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Daily Express Monday January 22 2018 ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

● HISTORIC HO CHI MINH ● MALAYSIA’S NATURAL BEAUTY ● CAMBODIAN CUISINE

SET SAIL ON SHINING SEAS

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

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ome of the world’s most breathtaking destinations and the best service imaginable. Isn’t it time you considered a holiday at sea? Cruising allows you to see the world and make new memories without having to compromise on quality. Cruising allows you to focus on the exciting bits and leave the logistics to someone else.

Wondering where to go on your next adventure? You’re probably looking at whether to sail, fly, walk or just relax with a book. Perhaps you’re considering whether to go all-inclusive or off-the beaten track. Maybe you’re looking for the best service while also having a unique experience. A cruise with Marella Cruises means you can tick off all of these things. No stress, no hassle, just fun.

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Daily Express Monday January 22 2018 ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE FEATURE

Choose Choosea acruise cruise that’s that’sright rightfor foryou you Do you Do hit the you seas hit the regularly, seas regularly, or are you or are yet you to take yet to your take first your oceanic first oceanic foray? With foray? Marella With Marella CruisesCruises you canyou restcan assured rest assured that there’s that there’s a cruiseaship cruise or ship itinerary or itinerary to suit everyone’s to suit everyone’s taste taste


Daily Express Monday January 22 2018

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ou might not think of yourself as the typical cruise passenger, but here’s a secret: there’s actually no such thing. So why cruise? Some do it for the atmosphere on board. Everyone there wants to have a good time and you’re guaranteed to meet like-minded people out to make new friends and enjoy fine dining. If bustling nightlife is your thing, you’ll love the sailaway deck parties and cabaret entertainment. Do you prefer a quiet quiz or a strenuous sporting tournament? Whichever you choose, there’s something for you. And going solo isn’t a problem, either: Marella Cruises caters for single travellers too, organising events such as coffee mornings and with dining arrangements suited to making new friends. When you head out to foreign climes, it can sometimes be tricky to determine the best local hotspots or the right times to show up for things, and if you fancy some time in a gym or checking out the best movies, you might struggle to know the best places to go. On a Marella Cruises cruise, the best destinations are right outside your cabin door, with luxury extras like spa treatments available if you want to go the extra mile. Some people cruise to enjoy the excellent service. The minute you step on board a Marella Cruises ship, you cease to be just another tourist and become the centre of attention, particularly if you’re on a smaller ship. Marella Cruises has some of the friendliest service at sea, making you feel right at home. The crew is there to tend to your every need, 24/7 (ships never close), with a smile. It’s service you can trust in a place you can feel safe. Moreover, all service is included, so you don’t need to worry about carrying around extra cash for tips. All Marella Cruises ships have at least three restaurants, so you won’t go short of somewhere or something to eat. And you can make it as upmarket or casual as you like. Sit down to dinner in your finest attire and enjoy waiter

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service, help yourself to international cuisine at the self-servery or simply have a light snack on deck before hitting the gym. You can even creep out for a midnight feast if you’re so inclined. We won’t tell. Some people cruise simply to see the world in comfort. If you’re not keen on the idea of a long-haul flight with basic food and the same film on loop but want to see the sights, cruise to more than 120 destinations while keeping fit, dining well and making friends along the way. Smaller ships means access to more destinations as well as a great atmosphere. Marella Cruises has announced several new routes to Asia for Winter 2018, including Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam (more on these later), and a wide range of cruise and stay options so there’s plenty to satisfy your wanderlust. And you no longer have to travel miles to get to your chosen departure point, either – Marella Cruises has flights from local UK airports so your journey can start minutes from home. With Marella Cruises, you can relax and unwind on your holiday, knowing everything is taken care of for you.

NEW FOR SUMMER 2018

CABINS The Marella Explorer has 962 air-conditioned cabins, from single inside cabins with convertible twin beds, to executive suites with private balconies. There’s room for the whole family in the 20m2 family cabins, which feature double bed, sofabed and fold-down bed. And with 431 balcony cabins you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation.

Bringing the family? Your idea of a dream holiday might be kicking back with a gin and tonic, knowing the kids are catered for. Or you might be looking forward to hanging out with your young gang in a relaxed setting. All Marella Cruises ships are family-friendly but the newer ships – Marella Discovery 1 and Marella Discovery 2 – are designed with your little ones in mind. As well as kids’ clubs, climbing walls and interactive evening shows for kids, the ships have their own dedicated teens-only spaces (as much for your benefit as theirs). And if you thought cruises weren’t baby-friendly, think again. Under-threes make ideal cruise guests, at least on Marella Cruises ships. Free Babytainment classes for parents and babies are educational and fun and include things like nursery rhyme singalongs and baby ballet, as well as sing and sign sessions.

You might have the impression that cruise dining is all black tie and diamante? Not so. Marella Cruises’ buffet restaurants have a large range of family-friendly dishes (not to mention deck barbeques and delicious cakes). Your kids will be well looked after ashore, too, with excursions to waterparks, aquariums and beaches and the option of taking your family off on a mountain bike adventure with an experienced guide(at an extra cost), if needed.

Going for a song? If you want to cram your days at sea with music, comedy and

drama, the Marella Dream is the ship for you. Those really fancying the star treatment can even get their portrait done in the onboard studio. Perhaps your dream cruise is one where you’re entertained every night. Marella Dream is probably most famous for its entertainment, with a West End-style show every evening in the two-storey Broadway Show Lounge (which has two shows every night), and live music throughout the whole day.

Making new friends Meeting new people on board ship is easy. Everybody soon gets to know your name (as well as the way you take your tea). The smaller the ship, the more likely you are to get to know some familiar faces – and maybe even form some lifelong friendships. On the smaller Marella Celebration, for example, you can be part of a dance class or quiz team, chill out by the pool with your new pals or chat over a flat white in The Coffee Port. Solo travellers can take advantage of special solo-friendly dinners and coffee events.

The sheer luxury of it all If wellbeing is your thing then you’ll relish being pampered from head to toe on a cruise. While there is of course more to do than get your nails done, you can certainly kick back and enjoy the high life. The Marella Explorer, which launches this year, boasts an exclusive Champneys spa – its first at sea – with salon, wellness centre and stylish relaxation room. What better way to enjoy the sea views than with a cucumber mask and a glass of something wholesome?

Visit TUI.CO.UK/CRUISE or pop in-store to find out more about Marella Cruises A 14-NIGHT CARIBBEAN FLY CRUISE WITH MARELLA CRUISES STARTS FROM £1,090 Price is correct as of 19th January 2018 at 10am and is subject to availability. Price quoted is per person, includes flights and is based on two adults sharing an inside cabin. Flight and cabin supplements may apply. Single person supplements & reductions for additional passengers may apply. Offer is available on select dates. Offer applies to new bookings, online or in store, only unless stated otherwise. Additional supplements and charges may apply to all bookings. We reserve the right to withdraw the offer at any time without notice. Standard booking terms apply, visit www.tui.co.uk/cruise or see relevant brochure for details. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate. Marella Cruises is a trading name of TUI UK

DINING You can still rely on fleet favourites like Snack Shack and Kora La, Marella Cruises’ signature pan-Asian speciality restaurant, but there are also other diverse eateries such as Surf & Turf (for delicious grilled chicken and lobster), Umi Sushi and experimental eating at The Dining Club.

ENTERTAINMENT The Marella Explorer’s Indigo Bar boasts 360-degree views, dancefloor and DJ booth, as well as a casino with slots and card tables. Attend flare demonstrations and cocktail-making sessions in the bar or kick back and enjoy the views before trying your hand in a poker session.

FACILITIES Marella Explorer has more facilities than any other ship in the fleet, including a cinema and sports and family deck. Its Champneys spa (the biggest in the fleet), includes treatment cabins and a relaxation room.

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Daily Express Monday January 22 2018 ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

10 reasons to choose Marella Cruises You’ve got your heart set on a cruise. Here’s why you should book with Marella Cruises

Famous for

THE FRIENDLIEST SERVICE The moment you step on board, our crew will give you the warmest of welcomes. The relatively small ships mean that you won’t feel like just another holidaymaker. Marella Cruises is there for you, whether you’re a seasoned or firsttime cruiser.

TIME TO EXPLORE Almost all Marella Cruises journeys set sail at night, so you can spend longer ashore. The word ‘Marella’ means ‘shining sea’ in Celtic and was chosen to reflect the company’s spirit of exploration. So relax and enjoy the view!

ALL-INCLUSIVE CRUISING

THERE’S AN UNBEATABLE CHOICE OF CRUISE & STAY HOLIDAYS

For a stress-free holiday, choose one where everything is included, so you don’t find yourself hankering after something you hadn’t planned for or watching your neighbours enviously. Many Marella Cruises ships are allinclusive as standard, which even covers some facilities too.

Spend a week cruising, then choose from more than 140 properties, staying for three, four or seven nights. Or do it the other way around and have a week’s stay before sailing home in luxury.

THEY’RE WITH YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

ALL TIPS AND SERVICE CHARGES ARE INCLUDED

Planning a holiday can take away some of the fun. Marella Cruises takes care of the whole holiday, including flights, transfers and hotels. Pop into your local TUI store to book or download the app and all you’ll have to worry about is whether or not to top up your prosecco.

There’s no need to worry about lugging around extra cash during your holiday, or be fretting about how much to tip. All tips and service charges are included on a Marella Cruises cruise. They also run cashless ships so everything else can be charged to your cabin.

THEY LET YOU JET OFF FROM YOUR DOORSTEP You don’t have to trek across the country to get Marella Cruises’ departure points. It’s the only cruise company to offer flights from 22 regional UK airports. (This means you can spend more time saying goodbye

AN AMAZING RANGE OF EXCURSIONS

WE’RE AT THE CRUISING CUTTING EDGE

Whether it’s Rome in a day from the comfort of an air-conditioned coach or Iceland’s Golden Circle with its waterfalls and geysers, there’s an excursion to suit your holiday style.

Marella Cruises has been making amazing cruise memories since the 1970s and has been evolving ever since. They have embraced new technologies and are constantly welcoming new destinations – currently 120.

YOU’LL NEVER GO PECKISH All Marella Cruises ships have at least three restaurants, from formal to snack-and-go. There’s a range of international cuisines and a regular captain’s dinner as well, if you really want to dine in style. Oh, and drinks prices are comparable to UK pub prices,


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GREAT FOR

FOODIES

Culinary Cambodia: a land of flavour With influences from Chinese and French cuisine, Cambodia is a treat for the palate

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Daily Express Monday January 22 2018

ambodian food can be overshadowed by the food of its more wellknown neighbours, Thailand and Vietnam. But Khmer cuisine has some delicious and varied fish and rice dishes, many of which feature gentle sweet and sour flavours combining black pepper, sugar, cardamom and tamarind. Much modern Cambodian cuisine is influenced by Chinese and French food, as the country was a French colony until the 1950s, but some of its flavours are still very similar to Thai cuisine. One of the country’s most popular and readily available dishes is fish amok (steamed coconut fish in banana leaves), served with rice, of course. Amok chouk is curried snails steamed in their shells. Try samlor machu trey (sweet and sour fish soup), with garlic, pineapple, lemongrass and tamarind. Stir-fry lemongrass beef includes kaffir lime leaves, galangal and turmeric. You could try chien chuon – fish with ginger and fermented soya beans – or sample the famous prahok, which is prepared by crushing fresh fish and leaving it in the sun for a day before salting it. (Sometimes it is left to ferment for up to three years.) If fish left out in the sun for days on end doesn’t float your boat, Cambodia’s coastal areas such as Sihanoukville, on the southwest coast, are renowned for their fresh seafood dishes. The youngest city in the country, the beachside resort of Sihanoukville has developed a thriving foodie culture, with

shacks barbecuing all day and night and offering cheap and quick food, such as grilled squid. The long, sandy Ochheuteal Beach is known for its laid-back beachfront cafés and restaurants and over the last few years a few high-end restaurants and resorts have begun to spring up. Those in the know head to Nyam, a Khmer restaurant a few streets away from the beach, serving local tapas-like dishes of marinated beef, mango salad, squid and banana leaf with chicken and prawns. But there is a plethora of international restaurants serving everything from enchiladas to sushi, via barbecued burgers on the sand if you’re really (really?) missing the delights of home. In short, a trip through Sihanoukville will enable you to sample all the culinary delights of Cambodia – and you’ll probably take home a few recipes too. See the sights by traditional tuk tuk on a four-and-ahalf-hour Marella Cruises Highlights of Sihanoukville excursion, which stops at the famous Golden Lion Roundabout (two enormous glimmering lion statues crouching in the middle of the road), and takes in the Phsar Leu Market – the biggest collection of traditional stalls in the town, selling fresh seafood and souvenirs. Or spend longer on a Grand Tour of the town, which includes a buffet lunch at the Sokha Beach Resort.

■ Cambodia – Secrets of Asia 1 Itinerary (March 21, 2019, 14 nights)

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Daily Express Monday January 22 2018 ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Lose yourself in Malaysia’s beauty Away from the capital of Kuala Lumpur, nature lovers will be wowed by the island’s breathtaking landscape

Malaysia is a real treat for fans of the subterranean. The west coast archipelago of Langkawi, in the Andaman Sea, has many caverns, created millions of years ago and found in limestone cliffs. Some are inaccessible but some can be reached on foot or by boat – watch out for the native eagles swooping on the rocky outcrops as you go. Located inside the Kilim Geopark the Gua Kelawar, or Bat Cave, is one of the bestknown caves, named after the vast amount of Malaysian fruit bats that inhabit it. The Porcupine Cave (Gua Landak), close to the bustling town of Kuah, is one of the most frequently visited caves and is

notable for its floating “hanging garden” rock formation. The Gua Dangli caves are reached by boat from Tanjung Rhu Beach and can only be entered at low tide, where you’ll sail past limestone formations and a bamboo forest area. The famous Cave of Legends (Gua Cerita), is steeped in local folklore and is said to resemble the form of a sleeping princess. Meanwhile the 100m-long Gua Pasir Dagang cave is situated on the island Pulau Dayang Bunting (the Land of the Pregnant Maiden), the secondlargest Langkawi island. The cave has limestone walls with a stream flowing through it, through which intrepid visitors must wade up to their waists.

Beware the banshee

SPREAD YOUR WINGS: Langkawi Island, Malaysia

If you like a good story, then a visit to the Gua Langsir cave (the Cave of the Banshee), is worthwhile – but beware: it requires a substantial climb. Located around 15 minutes from Kuah, local legend suggests that it is inhabited by a banshee who dines on human blood. Explore some of the caves by boat on a four-hour Marella Cruises excursion, on which you might catch sight of monitor lizards,

macaque monkeys and otters. Or, take a leisurely Marella Cruises catamaran trip around Langkawi’s neighbouring islands, dropping anchor at a secluded beach for fresh seafood and time to explore the tropical beauty. The Mah Meri Cultural Village is found on the stunning Pulau Carey (Carey Island), near Klang. It’s home to the Mah Meri tribe, famous for its wooden statues and masks. A Marella Cruises excursion to the island will allow you to spend the day with the tribe and enjoy a performance of the age-old mask dance.

■ Malaysia – Enchanting Far East 1 Itinerary (February 14, 2018, 14 nights)

GREAT FOR

NATURE LOVERS


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Ho Chi Minh: the heart of Vietnam Despite its reputation as a beacon for revellers, there’s so much more to the former Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City is a giddy, party-heavy destination, its energy addictive and its 24/7 culture invigorating. In fact, it was recently named the world’s second-most dynamic city. But beneath the throb lies a city of immense heritage with a tumultuous past. Ho Chi Minh has seen a recent surge in retail outlets, hotels and high-rises and the sense of progress is palpable. But while the newly finished Vietcombank Tower is exciting, spare some time for the city’s old buildings. The city’s historic heart is still evident, as a day there demonstrates. Saigon, as it is also sometimes known, was captured by the French in the 1800s and named as the capital of Cochinchina a few years later. It served as the capital of Vietnam until 1975, when it was renamed

Ho Chi Minh City, after the revolutionary leader. Spend the day with Marella Cruises exploring historic Ho Chi Minh. Visit the War Remnants Museum (once known as the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes), to experience a visceral sense of the city’s history. It’s certainly not a trip to take lightly but it’s one of the country’s most visited museums and is a must for anyone wanting to get to know the real history of the city. Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, the site of several Vietnam War (or American War as it’s known locally), military campaigns and the Viet Cong’s base of operations for 1968’s T t Offensive. Marvel at Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, built by the French in the late 1880s, which still rings its bells daily. Elsewhere,

the Gothic Central Post Office, designed and built by Gustave Eiffel (yes, the very same) is worth a look, even if you’ve forgotten to write a postcard. If you have time to spare, try a free guided tour of the Reunification Palace, the site of the official surrender of Saigon, virtually preserved inside as it was in 1966. The city’s Fine Arts Museum is your slightly cheerier window on to the country’s artistic heritage, taking in both early and modern pottery, painting and sculpture. If you’ve had your fill of the city’s history, head out on a ten-hour Marella Cruises trip up the Mekong Delta and soak up the echoes of the past contained in the floating villages and markets.

n Vietnam – Colours of the Far East 1 Itinerary (January 29, 2019, 14 nights)

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Daily Express Monday January 22 2018 ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

10 reasons to visit Thailand

The Land of Smiles has so much more to offer than spectacular scenery. Culture, history, food and partying await…

Famous for

THE BEACHES Thailand is so famous for its idyllic beaches it’s almost a cliche. But to not mention them would be a crime. Turquoise water, white sand, coral reefs and limestone outcrops make for some of the most spectacular swimming and sunbathing destinations. Koh Samui’s longest beach, Chaweng, is a pristine white stretch with a bustling tourist trade, great diving and equally great food. Take a Marella Cruises trip there and see for yourself.

THE ISLANDS

THE TEMPLES Thailand has an amazing 40,717 Buddhist temples. One of the most iconic is Wat Arun on the Chao Phra river, in existence since the 1600s. Here you can also see the biggest Buddha in Thailand. Spend a day with Marella Cruises, soaking up Koh Samui’s sands and spiritual sites, including Wat Plai Laem, a huge, 18-arm goddess statue which sits in a catfish-filled lake.

THE FOOD Aromatic, spicy and fresh, you can’t go to Thailand without sampling a range of its famous dishes. Street food in Thailand is delicious and cheap and sampling it is essential to the Thai experience. Watch street sellers grilling meat, pounding veg or boiling noodles or head to Bangkok’s old city for the (now) national

THE PARTYING

THE SHOPPING

Pattaya is Thailand’s party capital. It’s home to beautiful temples and beaches – but also the 500m long Walking Street, with its bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Elsewhere, on the small island of Koh Phangan, is the notorious monthly Full Moon Party, an open-air nightclub that attracts thousands of visitors every month, and the beach lounges of Koh Tao’s Sairee Beach.

Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market sells everything from art, carvings and decorated flowers to electrical appliances. After low-cost tailor-made clothes? Thailand is the place to be. Alternatively Pattaya’s sevenstorey Harbor Mall houses a huge selection of shops, an ice-rink and what it says is the largest indoor children’s play area in Southern Asia – leaving more time to shop.

THE GRAND PALACE Thailand’s Grand Palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (later Thailand), since 1782. It’s still a working palace with royal offices inside its complex of impressive buildings, gardens and courtyards, but is also open to the public as a museum, and is also home to the Pavilion of Regalia, Royal Decorations and Coins, if currency’s your thing.

THE WILDLIFE

THE GARDENS

From exotic butterflies to majestic elephants, via the rare clouded leopards and vulnerable Asian bear (beware of getting too close), Thailand has its fair share of bewitching breeds. Take a Marella Cruises excursion to the Flight of the Gibbon site near Pattaya, home to more than 20 rainforest platforms. You can go on zip lines to experience the magnificent wild gibbons at close quarters and contribute to conservation efforts in the process.

Thailand has coast and lakes pretty much covered but its gardens are something else entirely. With around 10,000-12,000 plant species, the country is extremely biodiverse. Visit the 500-acre Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden near Pattaya, with its waterfalls, fish, colourful flowers, mazes and lifelike animal statues. Just be sure that really is a wooden tiger you’re stroking.

THE LAKES Thailand’s coast might be a sight for sore eyes but the country does inland water features just as well. Visit the landlocked saltwater lake of Talay Nai, with its emeraldshaded waters and 100m-high viewing platform. Enjoy the spectacular sight of the pink water lilies in bloom in Nong Han or the Red Lotus Sea in Udon Thani and marvel at the birds

Thailand’s islands are the stuff of legend. Ang Thong National Marine Park comprises more than 40 of them. Book a day of island hopping with Marella Cruises and you’ll first visit Paluay island, one of only two inhabited islands on the archiplago. Check out the authentic village the famous ‘sea gypsies’ call home, before relaxing on a powder-white beach. The next stop is Mae Koh island, with its beautiful landlocked saltwater lake, and then Wua Talap, home to playful wild monkeys and some amazing vistas. ■ Thailand – Wonders of Asia 2 Itinerary (December 14, 2018, 14 nights)

Daily Express and Marella Cruises 8pp  
Daily Express and Marella Cruises 8pp  
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