5 cruises to book this Lunar New Year


You can enjoy feasts, a festive countdown, fireworks aboard these Year of the Rat sailings:

Sapphire Princess

Princess Cruises marks the beginning of Chinese New Year with classic, time-honoured traditions. GentGentGentExpect symbolic red decorations like lanterns and banners adorning the Piazza, along with lion dance performances on 25 and 27 January.

Festive specialties offered at Sapphire’s fine dining establishments include double-boiled chicken soup, crispy pork dumplings and braised pork belly. Guests can also enjoy celebrity chef Curtis Stone’s special dish – a seafood stew with Chilean sea bass, black mussels and clams. The numerous buffet offerings like Chinese dumplings, a noodle station and other Asian staples will please cruisers as well.

Sapphire sails from Singapore on a 5-night Malaysia and Thailand cruise (departing 21 January), and a 7-night Thailand and Vietnam Cruise from 26 January.

World Dream

Dream Cruises’ 150,000 ton megaship promises tons of dining and entertainment highlights during the New Year season.

Passengers can look forward to a Lunar New Year’s Eve countdown party, a God of Fortune parade, a lion & dragon dance and a New Year’s bazaar on board. Don’t miss out on the vessel’s exclusive fireworks at sea too, happening on January 30 and February 4.

There’s plenty of complimentary dining highlights as well: a Fortune Pot to symbolise wealth and abundance, a barbecued suckling pig, sweet and sour whole fish and poached dumplings. Palace Restaurant will also serve an exclusive festive menu, featuring premium items like lobsters, grilled Okinawa wagyu beef and ‘Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’.

Itineraries depart from Hong Kong, with a 2-night South China Seas sailing and a 5-night Manila and Subic Bay sailing.

Quantum of the Seas

In Singapore for her longest homeporting season yet, this is the first time that Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas will offer Chinese New Year sailings out of the country.

Travellers can either book a 4-night cruise on 24 January to Port Klang and Penang, or a 5-night sailing to Port Klang, Penang and Phuket on 28 January.

Adding to the festivities are CNY-themed activities, menus and decorations onboard the ship’s public areas. Of course, Asian cruisers will appreciate that Quantum is very much designed for the Chinese market, with Mandarin-speaking crew and local cuisine served onboard.

Families and millennials will also love the high-tech goodies, such as robotic bartenders and skydiving simulator iFly.

Norwegian Jade

Following a bow-to-stern upgrade in 2017, Norwegian Jade returned to the fleet with new venues, modern décor and refurbished staterooms. The 2,402 capacity ship now boasts more than 16 dining options, including a complimentary Asian restaurant with freshly prepared noodles, wok fried dishes and authentic soups. If you want to party the night away, the ship’s Bliss Ultra Lounge is a swanky dance club with an expansive bar and no cover charge.

This Chinese New Year, guests can explore the ship on board a 12-day Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam cruise from Singapore. Departing on 13 January, the itinerary includes an overnight stay in Bangkok, along with stops at tourist hotspots like Sihanoukville, Nha Trang and Halong Bay.

Costa Fortuna

For a Lunar New Year sailing with a quintessential Italian atmosphere, it’s hard to beat Costa Fortuna. She will be embarking on a 7-night voyage on 21 January, departing from Singapore. Ports of call include Langkawi, Phuket, Penang and Port Klang.

The Italian vessel came out of dry dock in Singapore in December 2018, after undergoing a US $9.2-million refurbishment. Her modern facelift includes redesigned bars & restaurants, a poolside ice cream parlour, a pizzeria, and restyled outdoor swimming pools and Jacuzzis.

Families will also appreciate Costa’s Squok Club. Open from morning till late evening, the kid’s club provides a variety of activities like treasure hunts, educational games, dinners and themed parties.