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Japanese Subtropical Islands

Keelung - Osaka - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Soleal
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Explore Japan's stunning subtropical paradise aboard the Le Soleal. Experience the amazing rock formations at Keelung. Enjoy the crystal clear waters of Ishigaki. Go back to pre-industrial Japan and experience rural community living in Taketomijima. Try to look for exotic endemic species of flora and fauna in Iriomotejima. 
  • Explore Keelung's spectacular beaches and rock formations
  • Tour Okinawa's distillery and taste the local cuisine
  • Visit a traditional village in the Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park
  • Snorkel around the renowned coral reefs of Zamami Island
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Keelung | Embark

On the north-east tip of Taiwan, the harbour city of Keelung stands on one of the most beautiful coasts on the island. Nearby is the spectacular natural park of Yehliu, famed for its striking rock formations. It's easy to tour the city's historical sites on trails that cross the lush green hills surrounding the harbour from Chung Cheng Park to Fort Ershawan, you can enjoy superb views of Keelung and the coastline. But the main attraction is the Miaokou night market, where you can taste some typically Taiwanese culinary delights.

Day 2: Ishigaki

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located to the south of the main island of the Yaeyama archipelago, Ishigaki boasts all the aspects of an authentic piece of paradise. You've guessed it, you don't come here for its skyscrapers but for its pure emerald waters and idyllic beaches. The waters off Shiraho, on the island's south-west coast, have one of the largest areas of blue coral in the world.

Day 3: Taketomijima | Iriomotejima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Off the coast of the Okinawa Prefecture, Taketomi Island (Taketomijima) is fascinating for its traditional character, preserved in a beautiful, lush setting. Like its big sisters, Ishigaki and Kuroshima, this island in the Yaeyama archipelago is the ideal destination for an immersion in typical landscapes and the insular way of life of the former Ryukyu Kingdom. Here, time seems to have stood still. There are very few cars about; bicycles and carriages drawn by imposing oxen remain the only means of transport. This is an ideal opportunity to wander through the picturesque streets lined with traditional dwellings with red-tiled roofs and lion-shaped shisa statues placed in front of the vast majority of houses to keep evil spirits at bay.

Nestled in the very heart of the Yaeyama archipelago, Iriomote Island conjures visions of a hidden paradise. With 90% of the island covered by thick jungle, crossed by rivers and impressive mangrove forests, Iriomote is an ideal destination for fans of large preserved spaces. With exceptional fauna and flora, this lush jewel is home to many endemic species: you may be lucky enough to get to glimpse an Iriomote cat or a crested serpent eagle. During this port of call, you will also have the possibility of admiring the captivating underwater world during a free diving session or contemplating this lush jungle close up on a cruise along the calm waters of the island’s rivers.

Day 4: Kumejima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located 90 km (56 miles) to the south-west of Okinawa Honto, Kumejima is a multifaceted island home to natural treasures. Hatenohama, a stunning 7 km-long (4.3 miles) fine-sand beach, promises wonderful carefree moments discovering the exceptional underwater worlds off the coast of Kumejima. Mifuga, a rock formation on the north coast of the island with a hole right through its middle, is a great example of the erosion along the coast. The eastern peninsula offers another geological feature, visible at low tide: 1,000 flat rocks each around one metre (3.2 feet) in diameter, formed by the contraction of lava from a nearby eruption a million years ago. They create a rocky plateau resembling a traditional Japanese tatami, hence the name Tatami-ishi.

Day 5: Zamami

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
strong>Zamami is an island in the Kerama archipelago, 40 km (25 miles) west of Okinawa Island in the China Sea. Visitors to this 16 km2 (6 mi2) quasi-uninhabited isle are enchanted by the many untouched natural treasures they find here. You will discover a tranquil island with lush vegetation, lined with stunning white-sand bays bathing in the glimmering ‘Kerama blue’ waters around the archipelago. Zamami is also renowned for the beauty of its coral reefs, where multicoloured fish engage in an endless mesmerising ballet. The observation deck on Mount Takatsuki reveals stunning views of the Kerama Islands, granted national park status in 2014. With subtle shifting shades of azure above and all around, this island truly is paradise.

Day 6: Kikaijima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located between continental Japan and the main island of Okinawa, Kikaijima is a small preserved coral island where nature unfurls in all its splendour. Amidst this abundance of plants, you will be enchanted by century-old trees, majestic banyan trees and sugar cane plantations, which produce a delicious brown sugar. This island, inhabited since the 10th century and located on the trade route between China and Japan, has a turbulent history. During your exploration, perhaps you will notice some ancient coral stone walls, like an echo of the ever-present ocean. Between the white sandy beaches and the limestone coastlines, you’ll also be able to enjoy a snorkelling trip and delightful possibilities for swimming.

Day 7: 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 centre. 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 PONANT 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 8: 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 give 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 specialities: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.


Le Soleal

Enjoy a show in the movie theater.
Bar and lounge with a view.
Restaurant aboard the Le Soleal.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
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.
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • 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. 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • Diving - Expedition Cruise
    Excellence and Passion packages must be pre-booked with your travel consultant before departure. Beyond that, all reservations will be confirmed once on board and subject to availability. The Exploration dive must be organized on board directly with your diving instructor.


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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