NEW!

Myths and Marvels of Asia, Egypt, and Arabia: Hong Kong to Amman - 2021

Hong Kong • 57-night small ship cruise with Halong Bay, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Sihanoukville/Phnom Penh, Koh Samui, Kuantan, Singapore, Malacca, George Town, Phuket, Port Blair, Trincomalee, Colombo, Cochin, Mormugao, Mumbai, Porbandar, Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Sur, Salalah, Hurghada/Safaga (Luxor), Eilat, Aqaba• Amman
  • JOIN THE INAUGURAL SAILING SEASON OF THE 5-STAR OCEAN EXPLORER, VANTAGE'S FIRST SMALL SHIP OCEAN-CRUISING EXPEDITION VESSEL
  • VISIT THE ROYAL PALACE OF PHNOM PENH
  • SEE THREE DIFFERENT SIDES OF INDIA IN THE HISTORIC PORTUGUESE-COLONIAL CITY OF GOA, THE SPICE CAPITAL OF COCHIN, AND MUMBAI, MODERN INDIA’S MOST SOPHISTICATED CITY
  • EXPLORE PETRA, THE LEGENDARY LOST CITY, CARVED INTO THE PINK SANDSTONE CLIFFS OF WADI MUSA
  • VISIT THE QATARI CAPITAL OF DOHA, WHOSE LUXURIES BEGGAR THE IMAGINATION AND WHOSE STARTLING ARCHITECTURE DEFIES GRAVITY
DATES & PRICES
STARTING FROM
$27,999
  • $482
    PER DAY
  • 58
    DAYS
  • 99
    TOURS
TRIP WITH AIR
60 DAYS FROM $27,999
Luxury
Extend Your journey (2 available)
Hong Kong & Macau

3 DAYS FROM $999

Jordan’s Dead Sea Treasures

4 DAYS FROM $1,299

Save up to 10%
The earlier you reserve, the more you can save with SmartPay!SM
Leader in Solo Travel
Reduced Single Supplements on every departure, limited availability — reserve now!
Save up to 10%
The earlier you reserve, the more you save with SmartPay!
 

Experience the allure of the Near and Far East on an unforgettable voyage that limns the coast of Asia, taking you from the South China Sea to the Gulf of Thailand, Andaman Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Indian Ocean, and from the Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. Your journey combines four separate cruise itineraries, delivering nonstop discovery as you visit 30 ports in 14 nations. See Hong Kong’s spectacular harbor, framed by a canyon of glass skyscrapers. Glide past the limestone pinnacles of Vietnam’s Halong Bay. Discover the heady mix of cultures that accent Singapore, George Town, and Malacca. Walk in the footsteps of Gandhi in India. Behold the lost city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And experience the fascination of the Emirates, where high-tech luxuries and desert culture meld.

What’s more, we’ve included hotel stays in your first and last destinations, as well as on three overnight excursion highlights, so you won’t miss these important travel milestones. Stay overnight in Phnom Penh, and see some of Cambodia’s most elaborate temples and palaces. Seek out elephants and rare birds against a stunning jungle backdrop in two Sri Lankan national parks. Journey across the Egyptian desert to Luxor, the site of ancient Thebes and your entrée to the temples of Karnak and Luxor and the pharaonic Theban Necropolis. It took Sinbad seven voyages to cover this much ground. . .You’ll do it on a single, luxurious cruise, relishing five-star comfort on board the brand-new Ocean Explorer.

As if that weren’t enough, your cruise will feature many extra-special events since it marks the Ocean Explorer’s maiden voyage. You'll celebrate with elegant receptions, festive dinners, unique enrichment events, and more.

Hong Kong to Amman

Pre-Trip Extension

Hong Kong & Macau

FROM: $999 PER PERSON | 3 DAYS | $333 PER DAY
Close All

DAYS 1-2:

Fly to Hong Kong

Your journey begins today as you depart your gateway city and fly to Hong Kong. You’ll fly overnight and cross the International Date Line, arriving at your destination on Day 3.

Please note: If you're taking advantage of the pre-trip extension to Hong Kong and Macau, you will follow the pre-trip itinerary until Day 5, when you'll board the Ocean Explorer and join your fellow base travelers for the rest of the adventure. All activities and inclusions will be covered; please see the pre-trip extension itinerary for details.

DAY 3:

Welcome to Hong Kong

If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, upon arrival at the airport in Hong Kong a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your centrally located hotel. You may arrive early in the morning, but we have arranged for an early check-in so you can get some rest. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. This evening, attend the Welcome Briefing and Dinner, where you'll be joined by pre-trip extension travelers. You will be reunited with these travelers again in time for embarkation on Day 5.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 4:

The best of Hong Kong Island

After breakfast, get better acquainted with some of Hong Kong’s most iconic attractions on a half-day city tour.

Aberdeen was the original tiny village for which all of Hong Kong is now named. It was settled by the Tanka people, who speak their own dialect and have historically lived on fishing boats in floating villages. This is where locals came for the freshest seafood, and jostling next to the tiny traditional junk boats you’ll see famous, grand floating restaurants like the iconic Jumbo. A sampan ride through the harbor brings it all to you, up close. Then, for a totally different perspective, you’ll ride to the top of Victoria Peak by tram, and enjoy lunch atop Hong Kong’s highest hill.

Experience the dim sum tradition on an included lunch, 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 siu mai dumplings . . . translucent shrimp cheung fan rolls . . . beef balls seasoned with coriander . . . and more.

Later in the afternoon, you’ll return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, with dinner on your own.

Vantage Exclusive Feature:

  • Hong Kong island excursion with sampan tour of Aberdeen floating village

Cultural Discovery:

  • Traditional dim sum lunch

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 5:

Lantau Island, embark the Ocean Explorer

This morning after breakfast you will check out of your hotel and embark on a half-day tour of Lantau Island, where Hong Kong comes to play.

Lantau is popular for its beaches, shopping outlets, and theme parks, but you will focus on its historic attractions and traditional culture. See the classic Po Lin Monastery, and just above it, on a hilltop, the Tian Tan Buddha, an 85-foot-high bronze statue. Then, where the mountains meet the sea, you will explore Tai-O, a 300-year-old fishing village of stilt houses, traditional boats, and more. Before leaving, you’ll get a bird's-eye view of it all when you ride the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to Tung Chung peak.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll transfer to the pier and embark the relaxed, yet refined Ocean Explorer. Vantage founder and chairman, Henry Lewis, and his wife, Patricia, will be on board to personally welcome you on this special inaugural voyage.  

Included Features:

  • Half-day tour of Lantau Island
  • Visit Po Lin Monastery

Inaugural Feature:

  • Welcome cocktail party and gala dinner on the Ocean Explorer

Cultural Discovery:

  • Visit the fishing village of Tai O

Scenic Sailing:

  • Enjoy a drink on the deck and soak in the views of Hong Kong’s skyline as we depart for our next port of call

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Cruising the South China Sea

Enjoy a full day at sea to relax and enjoy the luxurious amenities of the brand-new Ocean Explorer. Pamper your body with a relaxing massage, a facial, a swim in the infinity pool, or a soothing soak in the hot tub. Stimulate your mind with a lecture on Vietnamese culture, a movie, or a great book borrowed from our library. The choice is yours! You'll also meet the Ocean Explorer's captain and crew at a Welcome Reception, followed by a briefing and sumptuous dinner on board.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Cruise idyllic Halong Bay or explore the best of Hanoi

Good morning, Vietnam! Your ship will drop anchor in the port of Cai Lan, and after breakfast you have a choice of two exciting tours:

Behold the nearly 2,000 jutting limestone outcrops of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose mystique has inspired artists for centuries. Legend says that its emerald pinnacles are the humps of a sea-dragon’s back. Your tour takes place on board a small, private boat that will glide you through the silent channels and hidden lagoons. As you cruise, you’ll see an entire city on boats, including a bank, bar, shops and houseboats. Waving children, mothers hanging laundry, old men mending their fishing nets — here is where the everyday life of traditional Vietnam reveals itself. You’ll stop at the famous Hang Dau Go ("Grotto of the Wooden Stakes"), where stakes were driven into the mud in 1288 to skewer the boats of Kublai Khan's Mongol navy. There are also stairs to a commanding lookout point here. This tour includes a deluxe multi-course lunch featuring many fresh seafood specialties.

Alternatively, discover the capital city of Hanoi, an amalgam of French colonial mansions, tree-lined avenues, and traditional Vietnamese architecture that was known as the “Paris of the East.” Your tour begins with a visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in 1070, and dedicated to Confucius. Students still visit its elaborate altars to pray for good grades. A highlight will be your electric cart tour through the famed Old Quarter. It is known for its “36 streets of 36 wares” where 36 13th-century artisan guilds built their specialized workshops. You’ll wind through a maze of fascinating back streets lined with narrow houses known as “tunnel” or “tube” houses, built that way so owners could avoid paying taxes based on the width of their street frontage. Lunch is included at the Cau Go Vietnamese restaurant, located on the top floor of a building that offers amazing views of distant Hoan Kiem Lake.

Whether your explorations take you to Halong Bay or to the streets of Hanoi, you'll re-embark the ship after a full day of adventure and enjoy leisure time before another delicious dinner.

Included Feature:

  • Boat tour of Halong Bay or Hanoi sightseeing tour

Cultural Discovery:

  • Experience local life in Vietnam

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Cruising the Gulf of Tonkin

Enjoy a day at leisure to relax and enjoy your ship’s resort amenities. Perhaps you’ll join a morning yoga class, read on your balcony, or catnap on the sun deck. Later you can join friends for cocktails in the multi-level lounge, browse the boutique, or attend a lecture by a local historian. Later in the day your Cruise Director will present a port talk.

Then, learn about the transformation of Vietnam when an expert historian presents a lecture on Vietnam, Past & Present.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on Vietnam, Past & Present

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Nha Trang countryside tour or a day at the beach

Watch the sun rise during breakfast as the ship arrives in Nha Trang, then take your pick of two wonderful tours: Spend the day in the countryside learning about the culture from locals, or opt for a more relaxing alternative enjoying the picturesque beaches for which Nha Trang is renowned.

Travel beyond the beautiful beaches of Nha Trang, and get a true slice of Vietnamese life. It begins at Po Nagar Cham Towers, a beautiful Cham temple dating to 781 BC that is dedicated to the goddess of the countryside. From here you’ll walk along a tiny alley to a dock where you’ll begin a river cruise aboard a small boat. Drift through peaceful scenes of sleepy villages nestled under coconut shade, wooden bridges, and uniformed children walking to school. You’ll disembark at a village market, and get an eyeful of the colorful fruits, flowers, clothing and household implements. Then, drive to an ancient house to share a cup of tea and seasonal fruit. You’ll also visit a workshop where village elders weave mats from sedge, keeping alive an age-old tradition that is fast disappearing. Your tour includes lunch at a local restaurant.

Alternatively, Nha Trang is famous for its sandy beaches and you’ll enjoy one of its best on this easygoing excursion. Ride to a private beach club where you can swim, snorkel, or snooze beneath your own shaded canopy. The staff will be happy to serve you cool beverages or snacks by the sea, or explore the restaurant, spa, and other beachside facilities.

Afterward, you will arrive back mid-afternoon from the countryside or beach right in time for dinner on board as the ship sets off for Ho Chi Minh City.

Included Feature:

  • Nha Trang countryside tour or excursion to private beach club

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit a village market in Nha Trang
  • Sedge mat weaving demonstration at a local workshop

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Experience old Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City

Take your time over breakfast and relax as we sail into Nha Rong, the port for Ho Ch Minh City. Once known as Saigon, the city is Vietnam’s business and financial hub.

Upon arrival this afternoon, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, a neo-Romanesque, red brick edifice with twin spires topped with iron. It was constructed around 1888 with materials imported from France. Across the way, the classic 1960s exterior of the Reunification Palace may seem familiar to you. It was here that the first Communist tanks rolled into town and the building was prominently on the news when South Vietnam fell in 1975. On the other side of the square admire the Central Post Office, completed in 1891. With its barrel-vaulted central hall and pale pink façade, it seems just too pretty to be relegated to mail! Also featured are the restored exteriors of the Saigon Opera House and the elegant City Hall (the former Hotel de Ville), two of Saigon’s most stunning French colonial monuments.

Dinner is on board this evening, followed by an evening at leisure.

Included Feature:

  • Tour of old Saigon

Cultural Discovery:

  • Live show in Ho Chi Minh City

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Explore more of Ho Chi Minh City

We’ve left this morning free so you can pursue your own interests here in Saigon. Perhaps you’ll nibble on exotic street food at the Ben Tranh Market, where your choices range from savory spring rolls to skewers of tarantulas and everything in between! Step back in time at the War Remnants Museum, or admire the masterworks at the Fine Arts Museum. Your onboard Vantage Concierge can assist with all your plans. You'll enjoy lunch on board before the Ocean Explorer departs Ho Chi Minh City, bound for Cambodia!

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Cruising the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand

Enjoy a free day as your ship rounds southern Vietnam and continues towards Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Perhaps you’ll indulge in some spa treatments, do laps in the infinity pool, watch a movie under a canopy of stars on the sun deck, or meet friends for drinks in the lounge. But that’s just the start.

During your time on board, there will be an ongoing schedule of enrichment programs, and today you'll be joined by an expert lecturer who will walk you through the fascinating history of Cambodia, where you'll soon be. 

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on the history of Cambodia

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Arrive in Sihanoukville; Phnom Penh overnight excursion

Today you’ll disembark ship and travel inland to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, staying overnight at an elegant 5-star hotel. Once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” Phnom Penh nestles on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers, and was renowned as one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina. After surviving the destructions of the Khmer Rouge regime, it is once again a vibrant, youthful capital.

Spend a sobering but important half day learning about the turbulent Khmer Rouge years as you visit sites related to the infamous “Killing Fields.” Tuol Sleng, a high school turned interrogation prison known as S-21, is now a genocide museum. You’ll also call at Cheung Ek, a large memorial commemorating the 17,000 victims who died there under the reign of Pol Pot. While disturbing, these somber relics also provide an appreciation for the courageous struggles that Cambodian people have faced.

This evening during dinner you’ll enjoy a traditional Apsara Dinner and Dance Show with beautifully costumed performers.

Included Feature:

  • Educational tour on the Cambodian genocide

Inaugural Feature:

  • Evening onboard entertainment: traditional Apsara dance show

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

Phnom Penh historical tour, return to ship in Sihanoukville

After checking out of your hotel, you’ll transfer to Phnom Penh for some more city touring.

Explore hillside Wat Phnom with its big trees and mischievous monkeys, and hear about the legend of Lady Penh, the founder of the city. At the National Museum, you can admire a collection of Khmer art that includes more than 5,000 objects, including statues and other artifacts from Angkor Wat. Then, see the Royal Palace, home to the present King Norodom Sihamoni. It was opened in 1870, and now contains the Royal Residence, Throne Hall, Silver Pagoda, and other historic buildings. The Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo Morokat) is named for its more than 5,000 silver floor tiles. The building is a repository of cultural treasures, such as the famous Emerald Buddha, and a life-sized gold Buddha adorned with 2,086 diamonds. You’ll get around Phnom Penh as the locals do, riding past the elegant Post Office, Central Market, and Public Library on board a bicycle-powered carriage called a cyclo.

Back on board the Ocean Explorer, you’ll enjoy another memorable dining experience and a relaxing evening at leisure.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Cyclo ride around Phnom Penh

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Koh Samui, Thailand’s romantic beach paradise

Relax on board as your ship plows through the turquoise waters around Koh Samui. After lunch, get ready for a cultural safari that will whisk you around the island! 

Your safari starts at Wat Khunaram, where the mummified body of a monk named Luang Phor Daeng sits in a meditative pose, looking very much alive. Stop for refreshments at the impressive Na Muang waterfall, which cascades 59 feet into a sparkling natural pool below. You’ll pass the unusual Grandma and Grandpa rock formations, then continue to Ladd Koh for panoramic views of famed Chaweng Beach. See the golden Buddha at Wat Phra Yai, who sits on hill and is nearly 50 feet tall. Heading back to the ship you’ll pass many stands selling handicrafts such as batiks, and products made from seashells and coconuts. Time pending, you might stop at a local market in Nathon to browse the beachwear and other Koh Samui specialties. This evening, enjoy an onboard performance of traditional Thai dancing.

Included Feature:

  • Minivan cultural tour around Koh Samui

Inaugural Feature:

  • Traditional Thai dance performance with dinner at a local pub

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 16:

Free day in Koh Samui

Take advantage of your free time to savor another day in this seaside heaven. Koh Samui is a foodie favorite, so ask your onboard Vantage Concierge for recommendations. Perhaps you’ll just relax on a secluded beach, or indulge in a Thai massage.

Active Feature:

  • Swimming or snorkeling on the beaches of Koh Samui

Scenic Sailing:

  • Koh Samui’s emerald hills and golden beaches give way to the silken waters of the Gulf of Thailand, as you cruise on southward

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 17:

Cruising the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea

Another day to enjoy your ship’s deluxe facilities. Perhaps you’ll join a bridge group in the lounge, have a facial at the spa, or get in some cardio at the gym. Today a local historian will present a fascinating lecture. 

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on Southeast Asia

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 18:

Discover Kuantan, Malaysia

Today you’ll enter Malaysia and explore the capital of its Pahang province, Kuantan. The city is popular for its excellent beaches, but our touring will concentrate on some of the more interesting cultural and historical attractions.

Your exploration begins in Sungai Lembing, an old tin mining town that was once known as the “El Dorado of the East” because of the wealth it generated. During their peak at the turn of the century, these were among the world’s longest and deepest mines, and you’ll have the chance to peer into them. You’ll also visit the Sungai Lembing Museum, which displays many old photographs and mining equipment. Back in Kuantan, you’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, the see the main sights such as the imposing Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah mosque, and Teluk Chempedak Beach.

Included Feature:

  • Historical tour of Sungai Lembing and Kuantan

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 19:

Celebrate the multiculturalism of Singapore

Today, set your sights for one of the hottest destinations in Asia. After a leisurely breakfast you’ll enjoy a city tour that showcases the historic Civic District, with its lovely parks, memorials, and government buildings. It was here that Sir Stamford Raffles first laid out the core of modern Singapore in 1822. Featured here are City Hall and the Parliament building, a modern take on the classic Greek Revival style, and the New and Old Supreme Court buildings. You’ll also see the Padang, an open playing field that is home to the prestigious Singapore Cricket Club. At Merlion Park, you’ll admire the half lion, half fish statue that is the symbol of Singapore, and stunning Marina Bay, with its futuristic skyline.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll see some of the city’s older landmarks. In Chinatown, visit Thian Hock Keng, the city’s oldest Hokkien temple; Little India; the Yong Gallery; and the Peranakan area, with its pastel-colored shop houses.

Enjoy a trishaw ride through colorful Bugis Street, a onetime red-light district that is now one of the biggest and most popular market districts in Singapore. Then, return to your ship for dinner on board as we set sail.

Included Feature:

  • Full-day Singapore city tour

Cultural Discovery:

  • Trishaw ride through Bugis Street

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 20:

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, the Stadthuys (an old Dutch spelling meaning City Hall), and more.

Lunch is traditional Peranakan cuisine, which 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 the spa, gym, and more. Dinner is on board this evening.

Included Feature:

  • Tour Malacca city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with lunch of Peranakan cuisine

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 21:

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. 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.

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 Feature:

  • Tour of Penang Island and its UNESCO-listed capital, George Town

Cultural Discovery:

  • Evening onboard entertainment in the lounge

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 22:

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 of 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 Feature:

  • Private guided Penang temple and cultural tour

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 23:

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 Feature:

  • Phuket sightseeing excursion

Active Feature:

  • Swimming, snorkeling, or water sports on Phuket’s beaches

Scenic Sailing:

  • You’ll pass several sand-fringed islets on your way to Phuket, giving you a taste of what’s to come

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 24:

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 25:

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.

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

Included Feature:

  • Port Blair highlights tour

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAYS 26-27:

Enjoy relaxing days at sea

As you set off for Sri Lanka, you’ll spend two days at sea. 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.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on Sri Lanka

Included Meals:

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

DAY 28:

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 in a local restaurant, you'll spend the afternoon learning about Sri Lanka’s most famous export — Ceylon tea — at a local tea plantation. Amid endless tea fields, workers expertly handpick tea leaves before sending them to be processed into the fragrant, flavorful beverage drunk by millions around the world. You’ll get to sample a few brews during your tour and get a better understanding of different grades of tea.

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.

Vantage Exclusives:

  • Overnight inland adventure with elephant safari at Minneriya National Park
  • Visit a Ceylon tea plantation

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 29:

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. During his rule from 473 to 495 AD, 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 then transfer to Colombo, enjoying lunch at a local restaurant en route. Tonight, enjoy dinner back on board the Ocean Explorer. Enjoy some onboard entertainment tonight, when you attend a colorful Sri Lanka show.

Included Feature:

  • Visit Sigiriya rock fortress

Cultural Discovery:

  • Evening onboard entertainment: Sri Lanka show

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 30:

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.

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 Feature:

  • Panoramic tour of Colombo

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on South Indian culture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 31:

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.

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

Included Feature:

  • Cochin city tour

Inaugural Feature:

  • Evening onboard entertainment: traditional Kathakali dance performance

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 32:

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. We’ve prepared a special onboard party to celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colors, which marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated all across India during this time of year. Get ready to revel in the festive atmosphere!

Included Feature:

  • Houseboat cruise along the Alleppey backwaters

Inaugural Feature:

  • Holi party on board

Cultural Discovery:

  • Witness everyday life at a local village

Scenic Sailing:

  • 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

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 33:

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. Besides, once you reach Mormugao later this afternoon, you’ll enjoy dinner and a dazzling high-energy performance featuring traditional Goan music and dancing, or a Bollywood show. 

Inaugural Feature:

  • Evening onboard entertainment: local music and dance performance

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 34:

Your choice of tours in Goa

Goa is 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 Feature:

  • Goa Temples & Spices tour or Cathedrals of Goa tour

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 35:

Mumbai: India’s modern metropolis

This morning you’ll head out to see the sights of Mumbai. Once known as Bombay, it is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India, not to mention its wealthiest city.

Ride along Mumbai’s famous Marine Drive. Arcing along the Arabian Sea, this highway (nicknamed “the Queen’s Necklace”) is dotted with historic architecture and its Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll get a sense of everyday Mumbai life as you pass the Girgaum Chowpatty beach and the Dhobi Ghats, a 140-year-old, open-air facility where tons of laundry are washed in stone basins. Things get greener as you approach the exclusive Malabar Hill neighborhood, where you will see the terraced Hanging Gardens.

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.” It will be a wonderful prelude to your visit on Day 37 to Gandhi’s hometown, Porbandar. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, and then you’ll return to your ship for a relaxing afternoon.

Included Features:

  • Mumbai city tour
  • Visit the Gandhi Museum

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 36:

Cruising the Arabian Sea

Enjoy a full day to relax on board. Perhaps you’ll join a morning yoga class, read on the sun deck, or swim in the infinity pool. Later you can join friends for cocktails in the multilevel observation deck, or take a snooze while lounging by the pool. There are dozens of books you may borrow from our library, gifts to be purchased in our boutique, and fine art to admire in the gallery. Later in the day you will enjoy a port talk and a delectable dinner on board — our curated culinary program is sure to be yet another highlight of your expedition with Vantage.

In preparation for tomorrow’s call at Porbandar, an expert lecturer will provide a fascinating look at the life of Mahatma Gandhi and his impact on 20th-century Indian and world politics.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 37:

Coastal Porbandar, birthplace of Gandhi

Enjoy breakfast this morning as the ship docks in the coastal town of Porbandar in Gujarat state.

On a half-day city tour, you'll travel as the locals do aboard a small, three-wheeled tuk tuk taxi. You’ll ride from the pier gate into town, passing local residences and perhaps spotting some of the endemic and migratory birds that are prolific here.

Visit the birthplace of Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi, and gain insights into the simple lifestyle of this coastal heritage town, once a thriving Mughal port. You will stop to see the only temple in India dedicated to Sudama, the childhood friend of Lord Krishna. Pilgrims walk the temple’s giant maze to be absolved of sins. Next, your tuk tuk proceeds to Kirti Mandir, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. It stands 79 feet high, one foot for each year of Gandhi’s life, and its design includes homages to six religions. Next door you’ll tour the home where Gandhi was born in 1869, and later lived with his wife. The adjoining building houses a prayer hall, a Gandhian library and an excellent museum. After a visit to the lively local market, where you can pick up the brightly colored textiles the region is famous for, continue to Bharat Mandir Hall. Admire the lovely gardens, huge marble map of India and colorful pillars decorated with bas reliefs of Hindu heroes.

Return to the ship for lunch and a leisurely afternoon, featuring another onboard lecture that puts today's discoveries into perspective.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Porbandar tour with a visit to the home of Gandhi

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Porbandar city tour with tuk tuk ride
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 38:

Cruising the Arabian Sea

Another relaxing day at sea gives you plenty of time to enjoy the ship’s luxurious amenities and onboard enrichment activities. Perhaps you’ll learn some new cooking techniques when a guest chef conducts a culinary demonstration. Or indulge yourself with a soothing facial at the spa. Maybe you’ll meet friends for a poolside barbecue lunch, or watch a movie tonight under the stars at the outdoor theater space.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 39:

Begin your Emirates exploration with a Mystical Muscat tour

Another delicious breakfast awaits this morning, a perfect prelude to a truly magical day we have curated for you.

This afternoon, you're welcomed to the nation of Oman, and its capital, Muscat, which has been an important port since the 1st century AD. Its history melds the influences of the indigenous Omani tribes as well as the Abassids, Portuguese, Ottomans, and Persians who once ruled Oman. Unlike the UAE capitals, which are all about glamour on a grand scale, Muscat is a gracious, whitewashed city wedged between the mountains and the sea, with few high rises. In fact, the Sultan Qaboos (Oman’s head since 1970) has forbidden the construction of anything over seven stories so as not to obscure the views. But that doesn’t mean Muscat lacks for impact, as you’ll see during this afternoon’s exploration.

To mark the 30th year of his reign, the Sultan Qaboos gave the nation a spectacular modern jewel of a gift: the Grand Mosque. You'll visit Oman’s national mosque, which was completed in 2001, and explore its many marvels, including the giant prayer hall which can hold 6,500 worshippers and is illuminated by the world’s largest chandelier. The stunning carpet on the main floor covers 46,750 square feet, weighs 21 tons, and boasts 28 colors in varying shades. Between the main prayer hall, additional chambers, and outdoor plazas, the Grand Mosque can hold some 20,000 worshippers.

Next, you’ll visit the eye-popping Muttrah Souk, a sprawling labyrinth of shops and arcades beneath a timber roof. You’ll have time to ogle the dazzling gold jewelry, J-shaped khanjar daggers, white dishdasha robes, handmade slippers, silverware, Bedu jewelry, and precious oils, perfumes, and ointments like frankincense and myrrh. More treasures await at the private Beit al Zubair Museum, whose collections include ethnographic artifacts, an exhibit of traditional Omani female attire, furniture, maps, and more. 

Before departing you’ll enjoy a nice walk around the Old Town area to get some photos of Fort Mirani, Fort Jalali, and the stately Al Alam Palace, a royal residence of the Sultan Qaboos. 

After dinner, special guests come on board to engulf you in the culture of Oman. If you're wondering what it’s like to live here, you’ll hear about it firsthand from an Omani woman who will share her perspective on family life, native customs, and the changing role of women in contemporary Oman. Then, enjoy local Omani musicians and dancers who will come on board to provide some captivating folkloric entertainment.

Included Features:

  • Half-day Mystical Muscat tour
  • Explore the Old Town of Muscat

Inaugural Feature:

  • Evening onboard entertainment: Omani folk music and dance

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Tour of Muttrah Souk
  • Lecture by an Omani woman about life in contemporary Oman

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 40:

Experience traditional Omani culture in Seeb and Nakhal village 

To mark the 30th year of his reign, the Sultan Qaboos gave the nation a spectacular modern jewel of a gift: The Grand Mosque. This morning after breakfast, you'll visit Oman’s national mosque, which was completed in 2001, and explore its many marvels, including the giant prayer hall which can hold 6,500 worshippers (and is illuminated by the world’s largest chandelier). The stunning carpet on the main floor covers 46,750 square feet, weighs 21 tons, and boasts 28 colors in varying shades. Between the main prayer hall, additional chambers, and outdoor plazas, the Grand Mosque can hold some 20,000 worshippers.

We then ride west of Muscat to investigate some of Oman’s rural traditions, beginning in the fishermen’s village of Seeb. Set on the Arabian Sea along a broad, park-lined corniche, Seeb is a traditional fishing village where Omanis come to enjoy the wide beach promenade, and some of the freshest fish in the Arab world.

You’ll see where Omanis get their seafood at the Al Seeb Fish Market, set right on the ocean so fishermen can unload the daily catch right on the ground. Locals come to purchase red mullet crabs, squid, skate, swordfish, and more, often foregoing bags and just grabbing their fish by the tail and carting it off in their hands! 

From here you’ll loop back southwards to visit Nakhal village with its pre-Islamic Nakhal Fort, chiseled into a sheer rock. Nakhal Fort boasts imposing watchtowers and battlements, as well as the living quarters of the ruling wali, including many antique furnishings. Then, ride through date palm plantations watered by the Al Thowarah springs and an aflaj irrigation system. This ancient method uses gravity to channel water from underground — a system so ingenious, and so important to desert civilizations, that UNESCO has declared Oman’s aflaj a World Heritage Site. 

Before returning to your ship you’ll enjoy a lunch at an award-winning spa resort. The balance of the afternoon is free. 

Included Features:

  • Excursion to Al Thowarah hot springs
  • Tour of an aflaj irrigation system

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
  • Visit a local fish market in Al Seeb
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 41:

Discover the tiny Emirate nation of Fujairah

Add another notch to your travel belt when you step ashore to explore a country that most travelers have never even heard of. Fujairah is one of the seven United Arab Emirate states, and the only one whose pretty coastline, called the Shamaliyah, does not lie on the Persian Gulf. Within its bounds lies the town of Kalba, an exclave of another Emirate nation, Sharjah. You’ll explore both on this morning’s included Fujairah Past and Present tour.

Disembarking in Fujairah, you’ll travel beyond the city to serene Kalba, and see Beit Al Sheikh Sayeed, a beautifully restored, 19th-century heritage house that is filled with traditional Islamic collectibles. The building nestles a beach and features barjeel wind towers and a lovely central courtyard. Continuing south you’ll reach Khor Kalba. Set in a beautiful tidal estuary, it is Arabia’s oldest and largest mangrove swamp and home to a variety of rare and migratory birds.

Returning to the city, visit the Fujairah Heritage Village. Surrounded by a wall and watchtowers, the site carefully re-creates 16th-century Arabian village life and features models of traditional homes, antique household items, and tools. Next is the Fujairah Museum, home to a magnificent collection of period weapons, traditional costumes, and artifacts excavated from sites around the eastern coast. You’ll make a photo stop at the renovated Old Fort of Fujairah, which boasts lovely views of the village below and surrounding date plantations.

After lunch on board the Ocean Explorer, you’ll set sail for the Persian Gulf and Abu Dhabi. Leaving Fujairah, you’ll circle Oman’s mountain-flanked Musandam Peninsula, with glorious views of Jebel al-Harim or “Mountain of Women,” its highest peak.

Another onboard lecture will offer more context into your discoveries in the United Arab Emirates.

Included Feature:

  • Excursion to Fujairah

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Demonstration of local traditions at Fujairah Heritage Village
  • Lecture about the United Arab Emirates

Scenic Sailing:

  • Departing Fujairah, circle Oman’s Musandam Peninsula and Jebel al-Harim

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 42:

Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s cultural mecca

Enjoy breakfast and lunch on board as the Ocean Explorer offers some magnificent views as it arrives into Abu Dhabi just after lunchtime. Head up to the multilevel lounge with your complimentary binoculars and your camera! Witness the beauty of expedition cruising at its finest as the city unfolds along the coast.

Opening its own branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim were just the capstones to the already solid foundation of art and culture that the Emirate nation of Abu Dhabi has built, and you'll discover this capital city more on a half-day city tour. First on today’s agenda is the majestic Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, or the Grand Mosque, featuring its trademark bulbous domes. The mosque is said to “unite the world” because it purposefully incorporates materials and design motifs from scores of countries. The prayer hall boasts 96 marble columns inlaid with mother of pearl. There is a Qibla wall where the 99 names of God are written in elegant Kufic calligraphy, whose swirls and arabesques are highlighted by fiber-optic lighting. As you behold these jaw-dropping wonders, it’s easy to see why the mosque is considered one of the most important modern architectural treasures in the Arabic world.

You’ll also learn about another foundation of Emirati life: falconry. These royal birds are still revered for their grace and hunting prowess. You’ll visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, a unique avian veterinary center that treats about 6,000 of these prized raptors every year. You’ll learn about the falcon’s importance in Emirate culture, as well as the other veterinary programs offered here, including a shelter for the rare Saluki breed of dogs.

If you remain on the ship for dinner, you’ll enjoy a relaxing evening with entertainment.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Abu Dhabi city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
  • Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
  • Evening onboard entertainment
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 43:

Explore traditional Emirates life

The modern glitter of Abu Dhabi notwithstanding, there is a concerted effort being made here to preserve traditional culture, as you’ll see on this morning’s tour.

Driving along the Corniche past the theme parks of Yas Island, you’ll come to the Emirates Heritage Village, a re-creation of an oasis town where locals demonstrate traditional crafts like tannery, pottery, glass-blowing and swordsmithing. You’ll see a barasti house, which captures the breeze via strategically placed palm fronds; goat hair tents; and a section where camels are traded. There is also a campfire area and workshops where traditional craftsmen demonstrate their skills.

Before leaving Abu Dhabi you’ll get a last, terrific look at it from the 74th-floor Observation Deck of the Etihad Towers. These five sleek, curved skyscrapers preside over Abu Dhabi with sweeping views of the islands and Arabian Gulf. The rest of your day is free for you to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps you’ll go for a stroll in the Umm al Emarat Park, a manicured botanical garden with its own mini petting zoo. Shop for designer duds at the Marina Mall. Or take high tea at the massive Emirati Palace, a luxury hotel that is one of the city’s most important architectural landmarks.

You’ll return for dinner on board and a good night's sleep as you look forward to tomorrow's explorations of Qatar.

Included Feature:

  • Panoramic Abu Dhabi city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Tour the Emirates Heritage Village
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 44:

Discover Qatar, the richest nation on Earth

One look at the skyline of Doha, Qatar’s capital, and you may wonder if you’ve arrived on another planet. There are buildings shaped like spires, ones that lean apart precariously, ones that look like fluttering lace or rising horseshoes, and the famous QIPCO Tower, which resembles a steel tornado. You’ll see the highlights of this striking city on this morning’s tour.

Start at the Pearl Qatar & Marina, a stunning man-made island of luxury homes, parks, and marinas. It resembles a string of pearls and has two perfectly circular bays that embrace two pearl-like islets. The Oyster & Pearl Fountain commemorates the traditional Qatari pearling industry that sustained the nation before the discovery of oil. At the Katara Cultural Village you’ll adore the sparkling facilities where many artistic and creative institutions have made new homes. There is an open-air theater, opera house, multipurpose cinema, conference halls, beaches and more. You’ll have time to take a few photos when we stop along the corniche near the Museum of Islamic Art. Designed by I.M. Pei, it is a stunning modern take on the ancient Islamic fortress based on striking geometric designs, and is set on its own man-made island.

Visit the popular Souq Waqif, a 100-year-old marketplace where you can buy anything from spices to scimitars, baubles to bridal gowns. You’ll also take a short guided walk through a section of the souk that is devoted entirely to falcons. Here, enthusiasts come to buy birds and accessories for them.

Enjoy lunch back on board, with the afternoon free for further exploration on your own. You’ll return to the ship this evening for dinner as we set off for Dubai. Keep an eye out for a postcard-perfect view of the evening sun outlining Doha’s futuristic skyline.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Doha city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit the 100-year-old Souq Waqif
  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 45:

Be dazzled by Dubai

Until the 1970s, Dubai was a small fishing and trading port. Today, it is a juggernaut of commerce and a city of superlatives where things are made to be the biggest, fastest, and best. You’ll get a feel for it during this morning’s panoramic tour.

Amazing architecture, blazing white beaches and clear turquoise lagoons and creeks make Dubai a delight for the eyes. Be sure to snap a few shots of Burj al Arab, a luxury hotel built in the shape of boat with billowing sails. Though impressive at a height of 1,000 feet, it’s not the tallest structure in Dubai: That would be Burj Khalifa. Spiraling 2,717 feet into the air like a giant twisting needle, it is the tallest building in the world. You’ll also see the Frame, a giant, picture-frame shaped structure, and some of the man-made luxury islands that float in the Persian Gulf, such as Palm Jumeirah, shaped like a palm tree. It’s studded with elegant villas, marinas, parks, and malls where you may stop to browse for interesting jewelry, artwork, Islamic calligraphy, and more.

On Dubai Creek you’ll take a traditional abra water taxi to the Gold Souk, where you won't believe your eyes; and the Spice Souk, where you won't believe your nose! You’ll have time to enjoy lunch here on your own with provided lunch money.

Back on the ship, the rest of the day is yours to relax. Tonight, head to the lounge for another riveting performance from local entertainers.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day panoramic Dubai city tour

Cultural Discovery:

  • Evening onboard entertainment in the lounge

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 46:

Dhow cruise to Oman’s Musandam Fjords and Telegraph Island

After breakfast you’ll disembark in Khasab, Oman, to see something you most likely have never imagined to find in this part of the world . . .

A wooden dhow awaits to take you along the Straits of Hormuz to a spectacular, fjord-fringed region that is known as the “Norway of Arabia.” The Musandam Peninsula is carved by a series of inlets called khors, lined by mountainous jebels and sheer cliffs that plummet into the turquoise waters below. You may have an escort of seabirds or dolphins as we sail into the awesome Khor Al Sham, heading towards Telegraph Island, so-called for the telegraph cables that the British laid here in 1864. Bring your bathing suit in case you want to go for a swim in the clear cool waters, or just sit back with an iced tea as you admire the backdrop of 2,000-foot Hajar Mountains rising in the distance.

You'll return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure as the Ocean Explorer sets sail — grab a book and head to the sun deck for the ultimate relaxation, or perhaps you'll get in a workout at the gym.

Later, head to the lounge for an illuminating talk from the onboard lecturer before dinner on board. 

Included Feature:

  • Dhow cruise to Musandam fjords and Telegraph Island

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • You may have an escort of seabirds or dolphins as we sail into the awesome Khor Al Sham towards Telegraph Island

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 47:

Discover Oman’s maritime heritage in Sur

Enjoy a leisurely morning on board as you sail to Sur, on the Gulf of Oman, arriving in the early afternoon. Join the onboard lecturer for another scintillating talk highlighting the culture and history of your destinations. 

After lunch, you will embark on a tour of ancient Sur, first stopping along the way to see hilltop Sunaysilah Fort, a square castle with round watchtowers that was constructed in 1648. It overlooks Sur below and the gulf to the east.

Chances are Sinbad the Sailor made most of his seven fantastical voyages on board a wooden dhow made right here in Sur, which has been a premier shipbuilding center for nearly 2,000 years. An example of the city’s shipbuilding prowess is the Fatah al Khair, a restored, 70-year-old dhow that weighs 220 tons and now stands on dry land as a monument. It was made by hand without nails, using handmade ropes to shore up the joints. Many dhows are still made this way and you will see several under construction as you tour the shipyard. Before heading back to the ship you’ll also enjoy a walk around the old fishing village of Al Ayjah, with its lighthouse, fort, and old merchant houses with intricately carved doors.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Sur city tour

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Lecture on Omani history and culture
  • Tour of a dhow-making shipyard in Sur

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 48:

Cruising the Arabian Sea

Enjoy a full day to relax on board. Perhaps you’ll enjoy a workout in the gym, followed by a swim in the infinity pool. Relax with a cocktail in the multilevel lounge, or take in the expansive sea views from your very own balcony. Feel like browsing? There are dozens of books you may borrow from our library, or get a massage or facial treatment at the spa. Later in the day you will enjoy a port talk and another eye-opening discussion with our guest lecturer.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 49:

In the Land of Frankincense: Khor Rori or the Frankincense Trail, your choice of included tours

Spend the morning sailing towards Salalah, enjoying breakfast on board. Another informative talk with the lecturer will contextualize your discoveries today. 

Salalah is the capital of Dhofar province and has been long associated with the production and trade of frankincense. This aromatic resin of the native boswellia sacra tree has been prized for centuries for its medicinal and fragrant properties. Several sites around Salalah were important to the incense trade that began flourishing between the Middle East, Mediterranean, India and China around the 4th century BC. For that reason, they are collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site called the Land of Frankincense. After lunch on board you’ll have a choice of two included sightseeing tours showcasing different aspects of it. Both tours conclude at the Haffa souk, but begin as follows:

Khor Rori & East Salalah begins with a visit to the pretty white fishing village of Taqah, famous for the dried sardines produced here. Visit Taqah Castle, the former governor’s residence that is filled with art and household artifacts reflecting the traditional Omani way of life. From here you’ll visit the ancient ruins of Sumhuram, also known as Khor Rori, the name of the freshwater lagoon that was Sumhuram’s vital link to the sea. The ruins here include smooth limestone blocks that once lined the city’s gate, fort, well, and storage rooms.

The Frankincense Trail Tour begins with a visit to Nabi Ayoub. It is reputed to be the tomb of the biblical Job, who is considered a prophet in Islam and is also revered for his patience and devotion to God. It is set in the lush green mountains of the Salalah plains, a land of plantations. You’ll stop to taste a fresh coconut water drink at one of the fruit stalls lining the road. Also included is a visit to the Museum of the Frankincense Land at Al Baleed Archaeological Park. If you’re wondering what frankincense smells like, you’ll find out when your tour concludes with a visit to the old Haffa souk, the best and largest in town. The scent of frankincense fills the air as you wander among the many colorful shops selling different grades of the resin, essential oils, decorative burners, jewelry, handicrafts and more. Riding back to the ship you’ll have a photo stop at Salalah Sultan Qaboos Mosque, as well.

You'll return from your half-day tour in time to re-embark the ship for dinner as the ship departs Salalah.

Included Feature:

  • Excursion to East Salalah or The Frankincense Trail

Cultural Discoveries:

  • Visit Taqah Castle and a local souk
  • Sample fresh coconut water from a fruit stall
  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • Prepare to be amazed as Oman’s dramatic, rocky coastline opens up to Salalah’s white sand beaches

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAYS 50-53:

Cruising the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea

Enjoy the next few days relaxing on board your floating resort at sea. This is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some spa treatments, do laps in the infinity pool, watch a movie under a canopy of stars on the sun deck, or meet friends for drinks in the lounge. But that’s just the start.

During your time on board there will be an ongoing schedule of enrichment programs featuring cooking classes with special guest chefs, expert lectures on a variety of topics relevant to your exploration, classes, games, and more. Your days ahead will be filled with plenty of discoveries, so think of these sea days as necessary downtime before the excitement to come. 

Vantage Onboard Enrichment:

  • Cooking classes with special guest chefs
  • Expert lectures on various topics
  • Activity classes and games

Included Meals:

4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners

DAY 54:

Arrive in the land of pharaohs

Today you will continue cruising through the Red Sea, arriving around dinner at Safaga, Egypt.

Prepare for your overnight journey tomorrow into Egypt’s pharaonic past as our expert lecturer delivers a fascinating talk on ancient Egyptian culture.

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on ancient Egyptian culture

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 55:

Overnight stay in Luxor, the site of ancient Thebes

You’ll get an early start as we ride across the desert to Luxor, the modern city that straddles the Nile and was once the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes. Inhabited since about 3200 BC, it is still defined by its antique treasures, which include the temples of Karnak and Luxor, and the vast Necropolis of Thebes. Together, they comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you will see them all today, with an expert Egyptologist to guide you.

As you approach Luxor you will enter the Necropolis and explore its most famous section, the Valley of the Kings. Here, for some 500 years, more than 60 pharaohs' temples and burial chambers were cut deep into imposing rock cliffs, decorated with elaborate hieroglyphics, and filled with treasures and royal household implements. You’ll enter some of these magnificent tombs, including those of the powerful King Ramses and the famous boy-king Tutankhamun. You’ll also visit the Valley of the Queens, where archaeologists have unearthed more than 90 tombs of pharaohs’ wives and children.

Perhaps the most beautiful monument of all is the elegant Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri. Carved directly into a rock cliff, it is flanked by symmetrical, colonnaded wings and entered via a long, terraced processional walkway. Hatshepsut was Egypt’s longest-reigning female pharaoh, whose mostly peaceful rule was characterized by prosperity, prolific building, and the establishment of new trade routes. She is considered one of Egypt’s most successful rulers. Leaving the Necropolis you’ll stop at the famous Colossi of Memnon, two gigantic sandstone statues that served as sentries before the (now destroyed) tomb of Amenhotep III. Legend has ascribed oracular powers to them and they have been known to emit a curious whistling or moaning sound under certain conditions. After lunch, check into your hotel for a respite before dinner. Afterward, your tour continues in grand style. 

Achieve another travel milestone this evening when you explore the Temple of Karnak, the world’s second-largest religious structure. Built over 2,000 years, it is still being excavated and of its four known sections, only one is open to the public and that alone encompasses some 61 acres of temples, avenues, obelisks, pylons, sanctuaries, lakes and more. Among its highlights is the Great Hypostyle Hall, supported by a forest of 134 79-foot-high columns set in 16 rows.

Learn the history of Karnak, and the fascinating legends of the kings, queens, gods, and goddesses it was dedicated to, at tonight's spectacular Sound & Light show. You’ll wander among the beautifully illuminated temple grounds and then sit beside the sacred lake as the past comes alive through light, music, story and imagery.

Included Features:

  • Guided tour of the Valley of Kings and Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
  • Visit the Temple of Karnak

Inaugural Feature:

  • Karnak Sound & Light show

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 56:

Luxor Temple, travel overland to meet the Ocean Explorer

Check out of the hotel after breakfast this morning, and then head to the fascinating Luxor Temple.

More compact than Karnak, Luxor was mainly built by Amenhotep III and the great Ramses II, but also boasts shrines built by Tutankhamun and Greece’s Alexander the Great. Later it served as a Roman legionnaire fortress. Luxor was once connected to Karnak by a long, ceremonial avenue lined with sphinxes, many of which still stand.

After exploring the temple you’ll enjoy lunch en route while traveling overland back to our ship, which awaits in the seaside resort of Hurghada.  This evening you will be our dinner guest at the Alf Leila Wa Leila, and enjoy its popular Fantasia 1001 extravaganza. Set in a grand theater, this celebration of Egyptian culture covers thousands of years of history through elaborate costumes, music, dance, lights, waterworks, acrobatics and more. There’s even a display of whirling dervishes and Bedouin horsemanship!

Included Feature:

  • Tour of Luxor Temple

Cultural Discovery:

  • Dinner at Alf Leila Wa Leila with Fantasia 1001 Egyptian cultural show

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 57:

Eilat, Israel kibbutz experience or Dolphin Reef

Enjoy breakfast this morning as you sail through the Red Sea. Another interesting lecture precedes lunch on board today. 

Cruising into the Gulf of Aqaba, you’ll disembark at Eilat, the Israeli seaside resort known worldwide for its desert beauty, clear waters, and excellent diving and snorkeling. You’ll have the chance to enjoy the best of it with a choice of two afternoon sightseeing tours.

Your Kibbutz Yotvata & Hai-Bar Safari option takes you into the Negev Desert and the Arava Valley’s Yotvata Hai-Bar animal reserve. Here, endangered and regionally extinct species are being bred and reintroduced into their native habitat. You might see Arabian oryx, Nubian ibex, red-necked ostriches, wild ass, Arabian leopards, griffon vultures and more. Next, ride to Kibbutz Yotvata and experience a slice of life at one of the communal settlements that was vital to the formation of modern Israel. Its main industry is a dairy that is famous around Israel for its high-quality yogurt, milk, and ice cream, which you'll get to sample.

If swimming with dolphins is on your bucket list, choose our Dolphin Reef option. You’ll ride to a secluded, horseshoe-shaped lagoon where bottlenose dolphins maintain their daily routine of hunting, playing, courting, and socializing. They are friendly and curious about humans and you can swim and snorkel with them, or watch their antics from various observation piers and platforms. Other denizens of this turquoise lagoon include angelfish, cuttlefish, butterflyfish, and blue- or black-spotted stingrays.

Included Feature:

  • Israel Kibbutz experience or swimming and snorkeling at Dolphin Reef

Cultural Discovery:

  • Onboard lecture

Scenic Sailing:

  • Morning sailing into the Gulf of Aqaba

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 58:

Discover the “Rose Red City” of Petra

After breakfast this morning, you will disembark the Ocean Explorer in Aqaba — we hope you enjoyed your time on Vantage's first small ship ocean cruising expedition vessel!

Then it's time to accomplish yet another travel milestone. It begins as you step foot in historic Aqaba, where T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) led local Bedouin tribesmen in a historic revolt against their Turkish occupiers. Then, crossing the beautiful desert wadis, you will come to the town of Wadi Musa, home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra that was built by the Nabataen civilization around 300 BC.

Imagine walking along the Siq, a winding, sandy pathway flanked by red rock walls so high and curvy, they nearly block the sky. Suddenly, you approach a large, keyhole-shaped opening that reveals a broad plaza and Al Khazneh, the elaborately carved, tiered Treasury building hewn into a cliff wall. Like the other ruins you will see here in Petra its color shifts from fiery red to soft coral to amber gold depending on the light. In addition to a guided tour of the ruins, you will enjoy lunch inside the park at the lovely Basin restaurant, set among the ruins.

From Petra, you’ll transfer to Amman via the King’s Highway, which traces the ancient route followed by Moses, the Israelites, Crusaders, and more. Then, check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure; or, join us for a discussion with a local about life in Jordan before dinner at the hotel.

Included Feature:

  • Guided tour of Petra

Cultural Discovery:

  • Lecture on Jordanian culture by a local

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 59:

See the best of Amman, capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Enjoy breakfast, then set out on a morning city tour. Though it is one of the most modern capitals in the Middle East, Amman is also one of the oldest, with a human history that dates as far back as 7250 BC. Amman was once conquered by King David, and ruled by Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians and Romans. Its multicultural heritage is on display at the hilltop Citadel, with its blend of ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic ruins. You’ll also see the 2nd-century Roman Theater and lovely Abu Darwish Mosque. Your tour concludes with a stroll through the Gold Souk, named for its concentration of jewelry shops selling unique local items.

After lunch at a local restaurant, the afternoon is yours to rest or explore on your own. This evening, you’ll toast the expedition at our Farewell Dinner. Depending on your home city, you may be departing for home this evening on a late flight, or some time tomorrow.

Included Feature:

  • Half-day Amman city tour

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 60:

Return home

After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Or, if you’re joining our Jordan’s Dead Sea Treasures post-trip extension, you’ll stay in Jordan for three more nights!

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Post-Trip Extension

Jordan’s Dead Sea Treasures

FROM: $1299 PER PERSON | 4 DAYS | $325 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 Cruise Director or regional expert.

Meet Your Vantage Team

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-888-514-1845

View Journey Map

Be prepared for
your journey with our
cruising essentials
Shop Now

Myths and Marvels of Asia, Egypt, and Arabia: Hong Kong to Amman - 2021

Call us to reserve your next vacation:
1-888-514-1845
REFER FRIENDS. EARN CASH.
TRAVEL FOR FREE.

Earn up to $1,200 cash and
a FREE trip as a Vantage
Diplomat.
TOP
Chat with an Expert
Promo Code: WB50500
Please provide this promotion code to your Vantage call center agent.