Celebrity Cruises has announced it first Asia season for the winter of 2012-2013 with the Millennium, which the line plans to Solsticize in April of 2012.
Scheduled for drydock in April 2012, 70 of the ship’s existing Concierge Class staterooms will be converted to spa-inspired aqua –class staterooms and an additional 37 will be built. Guests who book Celebrity Suites will also enjoy more time outdoors on a new veranda, as Celebrity plans to add these to the Millenniums eight existing suites in this category. The line also plans to add six inside staterooms and 17 oceanview staterooms, increasing the total number of available staterooms to 1,079.
During the 2012-2013 winter season, the Millennium will call in nine countries new to the brand, including Vietnam, Thailand and China, among others. Celebrity’s inaugural Asia season will consist of a series of 14-night open-jaw cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong. Overnight stays in Singapore; Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Halong Bay and Hong Kong, to offer more opportunities for travelers to immerse themselves in Asian culture. The season also will include two 14-night sailings roundtrip from Singapore with overnight stays in Bali in January 2013.
Bookending the Millennium’s core Asia season will be two transpacific voyages offering unique experiences. The westbound cruise will coincide with the total solar eclipse in November 2012. Guests will be able to view the eclipse while at sea, when sailing from Fiji to New Zealand. In April 2013, the Millennium will reposition from Hong Kong to Shanghai on a cruise featuring overnight calls in Hong Kong and Beijing (Tianjin. The ship will then continue eastbound across the North Pacific to Alaska and will call at various ports in China, Japan, and Russia.
Guests who wish to deepen their experience in Asia can take advantage of one of Celebrity’s cruise-tours, which combine a cruise with a five-night pre- or post-cruise escorted land package out of Hong Kong. The cruisetours will feature trips to Xian and Beijing to view the famed Terra Cotta Warriors and the Great Wall of China. All of these packages are escorted by a local tour director and include hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfasts and some additional meals.
A variety of shore excursions are available to travelers who wish to immerse themselves in the region. A number of overnight stays in port during the Asia cruises will offer guests the opportunity to enjoy two- or three-day excursions. Examples of these include a two-night/three-day overland experience from Bangkok to Siem Reap to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The tour focuses on the temples of Angkor to see the best examples of stone carvings recovered from temples across Cambodia. During cruises that include an overnight stay in port at Halong Bay, an overnight shore excursion includes a visit to the Old Quarter of Hanoi; an opportunity to witness unique Vietnamese performing arts at the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre; enjoy dinner at a traditional Vietnamese restaurant; and an overnight stay in a leading hotel in Hanoi. Guests also will experience the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Museum, as well as a gentle ride on a traditional street cyclo, and lunch at Vietnamese restaurant.
Celebrity also recently announced that the Solstice will sail a full winter season in Australia and New Zealand in 2012-2013.