All days not listed are spent at sea enjoying the excellent facilities aboard Columbus. Ports of call may be subject to change.
Board Columbus in Auckland, the world's largest Polynesian settlement, where some 20 per cent of the inhabitants are of Maori or South Pacific descent. Visit Auckland Museum to see its priceless carvings and artefacts, or enjoy a trip up the 328-metre Sky Tower, the country's tallest structure.
Rotorua is one of New Zealand's most popular destinations. Join a shore excursion to discover bubbling hot-springs, gushing geysers and the traditional Maori culture of the Te Arawa people. Visit the fascinating Agrodome for a display of sheep-shearing skills, see the traditional Maori village of Te Puia and the wondrous Thermal Reserve, with its boiling mud pools and geysers.
After cruising past the hidden coves, glorious white sand beaches and tiny islets of the Bay of Islands, Columbus anchors in blue waters teeming with marine life. Head ashore to explore Paihia's shops and stalls, or to explore New Zealand's beautiful north-east corner.
Vibrant, fun-loving Sydney's iconic Opera House, Harbour Bridge and famous beaches are just a handful of the highlights of this wonderful city. Make the most of your visit with an overnight stay.
Days Seven and Eight
Set to the north of Cairns, gateway to Queensland's tropical interior and a stopping-off point for the incredible Great Barrier Reef, the beautiful anchorage of Yorkey's Knob offers plenty of distractions, today. Take a glass-bottomed boat to a coral cay, or head inland into the magnificent tropical rainforest.
Sail round the Cape York Peninsula, through the Arafura Sea, to your final Australian call, Darwin. From here you'll be able to join a shore excursion to the World Heritage Site at Kakadu National Park, with its swamps, mangroves, salt-water crocodiles and ancient aboriginal art.
Today's first Indonesian island call offers the possibility of seeing komodo dragons in the wild. These famous and fearsome lizards are found only here and neighbouring Rinca, so join a National Park ranger to explore.
Raised from the ruins of WWII, the prosperous capital of the Philippines is a jaw-dropping, cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures. While Old Manila provides an insight to the city's past, and the restored cathedral reflects its status as Asia's largest Christian settlement, reminders of its long-term ties with the west can be seen throughout.
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 tradition and vibrant modernity, especially in its capital Taipei, promises to be one of the highlights of the entire cruise.
Columbus spends two days in Shanghai - one of the world's most amazing cities. See the colonial grandeur of the buildings that line the Bund on the west bank of the Huangpu River, and the towering futuristic skyscrapers and rocket-shaped Pearl TV Tower of the east. Explore the old city's bustling bazaars and street markets, and the tranquil pools, bridges and ornate pavilions of the Yuyuan Garden that shelter in its heart.
Discover still more of China's complex colonial history and modern energy as Columbus spends two days in Hong Kong. Explore under your own steam, or choose from optional excursions - to Victoria Peak, floating city Aberdeen, colourful Stanley Market, to take in the North Shore's spectacular skyline or cross Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry.
Today Columbus calls in the tiny port of Chan May, gateway to central Vietnam's stunning beaches and UNESCO-listed treasures. Take a shore excursion, perhaps to see pretty riverside Hoi An's preserved traditional buildings or to enchanting Imperial City Hue, where Royal pavilions and the tombs of emperors are hidden behind imposing walls.
As Columbus docks close to Vietnam's famous Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), you'll have the chance to 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.
Your next cruise call is the island haven of Koh Samui, the ultimate, palm-fringed idyll of white sands and turquoise sea. Spend the day exploring the island, perhaps heading into the mountainous interior for spectacular views, or simply soaking up the sun on the island's stunning beaches.
As Columbus docks in bustling port of Laem Chabang you'll have the chance to visit the Thai capital, Bangkok. Take a shore excursion to discover the city's palaces and temples, gigantic Buddhas and network of khlong canals, or perhaps spend a day of rest and relaxation on one of the idyllic beaches that line the coast.
Step ashore in Singapore - gleaming, dynamic island-city and former British colonial outpost. Join optional shore excursions, or shop and sightsee at your leisure. Sample Singapore's legendary street food, and perhaps enjoy a Singapore Sling in the Raffles Hotel's famous bar.
Cruising along the Malaysian coast, Columbus calls at historic Port Klang, 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 preserved Old Railway Station contrasts with glitzy new developments.
Colourful, Malaysian Penang is a feast for the senses. Step ashore to discover sensational street food, George Town's traditional Chinese shophouses, stunning beaches and breathtaking tropical gardens.
Today Columbus 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.
Kochi (also known as Cochin) 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. It 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 Columbus in Mumbai.
In former 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 former Prince of Wales Museum and the vast, Gothic fantasy of the Victoria Terminus railway station - all highlights on today's optional shore excursion.
With its extraordinary skyline boasting the world's tallest structure and only seven-star hotel, Dubai is a sight to behold when approached by sea. And, with its dizzying mix of souks, malls, beach resorts and desert, it's a fascinating place to explore.
Today Columbus calls in the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. One of the world's most fascinating cities, spotless, laid-back Muscat is a low-rise, low-key port that offers easy access into a landscape of frankincense trees and coconut palms.
From the Red Sea port of Safaga, an optional full-day excursion will take you to Luxor, once the ancient Egyptian capital Thebes. Discover 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.
Today brings another unforgettable optional excursion - from the luxurious Jordanian port of Aqaba to the extraordinary 'Rose Red' City of Petra. Etched into the sandstone cliffs and hillsides the lost city's extraordinary buildings are among the most unforgettable sights on Earth.
Passage through the world's most famous - and busiest - waterway, the Suez Canal, brings Columbus into the Mediterranean, where a trio of calls brings the opportunity to discover yet more wonders a little closer to home.
Today Columbus 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.
Columbus's final Mediterranean island 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.
A morning call in Gibraltar brings a first real taste of home. Wander past familiar British shops on Main Street, or perhaps to take the cable-car to the top of the Rock for views across the Straits to Africa.
Columbus arrives back in Tilbury, at the end of her amazing globe-trotting adventure.