Grand Voyage – Middle East to Far East

Take the cruise of a lifetime from the mysterious emirates to the exotic orient on this 28-night cruise onboard 4* MSC Splendida.

Departing Abu Dhabi in the UAE your cruise will visit Muscat in Oman before crossing the Indian Ocean to call at Sri Lanka’s fascinating city Colombo. The cruise continues to the Thai paradise of Phuket and Langkawi, Penang and Port Klang of Malaysia before calling at Singapore. You’ll then visit the historic Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and the great eastern cities of Hong Kong and Shanghai before crossing the East China Sea to Yokohama, close to Japan’s capital Tokyo.

DESTINATION Middle East to Far East
FROM Dublin / Abu Dhabi
DATE 30th March 2018
DURATION 28 Nights
PRICE From €3,649 pp

Departing Dubai in the UAE your cruise will visit Abu Dhabi, and Muscat in Oman before crossing the Indian Ocean to call at Sri Lanka’s fascinating city Colombo. The cruise continues to the Thai paradise of Phuket and Langkawi, Penang and Port Klang of Malaysia before calling at Singapore. You’ll then visit the historic Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and the great eastern cities of Hong Kong and Shanghai before crossing the East China Sea to Yokohama, close to Japan’s capital Tokyo.

Flight Times:

OUTBOUND Dublin 22:25 Dubai 08:50
RETURN Tokyo 22:00 Dublin 12:05 (via Dubai)

U8MI-Middle East to Far East

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1-3: Dubai, UAE:

On arrival in Abu Dhabi, after your overnight flight, you will be transferred to the port in Dubai to board MSC Splendida. You have an overnight stay in port at Dubai before your cruise ship sets off.

A shore excursion on your can be the opportunity to discover Bur Dubai, at the heart of the metropolis of Dubai, on the south side of the breezy Creek. It’s the oldest part of Dubai and it offers a fascinating insight into the city’s traditional roots.
This is where you’ll find many of the place’s most interesting Arabian heritage houses, clustered in the beautiful old Iranian quarter of Bastakiya and the waterfront Shindagha district, as well as the excellent Dubai Museum and the atmospheric Textile Souk.

You could also take an excursion to the bustling district of Deira: the centre of Dubai’s traditional commercial activity, much of it still conducted in the area’s vibrant array of old-fashioned souks, including the famous gold and spice markets. A few kilometres south of the old city centre, modern Dubai begins in spectacular style with Sheikh Zayed Road, home to a neck-cricking array of skyscrapers including the glittering Emirates Towers.

Day 4: Abu Dhabi, UAE: Arrive 05.00 Depart 18.00

The United Arab Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi, where your MSC cruise ship awaits your return, offers an intriguing contrast to its freewheeling neighbour Dubai, a little over an hour’s drive down the coast.

Leading attractions on your Emirates and Oman cruises to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates include the extravagant Emirates Palace hotel and the even more spectacular Sheikh Zayed Mosque, while the various attractions of Yas Island, home to the vast Ferrari World theme park, lie just down the road.

Day 5: At Sea

Day 6: Muscat, Oman: Arrive 08.00 Depart 18.00

Stepping ashore in Oman’s capital Muscat, when your cruise takes you to the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman, means stepping into one of the oldest cities of the Middle East. This is where incense was shipped to Greece and Rome as far back as the 2nd century.

Today it is still possible to find traces of its glorious past in the old centre where, until the latter part of the past century, the gates that separated the various quarters would be closed three hours after dawn. Muttrah, the historic centre of trade and activity of the capital that you will see during the cruise, is one of the most intriguing and well preserved parts of the town centre.

Day 7-9: At Sea:

Day 10: Colombo, Sri Lanka: Arrive 08.00 Depart 17.00

Beneath the unprepossessing surface of Colombo lies an intriguing and characterful city just waiting to be discovered on an MSC Grand Voyages excursion.

After leaving the port where your cruise ship awaits your return, Fort district lies at the heart of old Colombo, occupying (as its name suggests) the site of the now-vanished Portuguese defences. Under the British, Fort developed into the centrepiece of the colonial capital, adorned with handsome Neoclassical buildings and boasting all the necessities of expatriate life in the tropics, right down to the inevitable clock tower and statue of Queen Victoria. East of Fort, the helter-skelter bazaar district of the Pettah is Colombo’s most absorbing area, and feels quite unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka.

Day 11-12: At Sea:

Day 13: Phuket, Thailand: Arrive 10.00 Depart 20.00

Phuket Town (Muang Phuket) stands distinct from the tailor-made tourist settlements along the beaches as a place of tangible history and culture waiting to be appreciated on a Grand Voyages cruise excursion.

Most visitors hang about just long enough to jump on a beach-bound songthaew, but you may find yourself returning for a welcome dose of real life; there’s plenty to engage you in a stroll through the small but atmospherically restored heart of the Old Town, along with many idiosyncratic cafés and art shops, several notable restaurants and some good handicraft shops.

Day 14: Langkawi, Malaysia: Arrive 08.00 Depart 18.00

Situated 30km off the coast just south of the Thai border, at 500 square kilometres Pulau Langkawi is the largest of an archipelago of mostly uninhabited islands.

A shore excursion on your Grand Voyages cruise can be the opportunity to discover its white-sand beaches which are easily the best along the entire west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Langkawi’s charms consist largely of lazing around on the sand, perhaps taking time off for a mangrove cruise after sea eagles, to snorkel or scuba dive south at Pulau Payar Marine Park, or to ride the Langkawi Cable Car over the interior forests to the top of Gunung Mat Cincang.

Day 15: Penang, Malaysia: Arrive 08.00 Depart 18.00

In the far northwest of Peninsular Malaysia, Penang is the most ambiguously named part of the Malaysia: depending on context, the moniker may refer to the island (Pulau Pinang in Malay, pinang being what Malays call the betel-nut palm), or the state (the island plus a blob of mainland opposite, around the town of Butterworth), or even just the state capital – properly Georgetown, waiting to be appreciated on a Grand Voyages cruise excursion.

This was where the British established their first Malay port in the late eighteenth century, laying the foundations for the Georgetown of today, a fascinating blend of colonial, Indian, Malay and – especially – Chinese and Peranakan heritage. A shore excursion on your Grand Voyages cruise can be the opportunity to visit this city that has seen a renaissance since its central old quarter, along with that of Melaka, were jointly made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, and makes a wonderful base to see all of Penang. Elsewhere on the 285-square-kilometre island are a coastal national park where you might see nesting turtles, a couple of unusual temples and a rather overdeveloped beach at Batu Ferringhi.

Day 16: Port Kelang, Malaysia: Arrive 08.00 Depart 18.00

A cruise of one day is enough to appreciate the best of Kuala Lumpur’s main attractions, including the colonial core around Merdeka Square and the adjacent enclaves of Chinatown and Little India, plus, to the east, the restaurants, shops and nightlife of the so-called Golden Triangle, the modern heart of downtown Kuala Lumpur, your port of call in Malaysia.

It can be equally rewarding just to take in the street life, in particular the boisterous markets, ranging from fish and produce markets stuffed into alleyways, via clothes and accessories stalls, to stands selling cooked food of every shape and description. Indeed, the capital offers some of the most exciting cuisine in the country, not only in the street markets but also in a plethora of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Kuala Lumpur’s hinterland highlights making it one of the most unique stops on a Grand Voyages cruise, too; among them the rugged limestone Batu Caves, which contain the Malaysia’s most sacred Hindu shrine.

Day 17: Singapore: Arrive 07.00 Depart 22.00

Each of the original ethnic enclaves of Singapore boasts a fair amount of period architecture in the form of neatly restored shophouses, and retains its own distinct flavour: Little India has its garland-sellers and curry houses, Chinatown its calligraphers and fortune-tellers, while Arab Street is home to cluttered stores selling fine cloths and curios. Right at the core of downtown Singapore are historic public buildings and the lofty cathedral of the Colonial District.

Old Singapore is looking better than ever thanks to belated conservation work, and that historical emphasis carries over into a clutch of fine museums – including the National Museum, recounting Singapore’s story from the fourteenth century onwards; the Chinatown Heritage Centre, evoking the harsh conditions endured by Chinatown’s earlier inhabitants; and the Peranakan Museum and Baba House, which celebrate Singapore’s Baba-Nonya heritage, just as important as that of Melaka and Penang.

Day 18: At Sea:

Day 19: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Arrive 10.00 Depart 18.00

It’s a fury of sights and sounds, and the crucible in which Vietnam’s rallying fortunes are boiling. Few corners of the city afford respite from the cacophony of construction work casting up new office blocks and hotels with logic-defying speed. An increasing number of cars and minibuses jostle with an organic mass of state-of-the-art Honda SUVs, choking the tree-lined streets and boulevards.

Amid this melee, the local people go about their daily life: smartly dressed schoolkids wander past streetside baguette-sellers; women shoppers ride motorbikes clad in gangster-style bandanas to protect their skin from the sun and dust; while teenagers in designer jeans chirrup into mobile phones. MSC Cruises shore excursions can be a clever option to see much of Ho Chi Minh City’s fun that derives from the simple pleasure of absorbing its flurry of activity – something best done from the seat of a cyclo or a roadside café.
To blink is to miss some new and singular sight, be it a motorbike stacked high with piglets bound for the market, or a boy on a bicycle rapping out a staccato tattoo on pieces of bamboo to advertise noodles for sale.

Day 20-21: At Sea:

Day 22-23: Hong Kong: Arrive 08.00 OVERNIGHT Depart 18.00

As you will discover during your Grand Voyages cruise, Hong Kong Island is the heart of the whole territory, its administrative and business centre and site of some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Development is concentrated along the island’s north shore, a 6km-long strip of financial, commercial and entertainment districts overlooking Victoria Harbour.

At its core, Central sprouts an astounding array of high-tech towers, edged to the west by Sheung Wan’s smaller-scale and traditional Chinese businesses. Behind this the land climbs steeply to The Peak, wherever you get them from, vistas are stupendous, down over the island’s intensely crowded north shore, across the busy harbour to a lower-rise, unspectacular Kowloon and the green peaks of the New Territories. Man Mo Temple is one of the oldest in Hong Kong, waiting to be value on a Grand Voyages cruise excursion.

Day 24-25: At Sea:

Day 26: Shanghai, China: Arrive 07.00 Depart 21.00

When your cruise brings you to Shanghai it is easy to understand that after years of stagnation, this great metropolis is undergoing one of the fastest economic expansions the world has ever seen.
As Shanghai begins to recapture its position as East Asia’s leading business city, a status it last held before World War II, the skyline is filling with high-rises – there are well over a thousand now.

Gleaming shopping malls, luxurious hotels and prestigious arts centres are rising alongside, while underneath everything snakes the world’s longest subway system. Shanghai’s 23 million residents enjoy the highest incomes on the mainland, and there’s plenty for them to splash out on; witness the rash of celebrity restaurants and designer flagship stores. Grand Voyages cruises also offer excursions to the Bund – Shanghai’s original signature skyline –, a strip of grand Neoclassical colonial edifices on the west bank of the Huangpu River Pudong on the opposite shore – a backdrop domestic visitors queue up against to have their picture taken.

Day 27-28: At Sea:

Day 29-30: Yokohama, Japan: Arrive 08.00 OVERNIGHT

On its southern borders, Tokyo merges with Yokohama, Japan’s second most populous city and a major international port. When you step aground from your MSC cruise you will find that Yokohama feels far more spacious and airy than the capital, thanks to its open harbour frontage and generally low-rise skyline.

When Commodore Perry sailed his “Black Ships” into Tokyo Bay in 1853, Yokohama was a mere fishing village of some eighty houses on the distant shore. But it was this harbour, well out of harm’s way as far as the Japanese were concerned, that the shogun designated one of the five treaty ports open to foreign trade in 1858. From the early 1860s until the first decades of the twentieth century, Yokohama flourished on the back of raw silk exports, a trade dominated by British merchants.

After your breakfast on board, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Dublin.

28 Nights accommodation aboard the 4 Star MSC Splendida, operated by MSC Cruises. (See ship info tab for more information on MSC Splendida)

Cabins

    Inside 360:           Oceanview 360:          Balcony 360:

inside 360            oceanview           balcony

MSC Splendida

A cruise ship where technology and comfort are spectacularly combined. Futuristic, yet retaining its classic simplicity and elegance. A cruise ship that promises the ultimate cruise experience.

In the MSC AUREA Spa highly-trained staff combine the magic of Balinese massage with the most modern and exclusive treatments. Specialities include: traditional water treatments (a legacy from Roman times), saunas, Turkish bath, solarium, relaxation room, thalassotherapy, massage room and whirlpool baths. For those seeking more ‘high impact’ activities, there is an exercise room filled with the latest equipment.

MSC Splendida also features 4 swimming pools, a squash court, a Formula 1 simulator and much, much more…

 

Public Lounges

    Restaurants:          Bars & Lounges:       Entertainment:

inside 360            oceanview          balcony


Click the images for a larger view (Opens in pop up)

Click to Enlarge

Deck 5 Canaletto

Stateroom Categories:

  • Cat. 1 Inside
  • Cat. 4 Oceanview

Theatre, Reception, Bars & Restaurants

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Deck 6 Modigliani

Theatre, Casino, Bars, Shops & Restaurants

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Deck 7 Tiziano

Theatre, Bars, Shopping & Restaurants

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Deck 8 Giotto

Stateroom Categories:

  • Cat. 2 Inside
  • Cat. 5 Oceanview
  • Cat. 6 Balcony

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Deck 9 Tintoretto

Stateroom Categories:

  • Cat. 2 Inside
  • Cat. 7 Balcony
  • Cat. 13 Aurea Suite

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Deck 10 Botticelli

Stateroom Categories:

  • Cat. 3 Inside
  • Cat. 8 Balcony
  • Cat. 13 Aurea Suite

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Deck 11 Caravaggio

Stateroom Categories:

  • Cat. 3 Inside
  • Cat. 9 Balcony
  • Cat. 13 Aurea Suite

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Deck 12 De Chirico

Stateroom Categories:

  • Cat. 3 Inside
  • Cat. 10 Balcony
  • Cat. 12 Balcony Suite
  • Cat. YC2 Executive/Family Suite

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Deck 13 Piero Della Francesca

Stateroom Categories:

  • Cat. 3 Inside
  • Cat. 5 Oceanview
  • Cat. 11 Balcony

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Deck 14 Raffaello

Spa, Pool/Aqua Park, Bars & Restaurants

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Deck 15 Leonardo Da Vinci

Stateroom Categories:

  • Cat. YC1 Deluxe Suite

Walking Track, Kids pools, bar & restaurant

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Deck 16 Michelangelo

Stateroom Categories:

  • Cat. YC1 Deluxe Suite
  • Cat. YC3 Royal Suite

Disco, 4D Cinema, F1 Simulator & Sports Centre

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Deck 18 Sun Deck

Solarium

Details valid as of February 2012. Subject to change.

Dates & Prices

DATE PRICE STATEROOM
30 March 2018 €3,649 Inside Book Now
30 March 2018 €4,439 Oceanview Book Now
30 March 2018 €5,049 Balcony Book Now

Price inclusions

  • Direct flight from Dublin to Dubai
  • Airport transfer to the port
  • 28 nights accommodation aboard MSC Splendida based on 2 sharing an inside cabin
  • Full Board basis
  • All onboard entertainment
  • Transfer from the port to the airport
  • Indirect flight Tokyo to Dublin
  • Taxes and charges & baggage of 15kg per person

Booking remarks

  • Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
  • Non refundable or transferable booking deposit of €250 per person
  • Full payment due 12 weeks prior to departure date
  • 2% surcharge if balance is paid by credit card
  • Optional Insurance €29 (conditions apply)
  • Drinks onboard not included. All Inclusive Drinks package only €26 per person per night
  • Gratuities and service charges onboard not included
  • These prices are guidelines only and are subject to change and availability. Pricing will be confirmed at time of booking.
  • Single supplement on request