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Children of the Philippines

Asia's Subtropical Isles: Philippines, Taiwan & Japan

Example 18 Day Cruise aboard Caledonian Sky
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Experience warm welcomes and legendary Filipino hospitality as you visit remote islands and cultural heritage sites to learn about daily life and local traditions. Witness the cultural melting pot of vibrant Taipei, as well as Taiwan's "wild side" in beautiful Taroko National Park. Snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Japan's remote and seldom-visited southern islands, home to a variety of colorful marine life. Photograph the iconic scarlet tori of Miyajima; this giant camphor-wood gate is a World Heritage Site and sacred site of pilgrimage that appears to float in the surrounding waters during high tide. Discover the cultural treasures of Kyoto; this well-preserved cultural gem was the imperial capital of Japan for over one thousand years.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Manila, Philippines
Day 2 : Manila | Embark Caledonian Sky
Day 3 : Hundred Islands National Park
Day 4 : Vigan
Day 5 : Babuyan Islands
Day 6 : Batan Island
Day 7 : Hualien, Taiwan
Day 8 : Keelung (Taipei)
Day 9 : Yaeyama Islands, Japan
Day 10 : Kerama Islands
Day 11 : Amami Islands
Day 12 : Yakushima
Day 13 : At Sea
Day 14 : Itsukushima
Day 15 : Naoshima (Uno-Ko)
Day 16 : Kobe | Disembark | Kyoto
Day 17 : Kyoto
Day 18 : Kyoto | Osaka


  • Experience warm welcomes and legendary Filipino hospitality
  • Witness the cultural melting pot of vibrant Taipei & Taroko National Park
  • Snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Japan's islands
  • Photograph the iconic scarlet tori (giant camphor-wood gate) of Miyajima
  • Discover Kyoto's cultural treasures, once the imperial capital of Japan


Caledonian Sky

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Children of the Philippines A fish hides in the reef Locals fishing in the bay Traditional architecture of Asia. Local Japanese woman in traditional dress.

Day 1 Manila, Philippines

Arrive in Manila and check into the Marriott Airport Hotel for dinner and overnight. 

Day 2 Manila | Embark Caledonian Sky

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day touring Manila’s old walled district and Spanish colonial center. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before embarking the Caledonian Sky

Day 3 Hundred Islands National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Comprised of 124 lushly vegetated, mushroom-shaped islands, Hundred Islands National Park offers lovely beaches, gorgeous vistas, and tranquil, crystal-clear waters. Spend the day on one of these private islands birding, snorkeling, diving, and exploring by Zodiac.

Day 4 Vigan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Established in the 16th century, Vigan stands as Asia’s finest example of a planned Spanish colonial city. Exceptionally intact, its grid street pattern and architectural influences earned the city UNESCO status in 1999.  Wander the cobbled streets, and pay a visit to the Pagburnayan pottery makers, to learn about the production of Vigan’s famous burnay jars.   

Day 5 Babuyan Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Babuyan Islands are home to steep foothills, volcanic cones, mangroves, and a marine sanctuary. Take a stroll along Calayan’s gorgeous white-sand beaches and snorkel or dive in the warm waters, while birders search the forest for the Calayan rail, a flightless bird endemic to the island.   

Day 6 Batan Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Batan was the first domino to fall during Japan’s invasion of the Philippines during World War II, and you can hear harrowing tales while visiting a tunnel used as a hideout by Japanese soldiers. Climb to the top of Radar Tukon, a former lighthouse and US weather station, which offers 360-degree views across the island. Savor the fresh air and bucolic setting of the Vayang Rolling Hills, then take a leisurely stroll around the town plaza, dominated by Santo Domingo de Basco Church, built in 1812.

Day 7 Hualien, Taiwan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Taiwan’s second-largest city, located on the mountainous east coast. Hualien serves as your gateway to Taroko National Park, centered upon its namesake marble gorge. The park comprises some 227,000 acres and varying altitudes, from near sea level at the mouth of the Liwu River to towering Mount Nanhu at more than 12,000 feet. Such dramatic climate changes create a diverse array of vegetation and habitats, which boast a third of Taiwan’s vascular plants, half of its mammal species, and over 140 recorded of resident bird species. 

Day 8 Keelung (Taipei)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Dominated by Taipei 101—a 1,600-foot-high tower that resembles a stalk of bamboo—Taiwan’s capital offers a captivating mix of Asian and Western influences. The city is famous for its street food, so make a stop to sample a variety of xiaochi (little snacks) while visiting top attractions such as the Chinese-influenced Martyrs’ Shrine; Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, commemorating Taiwan’s former president; and the National Palace Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Chinese art. Or, leave the city bustle behind to visit Yehliu Geopark with its surreal rock formations, as well as Gold Ecological Park, built to offer insights into the region’s gold-mining culture. 

Day 9 Yaeyama Islands, Japan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit the commercial center of the Yaeyama Islands, Ishigaki, renowned for its pristine beaches and prime diving spots. Go canoeing along the mangrove-lined Miyara River and soak in the views of the Hirakubo Peninsula from the Tamatorizaki Observatory. Get some spelunking in at the 1,000-foot-long Sabichi limestone cave with its fantastic stalactites; the cave leads out onto a beautiful beach. Lunch at a local restaurant is followed by a visit to Minsa Kogei Kan, where you can watch talented craftswomen weaving their distinctive Minsa textiles.   

Day 10 Kerama Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This mostly uninhabited chain lies southwest of Okinawa—and a world away from its hurried pace. Just four of the Kerama Islands are populated, and you step ashore via Zodiac for a morning walking tour of the main village. Visit the humble Peace Pagoda and Mount Takatsuki Observatory for scenic views before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon search the surrounding waters for migrating humpback whales. 

Day 11 Amami Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Amami Islands are defined by dense jungle, daunting caves, superb beaches, and lush sugarcane fields. Learn about natural wonders, history, and culture at Amami Park on Naze, which houses numerous displays of photographs, artifacts, and artworks by Japanese painter Tanaka Isson, the “Gauguin of Japan.” Isson’s famous images of Naze’s birds and flowers are magically reproduced in textiles at Oshima Tsumugi Pongee Village, as you watch local artisans at work before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, a short hike through the ancient Kinsakubaru Virgin Forest reveals giant ferns, broadleaf trees, and rare bird species. 

Day 12 Yakushima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Yakushima is home to a primeval temperate rainforest of giant sugi (Japanese cedar), earning this small island UNESCO World Heritage status. These ancient cedars have stood for upwards of 5,000 years, and you get a sense of their majesty on a trek through Yakusugi-Land. Gain further insight through the interactive displays at Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village.

Day 13 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A day at sea offers the chance to relax on deck and attend informative lectures.

Day 14 Itsukushima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Popularly known as Miyajima or “Shrine Island,” Itsukushima is considered holy to both Shintoist and Buddhist Japanese. The island is home to the iconic Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, and a masterfully crafted 12th-century red torii gate that appear to float above the water at high tide. Other highlights include taking the ropeway up to Daisho-in Temple on Mount Misen, and touring Senjokaku or Toyokuni Shrine, the “Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats” the largest structure on the island. 

Day 15 Naoshima (Uno-Ko)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The port of Uno-Ko serves as the gateway to Naoshima, an island known for its many modern art museums. Your day of contemporary culture begins at Benesse House Museum, an integrated museum/hotel that incorporates nature inside as well as around the seashore and nearby forest. Then head to the subterranean Chichu Art Museum, where works by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and other major artists are housed almost totally underground. Finally, visit the Ie or Art House Project, an organic project that turns abandoned houses into living art spaces.

Day 16 Kobe | Disembark | Kyoto

Disembark in Kobe, then transfer to Kyoto for an introductory tour. Japan’s imperial capital from 794–1868, the city seems frozen in time with numerous tranquil temples, serene gardens, and traditional tea houses. Visit the 17th-century Nijo Castle, before a tour and tasting at Matsui Sake Brewery. After lunch at a local restaurant, tour the 14th-century Kinkakuji, “Temple of the Golden Pavilion,” covered in gold leaf; and Ryoanji, a Zen temple famous for its rock garden. Check in to the Kyoto Okura Hotel with dinner at the hotel or an option to dine at your leisure.

Day 17 Kyoto

Visit Kiyomizudera, “Pure Water Temple,” one of Japan’s most revered temples. Dating from 780 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple is built over the Otowa Waterfall. Following lunch at a local restaurant, tour Sanjusangendo or Rengeo-in, a temple noted for its 1,001 statues of the goddess Kannon, and the impressive Fushimi Inari Shrine, dedicated to the gods of rice and sake. Return to the hotel for a festive farewell dinner.

Day 18 Kyoto | Osaka

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, tour Kyoto’s scenic Arashiyama district. Enjoy lunch before transferring to the airport in Osaka for your independent homeward flight.

Caledonian Sky




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Your suite on the Caledonian Sky features three portholes
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Category 1
Category 1 suites are 240 square feet and have three portholes.
Relax in your category 2 suite on the Caledonian Sky
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Category 2
Category 2 suites are 230 square feet and have large picture windows.
Your stateroom on the Caledonian Sky is large and allows great light
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Category 3
Category 3 suites are 220 square feet with a picture window.
Greet the day through your sliding glass window
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Category 4
Category 4 suites have 220 square feet and have direct deck access via a sliding glass door.
Your cabin on the Caledonian Sky has a sliding glass door and two portholes
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Category 5
Category 5 suites are 240 square feet and feature two forward facing portholes and direct deck access via a sliding glass door.
Sail in comfort aboard the Caledonian Sky
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Category 6
Category 6 suites are 215 square feet and pave patio doors leading to private balconies, which are 45 square feet.


- Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb, unaided, into and out of Zodiacs for snorkeling and excursions ashore. You must be able to walk moderate distances over sometimes rough and uneven terrain, and some stairs will be uneven and without handrails. Temperatures will range from the high 50sº to mid-80sºF with temperatures cooling considerably as we head north.

  • All gratuities
  • Accommodations in hotels and on board the Caledonian Sky as outlined in the itinerary
  • All onboard meals
  • All group meals on land, soft drinks, wine, and beer with lunch and dinner
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows
  • All group activities and excursions
  • Landing and port fees
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

  • All air transportation
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages except as listed, e-mail/Internet/fax/telephone charges


  • 17 Breakfasts, 16 Lunches, 17 Dinners
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Erin Correia
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