Port focus: Penang


Penang is one of the most popular ports and destinations in Malaysia.

Who goes there: Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Silversea Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises.

Cruisers like: Always popular for its beaches and food, there is also mall shopping and heaps of history. Wander the UNESCO World Heritage-listed area of Georgetown (Penang’s capital) with its old shop-houses and discover heritage traders making everything from shoes to cookies, using skills handed down throughout generations. In this multicultural town, Chinese temples, Muslim mosques, Christian churches and Hindu temples are often close together. Closer to the waterfront, a trendy new cafe and bar scene is growing. Scattered throughout the city is examples of the famous graffiti-art, murals ranging from life-sized (ideal for posing with) to two-storeys high.

Don’t miss: Colourful and noisy Little India with its parrot fortune tellers and flower garlands, or the newly restored 19th-century jetties, constructed as homes for families of Chinese traders. Anyone can wander along them and see how people still live in homes perched above the water. Chew Jetty welcomes tourists with food stalls and souvenirs.

Best for: Food-lovers, families, almost anyone!

Getting around: Cruise passengers will often be tendered into the city centre. A taxi will cost about US$14 an hour. Buses are infrequent and signage is poorly posted.