Princess Cruises, the top North American cruise line in Japan, has announced their longest season there yet, with a variety of cruises from Tokyo and Kobe in 2018 that circumnavigate the country.
With Japanese maiden calls to Ishinomaki, Iwakuni, Sakata, Toba, and Yokkaichi, along with visits to South Korea, Taiwan, China, Russia, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, it’s looking like a busy season. These voyages are designed to offer guests an opportunity to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, and participate in some of the country’s largest festivals and special events. In addition, cruisetour itineraries will take travelers to the heart of Japanese culture in Kyoto and Tokyo, and include visits to Togendai, Lake Ashi, and Mt. Fuji.
2018 Japan program highlights include:
Festivals and Special Events
Three Spring Flowers cruises depart in April, giving guests access to Japan’s largest Tulip Fair and some of the country’s best cherry blossom viewing sites. Travelers can also enjoy the best summer festivals on five 8 to 19-day voyages visiting the Aomori Nebuta and Akita Kanto festivals, with late night stays in both cities. Six Fall Foliage cruises depart early October and November, bringing guests to regions of Japan that show the changing colors of the Japanese Maple and Ginkgo trees as summer turns into fall.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The 2018 season will include access to 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the historic temples and shrines of Kyoto and Nara, Mt. Fuji, and the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima.
More Ashore + Getaway Cruises
Diamond Princess itineraries will be visiting 12 ports with late night calls, featuring longer stays every time the ship stops in Hakodate for awe-inspiring nighttime city views – nationally known as one of the country’s top three night views.
For a shorter cruising experience, there will be five-night voyages throughout the season roundtrip from Tokyo visiting Busan, South Korea and Yokkaichi; a new port that gives access to the Ise Grand Shrine near Matsusaka, known for its exquisite beef.
Princess Cruises will be offering two cruisetour options in Japan, to explore Kyoto and Tokyo. The Highlights of Japan tour includes the main sights in Kyoto and Tokyo, sightseeing at Nijo-jo Castle, the Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and popular Japanese gardens. After Tokyo, guests will visit Mt. Fuji.
The Temple & Traditions of Japan tour is an extended version of the highlights tour with two additional nights in the Creative City of Kanazawa. Guests can roam Higashi Chaya, as well as Nomura Samurai House. Guests will also have the chance to participate in a Japanese Washi paper-making demonstration as well as a sushi-making experience.
Diamond Princess features the line’s signature amenities, like the Movies Under the Stars poolside screen and The Sanctuary retreat, but it also offers features designed to enhance the cultural experience of Japan, including:
- Izumi Japanese Bath – the largest of its kind at sea and modeled after the Japanese onsen experience
- Kai Sushi restaurant – boasting made-to-order sushi and Japanese sake
- Noodle stations – serving a rotating choice of ramen, soba, and udon noodles
- Tamagoyaki – a traditional Japanese omelet available daily for breakfast
- Unique entertainment such as “rakugo” storytelling performances and origami classes
- Extensive luxury brand shopping
- International cuisine – dining room menus feature a wide variety of dishes, including Japanese options on all menus
- Onboard items and stateroom information available in both English and Japanese
A total of 63 voyages are open for sale aboard the Japanese-built Diamond Princess, ranging from 4 to 23 nights with 38 destinations in 7 countries. The 2018 season runs from April to December.
Featured photo: Flickr Creative Commons