East Asia Adventure: Malaysia, Sri Lanka & Beyond - 2021

Singapore • 15-night expedition cruise to Malacca, George Town (Penang), Phuket, Port Blair, Trincomalee, Colombo, Cochin, Mormugao • Mumbai
  • $442
  • 21
  • 25
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Singapore to Mumbai

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Siem Reap & Angkor Wat

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DAY 1:

Board an overnight flight to Singapore

Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Singapore. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Siem Reap.

DAY 2:

Cross the International Date Line

You’ll cross the International Date Line today, meaning that you’ll arrive in Singapore around midday on Day 3.

DAY 3:

Singapore arrival

Selamat datang! Welcome to Singapore! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to acclimate before a welcome briefing later today. Tonight, enjoy a welcome reception — where you’ll sip some authentic Singapore Sling cocktails — and join your fellow expeditioners for a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:


DAY 4:

Exploring Singapore's cultural diversity

Singapore is known by many names, the "Garden City" and the "Lion City" among them, and you’ll get insight into these monikers as you explore the city’s beauty and dynamism today. During your full-day guided city tour, you’ll see the Cricket Club (cricket is a major sport here!), historic Parliament House, Supreme Court, City Hall, and Merlion Park — featuring impressive views of Marina Bay and the city's futuristic architecture. Then, delve a little deeper into Singapore’s diverse culture during visits to the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Little India, and the Yong Gallery, which displays handcrafted woodcarvings and artworks by Chinese artists.

Cultural Discoveries: This afternoon, explore the alleys around popular Bugis Street in “local” style during a trishaw ride. Then, sample Singapore’s flavorful Chinese influence during a dim sum lunch at a local restaurant, where servers bring carts of small plate dishes to tempt you. Dim sum literally means “touch the heart,” and perhaps yours will be filled by some fluffy, pork-filled bao buns . . . mouthwatering shumai dumplings . . . translucent shrimp cheung fan rolls . . . beef balls seasoned with coriander . . . and more.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 5:

SkyPark, nature park, then embarking the Ocean Explorer

After breakfast, you'll depart for a half-day city tour, featuring sweeping views of Singapore from the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, and a visit to the awe-inspiring Gardens by the Bay nature park. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant during the tour.

Then, it’s time to embark the Ocean Explorer! After settling in, take some time to explore the ship and its amenities. Take a walk around the pool, meet your Concierge to arrange a spa appointment, then convene in the dining room for your first dinner on board — one of many memorable meals on this expedition! This evening, the Ocean Explorer sets sail toward Malaysia.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 6:

Uncovering UNESCO-listed Malacca

Wake up in Malaysia today — perhaps catch the sunrise from the observation deck, or get in a morning workout at the gym, before a delicious breakfast on board. You'll explore Malacca today, and this compact Malaysian outpost was once a major Southeast Asia trade hub, with architecture exhibiting British, Dutch, and Portuguese influences from its one-time colonial rule. Explore its UNESCO-listed city center on a tour that also includes St. Paul’s Church, A Famosa Fortress, Christ Church, Stadthuys (an old Dutch spelling meaning City Hall), and more.

Cultural Discovery: Lunch is traditional nyonya, a type of cuisine that melds Chinese ingredients with spices and techniques original to the Malay and Indonesian communities. The result? Tangy, aromatic, and herbal flavors that offer just a palate preview of the exciting cuisine to come. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure exploring Malacca on your own, with complimentary shuttle service to and from the ship, or make use of the Ocean Explorer's many amenities, including spa, gym, and more. Dinner is on board this evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

Colorful George Town awaits

Enjoy a morning at leisure, with breakfast and lunch on board. This afternoon, you'll explore Penang island, beginning with its UNESCO-listed capital city, George Town.

On an island tour, you’ll visit the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, a museum dedicated to Penang’s Peranakan heritage — people from China’s southern provinces who immigrated to Malaysia between the 15th and 17th centuries. The museum is housed inside a mansion, which once served as the residence and office of a 19th-century Chinese industrial tycoon.

Cultural Discovery: You’ll also view Penang’s street art — some of which has even made international headlines! — and George Town’s Street of Harmony, which features monuments of all religions including Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, and more.

Cultural Discovery: After dinner, head over to the lounge for cocktails. We've invited some local entertainers to come aboard for the first performance of many along this expedition.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

A cultural tour of Penang and its temples

Spend the day immersing yourself in Penang’s culture and temples. On a tour to the dramatic Kek Lok Si Temple, you’ll discover sacred statues and a towering seven-story pagoda that blends Chinese, Thai, and Burmese architectural styles. Your private guide and interpreter will help unravel the fascinating artwork of each destination, including the Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram Temple and the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple, which was built in 1803 and is the island’s oldest Burmese temple. Lunch is at a local restaurant, which will give you another taste of the diversity fo Asian cuisines and flavors.

Then, enjoy an afternoon at leisure as the Ocean Explorer departs for Thailand. Head to the sun deck or observation lounge to take in the views.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

Welcome to blissful Phuket

Today you’re in Thailand’s paradisiacal island of Phuket, known for its beaches, clear turquoise waters, and rugged karst islands. Disembark the Ocean Explorer for a half-day excursion that begins with a drive along the Phuket coastline past Karon Beach and Kata Beach to a viewpoint where you can see the island’s three most beautiful beaches.

You’ll continue to Promthep Cape at Phuket’s southernmost point for optimal viewpoints of the coastline, then drive by Rawai Beach and stop at a cashew nut factory to see how cashews are grown and processed. Then it’s on to Old Phuket, where you’ll view the charming Sino-Portuguese "shop houses" that reflect the architecture of people who arrived here years ago during the region’s tin mining boom.

After lunch on board, the afternoon is at your leisure to unwind on Phuket’s blissful beaches or work with the Concierge to plan something exciting — a speedboat exploration of nearby islands, perhaps, or even a relaxing game of golf.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:

Relax on board with a day at sea

Enjoy a day at sea as the Ocean Explorer makes its way toward India. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, lounge in the swimming pool, relax on the sun deck catching up with a great book, and enjoy the fabulous cuisine our chefs are offering.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:

Port Blair’s beauty and history

At the heart of the Andaman archipelago off India’s east coast is Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Situated in the Bay of Bengal, Port Blair may be a little town but one rich in history — and beauty. Not only was the town once home to a penal colony that housed the most dangerous convicts, as well as political prisoners, but it’s named in honor of Archibald Blair of East India Company, the prominent trading enterprise.

On a tour, you’ll explore Port Blair and visit the Samudrika Marine Museum — with its display of about 350 species of sea life and rare coral varieties, the museum reflects the colossal marine wealth submerged in the surrounding waters. A visit to the Anthropological Museum showcases the tribal life of the local islands and, over at the Cellular Jail, constructed by the British in 1906, you’ll hear about the stark history of this three-storied prison. Now a National Memorial, the jail houses a spectacular sound and light show, as well as a museum and art gallery. This sobering tour also reveals the small cells that once held captive 698 solitary prisoners, the gallows, the death house, and the different implements used by the British to torture inmates.

Cultural Discovery: Afterward, visit the Aberdeen Bazaar for shopping, eating, and a glimpse of local life before lunch on board the Ocean Explorer.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAYS 12-13:

Enjoy relaxing days at sea

As you set off for Sri Lanka, you’ll spend two days at sea. Cultural Discovery: During this time, you’ll hear a lecture about Sri Lanka that will prepare you for your time on shore; you can also use this time to mingle with travelers, use the onboard amenities, write home to loved ones, deepen your tan at the pool, read, and more. Your days in Sri Lanka will be filled with discoveries, so think of these sea days as necessary downtime before the excitement ahead.

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 14:

An unforgettable day seeking Sri Lankan wildlife

After two days at sea, you’ll break from the Ocean Explorer for one night and head inland on a special excursion that will be a highlight of this expedition. We’ve designed these next few days to immerse you in Sri Lankan wildlife and culture — a true Vantage exclusive!

You’re in Trincomalee (“Trinco”), Sri Lanka, today — a city of unparalleled history and beauty. Trinco is thought to be an important sight in several Hindu texts, but its white sand beaches are a different kind of spiritual sight.

However, wildlife is the buzzword of the day with visits to two unforgettable national parks. Don’t forget your camera and your GoPro to document everything! You’ll first visit the Minneriya National Park, part of the region’s “elephant corridor,” home to the largest known meeting place of Asian elephants in the world. These gentle giants can be seen here year-round as well as the purple-faced langur and toque macaque, the park’s endemic monkeys. After Minneriya, you'll have lunch in a local restaurant on the way to the second national park.

After lunch, you'll spend the afternoon at Kaudulla National Park for more wildlife viewing. Kaudulla is home to 24 mammal species and 25 reptile species, but it’s the park’s 160 birds — including the spot-billed pelican and the lesser adjutant — that will be your focus today on a birdwatching safari.

After a rewarding day of safaris, you'll enjoy a much-deserved rest at your five-star resort, the Cinnamon Lodge Habarana, which was built on a replica of the foundations of the nearby Ritigala ruins, an ancient palace-turned-monastery. Here, you’ll have the rest of the day at leisure, with dinner at the hotel tonight.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 15:

Sigiriya stone fortress, dazzling Sri Lanka show

After breakfast at the hotel, a morning excursion leads you to Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress that’s over 200 meters high and a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it's one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning. Cultural Discoveries: During his rule from 473 to 495 CE, King Kasyapa built his royal palace at the top of Sigiriya, lavishly decorated with colorful frescoes. The palace went abandoned after his death, and was then used as a monastery until the 14th century. You'll also visit the area's cave temples, including Dambulla, which is from the first century BC. and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dambulla features more than 150 paintings of Buddha inside its walls, as well as a Buddha figure carved from rock and spanning 14 meters.

You'll then transfer to Colombo, enjoying lunch at a local restaurant en route. Tonight, enjoy dinner back on board the Ocean Explorer. Cultural Discovery: Tonight, enjoy some onboard entertainment when you attend a colorful Sri Lanka show!

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 16:

Panoramic Colombo

Embark on a panoramic tour of Colombo this morning. Often billed as a “mini Dubai,” Sri Lanka’s largest city is home to Dutch-influenced architecture and towering skyscrapers, temples and tuk tuks.

Cultural Discovery: Join a lecture on South India and its colorful culture as the Ocean Explorer departs Colombo. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure and dinner on board.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 17:

Afternoon tour of eclectic Cochin, Kathakali dance performance

After breakfast and a morning at leisure, followed by lunch on board, you'll begin your discoveries of southern India, starting with Cochin. This city has a long history as a spice trading hub and became the heart of the Portuguese empire in India at the beginning of the 16th century, before it was subsequently conquered by the Dutch and British. Today, remnants of these empires remain, but Cochin still has a character all its own. You’ll discover this character on an afternoon city tour, which will take you to St. Francis Church as well as the Chinese fishing nets in Cochin Harbor. You'll return to the ship just in time for dinner.

Cultural Discovery: After dinner, enjoy a traditional Kathakali traditional dance performance on board!

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 18:

Discovering the Alleppey backwaters

The Kerala backwaters are practically de rigueur for any adventure in southern India, and you’ll understand why as you begin your discoveries today. You’ll travel to the Alleppey region and board one of Kerala’s world-famous houseboats, taking in the peaceful scenery as you float on a vessel built to ply these waters. A traditional kerala lunch on the boat fuels the next leg of the adventure in Champakulum village, where you'll see firsthand what life is like on the rice farms and villages of the region. You’ll also visit St. Mary’s Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in India.

Late this afternoon, you’ll return to the ship for an afternoon at leisure as the Ocean Explorer leaves Cochin for Goa.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 19:

Cruising to Mormugao, traditional Indian onboard entertainment

Enjoy a day at sea today as the Ocean Explorer nears Goa’s main port of Mormugao. Enjoy the weather on the sun deck, take a refreshing dip in the pool, or nap — these precious hours of downtime can be as luxuriously lazy as you like. Cultural Discovery: Besides, once you reach Mormugao later this afternoon, you’ll enjoy dinner and a dazzling high-energy performance featuring traditional Goan music and dancing. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 20:

Your choice of tours in Goa

Goa is such much more than its golden beaches that cater to everyone from backpackers to hippies to sun-seekers. Explore Goa’s offerings with your choice of tours today:

The first option is visiting Goa’s magical Hindu temples, including Shri Mangueshi, while learning about how their distinctive structural design, spaciousness, and tranquil environment are different from most Indian temples. You’ll also visit a rustic spice farm, receiving a traditional welcome with aarti, garlands, and a welcome drink.

Or, discover Goa’s colorful history, including the heavy Portuguese influence, as you visit local cathedrals including the UNESCO-listed Basilica of Bom Jesus, which holds the remains of the Catholic missionary St. Francis Xavier, as well as the Se Cathedral. Here, your guide will lead you to the church’s Golden Bell, one of the largest bells in the city.

Head back to the ship for lunch as the ships sets sail for Mumbai. Dinner is on board this evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 21:

Exploring India’s “Maximum City”

Arrive in Mumbai, known as India’s “Maximum City.” This is a city of dreams — a teeming, cosmopolitan metropolis that’s the beating heart of this nation. It's also where you'll disembark the Ocean Explorer — we hope you enjoyed your expedition on Vantage's newest small ship ocean vessel!

On your city tour, you’ll visit Hanging Gardens and the famed Dhobi Ghats, and drive past Marine Drive, Malabar Hill, and Chowpatty. You’ll also visit the Gandhi Museum, where you’ll learn about the life and death of the man Indians call “Mahatma” (meaning great soul). After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll transfer to your Mumbai hotel. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers and toast your South Asia voyage at a festive Farewell Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 22:

Inside the Bollywood film industry

Now that you’re more familiar with Mumbai, go inside its dazzling Bollywood film industry at a visit to a local film studio! The Indian film industry is the globe's largest, with an annual output of nearly 2,000 films. Many Bollywood films cross genres, and feature elements from comedy, adventure, and romance films — not to mention, musicals! This is an exciting feature that takes you right to the heart of contemporary Indian life. Don't forget your camera!

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure afterward, or perhaps you’ll have already arranged something with the Concierge. This is your chance to pursue your own interests, so wildlife lovers shouldn’t miss the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, home to a few wild leopards, or visit the Kanheri Caves, a complex featuring basalt monuments and Buddhist sculptures. Add another UNESCO site to your list with a visit to the Victoria Terminus, a historic railway station where Mumbai’s dabbawallahs (lunch deliverers) have been dropping off lunchboxes for workers for more than 100 years by bicycle, train, and foot.

Tonight, a Farewell Dinner reunites you and your fellow travelers for one last toast to this unforgettable expedition. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 23:

Return home

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel today, then begin packing as you'll fly home today, or join an optional post-trip extension to Delhi & the Taj Mahal — a can't-miss on any visit to India. Dinner is included this evening, as is your transfer to the Mumbai airport for your return flight home.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

Post-Trip Extension

Delhi & the Taj Mahal

FROM: $1599 PER PERSON | 6 DAYS | $266 PER DAY

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

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CALL 1-888-514-1845

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East Asia Adventure: Malaysia, Sri Lanka & Beyond - 2021

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