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About Semarang

Semarang, the cosmopolitan capital of Central Java, is filled with rambling Dutch colonial architecture, beautiful temples and a vibrant Chinese quarter. This charming, bustling city's most prominent landmark is Lawang Sewu, which means 'A Thousand Doors'. But the main attraction here is across the Kedu Plain from the city - the awe-inspiring Borobudur temple. Dating from the 9th century, this Buddhist stupa and temple complex is the single largest Buddhist structure anywhere on earth. It's decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues, and has a dramatic backdrop of twin active volcanoes. Lost to the jungle for hundreds of years, the temple complex was discovered during the rule of the British governor Thomas Stamford Raffles (the founder of Singapore) in 1814, and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Shore excursions in Semarang

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Antique Train and Borobudur Temple

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 9¼ hours

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Borobudur Temple and enjoy a ride on an antique train.

Depart Semarang on a scenic drive through the dramatic landscape of Java as you head to the town of Ambrawa.

Upon arrival, visit the Ambarawa Railway Museum, home to locomotives dating back 150 years. After a brief introduction to these colonial-era locomotives, you’ll embark on a 30-minute train ride to the mountain town of Bendono. Keep your cameras at the ready for a breathtaking shot of tropical scenery at virtually every turn.

The Borobudur Temple is a 9th century Buddhist temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s largest Buddhist monument. It comprises of 6 square platforms topped by 3 circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. For centuries it was hidden under layers of volcanic ash and comprises of 2 million stone blocks. The main dome, located at the centre of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside, the monument is both a shrine to the lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage.

A large restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrates Vesak at the monument.

Lunch will be served at a restaurant adjacent to the temple before the journey back to Semarang via the Banaran Village for a comfort stop.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2 hours of walking on this tour with some steps to negotiate.

Borobudur Temple Tour

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 9½ hours

A chance to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Syailendra Dynasty’s 9th century Borobudur Temple.

Borobudur is located at Magelang, Central Java. During your 2½ hour scenic drive from Semarang, there will be a comfort stop at Banaran Village to break up the journey.

Borobudur, the 9th century Mahayana Buddhist monument, comprises of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. For centuries it was hidden under layers of volcanic ash and comprises of two million stone blocks. The main dome, located at the centre of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside, the monument is both a shrine to the lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage.

A large restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, during which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrates Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction.

Lunch will be served at a restaurant adjacent to the temple before heading to a Craft Centre for an informal batik demonstration and puppet show. You’ll visit a silver jewellery workshop and batik showroom for an opportunity to purchase silver and fabric works of art.

On the journey back to Tanjung Emas Harbour, a comfort stop will be made once again at the Banaran Village.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2 hours of walking on this tour with some steps to negotiate.

Semarang At A Glance

Activity high

Duration: 4 hours

Experience the many highlights and buildings of Semarang, visiting inside Gereja Blenduk and the impressive Sam Poo Kong Temple.

After a short drive from Tanjung Mas Harbour you’ll arrive at Gereja Blenduk to visit the oldest Christian church in Central Java. You will be greeted by the beautiful voices of the choir welcoming you as your guide provides details of the church’s history.

Continue past a very important highlight of Semarang, Tugu Muda, the monument erected to commemorate the heroic fight for independence. See Lawang Sewu or Thousand Doors located in the downtown area of Semarang, a remarkable building from the Dutch era.

Sam Poo Kong was built by Sam Poo Tay Djien in 1401. Located in the Banjir Kanal area, it is legendary to the history of Semarang. Simpang Lima is a beautiful park at the centre of Semarang, featuring malls, restaurants and shops. Enjoy an hour of free time to browse the seemingly never ending market place.

The Avalokitesvara Temple features 20 statues of Kwan Im, the goddess of mercy and love. The statues are placed facing all directions, so that the goddess will spread love and keep away hatred from the people of Semarang.

Visit Jamu Nyonya Meneer Museum, to learn about jamu (herb medicine) the first herbal medicine in Indonesia before exploring the Regional Museum for Central Java.

Essential information

Essential information. There is over 2 hours of walking on this tour at the various sites. The order of highlights may vary.

Semarang Highlights

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 5 hours

Visit Hill Joglo Villas, Ronggowarsito Museum and the Sam Poo Kong temple as well as getting a bird’s-eye view of the city.

Embark on a scenic drive through the highlands of Samarang, past rice paddies and villages as you head towards Joglo Hill, a traditional style hill resort set in a tropical garden. Enjoy this striking destination with a traditional snack and Javanese coffee or tea.

You’ll then head to Sam Poo Kong, a unique temple, built in honour of the Chinese Admiral, Zheng He. Also known as Gedung Batu Temple, it is the oldest Chinese temple in Semarang.

Upon arrival at the Ronggowarsito Museum, you will be greeted by a traditional Semarang dance. The museum displays the learnings of the cultural historical development of earth and human life, as well as a brief history of the country, which houses many different antiquities including Javanese handicrafts, artworks, photo documentaries, paintings and fossils.

Next, continue to Kota Lama, the old city of Semarang, where the capital of Central Java is derived. Visit Blenduk Church, the oldest church in Central Java, that was built by the Dutch community in 1753, and has become an iconic figure of Semarang. It features the architecture of the 18th century with a huge dome and baroque organ inside the building.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. There is over 1 hour of walking on this tour at the various sites. The order of highlights may vary.

Tlogo Agro Highland Tour

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 6 hours

Visit the Ambarawa Railway Museum, ride an antique train and discover the Tlogo Agro Plantation.

A scenic drive through the impressive scenery of central Java will take you to Ambarawa, a very popular district in the Semarang Regency. It offers a charming view of the mountain and lake, as well as a visit to the Railway Museum. Ambarawa railway station transformed into a museum specifically for exhibiting everything related to the development of railways in Indonesia, with the most precious collections being 21 locomotives made between 1891-1966.

Travel on an antique train through beautiful scenery, crossing the legendary swamp of Rawa Pening en route to Tuntang. According to legend, at certain times, a snake moves around the swamp to give blessings to people in need.

The Tlogo Agro Plantation is home to various tropical plants and is certain to take your breath away. Learn about the coffee-making process from bean to powder using traditional machinery, and witness the process of rubber manufacturing. Sit back and relax over a delicious cup of fresh-brewed coffee and traditional cakes while you enjoy traditional live Javanese gamelan music.

Visit Sam Poo Kong, a temple built in honour of the famous Chinese Admiral, Zheng. This ‘must-see’ temple consists of several pavilions and caves and 4 places of worship. Today, the temple presents a blend of Chinese and Muslim cultures.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour at different intervals over mostly flat surfaces.

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