Chi Minh or Nha Trang Bay – cruises give the freedom of packing different city cultures into one trip, perfect for those on shorter vacation schedules.

Whether Manila or Subic Bay, Ho Chi Minh or Nha Trang Bay – cruises give the freedom of packing different city cultures into one trip, perfect for those on shorter vacation schedules.

4. Plan two opposites into one trip

In bustling Manila city, there’s always something for guests to do: from exploring old forts to looking for a bargain in some of Asia’s biggest lifestyle and retail complexes. And for a complete change of scene – did you know dive trips are possible a couple of hours’ drive away? Not just for water babies, Subic Bay is also home to Asia’s only tiger safari and Philippines’ only open-sea marine conservation park. 

Travellers might prefer Ho Chi Minh city’s bustling streets, an unforgettable experience that can offer up a chaotic mix of photogenic attractions in a single block – think grand French colonial architecture and bustling street food stalls. A bus or train will take visitors to the contrasting turquoise waters of Nha Trang Bay, a stunning region surrounded by emerald-green mountains.

Whatever their choice, savvy consumers wishing to pack city and beach into one trip can simply skip land and air transfers and opt for the convenience of a cruise – perfect for travellers on a shorter holiday schedule who still want to explore the destinations they call into.

5. Slow down and smell the roses

Keen to explore beyond Asia? Explorer Dream's Australia and New Zealand itineraries deliver a good mix of nature and city, like Wellington's Mount Victoria Lookout offering 360-degree scenic views.

Keen to explore beyond Asia? Explorer Dream's Australia and New Zealand itineraries deliver a good mix of nature and city, like Wellington's Mount Victoria Lookout offering 360-degree scenic views.

Keen to explore beyond Asia? Explorer Dream's Australia and New Zealand itineraries deliver a good mix of nature and city, like Wellington's Mount Victoria Lookout offering 360-degree scenic views.

Explorer Dream is the latest addition to the ever-expanding Dream Cruises fleet, sailing towards Japan from Shanghai or Tianjin in Spring/Summer 2019. Travellers who are keen to explore outside Asian waters – and a region blessed with ethereal beauty – should opt for the Australia and New Zealand itineraries departing from Sydney and Auckland in Autumn/Winter 2019.

Take time to marvel at nature’s extravagant faces as your ship sails towards The Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand’s Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound – deep fiords encircled in thundering waterfalls and sea creatures. Enjoy slow days by Sunshine Coast’s seaside towns, or kick up the parties at Wellington, the ‘coolest little capital in the world’. With four different itineraries, that’s seven nights of guaranteed adventures – and pictures for the ‘gram!

Asia's pioneer luxury cruise line, Dream Cruises, offers today's affluent travellers stellar hospitality services such as a pre-boarding lounge, butlers and spacious comfort.

Asia's pioneer luxury cruise line, Dream Cruises, offers today's affluent travellers stellar hospitality services such as a pre-boarding lounge, butlers and spacious comfort.

Asia's pioneer luxury cruise line, Dream Cruises, offers today's affluent travellers stellar hospitality services such as a pre-boarding lounge, butlers and spacious comfort.

Looking for your next quick getaway? Click here for itineraries that are both fun and Instagrammable so you return with new dreams to share. Sweeten the trip with special deals right here.

Dream Cruises

This article is brought to you by Dream Cruises.