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Cruise liners across the world

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Apart from America and Europe, many places the world over are a pleasure to visit aboard a cruise liner. There is Scandinavia with its craggy peaks and brilliant lakes, Stockholm with its 24,000 islets, and the cultural capitals of Copenhagen and Helsinki. From further East one can enter Russia via the Baltic. Places in the Mediterranean, home to ancient travels, and the stuff of legends and folklore, are linked primarily by the sea. Three types of tours exist here: the Eastern Mediterranean/Aegean Sea cruises covering Turkey, Greece and some islands like Crete and Santorini; the Western Mediterranean/Southern Europe cruises and Southern Mediterranean cruises along the coast of North Africa. African cruises last more than 20 days as they are longer, often stopping at Seychelles, Spain, Greece, India and Egypt.

Australia, both a continent and a nation, offers expansive beaches and surfing, coral reefs with marine life, the outback and a whole variety of wildlife. On the other hand, there is the great city of Sydney. New Zealand, to the southeast of Australia in the South Pacific comprises the two islands, South Island and North Island. Though tiny, its recreational facilities and natural features found here outdo any other. The North Island has strikingly unusual black sand beaches while the South island has glaciers and mountains. It is summer in December here but remains attractive for its mild climate. Finally, Asia, which Marco Polo was the first to visit, is the largest continent with the highest mountains and longest coastline, extensively varied plants and animals, and three-fifths of the world's population and a stronghold of riches and culture.

In December 2010, newly-formed Asia Cruise Terminal Association (ACTA) convened its inaugural meeting in Singapore towards developing Asia into a "Caribbean of the East" with its vast untapped potential for cruises. Though independent UK-based consultancy Ocean Shipping Consultants expects total cruise passengers throughout Asia to reach two million in 2015, it is seen as a very conservative estimate by ACTA since there is high growth potential in the new Indian sub-continent and the Middle East markets. To make Asia a 'cruise playground,' China will complete its largest cruise terminal in 2011; Incheon in Korea plans a new international cruise terminal by 2014 followed by new cruise terminals in Vietnam and Hong Kong and Singapore. The Asia Pacific region will not only provide new destinations for existing travelers, but also a new source of passengers. How easy will it be to promote the essential components of a successful cruise experience for the Asian market including appealing onboard and on-shore activities, development and marketing?

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