Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Monday, December 9, 2019

Last Port of Call, Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia


Port Klang is the closest cruise terminal to Kuala Lumpur, called KL by the locals.  There are no markets or sights in Klang, so be prepared for the hour commute into KL, the federal capital of Malaysia.

We are familiar with KL since I lived in the area while we built a new cellular telecom network.  However, much has changed in the past twenty years.  Malaysia wanted to be a first-world economy by the year 2020.  The people have improved the economic and the living conditions, but still have room for improvement.  Still, it was a very pleasant surprise – except for the jam.

Traffic in KL is almost like a living thing, the jam moves, grows, and blocks traffic.  Don’t go anywhere in a hurry, and always carry something to read and a bottle of water.  Take a ship tour in Malaysia (we do not recommend a private guide), the ship will wait for your tour to return to the dock.  A private guided tour can easily be delayed in the jam and you may miss sail-away.

Our first stop on the tour was to Batu Caves, a Hindu temple built in the limestone hills near KL.  To enter the caves, you must climb 285 steps – the same to exit the caves.  Don’t try the climb if you have any physical disabilities.  There is no elevator or help available.  Watch the monkeys because they are watching you…  Don’t carry anything in a plastic bag because the monkeys will try to steal it.  The locals carry food offerings into the cave in plastic bags.


The steps to the cave are narrow, wet, and dirty.  Take your time and enjoy the view – and watch the monkeys.  Be sure your knees are covered.  If not, you will be stopped at the entrance gate and told to rent a scarf to cover your knees.  When you exit the gate, the attendant will take your rented scarf and refund part of your deposit (5 Ringgit to rent, 2 Ringgit will be refunded for the scarf).


Like most places in Malaysia, there is a charge to use public restrooms.  Carry change or one Ringgit bills (25 cents).  There are no facilities, or water, in the caves.  It’s a Hindu place of worship.


Our tour included a visit to the museum, a visit with lunch at the top of the KL Tower (1379 feet), and a stop at the Petronas Twin Towers.  Unfortunately, it rained most of the afternoon and we had a limited view from the KL Tower.  Our stop at the Petronas Towers was during a rain shower so it was a quick visit.

City view from KL Tower

With the afternoon traffic and the wet roads, our return to the ship took ninety minutes.

Anita, your Cruise Holidays travel expert, can give you more information about our visit to Port Klang and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Monday, December 2, 2019

Cruise the Rivers of the World


As much as we love the expansive feeling of cruising on a wide-open ocean, we highly recommend the close-to-shore experience of a river cruise, too. There’s so much to see along the interior waterways of the world: major cities, quaint villages, castles and temples, mountains and valleys, and amazing cultural treats.

Where can you take a river cruise? There are lots of possibilities.

In Europe, the Danube is a popular choice for cruising. It flows along or through 10 different countries, so you can visit wonderful destinations from Germany to the Black Sea on a single itinerary (though most cruises focus on just one of the river’s three sections: upper, middle or lower). Vienna and Budapest are two of the most popular ports on the Danube.

The Rhine is another historic European river, flowing from the Swiss Alps through Germany and the Netherlands to the North Sea. The river goes through areas of outstanding natural beauty, with castles, churches and vineyards perched on the hills above. Also, ask your professional travel advisor about cruises of the Rhone (France), Douro (Portugal), Po (Northern Italy) or Elbe (Czech Republic) Rivers.

You can also explore the beauty and history of Asia on a river cruise. China’s mighty Yangtze River was one of the first river cruise options in Asia, and it’s still a great choice. The river flows from the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea, but most cruises focus on the dramatic scenery of the Three Gorges region.

Or, consider the Mekong River, where cruises often begin or end with a visit to Cambodia’s remote and spectacular Angkor Wat temple complex. In addition to gilded Buddhist temples and floating markets, you’ll see some of Southeast Asia’s biggest cities.

River cruises are also available in exotic destinations like India, where you can sail a portion of the Ganges, and Egypt, along the storied River Nile. There are more options than ever before for cruises of South America’s 4,000-mile-long Amazon River and its tributaries, with starting points in Brazil, Ecuador or Peru.
Africa will be the 
next continent to develop river cruises, and you can already book a short cruise on the Chobe River in Botswana, where elephants and other animals come to the river to drink.

Remember, there are close-to-home options, too, such as cruises of the Columbia, Mississippi or St. Lawrence Rivers. To get started planning your river cruise experience, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Port of call – George Town, Malaysia


Our next port of call was the city of Georgetown on Penang Island (Malaysia), another UNESCO World Heritage site.  It was the first British settlement in Southeast Asia.

The cruise terminal is within easy walking distance of the old town and Fort Cornwallis (built in 1786). On Penang, we had arranged a private tour of old George Town for our Distinctive Voyages group. 


The highlight of our tour was a two-hour trishaw (bicycle powered cart for one passenger) tour of the old town.  The trishaw drivers transported us thru the old town, Little India, and between our tour sites.  At each stop, our driver would wait for us to return to our trishaw and we would go to the next site.  A great way to visit George Town in the heat.  Since Penang is in the tropics, it’s always hot and muggy.

One of our stops was a tour of the Blue Mansion, an historical hotel and filming site for many movies including Crazy Rich Asians and Anna and the King.  Other tour stops included the Pinang Peranakan Mansion and the Khoo Kongsi Clanhouse.  We visited several Buddhist temples – another chance to go barefoot.

Each year, the beaches on Penang attract many foreign visitors for holiday, but we had other plans.  Next time, we hope to visit one of the resorts along the coast.  Next time…


Anita, your Cruise Holidays travel expert, can give you more information about our visit to George Town, Malaysia.

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