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The demand for cruising to Asia is not quite where it was pre-pandemic, but cruise lines are gearing up for a massive comeback in Asian cruising this year. Asia cruising is awakening as reported by TNW.

This is especially exciting for South African cruise fans, not just because of their pent-up demand for cruising to exotic destinations but also because of visa-free travel to many parts of the region.

“The lull in travel to the Far East is certainly over. It is business as usual for us with Asia. From a cruise line perspective, all our brands have reintroduced the destination. From a demand perspective, it has come back with a bang,” says Thaybz Khan, Head of Product at Cruises International.

However, this segment of the cruising market still has a long way to go before it exceeds pre-pandemic levels. In a recent poll on Travel News, agents were asked if cruising to Asia had returned fully post-pandemic. Only 23% responded ‘yes’.

Nonetheless, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) remains very optimistic in its outlook, given Asia’s easy access, especially from the US.
“Asia is guaranteed to increase in popularity. For local cruise enthusiasts priming their sea legs for the 2023 cruise season, there’s a wide selection of Asia cruise itineraries from international brands to choose from,” says Kevin Bubolz, VP and MD Continental Europe, Israel, Middle East and Africa.

As for cruising in general for the South African market, he says: “With major ship innovations, immersive itineraries, and exciting port-rich sailings, cruising is set to be one of the most popular, versatile, and cost-effective options for South African travellers in 2023.”

The CLIA recommends that bookings be made as early as possible to avoid disappointment this year, with lead times now months or even years in advance.  This is especially important for the local market, as South Africans need to take visa applications into consideration.

So if on this #choosedaytuesday you have the urge to set sail and explore distant countries, explore new cultures and unravel new mysteries of the Far East or any other #bucketlist destinations, chat and connect with our expert team members Shirani Gaymans michelle powell Nadine Morley Rosa Dos Santos Yumna Adams Tracey-lee Rhoode Jenna De Agrela Terry Annandale

In other news:
South Korea – Flights grounded. Nearly 100 flights were grounded on Jeju Island today, due to dangerous wind conditions.
USA – Update – Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is now allowing departures
Nigeria – Update, Airport shutdown expected. Aviation workers in Nigeria have threatened to shut down the country’s airports as they enter the second day of strike action.
Argentina – Labour activists to strike
New Zealand – weather warnings issued
Thailand – Similan Islands expected to close, May 19 for a period of environmental restoration

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