Have questions? We're here.
Bird on perch in Japan

Exploring Asia's Subtropical Islands

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Heritage Adventurer
Talk with an expert
Build your ideal Asia trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip
Experience an unforgettable 15-day cruise exploring Asia’s incredibly diverse and exotic subtropical islands from Osaka, Japan to Manila, the Philippines aboard the luxurious expedition ship Heritage Adventurer. Rarely visited and hard to reach, Asia’s subtropical islands comprise a wonderland where impossibly blue waters gently lap white sand beaches and pristine coral gardens and walls abound with neon lit fish, fascinating rare birds and wildlife dwell in primeval jungles, intriguing time-forget cultures and traditions await discovery and World War II relics, wrecks and history can be found both above and below the water.
Riverside view of HiroshimaThe Hundred islands in the PhilippinesAwesome turtlesMoss on old growth forests in JapanJapan cultural siteBird on perch in Japan
Highlights
  • Walk along pristine beaches and wander at at the beauty of nature
  • Explore mangrove forests and watch birds and other wildlife
  • Learn about the art of bonsai planting
  • Learn about history in the historic province of Bataan
Places Visited
  • Asia
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Hagi
  • Hakodate
  • Hiroshima
  • Hokkaido
  • Kanazawa
  • Kobe
  • Matsue
  • Otaru
  • Sado Island
  • Takamatsu
  • Ulsan
  • Uwajima
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
0

Full Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Osaka

  • 1 Dinner
Arrive at Honshu’s largest port city Osaka where modern architecture and a vibrant dining scene are nestled alongside the 16th Century shogunate, Osaka Castle.

Day 2: Kobe | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before exploring Japan’s seventh-largest city and the third-largest port – Kobe. In 1995, Kobe was hit by the Great Hashin-Awaji Earthquake, which killed more than 5,000 people. Today the city is completely rebuilt, and few signs of the terrible event remain. Explore the Pure Water Temple Kiyomizudera, one of Japan’s most revered temples and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, built over the Otowa Waterfall and dating back to 780. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before exploring the Buddhist temple Sanjusangendo or Rengeo-in, renowned for its 1,001 statues of the goddess of mercy Kannon, and the ultimate torii gate experience Fushimi Inari Shrine, dedicated to the gods of rice and sake. This afternoon board Heritage Adventurer, moored in Kobe, settle into your cabin, and familiarise yourself with the ship.

Day 3: Takamatsu

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Takamatsu has had a long history as a port town earning itself the nickname ‘Gateway to Shikoku’, although more recently locals have been calling it ‘Udon Kingdom’. Visit  Ritsurin Park, considered one of Japan’s finest gardens. Visit Kinashi, one of Japan’s main bonsai production centers, where you will learn about traditional methods of growing bonsai. Travel to Naoshima Island for a full-day excursion. Shikoku Island is known for its art and this excursion to Naoshima for its architecture and art museums, including Chichu Art Museum and Benesse House, featuring work by Japanese and international artists.

Day 4: Miyajima & Hiroshima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Hiroshima and Miyajima Island. Despite its history including being the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack on the 6 August 1945, Hiroshima is a vibrant and thriving cosmopolitan community. Visit the beautiful Peace Park and Museum, with its somber cenotaph containing names of atomic bomb victims, and the permanently lit ‘Flame of Peace’. Travel to Miyajima Island considered one of Japan’s most scenic spots and the location of the Torii Gate and the Daisho-in Buddhist temple. Ascend Mount Misen on Miyajima Island by cable car and enjoy a hike, admiring the views below of the Shinto Shrine and Torri Gate.

Day 5: Uwajima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With 65% of Amami Oshima, the largest island in the Satsunnan Amami archipelago, forested in lush jungle and the location of Japan’s second-largest mangrove forest this tropical outpost is rightly famous for its rare and diverse birdlife and primeval subtropical Kinsakubaru Virgin Forest. Beyond white sand beaches explore crystal clear underwater worlds and stunning wildlife-filled coral gardens while on land a rich human history and unique cuisine charms. Visit the Nature Observation Park for a wilderness experience followed by a thrilling immersion into the island’s culture including observing the incredible detail that goes into creating the revered Oshima Tsumugi silk which has been used to make high-quality kimonos for centuries.

Day 6: Yakushima Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Renowned for being the wettest place in Japan, Yakushima Island is located among the southern Japanese island chain of Osumi. Considered an eco-paradise, this 200-square-kilometer island is home to almost 2,000 species of flora including the hauntingly beautiful primeval temperate rainforest of giant sugi (Japanese cedar). Earning this small island UNESCO World Heritage status (Japan’s first), ancient cedars have stood for upwards of 5,000 years with the incredible Jomon Sugi thought to be 7,200 years old making it one of the oldest trees in the world. Experience the majesty of these ancient giants on a trek through Yakusugi-Land while keeping a lookout for Yakushima deer and monkeys, and gain further insight through the interactive displays at Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village. The island is also known as an important nesting site for endangered Loggerhead and Green turtles and, with all that water, boasts some seriously impressive waterfalls.

Day 7: Amami Oshima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With 65% of Amami Oshima, the largest island in the Satsunnan Amami archipelago, forested in lush jungle and the location of Japan’s second-largest mangrove forest this tropical outpost is rightly famous for its rare and diverse birdlife and primeval subtropical Kinsakubaru Virgin Forest. Beyond white sand beaches explore crystal clear underwater worlds and stunning wildlife-filled coral gardens while on land a rich human history and unique cuisine charms. Visit the Nature Observation Park for a wilderness experience followed by a thrilling immersion into the island’s culture including observing the incredible detail that goes into creating the revered Oshima Tsumugi silk which has been used to make high-quality kimonos for centuries.

Day 8: Okinawa Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Dubbed the ‘Hawaii of Japan’ and the center of the Ryukyu Kingdom for centuries, Okinawa Island only became part of Japan in 1868. Discover the kingdom’s historic importance and the devastating impact of World War II which resulted in the losses of more than 100,000 Japanese troops and thousands of US troops over 82 days. Options include a deep dive into the WWII history with a visit to the battle-scarred tunnel complex now a tribute to the former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters, the Peace Memorial Park dedicated to the more than 200,000 lives that were lost, and the Himeyuri Tower which honors the female high school students and their teachers who lost their lives after being put to work in army field hospitals in caves. Explore the lush subtropical rainforest and Valley of Gangala, a limestone cave system created hundreds of thousands of years ago and a working excavation site. Believed to have been the dwelling site of pre-historic humans who existed some 20,000 years ago, structures dating back thousands of years have been found at this site along with a giant banyan tree estimated to be 150 years old. Discover the ancient Shurijo Castle, the former residence of the Ryukyu kings was left in ruins following the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 and restored and opened as a national park in 1992.

Day 9: Ishigaki, Yaeyama Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Surrounded by turquoise coastal waters, the idyllic subtropical Ishigaki Island combines coral reefs and jungle-clad mountains with being the commercial center of the Yaeyama Islands and the largest island in the chain. Renowned for its pristine beaches,  have the opportunity to explore the mangrove-lined Miyara River with its prolific butterflies and birdlife, take in the sensational views of the Hirakubo Peninsula from the Tamatorizaki Observatory, and experience island traditions including weaving the distinctive Minsa textiles. Discover the hidden treasures of Ibaruma Sabichi Cave resplendent with stalactites and leading to the beautiful beach. A highlight of the day will be visiting neighboring Taketomi Island where we will enjoy transport via a traditional buffalo cart to see the island’s iconic bungalow-style houses with their terracotta roofs and hibiscus and bougainvillea-covered walls

Day 10: Keelung, Taiwan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Surrounded by mountains and proudly presided over by Taipei 101 – the 1,600-foot-high skyscraper and former Taipei World Financial Center styled on a bamboo stalk – Keelung, Taiwan’s capital, combines an exciting mix of Asian and Western influences. Rightly famous for its prevalent street food, be sure to sample its variety of xiaochi (little snacks) while exploring top attractions including 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. For those looking for a nature fix, head to Yehliu Geopark with its world-famous surreal landscape of honeycomb and mushroom eroded rock formations and Japanese-era mining complex turned tourist attraction Gold Ecological Park where hillside walkways connect 1930s offices, workshops, and dormitories for an insight into early mining history.

Day 11: Hualien

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Taiwan’s second-largest city Hualien, located on its mountainous east coast, is our gateway to the world-famous 19-kilometer-long canyon Taroko National Park and its namesake Marble Gorge. The spectacular marble walls here soar to more than 300 feet high and are surrounded by verdant green bamboo forests promising an unforgettable experience. Comprising some 227,000 acres and varying altitudes, from near sea level at the mouth of the Liwu River to towering more than 12,000 feet high at Mt Nanhu, the park’s dramatic landscape provides a diverse array of vegetation and habitats which boast a third of Taiwan’s vascular plants, half of its mammal species, the rare Nanhu Salamander and more than 140 resident bird species.

Day 12: Batan Island, Philippines

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Part of a tiny archipelago of 10 islands, the Philippines' northernmost province Batan was the country’s first landmass to succumb to Japan’s invasion during World War II. The island offers an intriguing mix of historic churches, the unique architecture of its Ivatan houses, rugged coastline and rock formations, panoramic vistas, and beaches. Join local guides who will share the island’s harrowing WWII history with us during a visit to a tunnel used as a hideout by Japanese soldiers. Venture to the top of the former lighthouse and U.S. weather station Radar Tukon where incredible 360-degree views across the island can be enjoyed. Take in the charming country/ocean views of the endless grassy undulations at Vayang Rolling Hills and explore the town plaza and the striking Santo Domingo de Basco Church, one of the first limestone buildings to be built under the Spanish regime in 1812.

Day 13: Vigan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore of the culturally rich region of North Luzon. At Badoc visit Juan Luna Shrine, the restored home of famous Ilocano painter Juan Luna’s and Badoc Church where a 400-year old image of the Virgin Mary, La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, found by fishermen in the 17th Century is displayed. In Bantay the iconic 16th Century Bantay Church Bell Tower, built in 1590 with Baroque and Gothic-inspired architecture, takes center stage and offers a glimpse into the region’s colorful history along with incredible views from the top, before making our way to Vigan. Considered Asia’s finest example of a planned Spanish colonial city, the perfectly preserved 16th Century Vigan’s grid street pattern and architectural influences fusing Philippine building design and construction with colonial European architecture earned the city UNESCO status in 1999. Wander the historic cobblestone streets, consider the unique architecture and pay a visit to the traditional Pagburnayan pottery makers and learn about Vigan’s famous hand-crafted earthenware Burnay jars.

Day 14: Hundred Islands National Park

Despite its name, Hundred Islands National Park is comprised of 124 lushly vegetated, mushroom-shaped islands and islets scattered across the turquoise waters of the Lingayen Gulf, believed to be formed more than two million years ago. Decreed a national park in 1940 the collection of islands combine white sand beaches lapped by tranquil crystal clear waters, caves, fascinating limestone cliffs and rock formations, coral reefs teeming with marine life, and bird and wildlife-filled forests and mangroves. We spend our last day exploring one of these magical islands birding, beachcombing, snorkeling, and Zodiac cruising in this wonderland.

Day 15: Manila | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in the Philippines’ bustling capital of Manila, a former port town now buzzing commercial hub, heritage center, and culinary hot spot. After breakfast,  there will be a complimentary coach to a central hotel or to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. To allow time for disembarkation procedures and travel from Manila, we do not recommend booking flights departing before 1300 hours. During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Please note: Voyages are planned and scheduled pending final regulatory approval.

Ship/Hotel

Heritage Adventurer

Dining area
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$9,475
Superior Triple
Select a Date
Superior Triple
Superior Triple Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
Select a Date
Main Deck Triple
Main Deck Triple Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 4 Superior
Select a Date
Deck 4 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 4 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 5 Superior
Select a Date
Deck 5 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
Select a Date
Main Deck Single
Main Deck Single Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Superior Single
Select a Date
Superior Single
Superior Single Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Worseley Suite
Select a Date
Worsley Suite
Located on Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Suite
Select a Date
Heritage Suite
Located on Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table, and chairs, and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub, and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat-screen entertainment system.

Notes

- Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same sex in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees a single cabin. The single supplement is 1.8 times the price of the voyage with the exception of the suites which are double the single rate.
-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Year Built: 1991
Shipyard: Rauma, Finland
Classification: Lloyds 1AS, GL E4
Accommodation: 140 guests
Length: 124 metres
Beam: 18 metres
Draft: 4.97 metres
Gross Tonnage : 8,378gt
Engines: 3,940 horsepower (x2)
Maximum Speed: 15 knots
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Range: 8,600 nautical miles
Zodiacs: 14
Included
  • 14 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
  • 13 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • House beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast)
  • All expedition shore excursions
  • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists
  • Discovery Fund / Government Landing Fees 
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Required Visas if applicable
  • Laundry 
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Complimentary Parka - available only for the duration of the voyage.
  • Complimentary boot rental is available. However, due to the limited supply of boots available aboard the ship, it is recommended that you bring your own rubber boots for best fit and availability. Youth size boots are not available.

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

Inquire

* By providing your phone number, you consent to receive direct phone calls or SMS messages from our Trip Planners to get the process started. We do not share your information with third-parties.
Travel Agents

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

Asia Travel Guide

Favorite Asia All Trips

More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By