Image: Golden Temple at Waterside, Kyoto Japan
Peter Adams  /  © Peter Adams/zefa/Corbis
The 12-night Far East voyage aboard Crystal Symphony departing next spring from China’s Tianjin (Beijing), visits the ports of Shanghai, Beijing, and Dalian in China; and Osaka/Kyoto in Japan.
updated 5/28/2008 9:48:24 AM ET 2008-05-28T13:48:24

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: February 2009

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 early-bird deals. For example, you can hit high seas next spring on a Far East voyage with Crystal Cruises for just $6,295; sail China aboard exclusive Seabourn Spirit for $4,639; or see Malaysia and Thailand aboard Silver Whisper from $6361.

Far East sailing with Crystal Cruises
Want to take in the shores of China and Japan with five-star Crystal Cruises? Book the 12-night Far East voyage aboard Crystal Symphony departing next spring from China’s Tianjin (Beijing). This epic odyssey is on sale by CruisesOnly at 39 percent off the brochure price, with oceanview cabins selling for $6,295. Ports visited include Shanghai, Beijing, and Dalian in China; and Osaka/Kyoto in Japan. The ship disembarks in Hong Kong. You’ll spend four days at sea aboard this ship that, since its refurbishment, “has, in many places, been transformed — from an elegant dowager, say, to a sophisticated socialite”, according to CruiseCritic.com.

Cruise China aboard Seabourn Spirit
Another Asian cruise treat comes courtesy of Orbitz for a February 2009 departure aboard the exclusive Seabourn Spirit. Now at a discount of 25 percent, the voyage costs $4,639 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 five Chinese destinations in total — 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 in November is another fantastic Asia cruise, now on sale by Vacation Outlet. This 9-night journey departs roundtrip from Singapore aboard the five-star Silver Whisper. Normally priced at the whopping $8,970, it has dropped to $6,361, saving you 29 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.

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