Cruise to Southeast Asia

19 days

Fascinating Cruise to Southeast Asia: Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore.


The Far East is incomparably exotic and mystical. It combines customs and traditions, tastes and sounds, going back thousands of years, from Southeast Asia to the Far East and India. Our unforgettable tour/cruise on one of Holland America’s luxury cruise ships, we’ll visit a number of fascinating destinations in Southeast Asia: Scintillating Hong Kong, bustling Vietnam, gentle Cambodia, exciting Thailand and amazing Singapore. While seemingly similar, these countries are all quite different. The contrast of West and East is noticeable in each of them. Large statues of Buddha on the one hand, and skyscrapers alongside simple bamboo huts on the other. Huge markets filled with all sorts of wonderful products alongside small boats with farming people selling their produce, this tour is filled with new and exclusive adventures.


Day 1, Tuesday December 19, 2017: Hong Kong
Upon arrival to Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok International Airport we’ll clear customs and immigration and immediately head out to discover this scintillating city. We’ll stroll along colorful Nathan Road in Kowloon before crossing Victoria Harbor to the Ohel Leah Synagogue. Dinner and overnight in Hong Kong.

Day 2, Wednesday December 20: Hong Kong, Repulse Bay & Victoria Peak – and All Aboard!
After breakfast, we’ll set out to get to know this special city. We’ll visit Repulse bay on the far side of Hong Kong Island, as well as Aberdeen fishing village, comprised of a multitude of houseboats alongside lofty apartment skyscrapers. Afterwards we’ll board the funicular for the climb to Victoria Peak and the most wondrous panoramic view of the City of Hong Kong – both the Island and the Chinese mainland. And then… we’ll make our way to Hong Kong’s Cruise Terminal (which used to be Hong Kong’s former Kai Tak International Airport!) in order to board our cruise ship, the Holland America Line’s MS Volendam.

The MS Volendam is one of the most beautiful ships in the world – and one of the newest in Holland America’s new luxury fleet.

  • 9 stateroom decks
  • Restaurants and lounges with large, panoramic windows
  • Boutique elegance
  • New bar area in the atrium
  • Upgraded theater with shows every night
  • All the staterooms display Holland America’s concept of comfort
  • All gusts have window staterooms. (Balcony staterooms are available at extra cost)
  • Deluxe comfortable beds from the “Mariner’s Dream” range, with quality bedding
  • Plush toweling robes
  • TV and DVD (bring your selection from home or borrow from the ship’s library)
  • Plentiful cupboards and storage space
  • Complimentary fresh fruit daily in your stateroom
  • Tea, coffee, juices available for your enjoyment 24 hours a day
  • Complimentary shoe shine service
  • Tasty, abundant kosher mealsThe ship also has a variety of theaters, musicians and bars galore, a casino, spa, health club, pool and Jacuzzi as well as a full staff of entertainers on call daily.

Day 3, Thursday December 21, 2017: At Sea – Lectures, Treats and Relaxation
A day at sea enables us to relish many of the luxuries the ship offers. This is time to relax and pamper ourselves with any of the many facilities aboard ship.

Day 4, Friday December 22, 2017: Halong Bay, Vietnam
This morning we’ll drop anchor in one of nature’s most wondrous places, Halong Bay near Hanoi in Vietnam. This place is breathtaking! Its placid waters are dotted with hundreds of small islands, lofty karst peaks rising from the sea – something quite astounding! Halong Bay, in Vietnamese, means “the place where the dragon goes down to the sea.” It’s connected to the local legend that the dragon created the bay and the islands with its tail. We’ll sail through the bay and observe the local life style of the fishing villagers.

Day 5, Shabbat December 23, 2017: At Sea
Today we’ll be able to appreciate some of the luxuries that the ship offers. We’ll enjoy Shabbat services, meals and shiurim, marvel at the scenery, and share one another’s experiences and special knowledge.

Day 6, Sunday December 24, 2017: Da Nang & Hoi An, Vietnam
Today anchor in Da Nang, the half-way point between Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Da Nang was captured many times in its history, most recently by the French and the Americans. We’ll travel to the picturesque town of Hoi An, where the Chinese first colonized this part of the world. There are over 800 ancient buildings here that are more than 200 years old. We’ll wander through the old quarter and imbibe the feeling of history. There are many temples and pagodas here, and the town has maintained both its Chinese and Japanese heritage –which led it to being recognized in 1999 as a World Heritage Site.

Day 7, Monday December 25, 2017: At Sea
A day at sea enables us to relish many of the luxuries the ship offers. This is time to relax and pamper ourselves with any of the many facilities aboard ship.

Day 8, Tuesday December 26, 2017: Nha Trang, Vietnam
Today we anchor in Nha Trang, one of Vietnam’s famous coastal resort towns. We’ll visit the town, including the Long Son Pagoda, with its dragon themed roof, created out of ceramic and glass mosaic. We’ll climb 152 stairs (some of us will ) to view the great white Buddha which rises an impressive 9 meters, and from where there’s a fabulous panoramic view of the entire bay, after which we’ll see the Yang Bay Falls.

Day 9, Wednesday December 27, 2017: Miyazaki
Today we’ll drop anchor at Phu My, near Ho Chi Minh City, aka Saigon. We’ll tour the city that was once the capital of South Vietnam until 1975, when the South and its American allies were defeated by the North and the country was united. Saigon was the capital of French colonial Vietnam, and the French architectural influence can still be seen in such buildings as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. HCMC is Vietnam’s largest city. A bustling, dynamic metropolis, Saigon is Vietnam’s financial, business and cultural capital. We’ll visit the Parliament, the War Museum and the Chinese quarter. And then we’ll do some extreme sports: crossing the road as thousands of motor bikes whizz by.

Day 10, Thursday December 28, 2017: At Sea
A day at sea enables us to relish many of the luxuries the ship offers. This is time to relax and pamper ourselves with any of the many facilities aboard ship.

Day 11, Friday December 29, 2017: Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Sihanoukville – In Sanskrit, Siha = lion, hanou = jaws. The city draws its name from the former king of Cambodia, Noradom Sihanouk, and is often called the city of the Holy Sihanouk. We’ll anchor here today, in this port city at the southern tip of the Cambodian Peninsula, on the southeastern side of the Bay of Thailand. It’s a vacation city, with magnificent white beaches, bordering on a nature reserve and tropical islands. We’ll visit the Ream Nature Reserve, and be able to walk or hike along jungle paths, or the beachfront promenade, or along the magical river that crosses the reserve. Afterwards, we’ll head off to see the famous Sihanoukville Falls, before returning to the ship.

Day 12, Shabbat December 30, 2017: Aboard Ship. Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Thailand
Today we’ll be able to appreciate some of the luxuries that the ship offers. We’ll enjoy Shabbat services, meals and shiurim, relax with a good book (from the ship’s wonderful library), and share one another’s experiences, divrei torah and special knowledge.

Day 13, Sunday December 31, 2017: Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Thailand
After breakfast, we’ll disembark to discover the city known as the “Venice of the East” (but on steroids!). We’ll visit Democracy Square, the King’s Palace, The Parliament, and other sites. We’ll visit the Grand Palace, the formal residence of the Siamese Monarchy, with its impressive buildings, gardens, reception halls, and coronation pavilion. Wat Phra Kao Temple is one of the most important on Thailand for the local Buddhist worshippers, for it houses the renowned Emerald Buddha. Alongside the Palace is the Wat Pho Temple, the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok, housing the world’s largest reclining pearl-studded, gilded Buddha.

Day 14, Monday January 1, 2018: Koh Samui, Thailand
Welcome to Paradise! Today we anchor at Koh Samui, the third largest and arguably the most beautiful island in Thailand. White sandy beaches, a tropical paradise, turquoise waters, placid palm-tree-lined lagoons, make this one of the most sought after vacation destinations in the world. We’ll tour the island, including the beautiful Na Muang waterfalls, the Koh Samui Aquarium with its amazing collection of tropical fish and sea creatures, tortoises, sea turtles and colorful corals. There’s also a small collection of animals here, including the ever elusive and almost-extinct Bengal Tiger, Jaguars and other members of the larger cat family. If you’re feeling brave, you might be able to get a selfie with one of them!

Day 15, Tuesday January 2, 2018: At Sea
A day at sea enables us to relish many of the luxuries the ship offers. This is time to relax and pamper ourselves with any of the many facilities aboard ship.

Day 16, Wednesday January 3, 2018: Singapore
Today we dock at Singapore harbor, where we’ll take leave of our magnificent temporary lodgings, and disembark to continue our explorations on land. Singapore, once a pirate’s haven, is made up of a central island, and a few other islands alongside. Singapore is strategically located at the gates of the Straits of Malacca, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, and the main source of Singapore’s significant revenue. Singapore was an autonomous British territory in 1955 when it had a Jewish Prime Minister, named David Marshall. In 1965 Singapore gained its independence and turned swiftly from a poor backwater to a vibrant, progressive and successful country. We’ll go out to explore this captivating city-state, to see the old colonial quarters along the Singapore River, the magnificent skyscrapers in the business district, the famous Raffles Hotel, named for Singapore’s founder, Chinatown and Little India.

Day 17, Thursday January 4, 2018: Singapore – Home Gateway
The last day of our cruise and tour has arrived. We’ll complete our visit to this amazing city and make our way to Singapore’s Changi Airport, the world’s # 1 airport for five years running, from where we’ll depart to our home gateway, carrying with us our many memories of a truly unique experience.

Dates & Prices
Tour Code Departure Return  
PFAE17/1 12/19/2017 01/04/2018 Book this tour
Tour Code Departure date Air + Land * Land only * Single Room**
PFAE17/1 12/19/2017 6990 $ 2550 $

* Price per person in USD Iin double or twin room.

** Supplement for single room.

* Price of tour is subject to due to change in Air Fare.

Need to Know

Price Includes

  • 14 day cruise on a Holland America cruise liner
  • Air conditioned coach for all the tours and transfers in the itinerary
  • Tours, visit and entrance fees in the itinerary
  • First class hotels
  • Kosher half board throughout the tour. Facilities to make sandwiches for lunch
  • Full Board aboard ship
  • Tips for local service providers abroad (Land service)
  • Tour guide from Shai Bar Ilan staff

Price Excludes

  • International flights, including fuel charges and taxes (may change)
  • Tips for ship’s staff only $160 (to be paid directly aboard ship)
  • Vietnamese Visa $95
  • Cambodian Visa (to be paid in cash upon arrival)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Evening programs not included in the itinerary
  • Tips for the Israeli guide – $5 per person per day

Kashrut on Tours

Only strictly kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. On some of our tours we are able to provide glatt meals. Kashrut is of utmost importance to us and we take special measures to ensure that everything served is kosher.

The meals:
Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.

We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.

On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.

It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.

Cancellation Terms

  • Cancellation for any reason from time of registration up to 90 working days* before departure – $97 per person registration fee only
  • Cancellation for any reason from 89 to 30 working days* before departure – $97 registration + $1500 per person
  • Cancellation for any reason from 29 to 11 working days* before departure – $97 registration + $2500 per person
  • Cancellation for any reason from 10 working days* and less before departure – full cost of the tour and all added expenses
  • If visas to destination countries and flight tickets have already been issued at the time of cancellation, these will be added to the cancellation fees mentioned above.
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