Image: Hong Kong skyline
Adrian Bradshaw  /  EPA file
Holland America's Statendam disembarks in Hong Kong on a 14-night This epic odyssey, stopping in Shanghai, Beijing, and Dalian in China; Pusan in South Korea; and Nagasaki in Japan.
updated 1/22/2008 11:08:21 AM ET 2008-01-22T16:08:21

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various through November 2008

The deal
If you’re looking for new oceans to sail and new shores to discover, we recommend Asia! Asian sailings are among the priciest on the market but we found a threesome of fantastic 2008 cruises at a discount. For example, you can set sail in March on a China and Japan voyage with Holland America for just $1,999 or sail China aboard five-star Seabourn Spirit for $4,421. Early-bird savings of 39 percent can also be had on a classy Malaysia and Thailand voyage with Silversea Cruises.

China & Japan sail with Holland America
Want to take in the shores of China and Japan with upscale Holland America? Book the 14-night Japan and China voyage aboard Statendam departing on March 26 from Japan’s Kobe. This epic odyssey is on sale by CruisesOnly for 36 percent off the brochure price, with inside cabins selling for $1,999. The ship spans three countries and calls at a variety of Asian destinations. Ports visited include Shanghai, Beijing, and Dalian in China; Pusan in South Korea; and Nagasaki in Japan. The ship disembarks in Hong Kong. You’ll spend six days at sea aboard “a floating masterpiece of shipbuilders' art, Old World tradition and state-of-the-art modern technology.”, as CruiseCritic.com describes Statendam.

Cruise China aboard Seabourn Spirit
Another Asian cruise treat comes courtesy of Orbitz for a March departure aboard the exclusive Seabourn Spirit. Now at a discount of 25 percent off rack rates, the voyage costs $4,421 for a luxurious suite on this five-star yacht. On the eight-night voyage around China, the ship will venture from Hong Kong toward Shanghai. The itinerary takes in four destinations in China — Xiamen, Zhangjiagang, and Nanjing, with cruising time on the scenic Yangtze River and two entire days at sea. Of this plush floating hotel, CruiseCritic.com writes, “The champagne flows liberally, there's opportunity to eat caviar, and all women get the arm of a waiter when they enter the dining room.”

Malaysia & Thailand on Silver Whisper
Departing later in the year is another fantastic Asia cruise, now selling at a discount through Vacation Outlet. This 9-night journey departs Singapore roundtrip in November aboard the five-star Silver Whisper. Normally priced at the whopping $8,570, it has dropped to $5,252, saving you 39 percent. The ship stops in three Southeast Asian countries: Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Ports of call include the beautiful Langkawi archipelago in Malaysia and Thailand’s resort island of Phuket. A day at sea is part of the itinerary, aboard the all-suite Silver Whisper, where the atmosphere, writes CruiseCritic.com, is “relaxing, genuinely pampering, elegantly casual and yet — sophisticated”.

The dollars
The rates above are listed per person, based on double occupancy. The cost covers onboard accommodations, meals and entertainment, as well as port charges. You’ll just have to dish out extra for government taxes and fees, as well as any shore excursions you may decide to take.

The catch
Airfare to Asia isn’t cheap.

ShermansTravel

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