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Luxury Expedition Cruises

Wonders of Japan Cruise 2018


14 Days from $15,495 was $18,495

Limited to 199 guests

Offer

Book early and save $3,000 per person on Cabin Categories 1, 2, and 3. Book by Nov 30, 2017.

Experience scenic, compelling Japan, visiting unique ports and rarely seen wilderness areas in luxury on board exclusively chartered 'L'Austral.' Listen to fascinating lectures from A&K's award-winning expedition team and choose from a variety of enriching experiences en route.

A&K Advantages

Gain incomparable insight into Japan as you travel in the company of A&K's award-winning expedition team, local experts and guides

Cruise aboard luxurious, exclusively chartered 'L'Austral,' with no more than 199 guests for optimal comfort

Travel with peace of mind knowing all gratuities, shore excursions and bar drinks are included

Discover Japan in a way only possible by small ship, visiting unique ports and off-the-beaten-path wilderness areas

Be among the first cruise passengers to visit the village of Karatsu

Visit Gyeongju, Korea, ancient dynastic capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site

Reflect on Japan's turbulent history and witness its miraculous resurgence at Hiroshima

Witness a private performance by the world-renowned Kodo drummers

Enjoy fascinating onboard discussions and experiences on Japanese art and culture, history, geology, economy and horticulture

Choose from a wide array of included shore excursions, including opportunities to delve deeper into Japan's culture, architecture, arts and natural history

Set out on incomparable art experiences during visits to the Chichu Art Museum, O'Hara Museum of Art and the Adachi Museum of Art

Enjoy exclusive welcome and farewell ceremonies in select ports of call

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1
Arrive Osaka, Japan
Day 2
Kyoto | Cultural Epicenter
Day 3
Osaka | The Adventure Begins
Day 4
Takamatsu | Explore Your Way
Day 5
Hiroshima/Miyajima | Hiroshima & the Iconic Torii Gate
Day 6
Karatsu | Ancient Trading Post
Day 7
Gyeongju, South Korea | Ancient Korean Capital
Day 8
Matsue, Japan | Verdant Gardens
Days 9-10
Kanazawa | Epicenter for the Arts
Day 11
Sado-ga-shima | Kodo Drummers
Day 12
Noshiro/Aomori | Ancient Caldera Lake
Day 13
Otaru | Historic Canal
Day 14
Depart Sapporo

Extend Your Journey

Post-Tour Extension 4 Days from $3,695 Learn More
View Full Itinerary
Day 1
Arrive Osaka, Japan

Cross the International Dateline and arrive at Osaka’s Kansai International Airport. After clearing customs and immigration, meet your A&K representative and transfer to your tranquil Kyoto hotel, situated in a historic area of Higashiyama Shichijo. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Alternately, with guidance from our experts, set out to explore Kyoto at your own pace. This culturally rich former capital features over 2,000 temples and shrines, 17 of which have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Because the city largely avoided bombing during WWII, its historic aura remains intact.

Hyatt Regency Kyoto
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Day 2
Kyoto | Cultural Epicenter

Set out on an enlightening tour of Kyoto, paying visits to Nijo Castle, the Golden Pavilion and Tenryuji Temple, where you attend a talk about Zen Buddhism. Pause for lunch at a local restaurant. Then, continue to the Heian Shrine before returning to your hotel. Gather this evening for a welcome reception and dinner with fellow guests, your A&K Expedition team and local guides who will be accompanying you and enriching your voyage.

Hyatt Regency Kyoto
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Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3
Osaka | The Adventure Begins

After breakfast at the hotel, embark on a guided walking tour of the temples in the surrounding Higashiyama Shichijo district. After lunch, transfer from Kyoto to Osaka, where you board luxurious ‘L’Austral,’ your luxurious floating home for the next 11 nights.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4
Takamatsu | Explore Your Way

Arrive this morning in Takamatsu, gateway to Shikoku Island. Choose from a wide array of excursions, revolving around nature, gastronomy, arts or culture. You may, for example, opt to travel to Naoshima Island by ferry for a full-day excursion, celebrating its architecture and art museums. Visit the breathtaking, hillside Chichu Art Museum and stop at Benesse House, a complex featuring unique work by Japanese and international artists. Alternately, board a high-speed boat to Shodoshima, or Shodo Island, the heart of Japan’s olive-growing industry for a full-day tour. Otherwise, you may remain on Shikoku Island, experiencing Takamatsu’s most acclaimed features. Begin with a visit to Ritsurin Park, one of Japan’s finest gardens. After taking in the pond, bridge and hill-stippled setting, attend a hands-on udon noodle-making demonstration to gain insight into this local culinary art. Spend the rest of the day at your own pace in the lovely port of Takamatsu, with time to explore the shops and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Return to the ship at leisure.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5
Hiroshima/Miyajima | Hiroshima & the Iconic Torii Gate

Arrive in the port of Hiroshima, where you may opt to visit the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum, its cenotaph containing names of the known victims of the atomic bomb. Then, take a speedboat ride to Miyajima Island to witness the scarlet Torii gate at the entrance to the sacred Shinto Shrine. Or take a full-day excursion through Hiroshima, visiting the Hiroshima Castle and Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum, where you attend a private talk with an atomic bomb survivor. Alternately, spend a full day on the tranquil island of Miyajima, including the Itsukushima-Jinja, the shrine complex listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Treasure. Ascend Mount Misen by cable car for a hike. Then, admire the Shinto Shrine and Torii Gate. Return to your vessel and continue sailing through the Kamnon Strait en route to the Korea Strait.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6
Karatsu | Ancient Trading Post

This afternoon, ‘L’Austral’ makes her inaugural visit to the port of Karatsu. Once an early trading post between Japan and mainland Asia, Karatsu still maintains its medieval heritage. Visit Karatsu Castle, known as the “flying crane castle.” Pay a visit to the Hikiyama Exhibition Hall, which houses the floats and artifacts used in the annual Karatsu Kunchi autumn festival, recently inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. You may also visit Ningyo Joruri (puppet theater) and the Nakazato Taroemon Kiln, a ceramic studio that has been active since the late 16th century. Alternatively, visit the Kitahata Shige region to meet green tea farmers and to pick your own tea leaves.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7
Gyeongju, South Korea | Ancient Korean Capital

Disembark and spend a full day exploring Gyeongju, South Korea, ancient capital of the Shilla Dynasty and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gyeongju’s cultural heritage dates back to the first millennium, when it began a 1,000-year rule of Korea. Witness its excavated monuments, temples, tombs and pagodas, gaining insight from your cultural historian. Then, unearth the treasures of the National Museum, which houses an exceptional collection of gold jewelry, metal weapons and distinctive pottery. Sit down to a lunch of Korean delicacies, and witness a traditional dance performance.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8
Matsue, Japan | Verdant Gardens

Return to Japan and disembark at Sakaiminato to visit Matsue, the “town of water,” nestled between a scenic lake and a large lagoon. Choose to explore the countryside, pausing at the Peonies Village to wander through its picturesque Yuushien Garden. Pause for lunch at a local restaurant before visiting historic Matsue Castle, one of Japan’s few remaining medieval castles, built in original wooden form. Alternately, visit the garden-frocked Adachi Museum of Art, which melds the founders’ passions for art and garden design. Following a traditional lunch at a ryokan (inn), visit Yakumo-mura village to learn about the art of Japanese paper-making.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 9-10
Kanazawa | Epicenter for the Arts

Spend the next two days exploring the thriving art center of Kanazawa, known for its Kutani-style pottery and gold-leaf workmanship. Choose from various experiences that allow you to traverse its winding cobblestone streets. Perhaps see traditional houses, museums and galleries, and view a geisha performance at Higashi Chaia geisha district. At your leisure, wander through its Omicho Market, which features everything from fresh flowers to fish and local handicrafts. Later, partake in a tea ceremony and discover the sophisticated Kenroku-en Garden, known for its contemplative botanical designs. Or, choose a more active excursion that includes a hike in Kakusenkei Gorge; lunch at a local restaurant; and an onsen (spa) experience in the Yamanaka Onsen district, or a visit to scenic Shirakawa-go and the Shogawa River Valley.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11
Sado-ga-shima | Kodo Drummers

Travel off the beaten path and arrive at pastoral Sado Island, replete with rice paddies, bamboo groves and dramatic, surf-pounded seacoasts. Political exiles, deposed emperors and intellectuals were once “banished” to live in this beautiful setting. Today, enjoy an exclusive, private performance by the fabled Kodo Taiko drummers, an exhilarating experience followed by a rare opportunity to meet the world-famous troupe. Return to your ship and set sail for the west coast of Japan’s mainland.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12
Noshiro/Aomori | Ancient Caldera Lake

Disembark in Noshiro and head to Towada-Hachimantai National Park, passing en route through the panoramic mountain plateau region of Hachimantai, part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Pause at the Great Drum House to witness the drums used in the Tsuzureko Shrine Festival. Then, hike or take a boat ride at the ancient caldera of Lake Towada, formed by the eruption of a volcano. For a more in-depth nature experience, you may choose a trekking excursion to Juniko Lake alongside an A&K naturalist and a national park nature guide. Later this afternoon, re-board your vessel in Aomori.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13
Otaru | Historic Canal

Arrive in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. Shortly after lunch, disembark in Otaru, a picturesque city known for its canal, well-preserved architecture, handicrafts, sake distilleries and stunning views of Mount Tengu. You may opt to take a historical and cultural tour of the city, once a prosperous fishing village. At the impressively crafted “Herring Mansion,” learn the history of the prominent Aoyama family, local fishing industry and artwork on display. Afterward, discover Otaru’s storied glass-making and visit a sake distillery, where you may sample its rice wine. End with a visit to the city’s historic canal; once filled with fishing barges, it is now lined with museums and shops, which are situated in converted warehouses. Or, choose to visit Mount Tengu by gondola, taking in panoramic views of Otaru Port and Ishikari Bay. During a nature walk, you may see the 100-year-old cherry tree. Then, visit the Tengu House, where nearly 700 goblin masks from throughout Japan are exhibited. After your descent back to the city, partake in a hands-on glass-making workshop and head to see the famous canal. Spend the evening in port in Otaru.

'L'Austral'
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Deck Plan
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14
Depart Sapporo

After breakfast on board ‘L’Austral,’ transfer to the airport. Board your homebound flight, join the post-cruise group extension to Tokyo, or continue onward with your independent travels.

Meals: Breakfast

Post-Tour Extension

Japan Tokyo Skyline

4 Days from $3,695

Available to add to select departure dates.
See Dates & Prices for details

Day 1

Fly from Sapporo to Tokyo. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and check in to your hotel.

Conrad Tokyo
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Meals: Lunch
Day 2

Visit the Tsukiji Outer Fish Market and Meiji Jingu shrine or the Hakone ropeway. Then, cruise Lake Ashi, followed by a puzzle box-making experience

Conrad Tokyo
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Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3

Visit the Asakusa District and the Shunkaen Bonsai Museum or tour Tokyo, visiting Asakusa and the Edo Tokyo Museum with a glass-cutting experience. Join fellow guests for a farewell reception and dinner.

Conrad Tokyo
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Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4

Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.

Meals: Breakfast


Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy.

  • May 16 - May 29
    Special Offer
    Available
    Cabin Class
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Availability
    Cabin Class
    Category 1 - Classic Balcony Stateroom
    Price
    $15,495 was $18,495
    Single Supplement
    $9,245
    Availability
    Available
    Cabin Class
    Category 2 - Deluxe Balcony Stateroom
    Price
    $16,495 was $19,495
    Single Supplement
    $9,745
    Availability
    Limited Availability
    Cabin Class
    Category 3 - Premier Balcony Stateroom
    Price
    $17,495 was $20,495
    Single Supplement
    $10,245
    Availability
    Call for Availability
    Cabin Class
    Category 4 - Superior Balcony Stateroom
    Price
    $22,995
    Single Supplement
    $11,495
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    Cabin Class
    Category 5 - Premier Balcony Suite
    Price
    $25,995
    Single Supplement
    $19,495
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    Cabin Class
    Category 6 - Prestige Balcony Suite
    Price
    $28,995
    Single Supplement
    $21,795
    Availability
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    Cabin Class
    Category 7 - Prestige 2-room balcony suite
    Price
    $29,995
    Single Supplement
    $22,495
    Availability
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    Cabin Class
    Category 8 - Owners Balconysuite
    Price
    $35,995
    Single Supplement
    $28,795
    Availability
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    How many people are travelling in your group?
    Please enter a group size 1-10.
Special Offer Terms & Conditions

Offer valid on Cabin Categories 1-3 when reserved by November 30, 2017. Subject to availability.


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