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Experience the unique architecture of Asia.

Japan, Natural Archipelago and Secular Heritage

Kagoshima - Osaka - Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Le Jacques Cartier
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Set off on a 9-day cruise exploring Japan's Natural Archipelago and Secular Heritage aboard Le Jacques Cartier. Departing from Kagoshima, the cruise heads west to the Koshikijima Islands, revealing raw beauty in monumental cliffs dating back 80 million years. Explore Amakusa, a refuge for 17th-century Christians, and Goto Islands, where traces of their influence endure. Continue to South Korea's Busan, unveiling its port and historic Chalgachi district. Returning to Japan, discover the maritime trade hub of Moji with preserved Meiji-era architecture. Visit Shimokamagari and Mitarai's fishing villages, then explore Tomonoura's Miyazaki-inspired landscapes. Conclude this enchanting journey in Osaka, savoring the grand finale of cultural richness and maritime allure.
Traditional architecture of Asia.Colorful trees in OsakaRape-blossom field by lake and Mt. Kaimon, Kagoshima prefectureJapanese tea ceremonyOsaka's city lights after sunsetCherry blossoms frame Osaka castleExperience the unique architecture of Asia.
Highlights
  • Explore monumental cliffs and rock formations dating back millions
  • Succumb to the charms of Amakusa's island region
  • Discover South Korea's vibrant city, Busan, and its port
  • Unveil Moji's stunning architectural heritage and captivating panoramas
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Kagoshima

The seaside city of Kagoshima, south of Kyushu Island, is 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.

Day 2: Koshikijima Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Off the western coastlines of Kagoshima Prefecture, the rocky and green islets called the Koshikijima Islands rise like a mirage from the East China Sea. Aboard the Zodiac dinghies, you will reach the three islands that make up the archipelago: Kamikoshikishima, Nakakoshikishima, and Shimokoshikishima. You will be captivated by the raw and authentic beauty of this environment, featuring monumental cliffs and huge rock formations that date back to the Cretaceous period or nearly 80 million years.  During hikes, you will be lucky enough to discover these unique and striking landscapes—an interlude where time may stand still.

Day 3: Amakusa Region

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Facing the mythical island of Kyushu, between the Yatsushiro and Ariake seas, the island region of Amakusa both surprises and captivates. Composed of some one hundred verdant islets surrounded by stunning seabeds, the Japanese archipelago was once a refuge for many Christians fleeing the ban on Catholicism in the 17th century during the Edo period. Christian heritage can be found in every village in the region. In Sakitsu, a charming fishing port, immerse yourself in this Christian heritage, particularly when you visit the emblematic church listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 4: Kamigoto

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Representing a little-known, distant, almost abandoned Japan at the western tip of the island of Kyushu, to the west of the China Sea, Kamigoto Island recounts the unexpected history of the Empire of the Rising Sun. A refuge for Christians fleeing the prohibition of practicing their Catholic faith in the 17th century under the Edo era, each village bears traces of this influence that is still very much present, as evidenced by the many religious buildings dotting the island. Famous for its lush and preserved nature, featuring tropical forests and jagged shores, Kamigoto boasts natural treasures such as Hamaguri Beach, an aquatic paradise of fine sand surrounded by turquoise waters and encircled by bewitching green peaks.

Day 5: Busan

  • 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 southeast, surrounded by the warm waters of the Sea of Japan, benefits from a mild, pleasant climate. You’ll find it 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 6: Moji, Kitakyushu | Crossing the Kanmon Straits

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the mouth of the Kanmon Straits lies Mojiko, the northernmost port of Kyushu, one of Japan’s four main islands. For many years, Mojiko was the gateway to the island. Today, the old boats are gone, but as you stroll around the picturesque streets you will discover a well-preserved architectural heritage that evokes traditional Japan from the first Meiji era of the late 19th century. From the heights of the Mojiko Retro Observation Room, you can enjoy the amazing views that take in the Shinto shrine and coastal landscape like a postcard of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Sailing in the Kanmon Straits, between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Kyushu, promises an unforgettable experience. During the crossing of this emblematic maritime passage linking the Sea of Japan to the Seto Inland Sea, fall under the spell of this traditional Japan, with its charming picturesque fishing ports and its shrines built in the heart of enchanting nature, between verdant hilly peaks and captivating granite cliffs.

Day 7: Shimokamagari | Mitarai

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The island of Shimokamagari stretches into the heart of the Seto Inland Sea, off the coast of the town of Kure, in the Hiroshima prefecture. A historical city during the feudal period, the island was the theatre of major diplomatic missions for the future and the Empire’s trade relationships, notably with repeated visits from mainly Korean, but also Chinese and Dutch, emissaries. Registered since 2017 on the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, the documentary heritage of these encounters is conserved in the Shotoen Garden, one of the emblems of this lush islet. A magnificent Japanese garden with perfectly kept grounds, interspersed with raked pebbles and surrounded by majestic trees, it is home to a Rantokaku Museum complex, consisting of four exhibition rooms tracing the island’s naval history.

A charming fishing village nestling in the east of Osaki Shimojima Island, on the edge of the Seto Inland Sea, Mitarai is appreciated for its traditional charm and authentic character. A trip back in time to the Edo Period, where the hustle and bustle of modern cities is replaced by the gentle sound of fishing boats. Thanks to its 19th-century wooden dwellings lining the small, narrow streets, its great causeway, its centuries-old sanctuaries and its gangi stairs, a stone structure giving on to the sea, the old town was classed as a Preservation District by the Japanese state in 1994.

Day 8: Tomonoura

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Anchored to the southeastern end of the Nunakama Peninsula, facing the calm and clear waters of the Seto Inland Sea, Tomonoura is a destination particularly appreciated for its authentic and old-fashioned atmosphere that gives it an incomparable charm. In the past used as a port where boats would moor while waiting for a favorable wind, the charming and picturesque village now serves to inspire many filmmakers and artists. With good reason, since its craggy landscapes, its cherry trees in blossom, its gentle way of life, its traditional wooden houses, and its port, preserved since the Edo era notably enabled the artist Hayao Miyazaki to make the animated film Ponyo.

Day 9: Osaka

  • 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 kushikatsu kebabs.

Ship/Hotel

Le Jacques Cartier

Swimming pool
Le Jacques Cartier Restaurant
Le Jacques Cartier - Panorama View

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$8,280 2-3 travelers
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
19 m² area featuring a 4m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
Prestige Deck
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Prestige Deck 4
19 m² area featuring a 4m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
Prestige Deck
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Prestige Deck 5
19 m² area featuring a 4m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
Prestige Deck
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Prestige Deck 6
19 m² area featuring a 4m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite Deck 3
27 m² area featuring, 6m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, 1 sofa, shower
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite Deck 4
27 m² area featuring, 6m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, 1 sofa, shower
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite Deck 5
27 m² area featuring, 6m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, 1 sofa, shower
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite Deck 6
27 m² area featuring, 6m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, 1 sofa, shower
Prestige Deck Suite
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Prestige Deck 5 Suite
38 m² area featuring an 8m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
Prestige Deck Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
38 m² area featuring an 8m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
Privilege Suite
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Privilege Suite Deck 6
32 m² area featuring an 8m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
Privilege Suite
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Privilege Suite Deck 5
32 m² area featuring an 8m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
Grand Deluxe Suite
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Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6
45 m² area featuring, 40m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Bathtub
Owner Suite
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Owner's Suite
45 m² area featuring an 30m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower

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.
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited 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. 
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • 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
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

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.

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