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The Best of Japan

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Le Soleal
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Set sail for the "Land of the Rising Sun" on this 9-day voyage aboard the luxurious Le Soleal. Experience a blend of modernity and tradition in your ports of call. Japan opens its doors to you and reveals its imperial past, where the history of the Samurais rubs shoulders with the subtle delicateness of geishas. Start your journey in the small Japanese city of Tamano, a former feudal domain with a unique cultural heritage. You will be able to admire the famous Korakuen Garden, one of the country’s three must-see landscaped gardens. See Miyajima, home to the majestic Shinto shrine whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermillion Torii listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the warm and welcoming city of Busan. Discover a medieval Japan in Sakaiminato and the ancient dwellings of the samurai.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Maizuru, Japan | Embark
Day 2 : Sakaiminato, Japan
Day 3 : Busan, South Korea
Day 4 : Nagasaki
Day 5 : Kagoshima
Day 6 : Uwajima
Day 7 : Hiroshima | Miyajima Island
Day 8 : Tamano (Okayama)
Day 9 : Osaka, Japan | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore the famous Korakuen Gardens in ancient Okayama
  • Visit Hiroshima, gateway to the Miyajima Sanctuary (UNESCO site)
  • See the city of Kagoshima and its majestic Sakurajima Volcano
  • Honor the tragic events that scarred Nagasaki
  • Discover medieval Japan and its former Samurai homes

Ship

Le Soleal

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Busan
  • Hiroshima
  • Japan
  • Kagoshima
  • Maizuru
  • Nagasaki
  • Okayama
  • Osaka
  • Sakaiminato
  • South Korea
  • Uwajima

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A young woman walks through a field of flowers Hiroshima Peace Memorial or Atomic Bomb Dome Traditional architecture of Asia. View of Busan, South Korea Experience the unique architecture of Asia.

Day 1 Maizuru, Japan | Embark

Located on the western coast of Honshu island, in the province of Kyoto, the charming town of Maizuru boasts one of Japan’s most exquisite closed bays. A climb to the observatory allows you to appreciate the splendor of this inlet scattered with tiny wild islands. You can also admire the treasures of traditional architecture by visiting the temple of Enryu-ji or the Tanabe-jo castle. The town also bears traces of a rich military past, which you can see in the old arsenals of the navy, red brick buildings that today house a museum.

Day 2 Sakaiminato, Japan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the south-west coast of Honshu Island, the busy fishing port of Sakaiminato celebrates the comic writer and artist Shigeru Mizuki, who was born here. As well as a museum a dedicated tourist route leads through streets and squares that feature 134 bronze statues representing his beloved characters. This isn't the only thing Sakaiminato has to offer; try some local seafood specialties and enjoy the stunning views of Mt Daisen and the Yumigahama peninsula.

For 2020 departures, please note the following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Sushi & Sake Experience, Izumo & Adachi Art Museum, and Matsue Castle & Paper Making Experience.

Day 3 Busan, South Korea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With around four million inhabitants, Busan is the second-largest metropolis in South Korea, after Seoul. This dynamic harbor city, located in the south-east, surrounded by the warm waters of the Sea of Japan, benefits from a mild, pleasant climate. You can find delightful simply to stroll around the lively streets and explore the city’s outstanding cultural heritage of art galleries, museums, and Buddhist sites, such as the Haedong Yonggungsa temple, which elegantly sits on the waterfront. Rich too in magnificent beaches and superlative natural landscapes, Busan’s peaceful atmosphere will win you over, as will its inhabitants, whom you have the pleasure of meeting.

For 2020 departures, please note the following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Haedongyonggungsa Temple & Fish Market and Tea Ceremony & Temple Culture.

Day 4 Nagasaki

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the north-west coast of Kyushu, Nagasaki will impress you by its rich heritage. Despite the destruction in 1945, you can visit several ancient sites, including the beautiful 19th-century Catholic Church of Oura and its garden, the sanctuary of Suwa Shrine as well as several Buddhist temples. A visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum gives you insight into the extent of the damage caused by the nuclear attack. Close by, a walk in the Memorial Peace Park leads you to a collection of objets d'art offered as a gift from Japan to the world.

For 2020 departures, please note the following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Ground Zero & Atomic Bomb Museum and Nagasaki Historical Tour.

Day 5 Kagoshima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The seaside city of Kagoshima, at the south of Kyushu Island, ᅠis best known for Sakurajima, an active volcano that faces Kinko Bay. A visit to this busy metropolis will remind you just how much the volcano is part of the inhabitants' everyday life: in the wake of the almost daily eruptions, a delicate layer of ash settles on everything. The top of a buried torii (traditional Japanese gate) measuring three meters that was swallowed up by a giant lava flow in 1914 can still be seen. The power of nature will send a shiver down your spine.

For 2020 departures, please note the following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge:  A Trip to Chiran, Kagoshima Highlights & Volcano, and Miyama Pottery Town & Shochu Distillery.

Day 6 Uwajima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the west coast of Shikoku island, Uwajima delights lovers of history and traditional customs. The magnificent Uwajima Castle was built in the 17th-century by the powerful Date clan and has a beautiful ornamental garden and bridge. The much-visited Taga Shrine is dedicated to fertility and is full of phalluses. Another interesting tradition is togyu, a Japanese variant of bull-fighting where two bulls are pitted against each other without a toreador. As for eating, you must taste jakoten, a local delicacy based on fried fish.

For 2020 departures, please note the following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Highlights of Uwajima, Uchiko Old Town, and Cultural Uwajima.

Day 7 Hiroshima | Miyajima Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visiting Hiroshima is a moving experience. The town spreads along Honshu Island, along the inside coasts of Seto. While firmly focused on the future, Hiroshima doesn't forget its past, and a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome is a must. You'll enjoy the city's modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and effervescent nightlife just as much as the peaceful stillness of its natural parkland areas such as splendid Shukkei-en, the town's historic garden.

For 2020 departures, please note the following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Saijo Sake Street Walking Tour, Remembering Hiroshima, Itsukushima Shrine & Zazen Meditation, and Itsukushima Shrine & Cooking.
 

Day 8 Tamano (Okayama)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the island of Honshu, hugging the banks of the Sento Inland Sea, Tamano is a popular destination thanks to its sun-drenched climate. Upon arrival, marvel at the way in which the city has been built along the coast at the foot of a deep, dark forest. In the area surrounding Tamano, stroll down the streets of Kurashiki, known as the 'white-walled city' in a nod to the pretty façades of the houses that line the streets of this ancient Edo-period trading town. Another major regional attraction is the Seto Ohashi bridge. Its 12.5 kilometers make it the world's longest double-decker bridge.

For 2020 departures, please note the following optional excursions will be available for an additional charge: Naoshima Island of Art and Historical Kurashiki.

Day 9 Osaka, Japan | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Like its big sister Tokyo, Osaka is the product of ancestral traditions and amazing technological innovations. And despite its size, its location on the Pacific Ocean gives it a sense of serenity. The main historic landmark is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which stands proud in the midst of majestic skyscrapers. The lively streets of Dotomburi and the bizarre Shinsekai district attract thousands of locals and visitors. A multitude of restaurants offer menus full of regional specialties: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsukebabs.

Disembark after breakfast in Osaka. 

Le Soleal

Per person starting at
$4,630
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
The Superior Stateroom has a capacity of up to 3 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
The Deluxe Stateroom has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 4 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
The Deluxe Suite has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
The Prestige Suite on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
The Prestige Suite on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Owner's Suite
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Owner Suite
The Owner's suite is situated on Deck 6 with a capacity up to 2 passengers per cabin. With a king-sized bed, it has been decorated by French interior designers and provides you with a breathtaking panoramic sea view.

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and are subject to change without notice.

Discounts are available for children sharing a cabin with two adults and third adult passengers in select cabin categories. Please contact us for details.

Single travelers can opt for a solo cabin - supplements start at 50%.

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides, and drivers
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h Room service (special selection)
  • English speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned 
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon, and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
  • Dives when authorized by local authorities and feasible with ship equipment and Zodiacs®. Rates: €70 per standard dive; €80 per dive when local equipment or staff must be used, €80 for a “discover scuba dive” course, on some cruises a dive package might be on offer. In order to participate to diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1-year-old and their up to date dive book.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Travel Agents
Kassandra Miller
Kassi M

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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