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18 Days Asian Capital

FROM $10,299

Our ultra-luxury cruises to Asia have become one of our most popular destinations, for reasons abundantly clear. Seabourn cruises to Vietnam and Thailand glow with vivid colors, fascinating cultures and some of the friendliest people anywhere, and we still sail right into Ho Chi Minh City. The islands of Indonesia offer a tremendous variety of natural and cultural diversity to explore. This year we are adding extended cruise vacations to Myanmar, multiple ports on Java and Borneo, and a bevy of islands in the Philippines to our menu, to satisfy your hunger for the exotic and exceptional. Why not join us for a voyage or two?

Hong Kong, China  |   Kaohsiung, Taiwan  |   Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan  |  Miyako, Japan  |  Motobu, Okinawa  |   Zhujiajian (Putuoshan), China  VX  |   Shanghai, China  ON TC VX  |   Kagoshima, Japan  |   Shimizu, Japan  |   Yokohama, Japan  ON  |   Kobe, Japan

  • OPERATES April 23, 2017
  • DEPARTS Hong Kong, China


DAY 1 Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong is divided into four sections: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and the numerous outlying islands. One hundred sixty-four square miles of dense real estate dominate Hong Kong Island, including enormous skyscrapers with futuristic architecture, opulent hotels, residential compounds on Victoria Peak, and some of the oldest Chinese communities in the region. All these elements create one of the most exotic and exciting ports of call in the world; one that is universally loved by tourists and its own enterprising citizens

DAY 2 At Sea

Choose from a variety of on-board entertainment and activity options.

DAY 3 Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Taiwan’s largest harbor is an important export hub for manufactured goods and tropical agricultural produce. The city’s skyline is dominated by the Tuntex Sky Tower, but it has also preserved a number of historical buildings from different periods including the 17th Century Dutch colonial era, and its Chinese, Japanese occupations. Visit the Old City of Zuoying, dating from the 17th-century Dutch colonial period, or enjoy the scenic seafront at Sizihwan and visit the pesky Formosan Rock Macaques at the Shoushan Monkey Mountain nature park.

DAY 4 Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan

Keelung is the second largest port in Taiwan, and a booming trade industry has turned it into a very prosperous city and international seaport. However, the main reason for calling here is to travel inland to visit the contemporary metropolis of Taipei. Not long ago, the scenic valley of the Tanshui River was home to rice and vegetable farmers, but today it is the site of Taiwan’s bustling center of culture, commerce and government.

DAY 5 Miyako, Japan

Miyako Island is generally agreed to possess Japan’s most beautiful beaches. Located south of the main island of Okinawa, its white sand strands and clear waters attract sun-seekers and water sports fans to its main town, Hirara. Maehama gets the top ranking among the beaches, although Yoshino and Suniyama are also contenders. To view the azure splendor of its seas from above, take the road out along Cape Higashi-Hennazaki on the southeast coast, where a handsome lighthouse adds a picturesque touch. In Hirari town, the 16th century tomb of the samurai hero Nakasone Tuyumya is another landmark. A botanical garden set among the islands sugarcane fields displays 1,600 species both local and imported.

DAY 6 Motobu, Okinawa

The site of the 1975 World Expo has been converted into Ocean Expo Park, a sprawling whose main feature is the Churaumi Aquarium, Japan’s largest, and only recently surpassed in size the one in Atlanta, Georgia in the US. It encompasses 77 tanks holding everything from corals, reef fish, mammals, to dolphins and deep-water species. The show-stopper is the Kuroshio Sea tank, which holds nearly two million gallons of water and fish up to the size of whale sharks. The park also offers a culture museum and a typical traditional Okinawan village. For a change of pace, you can stroll tranquil streets in nearby Bise, which are overhung by picturesque Fukugi trees.

DAY 7 At Sea

Choose from a variety of on-board entertainment and activity options.

DAY 8 Zhujiajian (Putuoshan), China VX

Zhujiajian is an ancient “watertown” that is today a suburb of Shanghai. The town is spread over a series of lakes and streams connected by 36 bridges, earning it the nickname of Shanghai’s Venice. It is a vestige of a China that is disappearing, and a stroll across its bridges, such as the stone Fangcheng bridge dating from 1571, and through its neighborhoods will reward a visitor with tranquil views of China’s past.

A short way offshore lies one of China’s most important Buddhist sites, which has attracted pilgrims for over a thousand years. The island of Putuoshan is named for Mt. Putuo, the highest peak in the archipelago. The mountain is one of four peaks in China sacred to Buddhists, and the island is a picturesque treasury of temples, over 80 monasteries and gardens that embody every nostalgic image of China one could hope for. The slopes rise from a shoreline boasting two lovely sand beaches; Hundred Step Beach and Thousand Step Beach, divided by a rocky promontory topped by a temple. The island’s main temple is dedicated to Guanyin, sometimes called Avalokitesvara, the Goddess of Mercy and Hearer of Cries, beloved of the common folk. On Longwu Hill stands a remarkable 33-meter statue of the Goddess, crafted of bronze and gold and erected in 1997, which continues to draw pilgrims from around China and the wider world.

DAY 9 Shanghai, China ON TC VX

“Paris of China” and “Pearl of the Orient,” the vibrant city of Shanghai is a shining symbol of the economic emergence of the world’s largest nation. A comfortable jumble of old and new, it is a city in seemingly unstoppable transition. Like the rest of China, Shanghai is undergoing one of the fastest economic expansions the world has ever seen, yet has striven to retain its historical roots. Today’s Shanghai is a montage of stunning architecture, mixed with noble reminders of long-gone eras. Shanghai, as you soon discover, has many faces

DAY 10 Shanghai, China TC VX

DAY 11 Shanghai, China TC VX

DAY 12 At Sea

Choose from a variety of on-board entertainment and activity options.

DAY 13 Kagoshima, Japan

Tucked into a deep-cut bay at the southern end of Kyushu Island, this port has been compared to Naples in Italy, because it is also dominated by views of an active stratovolcano, Sakurajima. Enjoy its magnificence from the Shiroyama Observatory, or from the tranquil Edo-period Senganen Japanese Garden. Ishibashi Park has three Edo-era stone bridges, of five originally built at the end of the 19th century. Near the port is the impressive Kagoshima Aquarium, with seven floors of displays including the massive Kuroshio Tank maintaining a current that sustains large specimens including a whale shark.

Day 14 At Sea

Choose from a variety of on-board entertainment and activity options.

DAY 15 Shimizu, Japan

A busy port located on the Suruga Bay, Shimizu is renowned for the surrounding views of Mt. Fuji. One of the most famous is from Miho no Matsubara, a shoreline lined with groves of lovely pine trees that is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. One tree, said to be over 650 years old, plays a part in a popular folkloric myth. On clear days, the snow-capped cone can also be viewed from the heights of the Nihondaira Plateau overlooking the city and the bay. Near the port, the four-story S Pulse Dream Plaza shopping mall boasts a museum dedicated to sushi!

DAY 16 Yokohama, Japan ON

An overnight stay at the port of Yokohama is meant to provide access for Tokyo, Japan’s capital and the most populous city on earth. There is more than enough variety in Tokyo to occupy a lifetime, but your visit may in include such highlights as the Imperial Palace and Gardens, a rickshaw ride through the historic Asakusa district and its Sensoji Temple, the huge National Museum, architectural oddities such as the Skytree Tower and the Tokyo Dome entertainment complex, or the shopping and entertainment meccas of Ginza, Roppongi or the dazzling electronics emporia of Akihabara. Your evening could include classical entertainment such as a kabuki performance, or the astonishing quirkiness of the teenaged fashion, cosplay and anime-fans along Takeshita Dori in Shinjuku.

DAY 17 Yokohama, Japan

DAY 18 At Sea

Choose from a variety of on-board entertainment and activity options.

DAY 19 Kobe, Japan

Once the busiest port in Japan, this attractive city was devastated by an earthquake in 1995 and even after rebuilding never regained its maritime dominance. Nevertheless, its ultra-modern Harborland, crowned by the Kobe Port Tower offers a warm welcome to the Kansai district of Japan. Kansai is ruled by a trio of Japan’s most important cities: Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto. One of the first cities in Japan opened to trade, Kobe has a cosmopolitan air that includes a venerable Chinatown and a section of 19th-Century Western-style buildings in the Kitano neighborhood. The city’s history began in the 3rd-Century with construction of the Ikuta Shrine. Many visitors ascend looming Mt. Rokko via the Shinkobe Ropeway, for panoramic views over the city and the glass-domed Nunobiki Herb Garden on the slopes. The Arima Onsen hot springs right in Kobe is one of Japan, most famous spas.

Massive Osaka is the largest of the trio of cities, with over 2.5 million people and attractions of its own including a reconstructed castle, the impressive Kaikuyan Aquarium and the odd-ball Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum commemorating the man who invented the ubiquitous cup-of-noodles.

The richest repository of Japanese culture, however, is centered in Kyoto, where a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses no fewer than 17 structures as the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. Castles, gardens, temples and other treasures abound, and make a compelling reason for visitors to make the pilgrimage from Kobe for the day.

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