Marco Polo's Grand Oriental Odyssey Cruise
- Duration: 111 days
- Board Basis: Full Board
- Tour Ref: D2TNEW99617
- Travel Type: Make your own way to port
110 nights. January 2021. From £16599.00.
Europe, Asia & the Far East
Escape the grey of winter on this epic cruise – the longest in much-loved Marco Polo's illustrious career. A host of thrilling destinations, chances to discover ancient wonders and a treasure chest of unforgettable experiences await you. Highlights will include opportunities to visit historic, holy Jerusalem, ancient Athens and Rome, pass twice through the Suez Canal, and discover Egypt’s treasures and Rose-Red Petra. Call in colourful India. Discover stunning Southeast Asia, Borneo’s jungles, Manila the Pearl of the Orient and the mysteries of Japan, China and South Korea. You’ll even make a rare call at wintry Vladivostok, gateway to Siberia, before returning home via Hong Kong, Vietnam’s Halong Bay, Singapore and the Med. With the pleasures of life on board Marco Polo to enjoy as well, it promises to be a true voyage of a lifetime.
What's Included110 nights' accommodation in your choice of cabin
Delicious full board cuisine
Afternoon teas and late night snacks
Captain’s Cocktail Party (cruises of 6 nights or more)
Self service tea & coffee (6am to midnight)
Big show entertainment, cabarets and classical interludes
Daytime activities and leisure facilities
Guest speaker and arts & crafts (cruises of 5 nights or more)
Porterage of luggage, port to cabin
Holiday HighlightsCall at over 40 wonderful places across the globe
Once-in-a-lifetime sights and experiences
Gibraltar, Malta and Limassol – the centre of Cypriot wine-production
Ashdod – gateway to extraordinary Jerusalem
Two passages through the Suez Canal
Cross the Indian Ocean to intoxicating Mumbai
Kochi's traditional Chinese fishing nets
Explore dazzling, futuristic Kuala Lumpur from Port Klang
Manila – one of the world’s great metropolises
Explore glittering, hypnotic Tokyo from Yokohama
Busan – gateway to South Korea’s tea plantations
Colourful South Korean port-city, Incheon
Unveil Beijing’s mysteries from Tianjin
The ultra-modern skylines of Shanghai and Hong Kong
See the limestone islands of exquisite Halong Bay
The chance to explore Bangkok from Laem Chabang
Explore colourful Sri Lankan capital, Columbo
The ancient treasures of Egypt, Athens and Rome
Springtime calls in Cadiz, Lisbon and Leixoes for Oporto
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Depart from Bristol
Depart: 2200hrs Board Marco Polo in Bristol, today, settle in to your cabin and relax as your cruise begins.
Day 2Cobh, Ireland
Arrive: 1400hrsDepart: 2000hrs Marco Polo arrives in Cork's long, narrow harbour at Cobh, this afternoon. Shore excursions here offer you the chance to discover this historic capital of southwest Ireland, to head into the beautiful rolling countryside to fashionable Kinsale or to visit famous Blarney Castle, just north of the city, for a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone.
Day 4La Coruna, Spain
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 1500hrs Today you'll call at the historic port of A Coruna, or La Coruna. Step ashore to explore the atmospheric medieval quarter, stroll the extensive seafront promenade, or perhaps take an optional shore excursion to fabled Santiago de Compostela, the famous end point of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.
Day 6Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2000hrs This morning, Marco Polo arrives at the tiny British territory of Gibraltar. Explore newly developed Ocean Village Marina, stroll along the very British Main Street or ride the cable car to the summit of the famous Rock for tremendous views out to Morocco's Atlas Mountains.
Day 9Valletta, Malta
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1800hrs Marco Polo’s next Mediterranean call is Malta, with its stunning natural Grand Harbour at Valletta. Explore the surrounding streets, or head into the rugged interior – perhaps to the haunting ’silent city’ of Mdina.
Day 12Limassol, Cyprus
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1500hrs Cyprus' second city welcomes you, today. Make the most of Limassol's fascinating sights, excellent shopping, and compact old city - home to the city's picturesque fishing harbour and yachting marina. Stroll through the streets of the Turkish Quarter surrounding the Castle, and don't miss the historic Grand Mosque.
Days 13-14Ashdod, Israel
Arrive: 0600hrs (Day 13)Depart: 1400hrs (Day 14) An extraordinary day awaits as Marco Polo arrives in Ashdod – your gateway to Israel and the Holy Land. Shore excursions here might take you to the coastal resort of Tel Aviv or its ancient neighbour, Jaffa. Alternatively discover the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Mount of Olives and a host of other fascinating sites on a trip to Jerusalem.
Day 15Suez Canal Transit
Today you'll pass through the Suez Canal, the world’s most famous - and busiest - artificial waterway, cruising south-east into the Red Sea.
Day 16Aqaba, Jordan
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2000hrs Today brings another unforgettable optional excursion - from the luxurious Jordanian port of Aqaba to the ancient, iconic "rose red" city of Petra. Etched into the sandstone cliffs and hillsides, the lost city’s extraordinary buildings are among the most astonishing sights on Earth.
Day 17Hurghada, Egypt
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1400hrs The beach resort of Hurghada mixes sandy beaches with exclusive hotels and villas. Spend your day soaking up the sun, or perhaps head out on a glass-bottomed boat to discover the kalaeidoscopic colours of the corals, exotic fish and turtles that live beneath the waters of the Red Sea.
Day 25Mumbai, India
Arrive: 0630hrsDepart: 1800hrs In the city formerly known as 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 King Shivaji Museum and see the vast, Gothic fantasy of the Victoria Terminus railway station - all highlights on today's optional shore excursion. Mumbai 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 Marco Polo in Kochi.
Day 26Mormugao (Goa), India
Arrive: 1200hrsDepart: 2300hrs This morning Marco Polo calls at Mormugao, principal port of the state of Goa, which nestles on a peninsula that juts out into the Arabian Sea. Step ashore for a taste of Goan life before re-boarding Marco Polo as she continues north.
Day 28Kochi, India
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1800hrs Also known as Cochin, Kochi, 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.
Day 32Port Blair (Andaman Islands), India
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2200hrs The Andaman and Nicobar capital is a fascinating melting pot of island and Indian cultures and peoples. Its history is long (the Andaman islanders first arrived here from Africa 60,000 years ago) but quiet until the 18th Century, when the islands became a British penal colony. The Japanese occupied the islands during the Second World War, and it was briefly the home of the Free India movement and provisional government.
Day 35Port Klang, Malaysia
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2300hrs Cruising along the Malaysian coast, Marco Polo calls at Port Klang, your gateway to Kuala Lumpur. The Malay capital itself boasts the sky-piercing Petronas Towers among its spectacular sights, and a shore excursion will reveal this buzzing, cosmopolitan city, where the ornate Anglo-Asian architecture of the Old Railway Station contrasts with the futuristic recent developments.
Day 39Kota Kinabalu (Sabah, Borneo), Malaysia
Arrive: 0600hrsDepart: 1600hrs Kota Kinabalu, the principal settlement of the state of Sabah, stands close to Malaysia’s highest peak, Mount Kinabalu. Discover its delightful mix of Chinese, Malay, expatriate European and local cultures on your second stop in Malaysia.
Day 40Sandakan (Sabah, Borneo), Malaysia
Arrive: 0900hrsDepart: 1730hrs Sandakan is your gateway to the rainforests of North Borneo.
Day 42Manila, Philippines
Arrive: 0900hrsDepart: 2000hrs Raised from the ruins left by the Second World War, the prosperous capital of the Philippines is a jaw-dropping, cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures. Old Manila provides an insight to the city’s past, while the lovingly maintained Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception reflects its status as Asia’s largest Christian settlement, and reminders of the city's long-term ties with the west can be seen everywhere.
Day 45Keelung, Taiwan
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1700hrs The port-city of Keelung, on Taiwan’s northeastern coast, welcomes us to this fascinating, historic island-nation, today. Taiwan’s fascinating mix of ancient traditions and vibrant modernity, especially in its capital Taipei, promises to be one of the highlights of your entire cruise.
Day 47Kagoshima, Japan
Arrive: 1100hrsDepart: 2000hrs Kagoshima, at the tip of Japan's southern island, Kyushu, is a friendly, laid-back city that lies beneath the cone of the Sakurajima volcano. From here you'll have the chance to visit Nagasaki, the second (and last) city to feel the impact of an atomic bomb. Explore the city that provides the backdrop for 'Madame Butterfly', and where a Peace Park commemorates the world-shaping events of August 1945.
Day 49Shimizu Port, Japan
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 1900hrs Nestled behind a headland on Suruga Bay, Shimizu Port is dominated by the elegant cone of Mount Fuji to the north. Head ashore for sushi (Shimizu is one of Japan's busiest fishing ports) or perhaps travel to Miho-no-Matsubara to wander the paths through the pine groves and soak up the spectacular views of the mountain and the bay.
Day 50Yokohama, Japan
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 1800hrs The great Japanese port of Yokohama offers easy access to the vast mega-metropolis of Tokyo. Join an excursion to discover some the Japanese capital's extraordinary sights – from ancient shrines and tranquil parks to the neon signs and electronics emporiums of Akihabara Electric Town and the apparent chaos of Shibuya Crossing.
Day 53Vladivostok, Russia
Arrive: 0900hrsDepart: 1800hrs Perhaps most famous as the final stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway, Vladivostok is a solidly Russian city quite unlike its relatively close neightbours in Korea, China and Japan. It's less well-known as the birthplace of actor and icon Yul Brynner, whose statue now stands in front the elegant house where he was born.
Day 55Busan, South Korea
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 2000hrs Busan is best seen by night, when it becomes a glowing metropolis of neon lights and soaring skyscrapers, around which the purple-red lights atop the Diamond Bridge sweep like a futuristic Korean dragon. Just outside the city, the pretty, stepped houses of Gamcheon Cultural Village climb the mountainside, and Daejeo Ecological Park is a tiny green haven for migrating birds.
Day 57Incheon, South Korea
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2000hrs A day in Incheon offers up the opportunity to explore South Korea's huge, vibrant capital, Seoul. Here gleaming skyscrapers tower over ancient palaces and temples, and cartoon-like pop culture rubs shoulders with bustling traditional street markets.
Day 59Tianjin, China
Arrive: 0600hrsDepart: 2300hrs Today Marco Polo docks in Tianjin, on China's northeastern coast, giving you the chance to visit the nation's astonishing capital, Beijing. See Tiananmen Square, site of Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum and the Great Hall of the People, and explore the huge complex of imperial palaces that make up the Forbidden City. A little further south, in Tiantan Park, you'll find the Temple of Heaven – the Ming Dynasty shrine that was the heart of ceremonial life in the city for five centuries.
Day 62Shanghai, China
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 0200hrs (Day 63) Spend a day in the great metropolis of Shanghai. Framed by a glitzy skyline of towering skyscrapers and the iconic, rocket-shaped TV Tower, China's most progressive city buzzes with futuristic energy. Yet beneath its gleaming facade there's a strong sense of ancient tradition. Head the Old Town to see the bustling bazaars and markets, and take a stroll around the tranquil pools of the Yuyuan Garden.
Day 66Hong Kong, China
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2300hrs A stop in Hong Kong will give you time to discover this exciting city. Explore under your own steam, or choose from optional excursions – to Victoria Peak, the floating city of Aberdeen, colourful Stanley Market, to take in the North Shore’s spectacular skyline or across Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry.
Day 67Cruising the Haiman Strait
Spend today relaxing on board.
Day 68Halong Bay, Vietnam
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 2300hrs 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.
Day 71Phu My, Vietnam
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 1830hrs 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.
Days 73-74Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Arrive: 0900hrs (Day 73)Depart: 1400hrs (Day 74) Today you'll arrive in laid-back Sihanoukville, with its pristine beaches, delicious Khmer cuisine and ancient Wats and temples. To the north-east, inland, lies the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, where the ornate Royal Palace and its gleaming Silver Pagoda wait, on the banks of the Mekong, to be explored.
Day 75Laem Chabang, Thailand
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2100hrs Marco Polo 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.
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 2000hrs 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 famous Raffles Hotel.
Day 79Cruising the Malacca Straits
Spend today relaxing on board.
Day 80Phuket, Thailand
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2400hrs The island paradise of Phuket has luxurious developments, rubber plantations and a bustling main town. Enjoy a last taste of the east, here, or perhaps a last visit to an idyllic beach, before Magellan heads across the Andaman Sea and into the Indian Ocean.
Day 84Colombo, Sri Lanka
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2300hrs Today Marco Polo 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 to take a shore excursion into the lush, temple-studded countryside.
Day 86Male, Maldives
Arrive: 0600hrsDepart: 2000hrs Male is the island capital of the idyllic Maldives archipelago. Dominated by the dome of the Friday Mosque, and a wonderfully colourful, bustling place, it's also your last Asian call before you head west across the Arabian Sea.
Day 95Safaga, Egypt
Arrive: 0400hrsDepart: 2000hrs From the Red Sea port of Safaga, an optional full-day excursion will take you to Luxor. Discover the temples at 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. It's also possible to visit the temple of the female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, and gaze in awe at the twin Colossi of Memnon.
Day 96Sokhna, Egypt
Arrive: 0900hrsDepart: 2000hrs Ain Sokhna has been an active port since the days of the Old Kingdom, over 4000 years ago. These days, its a holiday retreat for Cairo's well-to-do with quiet sandy beaches and laid-back cafes. From here, you can head inland to explore the monastic sites of the Eastern Desert, or visit the sulphur springs in the Gebel Ataqa above, after which the port is named.
Day 97Suez Canal Transit
Today you'll pass back into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.
Day 98At sea
Spend today relaxing on board.
Day 99Santorini and Mykonos, Greece
Arrive at Santorini: 0700hrsDepart Santorini: 1330hrs Arrive at Mykonos: 1900hrsDepart Mykonos: 2400hrs This morning, Marco Polo drops anchor off Santorini. The island’s picturesque main town is perched precariously atop the cliff, and its rocky shoreline (the remnants of an enormous extinct volcano) is dotted with fishing villages. Livelier, but no less lovely, is Marco Polo’s second call - Mykonos. Visit the famous, harbour-side windmills, explore the cobbled lanes of the cosmopolitan main town, or stop for a drink and a bite in one of the many excellent bars and restaurants.
Day 100Piraeus, Greece
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2300hrs Today Marco Polo 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.
Day 103Civitavecchia, Italy
Arrive: 0700hrsDepart: 1900hrs This morning we reach Civitavecchia. Here you’ll have the chance to take in some of the wonders of the Eternal City, Rome, where 3000 years of history sit side by side with one of Europe’s most thriving metropolises, and where the Basilica of St Peter’s is one of the most visited sites on Earth.
Day 106Cadiz, Spain
Arrive: 0900hrsDepart: 1700hrs Ancient Cadiz, with its elegant squares, great Cathedral and wonderful Botanical Garden, is a fascinating city. Step ashore to explore or to join today’s optional excursions which will include a trip to Seville - the Cradle of Flamenco - with its sumptuous cathedral, famous bell tower, wonderful Alcazar and bullring. One of Spain’s greatest jewels, it sparkles more than ever during the celebrations of its annual Feria carnival.
Day 107Lisbon, Portugal
Arrive: 1000hrsDepart: 1800hrs Marco Polo's next call is the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. It was from here, during the Age of Discovery, that the great adventurers set out in search of the New World. A shore excursion will introduce the city, including the timeless and historic Alfama district.
Day 108Leixoes, Portugal
Arrive: 0800hrsDepart: 2000hrs The Portuguese port of Leixoes offers the opportunity to join an optional excursion to historic Oporto. Famed the world over for its port wine, 'Porto' is perched on granite cliffs above the River Douro, and linked across the gorge by several vertigo-inducing bridges. Explore the Ribeira district and perhaps visit one of the wine lodges for which the city is world-renowned.
Day 111Arrive back at Bristol
Arrive: 0630hrs Say goodbye to Marco Polo, her crew and your fellow passengers as she arrives in Bristol, today, and you disembark at the end of a wonderful cruise. Back to top
Passport requirementsBritish 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.
Foreign Office travel adviceVisit 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. Back to top