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Gateways to the wonders of the world

21/09/2016

Sydney, Dubai, Singapore and San Francisco. These four cities, each with their own unique characters, are the ideal gateways to exploring the exotic wonders of the world in a short space of time

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

San Francisco is both an iconic destination and a great jumping-off point for exploring more of the world.

If you’re time-limited when it comes to holidays, visiting some of the world’s far-flung iconic destinations can seem an impossible dream.

 

On one of our Exotic fly-cruises, you can visit some of these special ports in a time frame that suits you. And because you will start and end your cruise in an iconic destination, you have the chance to extend your holiday in the way that you want. You can choose to cruise only, allowing you as much time as you like in your embarkation and/or disembarkation ports, or you can pick one of our City Stays or Land Tours to extend your experience before or after your cruise.

 

Four of our most popular embarkation points are Dubai, Singapore, Sydney and San Francisco. These incredible gateway destinations have much to offer visitors before you’ve even stepped on board. And once you’ve had your fill, you have an itinerary brimming with exciting destinations to keep you on your toes.

 

Start your trip down under

The glistening white peaks of the Sydney Opera House framed against the iconic backdrop of the Harbour Bridge… Sydney has one of the most recognisable harbours in the world. The city by the sea features high on many people’s bucket lists, and is an ever-popular destination on our cruises.

 

If you extend your stay by flying out early, or joining one of our City Stays or Land Tours, you’ll have the chance to experience the city’s laidback atmosphere. Wander around Sydney’s historic Rocks area to learn all the city’s colourful past, grab something to eat in buzzy Darling Harbour and get your dose of retail therapy on George Street. Or explore some of the famous beach suburbs – Sydney has more than 100 beaches, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to golden sands and sparkling seas.

 

Starting your trip in Sydney means that the wonders of the Pacific are within your reach. On Aurora’s Sydney to San Francisco cruise , sail from Sydney to the Sounds of New Zealand as Aurora takes you on a tour of Fiordland’s most famous sights: Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds. Other New Zealand highlights include the Scottish-influenced Dunedin, capital city Wellington and the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland. Next, get a glimpse of Fijian life in Lautoka, followed by a visit to Apia, the capital of the picture-perfect Samoa, before perfecting your hula in Honolulu, Hawaii. From one iconic bridge to another, your cruise will end sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge as you arrive into the bay city of San Francisco.

 

If you’d prefer a taste of Asia and more exploration of Australia’s eastern coast, then Arcadia’s Sydney to Singapore cruise is perfect for you. Leaving Sydney you’ll head for Brisbane, a city flanked by the buzzy Gold Coast to the south and the stunning Sunshine Coast to the north. Then it’s on to the eccentrically named Yorkeys Knob, where you’ll be within hopping distance of the Great Barrier Reef, before making a stop in Alotau, one of Papua New Guinea’s most picturesque towns.

 

Your Asian adventure will begin in Japan, with visits to ports including Kochi, Osaka – from where you can visit the serene city of Kyoto, famous for its geisha houses, cherry blossom, temples and palaces – and Nagasaki, where you’ll find poignant reminders of the 1945 atomic bomb that destroyed much of the city. Next it’s on to Busan in South Korea, where they like things big: the city has the world’s largest department store as well as Korea’s biggest beach. Then to Shanghai, China’s most cosmopolitan city, to experience its mix of modern and traditional ways of life, followed by an overnight stop in Hong Kong, giving you ample time to absorb the energy of one of the world’s busiest and most vibrant destinations. Regain a sense of relaxation with a visit to the seaside town of Nha Trang in Vietnam, before a stop in Phu My, the launching pad for a visit to Ho Chi Minh City. Next up is Laem Chabang in Thailand, where you can experience both traditional village life and the urban buzz of nearby Bangkok. Your trip will end in the ‘Garden City’ of Singapore.

 

If time is precious but the mix of Australian and Asian ports has got your pulse racing, Arcadia’s Sydney to Hong Kong cruise follows the same itinerary, but guests disembark in Hong Kong, making for a 24-night cruise.

 

 

Discover Dubai

Known as the ‘Pearl of the Arabian Gulf’, Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It’s a city that has undergone much transformation over the years, evolving into a vibrant, cosmopolitan and glamorous place. Dubai welcomes visitors with open arms – Emiratis only make up a small part of the population, and the city is home to people from all four corners of the globe. But it’s also a city that pushes boundaries: gaze in wonder at the world’s tallest building, the world’s fastest rollercoaster, an indoor ski resort in a desert city, an island shaped like a palm tree…

 

On Aurora’s Dubai to Singapore cruise, this desert oasis is the gateway port for exploring the treasures that lie east on a 13-night cruise. From Dubai you’ll sail to Mumbai, where the sights, sounds and smells will leave you in no doubt that you really are experiencing the exotic. From the fascinating culture shock of the big city you’ll find relaxation in Cochin, in India’s coastal state of Kerala. The giant Chinese-style fishing nets that line the harbour have inspired many a photographer and artist, and are evidence of the delightful multiculturalism you’ll find as you explore the old town. Colonial Colombo in Sri Lanka is next up, where you can watch a cricket match and have afternoon tea while admiring the city’s temples and mosques. Then it’s on to Penang in Malaysia, where you can visit a magnificent Buddhist temple or explore the lively markets, before sailing over to vibrant Singapore. Many cultures have played a part in Singapore’s development, including Malays, Chinese, Indian and British, and this rich history combines with a tropical climate and glorious gardens to create a perfect eastern charm.

The Merlion and skyline of Singapore

Singapore is a gateway port for destinations across Asia and Australasia

Singapore Sling

Singapore is a feast for the senses. Known as the ‘Garden City’ and the gateway to south-east Asia, visitors are kept endlessly entertained here. Tropical rainforests teeming with wildlife border onto modernistic skyscrapers. Ancient temples sit next to luxurious condos. The retail therapy is world renowned, and the food is the stuff of dreams. Chilli and pepper crab are highlights in the city’s street food scene, or try satay, laksa, chicken rice… you certainly won’t go hungry here! But don’t forget to leave time for a Singapore Sling amid the colonial splendour of the famous Raffles Hotel.

 

After having your fill, travel west on Arcadia’s 11-night Singapore to Dubai cruise. En route you’ll visit the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur (tours from Port Klang), where super-modern architecture – including the world-famous Petronas Towers – sits alongside fascinating historic districts, bustling street markets and incense-filled mosques and temples. Then it’s time to chill out and dig your toes into white-sand beaches. In Thailand’s popular beach resort of Phuket, the stunning beaches are framed by verdant green hills and bright blue waters, made famous by films such as The Beach and The Man with the Golden Gun. Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo is the final stop before you arrive into Dubai.

 

On Aurora’s Singapore to Sydney 19-night cruise, you’ll take in exotic ports such as Semarang in Central Java – where you can visit Borobudur Temple, the single largest Buddhist structure on the planet – and Indonesia’s popular beach destination of Bali, where sunbathing and water sports are the order of the day. Before arriving in the final destination of Sydney, you will explore Australia’s west and south coasts. The ship docks in Western Australia’s laidback capital Perth, which is almost as close to Singapore as it is to Sydney, and the easy-going South Australian city of Adelaide, a foodie paradise as well as the gateway to the Outback. In both cities you can get a taste for the famed Australian wines, with shore excursions to the Swan Valley from Perth and the Barossa Valley from Adelaide. Next it’s on to Kangaroo Island, where you can witness some truly Aussie wildlife, such as kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, seals, sea lions and wombats. A stop in cosmopolitan Melbourne will delight culture vultures before you head to the final port of Sydney.

 

Set free in San Francisco

‘I left my heart in San Francisco’, croons legendary singer Tony Bennett. Home to 43 hills, thousands of restaurants, sea lions, a former federal prison on an island and a very famous crimson bridge, the city on the bay has stolen many hearts over the years with its mix of laidback city vibes, left-wing politics, high-tech industry and Californian city buzz. Cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge to the artists’ colony of Sausalito, or head north to the beautiful vineyards of the Napa Valley, where Cab (Cabernet Sauvignon) is king. Go south and you’ll join the famous Pacific Highway, where jaw-dropping scenery will make it hard to keep your eyes on the road.

 

You can visit the wonders of the Pacific from east to west on Arcadia’s San Francisco to Sydney cruise. After a day in Honolulu, Hawaii, you’ll visit the tropical paradise of Bora Bora, a place where you’ll discover more shades of blue water than you ever thought existed. Wooden sea bungalows, blinding white sand beaches, soaring forested peaks, sapphire waters… this really is island heaven. Paradise may have been found in Bora Bora, but leave room to be amazed by the Polynesian beauty of Tahiti. Here, it’s all about volcanic black sand beaches and sheltered lagoons. After chilling out on these stunning beaches, it’s time to get back to some urban buzz as Arcadia makes stops in three New Zealand cities. Explore Rotorua’s geysers and mud pools on an excursion from Auckland, wander around art-deco Napier and learn about traditional Maori life in Wellington before finishing your trip in the iconic Australian city of Sydney.

 

Find out more about Exotic fly-cruises >

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