Join Columbus as she arrives in Hong Kong, the former British colony that is now one of China's most spectacular, energetic and cosmopolitan cities. Settle in to your cabin, then relax on board and get to know the ship, her crew and your fellow travellers.
Cruise into bewitching, UNESCO-listed Halong Bay, where countless limestone pillars and cone-shaped islands rise out of the water. An optional shore excursion today takes you to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, with its labyrinthine '36 Old Streets', tranquil Hoan Kiem Lake and its island Ngoc Son Temple. Elsewhere in the city, highlights include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the former leader’s traditional house, the fascinating Museum of Ethnology and colourful Dong Xuan market.
A call close to Vietnam’s famous Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), brings opportunities to join a number of fascinating optional shore excursions. Visit the remarkable Cu Chi tunnel complex - a former Viet Cong base - or the Mekong Delta’s scenic landscape of rice paddies, orchards and colourful market towns.
Cambodia offers you the chance to unwind and relax on its perfect white beaches, and to enjoy the warm tranquil waters of the Gulf of Thailand. The ruins of Angkor, the capital city of the Khmer Empire, should be on every visitor’s list. Here the vast temple complex of Angkor Wat has become the Cambodian equivalent of the Taj Mahal and was intended as both a state temple and an eventual mausoleum for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th Century.
Columbus docks in Laem Chabang this morning, bringing the chance to head into the Thai capital. A city of contrasts, Bangkok is an intriguing juxtaposition of old and new, with ancient temples standing alongside modern high rises. Explore its temples, gilded Buddhas and colourful Khlong (canals), and make sure you take the time to try some of the city's famous street food.
Spend the day in the island city-state of Singapore. Although crammed with high-rises, Singapore has been making a name for itself as one of the world's greenest cities. Marvel at the green skyscrapers, take a stroll through the innovative Gardens by the Bay or explore the UNESCO-listed Botanic Gardens, then perhaps treat yourself to a Singapore Sling at the bar in glitzy Raffles Hotel.
This afternoon Columbus docks in Port Klang, gateway to Kuala Lumpur. Head into the Malaysian capital to see the jumble of futuristic skyscrapers that punctuate a skyline dominated by the iconic Petronas Towers - the tallest twin towers in the world. Elsewhere, sights such as the preserved Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and Thean Hou Temple hint at the city's more traditional side.
Step ashore in Penang for a taste of authentic Malaysian culture. Sample some of the delicious street food that the city is world famous for, or visit George Town to see the area's charming Chinese shophouses, then relax in the colourful tropical gardens or on the powdery sands of its pristine beaches.
Today Columbus calls in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Explore the restored Fort area of this bustling city, and the ancient street markets of Pettah, or perhaps take a shore excursion into the lush, temple-studded countryside.
Kochi (also known as Cochin) on India's southwestern coast is built across a series of islands. A trading port for centuries, the city has a distinctly European feel, especially in Fort Cochin. It is also the port from which you can depart on a three-day excursion overland to discover Delhi and Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, before re-joining Columbus in Mumbai.
In former Bombay you'll see sweeping Marine Drive, the monumental arch of the Gateway of India and the colonial splendour of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Explore the grand former Prince of Wales Museum and the vast, Gothic fantasy of the Victoria Terminus railway station - all highlights on today's optional shore excursion.
From the Red Sea port of Safaga, an optional full-day excursion will take you to Luxor, once the ancient Egyptian capital Thebes. Discover the ruined temples of Luxor and Karnak, the vast columns of the Hypostyle Hall, and the awe-inspiring Valley of the Kings - where Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered Tutankhamun's tomb.
Today brings another unforgettable optional excursion - from the luxurious Jordanian port of Aqaba to the extraordinary 'Rose Red' City of Petra. Etched into the sandstone cliffs and hillsides the lost city's extraordinary buildings are among the most unforgettable sights on Earth.
Passage through the world's most famous - and busiest - waterway, the Suez Canal, brings Columbus into the Mediterranean, where a trio of calls brings the opportunity to discover yet more wonders a little closer to home.
A call in Haifa brings the chance to head into Israel and the Holy Land. Opt to take a shore excursion to the coastal resort city of Tel Aviv, or into the Judean Hills to visit Jerusalem. See the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, some of the world's most sacred sites.
Today Columbus docks in Piraeus for a visit to beguiling, bustling Athens. Don't miss the chance to climb the Acropolis to the ruins of the Parthenon, one of the world's most enduring monuments, and an awe-inspiring window onto the city's rich Classical past.
A morning call in Gibraltar brings a first real taste of home. Wander past familiar British shops on Main Street, or perhaps take the cable-car to the top of the Rock for views across the Straits to Africa.
Columbus arrives back in London Tilbury on the morning of Tuesday 5th May, at the end of her epic passage home.
British Citizens will need a full, 10-year passport to travel on this cruise. Since some countries require visitors to be valid for at least six months after the return date of the cruise we recommend that all customers ensure that this is the case. Holders of non-British passports should check with the relevant embassies to see if any requirements and restrictions exist for any countries visited during the cruise.
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.*Offer applies to new bookings made between 20th August and 31st October 2018 (inclusive) only. Prices shown when booking include any discounts. The exact value of the discount included will vary depending on offer, cruise, cabin and departure date selected. Single cabin full fares will be discounted by 50 per cent. The discount amount will be added to your booking automatically once you have selected a cabin and will be confirmed before purchase. All offers are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. All fares exclude gratuities.On many of our cruises, a limited number of Voyager Fare Inner and Ocean-view cabins are available. Choose these and you will be accommodated in at least a Standard Twin Inner or Standard Twin Ocean-view cabin (depending on your choice), but will pay only the reduced Voyager Fare price. Availability is limited, so book now to secure your discount.