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Setting sail from Singapore
Singapore is one of the world's richest cities, with a standard of living to match, and in recent years it has moved on from its image as a sterile, overly officious nanny state to become one of the most dynamic and exciting cities in the region. Singapore's heritage as an important trading post means that there is a real cultural mix, with four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Step away from the gleaming towers and you'll find yourself transported into another world amongst the intoxicating streets of Chinatown and Little India.
Food is a passion, almost a religion, in Singapore. So plan ahead, ask the locals and make sure you don’t miss out – street food or super-fancy, either is great.
Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia’s capital is a hot and humid cultural melting pot, defined by its distinctive Malay, Chinese and Indian communities. The dazzling Petronas Towers are KL’s most recognisable landmark, while at street level you’ll find temples and mosques, elegant colonial buildings and bustling markets.
The Malaysian island of Penang is a fascinating blend of East and West, far more than just a beach destination. Lovely Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to British colonial architecture, crumbling Chinese shophouses and incense-perfumed temples.
As well as a plethora of luxury resorts, Phuket has a charming old town replete with pretty Sino-Portuguese architecture, and acts as a jump-off point for exploring nearby islands and coastline. Koh Phing Pan, better known as James Bond Island, and Ko Phi Phi are breathtakingly beautiful, as are the limestone formations that surround Krabi.
Sri Lanka: Hambantota
Investment has poured into Hambantota since the city was devastated by the 2004 tsunami, and this is now one of South Asia’s biggest ports. Hambantota is a jumping off point for Yala National Park, famous for its leopards, and the less well known Kundala National Park, rich in birdlife including flamingos and storks.
Sri Lanka: Colombo
Colombo may be a little chaotic, but there is plenty to recommend Sri Lanka's colourful capital. Faded colonial architecture and beautiful Buddhist temples hint at the city's considerable history, while the excellent restaurants, lively bars and characterful streets provide the perfect introduction to contemporary Sri Lankan culture.
The port of Kochi, commonly known as Cochin, occupies a strategic location on India’s Malabar Coast, and its history as a trading hub is reflected in the blend of European, Chinese and Arabian influences. It’s also the gateway to the idyllic Kerala Backwaters, which are best appreciated on a houseboat cruise.
Arriving in Mumbai
We love Mumbai! Formerly known as Bombay, this amazing city is larger than life and packed to bursting with things to see and do. Here people of all religions and nationalities live cheek by jowl, thriving communities from all over the world with the foods, smells, languages and rituals maintained at top volume - here in Mumbai, everything really is turned up to 11! For many people, the seething rush of humanity is too much, and we quite understand why some tell us they will never go back. But we think you could return time and again, and never get to grips with this thriving city. Be prepared to be overwhelmed!
The outdoor laundry, Dhobi Ghat, has to be one of the most extraordinary sights in the world – an expanse of soapy tubs with wringers, clothes lines, coal heated irons and frenzied activity.
Your home from home
Crystal have repeatedly been voted the World’s Best and Serenity is arguably one of the finest ships at sea.
What we love
Crystal Serenity is Symphony's big sister and, like her, is not a new ship; but you wouldn't know it since she is subject to an ongoing refurbishment programme, which ensures that the environment is always perfect and the style contemporary. This is, in short, a ship constantly honed to perfection. But ultimately it's all about the unmatchable food and service.
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Luxury with a difference: the resort style - with excellent entertainment and facilities, wide range of dining and highly developed onboard programme - distinguishes glamorous Crystal from its competitors in the sector.
Tailor-make your trip
Our favourite hotel in Singapore
So many wonderful hotels. We like a lot of them, but our choice is the Fullerton.
Take a private tour around Mumbai
Get a guide to take you away from the tourist hotspots, exploring instead the many different communities and markets, for a taste of the real Mumbai. We thought the Fishing Slum was a wonderful place.