For new and veteran cruise-goers alike, Southeast Asia holds a timeless appeal unmatched by other global cruise destinations. Why? Perhaps it’s the region’s unique culture, scenic beauty and fascinating heritage. Or, maybe it’s simply the fact that it’s just across the pond.
Whatever the reason, Southeast Asia cruises are on the up — with millions of visitors choosing to sail around the region each year. If Southeast Asia ticks all of your cruise holiday boxes, you’re probably wondering when is the perfect time to book a Southeast Asia cruise. If so, you’ve come to the right place, as we’re here to walk you through the dos and don’ts of booking a Southeast Asia cruise.
|Country||Best time to go|
|Indonesia||May to September|
|Malaysia||December to April (West Coast) and April to October (East Coast)|
|Thailand||April to September in the coast|
|Vietnam||February to April and August to October|
|Philippines||November to April|
|Cambodia||November to March|
Best Time of Year for Weather
Despite being within relatively close proximity to one another, Southeast Asian countries have surprisingly varied climates — so it’s wise to pack both your bikini and your raincoat. Here we’ll touch on the best times of year to travel to the region’s most popular destinations.
Indonesia: With low rainfall and daily temperatures of around 24°C, April—October is the best time to visit Indonesia.
Malaysia: Because it straddles the equator, Malaysia experiences hot weather throughout the year. To avoid the worst of the rain however, we recommend travelling between June and September.
Thailand: As Thailand is such a vast country, it tends to experience varied weather day-to-day. The best time to travel to the country’s coast is April to September, but you should still expect a shower, and pack accordingly.
Vietnam: Like Thailand, Vietnam tends to experience changing weather throughout the year. The best time to visit is probably during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months (June, July and August), when daily temperatures average 18°C—25°C.
Best Time of Year for Price
Like all destinations, cruise prices to Southeast Asia can vary massively depending on the time of year. During seasonal holiday periods or the region’s dry season, fares will be considerably more expensive than during off-peak months or the wet season. Luckily, prices for food, entertainment and amenities on dry land in Southeast Asia don’t tend to change, so it’s still possible to grab some affordable fare or cheap souvenirs — even if you travel during the high season.
Best Time of Year for Crowds
As above, Southeast Asia’s busyness is dependent on the time of year. Travel during seasonal school holidays and you’ll encounter more crowds and tourists — particularly if your trip coincides with China’s holiday dates. If you want to avoid the worst of the tourist hordes, travel during off-peak periods — unless it’s monsoon season.
Best Time of Year for Cruise Line Choice
In recent years, Southeast Asia has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing cruise markets — meaning that more cruise lines than ever are offering sailings to the region. Whether you want to cruise direct from Australia or book a fly/cruise package, you’ll find a great range of Southeast Asia itineraries on the Cruise1st Australia website sailing with some of the world’s most distinguished cruise lines.
To browse a complete range of Southeast Asia cruise breaks, visit the Cruise1st Australia website, or call our dedicated team on 1300 857 345.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: See-ming lee, M M, Donald Judge.
Note: This post was updated in November 2017 for accuracy and timeliness.