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Evening lights over the Otaru canals

Japanese Shores

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Le Soleal
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Discover the northern point of the island of Honshu. Sail to Ogi, on the small island of Sado. Stop in Kanazawa and from there, go for a visit to Shirakawa-go and Gokayama villages which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites particularly famous for their traditional houses in the gassho-zukuri style. From Sakaiminato, set off to explore medieval Japan and the ancient dwellings of the samurai, who built lavish homes and castles. Sail then towards South Korea, a small peninsula that juts out into the Sea of Japan, and discover Busan, South Korea’s second city. Visit Miyajima, the gateway to the majestic Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermillion Torii. Finally, disembark in Osaka.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Otaru, Hokkaido | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Day 3 : Aomori | Noshiro
Day 4 : Ogi, Nigata
Day 5 : Kanazawa
Day 6 : Sakaiminato
Day 7 : Busan, South Korea
Day 8 : Karatsu Bay
Day 9 : Beppu, Oita
Day 10 : Hiroshima | Miyajima Island
Day 11 : Takamatsu
Day 12 : Osaka | Disembark

Highlights

  • Discover the heart of the Land of the Rising Sun
  • Explore pleasant Noshiro, ideal for getting a view of contemporary Japanese life
  • View majestic Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Try some local seafood specialties and enjoy the stunning views in Sakaiminato

Ship

Le Soleal

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Beppu
  • Busan
  • Hiroshima
  • Japan
  • Kanazawa
  • Miyajima
  • Osaka
  • Otaru
  • Sakaiminato
  • South Korea
  • Takamatsu

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Evening lights over the Otaru canals Temple garden in Busan, South Korea Seaside Buddhist temple in Busan Riverside view of Hiroshima Colorful trees in Osaka

Day 1 Otaru, Hokkaido | Embark

Boasting an outstanding setting of natural beauty, bordered by the Sea of Japan on one side and Mt Tengu on the other, Otaru is a lively harbor town. This old industrial capital has kept from its past glory buildings in 19th-century brick as well as its canals, formerly the main means of transportation. They give this Japanese town a striking appearance, especially when covered in snow. Magnificent vistas abound - itメs up to you to put them in order of preference. Shukutsu Observatory, overlooking out over the vast Bay of Ishikari, is just one of them.

Day 2 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3 Aomori | Noshiro

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The ultra-modern port city of Aomori, in the far north of Japanメs main island of Honshu, stretches around Mutsu Bay and is the gateway to the Aomori prefectureメs many stunning natural attractions. Every summer it hosts the colorful Nebuta Festival, one of the countryメs most popular events, and a custom that has lasted well over 300 years. A few kilometers from the city center is the fascinating Sannai Maruyama site, where you can see ruins of one of Japan's oldest settlements. Further afield, Towada-Hachimantai National Park, near the southern border, has hot springs, autumn foliage in Oirase Gorge, skiing at Mount Hakkõda and lava domes around Lake Towada.

Located in the north-west of Honshu Island, Noshiro is a pleasant, modern stopover, ideal for getting a view of contemporary Japanese life. You can stroll around its gardens, in particular, Energium Park which shelters an arboretum and a museum dedicated to the town’s famous kites. Kazenomatsubura forest offers many walking opportunities along the little paths among the trees. You can also see some very lovely temples here, or do some cycling along the river Yoneshiro.

Day 4 Ogi, Nigata

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The small town of Ogi on Sado Island's south coast is best-known for its taraibune, small round boats that were originally used for harvesting seaweed and shells. You can take a trip to one at Ogi Port and nearby Yajima and Kyojima. Shukunegi village, about four kilometers from Ogi, is a fascinating place to visit some of the houses in the former shipbuilding center were built with wood salvaged from boats. Other points of interest include Sado History Museum and the old gold mines; and every year the island hosts Earth Celebration, a music festival.

Day 5 Kanazawa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the island of Honshu and bathed by the waters of the Sea of Japan, Kanazawa is a port marked by history. Under the predominance of the Maeda clan in the Meiji era, the city came under multiple political and cultural influences that shaped its landscape. Throughout the town, you'll discover many signs of its rich past: Kanazawa Castle, Kenroku-en, one of the most beautiful and famous gardens in Japan, and the old geisha district, Higashi-Chayagai. Õmicho Ichiba market in the town center is well worth a visit, particularly for freshly cooked seafood.

Day 6 Sakaiminato

  • 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.

Day 7 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’ll 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’ll have the pleasure of meeting.

Day 8 Karatsu Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Karatsu Bay is edged with long sandy beaches and a huge pine forest that was planted over 350 years ago to protect the coast from the winds and tides of the Genkai Sea. From the top of the donjon of Karatsu Castle or Mount Kagami, you will be able to admire magnificent panoramas. In the north of the Higashi-Matsuura Peninsula, the waves have eroded the lava plateau and carved a magnificent natural site, the seven Nanatsugama Caves, out of the basalt. The city of Karatsu is famous for the quality of its pottery, which is influenced by the craftsmanship of nearby Korea. Very fine pieces are displayed in the city’s galleries and at Karatsu Castle, alongside magnificent samurai armor.

Day 9 Beppu, Oita

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A favorite destination for the Japanese, Beppu is now famous throughout the Japanese archipelago thanks to its onsen – volcanic hot springs in which people immerse themselves to relax with family or friends. From Beppu, you will set off to discover a lush, peaceful valley in which sit 60 majestic stone Buddhas carved out of the cliff face between the 12th and 14th centuries. Exuding a soothing air of serenity, the Mangetsuji site seems to have drifted off to sleep in the heart of a dense bamboo forest surrounded by rice fields. Recognized as a National Treasure of Japan, this set of sacred sculptures offers travelers a unique, wonderful experience.

Day 10 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.

At the heart of the Inland Sea, Miyajima, the “island sanctuary” will reveal its treasures. In the background, you will see the Shinto Grand Sanctuary, whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermillion “Torii“. Considered to be one of the most beautiful sites in the Japanese islands, you will be transported by the unique character and the serenity of this sacred site.

Day 11 Takamatsu

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A former fortified city ruled over by the Matsudaira clan from the Tamamo castle with its seawater moats, the city is home to one of the most beautiful classic gardens in Japan, the Ritsurin. It was created by the barons of the city at the start of the Edo period, during which time gardening became a profession in its own right. Its landscape incorporates Mount Shiun in the background, an example of what is known as the shakkei technique, which uses the surrounding landscapes to increase the beauty of the gardens.

Day 12 Osaka | 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 amid 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 kushikatsu kebabs.

After breakfast aboard the ship, disembark at Osaka.

Le Soleal

Per person starting at
$6,000
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.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Travel Agents
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Erin C

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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