Last Minute Asia & Pacific Sales

Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth’s total surface area (or 30% of its land area) and with approximately 3.9 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world’s current human population. During the 20th century Asia’s population nearly quadrupled.

Asia is generally defined as comprising the eastern four-fifths of Eurasia. It is located to the east of the Suez Canal and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma-Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean.

Given its size and diversity, Asia – a toponym dating back to classical antiquity – “is more a cultural concept” incorporating diverse regions and peoples than a homogeneous physical entity Asia differs very widely among and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems.

The history of Asia can be seen as the distinct histories of several peripheral coastal regions: East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, linked by the interior mass of the Central Asian steppes.

The coastal periphery was home to some of the world’s earliest known civilizations, each of them developing around fertile river valleys. The civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Huanghe shared many similarities. These civilizations may well have exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics and the wheel. Other innovations, such as writing, seem to have been developed individually in each area. Cities, states and empires developed in these lowlands.

The central steppe region had long been inhabited by horse-mounted nomads who could reach all areas of Asia from the steppes. The earliest postulated expansion out of the steppe is that of the Indo-Europeans, who spread their languages into the Middle East, South Asia, and the borders of China, where the Tocharians resided. The northernmost part of Asia, including much of Siberia, was largely inaccessible to the steppe nomads, owing to the dense forests, climate and tundra. These areas remained very sparsely populated. The Silk Road connected many civilizations across Asia.

The center and the peripheries were mostly kept separated by mountains and deserts. The Caucasus and Himalaya mountains and the Karakum and Gobi deserts formed barriers that the steppe horsemen could cross only with difficulty. While the urban city dwellers were more advanced technologically and socially, in many cases they could do little in a military aspect to defend against the mounted hordes of the steppe. However, the lowlands did not have enough open grasslands to support a large horsebound force; for this and other reasons, the nomads who conquered states in China, India, and the Middle East often found themselves adapting to the local, more affluent societies.

The Islamic Caliphate took over the Middle East and Central Asia during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. The Mongol Empire conquered a large part of Asia in the 13th century, an area extending from China to Europe.

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Asia Pacific

Best of Vietnam & Cambodia
The riches of Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong come to life during your 7-night cruise or 16-day cruise-tour from AmaWaterways. Highlights include a rickshaw ride in Hanoi, an overnight stay in Ha Long Bay, tours of Angkor Archeological Park, visits to tranquil fishing villages and more. Book today to save $2,000 per stateroom or companion cruises free. Virtuoso rates FROM $1,299 per person. AmaLotus or La Marguerite depart October 16; November 27; December 4, 17 & 25, 2012.
Private Villa Experience in Melbourne
The Villas at Melbourne’s Crown Towers are the height of luxury offering breathtaking views of the city and access to Crystal Club, the exclusive hotel club lounge. Your three-night stay includes two massages at the Crown Spa, a three-course dinner for two at Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill, daily breakfast and 24-hour butler service. Virtuoso Deluxe Villa rates FROM AU$1,450 (approx. $1,509) per night, double occupancy. Available until January 13, 2013.
Early Booking Bonus: Save $3,000 on Down Under Cruise
Shopping and dining in sophisticated Sydney. Visiting the oldest colonial town in New Zealand. With Crystal Cruises and Virtuoso Voyager Club® as your gracious hosts, this 12-night Australia-New Zealand cruise will stretch your horizons. It’s also a Crystal Wine and Food Festival sailing, so dining will be a tasty treat as well! Book now and save $3,000 per guest. Virtuoso fares FROM $3,520 per person. Crystal Symphony departs January 17, 2013; book by October 31, 2012.
Relax, It’s All Included + Luxury Hotel Package
This is cruising as it was meant to be – where everything is included. Taking in the riches of Bali, Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, this all-inclusive 21-night voyage with Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers 2-for-1 fares, up to $12,600 in bonus savings per suite, free unlimited shore excursions, free roundtrip air, a luxury hotel package and much more. Virtuoso Voyager Club® amenities include a private shore excursion in Melbourne! Virtuoso fares FROM $9,999 per person. Seven Seas Voyager departs December 19, 2012.
Sunny South Pacific Sojourn: 4th Night Gratis!
The South Pacific beckons, thanks to this dreamy escape from Tahiti Nui Travel and the St. Regis Bora Bora. Private island fantasies come to life in your overwater bungalow. Enjoy your fourth night on the house, as well as breakfast, dinner, 50% off roundtrip airport transfers, 20% off at the spa and more. Contact your Virtuoso travel advisor for rates. Available November 1 – December 25, 2012; April 1 – May 31, 2013; January 1 – March 31, 2014. Book by December 31, 2012.

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