For those who enjoy sailing in style on far-flung itineraries, one of the hottest tickets on the market is a trip to the Far East aboard the R1 or R8 of Renaissance Cruises. The mid-sized, state-of-the art, 684-passenger vessels offer 15-day cruises from Singapore to Hong Kong, calling at a host of provocative ports: Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Da Nang in Vietnam, and Guangzhou (Canton), China. While many ships are only in port for a day, the R1 and R8 spend two days, allowing a considerable amount of time for exploring.
Standard outside cabins are exceptionally spacious, measuring a roomy 216 square feet—and 70 percent of the ship's 342 cabins come with verandas, which are especially delightful places to relax during days at sea. The best of the best are the ten Category A Owner's Suites. Ranging in size from 786 to 962 square feet, each suite has a canopied queen-sized bed, marble bathroom with whirlpool spa, stereo system with CD player, and refrigerated minibar—along with ocean views through-floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto an expansive wraparound balcony. The ship's interior includes Oriental carpets, mahogany paneling, leather furnishings, and a marble staircase.
Sixteen Singapore-Hong Kong cruises are available from November 2001 to March 2002. $1,999-$5,499. Renaissance has greatly expanded its worldwide travel to a total of 45 different cruises to the Greek Isles, Tahiti and the South Pacific, Asia, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, New Zealand and Australia, and the Caribbean. For more information: 800-525-5350; www.renaissancecruises.com.