Explore More: Overnight Ports on Exotic Cruises

Posted on 04/03/2024

From the ancient holy sites of Israel to the centuries-old stupas scattered across the hillsides of Myanmar, the Sirena Exotic Collection brings you plenty of exotic cruises featuring destinations that are home to wonders many only dream of visiting. These eclectic journeys not only stop in unusual and lesser-explored corners of the Holy Lands, the Arabian Peninsula, India, Myanmar and Indonesia, but they also feature a number of extended and overnight port stays so you can explore more deeply.

Here’s a look at just a few of our favorite overnight destinations on these exotic cruises and some inspiration on how to enjoy the extra time in port.

SACRED CITY: Jerusalem (Haifa), Israel
Haifa is a vibrant melting pot of cultures and faiths. Considered the German Colony, established in the 1800s by German Templars and now a prime tourist area thanks to its sought-after restaurant scene and view of the splendid UNESCO-protected Bahá'í Gardens. You can even find a restaurant serving fantastic food in the tradition of Druze, a small Middle Eastern religious sect. Likewise, there’s no shortage of historic sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims just south in Jerusalem, one of the world’s holiest cities. Here, there’s enough treasures in the Old City to keep you busy for weeks: the Dome of the Rock, Western Wall, Damascus Gate, Church of the Holy Sepulcher and more. Prepare for ample walking and amazement – on our Holy Land cruises, you’ll have more time to soak it all in.
INSIDER'S TIP: On our 2020 Holy Land cruises, immerse yourself in areas rarely seen by visitors and discover how Jews and Arabs have been living side by side in harmony during one of our new Go Local Tours – Jaffa Through the Eyes of the Locals.

 

CITY OF DREAMS: Mumbai, India
Mumbai is home to 20 million people, seemingly all on the go. The perfect place to start your visit is the Gateway of India, an arch monument built in 1924 that has become an iconic symbol of the city. After that, your senses may kick into overdrive – from the bright flowers and fragrant incense used in daily Hindu rituals to the constant thrum of traffic and rush of pedestrians on busy streets. Unique markets and bazaars abound immerse you in the daily hustle and bustle. Bhuleshwar Market is best for traditional clothing, handicrafts and bangles, while the more than 150-year-old Chor Bazaar overflows with antiques and all types of one-of-a-kind finds. When you’re ready to press pause, there’s always a tranquil spot around the corner, like the seaside promenade of Marine Drive or even a movie theater, where you can watch a locally produced Bollywood production.
INSIDER'S TIP: Visit Mumbai’s 800-year-old Worli Village for an experience that feels worlds away from the city. Home to the original inhabitants of Mumbai, this fishing village is like a time capsule with its narrow streets and traditional ways of life.

 

ONCE-FORBIDDEN JEWEL: Yangon, Myanmar
Formerly known as Rangoon, Yangon is the largest city in Myanmar and yet retains an old-school feel that is rare for a city of millions. You’ll find more quaint colonial buildings than slick skyscrapers, and its most famous structure – the heavenly Shwedagon Pagoda – is about 2,600 years old. Beyond that golden icon, the gilded Sule and Botataung Pagodas are also worth visiting as well as the gorgeous Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, which houses the 217-foot-long Reclining Buddha. To get an authentic feel for the city, the Yangon Circular Railway makes a three-hour loop around town. Yangon’s most popular shopping area is the Bogyoke Aung San Market. Here you’ll find great people watching and items like lacquerware bowls and boxes, woodcarvings and beautiful longyis, Myanmar’s traditional sarong-like garment. When you need to refuel, try a bowl of mohinga, a delicious fish soup with rice noodles.
INSIDER'S TIP: Take an excursion to observe a fascinating novitiation ceremony at the Kalaywa Monastery outside Yangon. Watch as family and friends celebrate the young boys in their lives as they are formally welcomed into the study of Buddhism.

Intrigued? Explore Oceania's Holy Land cruises and exotic cruises in the Sirena Exotic Collection and contact our travel agency today! 

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