Monday, 18 July 2011

Orion's Flavours Of Asia

From the flash of saffron robes in a Buddhist temple to the remote crystalline beaches of Tioman Island and the bustle of floating market stalls on the Mekong, the whiff of durian, the silence of a misty dawn in Halong Bay or the buzz of motor bikes in Ho Chi Minh City, Orion Expedition Cruises now offer two superb seven-night voyages that combine the sensory contrasts of Asia into never-to-be forgotten experiences of sights, sounds and smells that encapsulate South-East Asia.

Enjoy an inclusive overnight stay and visit to the world’s largest religious complex, the World Heritage listed temples of Angkor Wat. Take an early morning elephant ride through the temples to see first-hand the technological and architectural wonder of the ancient Khmer kingdom, with its canals and reservoirs and a rice economy able to support a million people.


Cross the broad muddy waters of the Mekong Delta and mix it with the locals on an exclusive Zodiac exploration of the river and floating markets – Orion II being the first foreign ship to be granted permission to do this.


Bargain for batik, beaten brassware and shot silk in dazzling colours, sip a dry martini, lounge on an untouched beach, snorkel transparent waters and photograph sampans with their distinctive timber hulls and sun-bleached yellow sails. These two itineraries reveal a balance of history, culture and relaxation that capture the energy of bustling modern Asia balanced by the serenity of the ancient.


· The seven-night Gulf of Siam Explorer departs October 10 and December 22 and February 27, 2012. The voyages alternate between Singapore and Bangkok and visit Tioman Island, Kuala Terengganu, Ko Samui, Ang Thong Marine Park and Ko Kut. Priced from £3,340 per person, including seven nights on board Orion II, all meals, entertainment and educational programmes, use of the ship’s sporting equipment and facilities, Zodiac excursions, port and handling charges, tender transfers and government fees and taxes.


· The seven-night Thailand, Temples & The Mekong expedition departs October 17 and December 15, and March 5, 2012. The voyages alternate between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City and visit Ko Kut, Sihanoukville (for an overnight trip and stay at Angkor Wat), Phu Quoc and Can Tho (Mekong Delta). Priced from £3,340 per person, including seven nights on Orion II, all meals, entertainment and educational programmes, use of the ship’s sporting equipment and facilities, Zodiac excursions, port and handling charges, tender transfers and government fees and taxes.


For more info, visit www.orionexpeditions.com or contact the UK's leading adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.