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Luxury Expedition Cruises

Wonders of Japan Cruise: Cherry Blossom Season 2022


14 days from $18,995 per person was $20,995

Limited to 199 guests

Offer

Save $2,000 per person on all stateroom categories and suites.

Experience fascinating Japan during springtime with a chance to witness the country’s iconic cherry blossoms alongside a professional photographer. Spanning five islands, this all-encompassing cruise explores Japan’s culturally rich coastline with a pre-cruise stay in Osaka and included shore excursions throughout, including a visit to Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, the Adachi Museum of Art and its gardens, and Kanazawa’s historic district.

A&K Advantages

  • Witness private performances by the world-renowned Kodo taiko drummers, Kabuki warriors and geishas
  • Immerse yourself in mesmerizing Japanese gardens, perhaps visiting the Adachi Museum of Art gardens
  • Visit Gyeongju, South Korea, ancient dynastic capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Reflect on Japan’s turbulent history and witness its miraculous resurgence in Hiroshima
  • Enjoy fascinating onboard lectures and presentations led by our enrichment specialists on Japanese history, culture and gardens

Featured Experts

Itinerary at a Glance

MAR 22
Arrive Osaka, Japan
MAR 23
Osaka | Cultural Wonders
MAR 24
Osaka | The Adventure Begins
MAR 25
Takamatsu | Explore Your Way
MAR 26
Hiroshima & Miyajima | Memorials & Shrines
MAR 27
Uwajima | Seaside Splendor
MAR 28
Karatsu | Ancient Trading Post
MAR 29
Gyeongju, South Korea | Korean Capital
MAR 30
Matsue, Japan | Verdant Gardens
MAR 31
Kanazawa | Immersion into the Arts
APR 1
Sado-ga-Shima | Kodo Taiko Drummers
APR 2
At Sea | Hokkaido Island Cruising
APR 3
Otaru | Historic Canals
APR 4
Depart Sapporo

Extend Your Journey

Kyoto Pre-Tour Extension 4 days from $4,495 per person Learn More
Tokyo Post-Tour Extension 4 days from $6,295 per person Learn More
View Full Itinerary
MAR 22
Arrive Osaka, Japan

Meet your A&K representative and transfer to your ideally located hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

The Ritz-Carlton Osaka
MAR 23
Osaka | Cultural Wonders

Begin your adventure with a chance to explore one of Japan’s most vibrant cities: Osaka. On a full-day excursion to Kyoto, visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji Temple), attend a talk about Zen Buddhism at Tenryuji Temple, and explore Nijo Castle. You can also enjoy a historic voyage to Nara, the first Japanese capital, including Horyu-ji, the country’s oldest temple. For an incredible overview, take a scenic drive to Uji, possibly enjoying the sight of cherry trees blossoming along Uji River. Gather this evening for a welcome reception and dinner with fellow guests.

The Ritz-Carlton Osaka
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MAR 24
Osaka | The Adventure Begins

After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy the morning at leisure or join a panoramic tour of Osaka that includes a visit to the Dotonbori district and the imposing Osaka Castle. Enjoy lunch followed by a stroll through the wandering paths of Taiko-en Garden, admiring its ponds and stone bridges. This afternoon, transfer to Kobe where you board your luxurious expedition cruiser and home for the next 11 nights.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MAR 25
Takamatsu | Explore Your Way

Wake up in charming Takamatsu, the gateway to Shikoku Island. Opt for a boat ride to Shodoshima, the heart of Japan’s olive-growing industry, for a full-day tour. You may otherwise remain on Shikoku Island. Here, your day starts with a visit to picture-perfect Ritsurin Park, one of Japan’s finest gardens. Next, explore the Kinashi area of Takamatsu, among the country’s main bonsai production centers, where you learn about traditional methods of growing and caring for these meticulously cultivated little trees. A few others may travel to Naoshima Island by ferry for a full-day excursion, celebrating its architecture and art museums. Visit the hillside Chichu Art Museum and stop at Benesse House, a complex featuring unique work by both Japanese and international artists.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MAR 26
Hiroshima & Miyajima | Memorials & Shrines

Vibrant and full of historical significance, Hiroshima is home to magnificent memorials and shrines. Start the day with a visit to the beautiful Peace Park and Museum, with its somber cenotaph containing names of atomic bomb victims. Then, take a speedboat ride to Miyajima Island, site of the iconic Torii Gate and the Daisho-in Buddhist temple. Or enjoy a full-day excursion through Hiroshima, visiting the Hiroshima Castle and namesake Peace Park and Museum, where you attend a private talk with an atomic bomb survivor. If you prefer a day in nature, head out to the tranquil island of Miyajima. Ascend Mount Misen by cable car for a hike, admiring the Shinto shrine and Torii Gate from above.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MAR 27
Uwajima | Seaside Splendor

Spend the day in Uwajima, situated on the west coast of Shikoku and home to Japan’s main producers of pearls, for a glimpse of small-town living. While there, learn the process of cultivating and sorting pearls during a visit to a pearl farm. Continue to the samurai-era gardens of Tensha-en, with their spectacular mountain backdrop. Alternatively, explore Nanraku-en Garden, the largest on Shikoku, and enjoy a scenic hike in picturesque Yakushidani Canyon. Another option is a historic stroll to Yoshida along a cherry tree-lined lane, followed by an old town visit that includes a historic Kabuki theater. Return to the ship for a relaxing evening on board.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MAR 28
Karatsu | Ancient Trading Post

This afternoon, your luxury expedition vessel arrives at 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.” Tour the Hikiyama Exhibition Hall, which houses the floats and artifacts used in the annual Karatsu Kunchi autumn festival. Alternatively, head to the city of Imari to visit its celebrated porcelain pottery kilns and the Mifuneyama Rakuen garden.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MAR 29
Gyeongju, South Korea | Korean Capital

Disembark and spend a full day exploring Gyeongju, South Korea, the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gyeongju’s cultural heritage dates back to the first millennium. Witness its excavated temples, tombs and pagodas. Then, view the treasures of the National Museum, which houses an exceptional collection of jewelry, weapons and pottery. Sit down to a lunch of Korean delicacies and witness a traditional dance performance.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MAR 30
Matsue, Japan | Verdant Gardens

Return to Japan and disembark at Sakaiminato to visit Matsue, the “town of water.” Explore the countryside, pausing to wander through the picturesque Yuushien Garden. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting historic Matsue Castle, one of Japan’s few remaining medieval castles, built in original wooden form. Art lovers can visit the Adachi Museum of Art, which melds the founders’ passions for art and garden design. After a traditional lunch at a ryokan (inn), visit Yakumo-mura village to learn about the art of Japanese paper making.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MAR 31
Kanazawa | Immersion into the Arts

Spend the day in the thriving art center of Kanazawa, known for its Kutani-style pottery and gold-leaf workmanship, followed by a visit to Edo-period Kenrokuen Garden, considered among the best in Japan. For a more active alternative, take a hike in Kakusenkei Gorge with a soothing onsen (spa) experience in the Yamanaka Onsen district. Wander Omicho Market, which features everything from fresh flowers to fish, and then stroll in the Higashi Chaya-gai geisha district, with its well-preserved historic geisha houses.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
APR 1
Sado-ga-Shima | Kodo Taiko Drummers

Arrive at pastoral Sado Island, with its rice paddies, bamboo groves and surf-pounded seacoasts. Political exiles and deposed emperors were once “banished” to live on this beautiful isle. Enjoy an exclusive, private performance by the Kodo taiko drummers, and then visit the Hakusanmaru Exhibition Hall and Ogi Folk Museum, followed by a farmer’s talk at the rice paddies.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
APR 2
At Sea | Hokkaido Island Cruising

Enjoy a relaxing day on board while cruising toward Hokkaido. Share stories and photographs with newfound friends and take advantage of the ship facilities, including relaxing lounges, the panoramic fitness room and sauna.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
APR 3
Otaru | Historic Canals

Arrive in Otaru, your gateway to Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. Visit the city known for its canals, sake distilleries, architecture and views of Mount Tengu. Opt for a historical and cultural tour of the city, once a prosperous fishing village. Afterward, discover Otaru’s storied glassmaking and visit a sake distillery, where you may sample the rice wine. Whiskey lovers can learn about Japanese whiskey during a visit and tasting at Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery while others can choose to stroll along the city’s canals.

'Le Soleal'
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
APR 4
Depart Sapporo

Disembark luxury ‘Le Soleal’ in Otaru. Transfer to the airport in Sapporo and board your homebound flight or continue on the Tokyo extension.

Meals: Breakfast

Note: Itinerary is for guidance purposes only and may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances including weather, medical emergencies and other conditions beyond A&K’s control at the sole discretion of the Captain.

While the itinerary is scheduled over estimated cherry blossom dates, this natural phenomenon is subject to climate and weather, and cannot be guaranteed. Excursions may be altered to offer optimum opportunities to view the cherry blossoms if available.

Kyoto Pre-Tour Extension

Discover timeless Kyoto, visiting its temples and gardens, exploring its buzzy districts and witnessing its traditions.

Asia-Japan-Kyoto-Golden-Pavilion-Extension

4 days from $4,495 per person

Single Supplement from $2,195 per person

MAR 19

Arrive in Osaka and transfer to Kyoto, cultural and historic capital of Japan. Check into your tranquil hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Hyatt Regency Kyoto
MAR 20

Travel through the busy lanes of the Higashiyama district to Kiyomizu Temple. Visit its main hall, a remarkable 17th-century wooden structure set on a steep cliff and offering panoramic views of Kyoto. Take a guided tour of a machiya, a traditional wooden town house, and try on a kimono. After lunch, return to your hotel for time at leisure.

Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
MAR 21

Set out on an enlightening tour of Kyoto. Visit the iconic rock garden at Ryoan-ji Temple, considered a supreme example of an abstract Zen garden, and Arashiyama, where you take in its famed bamboo grove and stroll its Togetsukyo Bridge over the picturesque Katsura River.

Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
MAR 22

Transfer to Osaka and begin your main program.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Tokyo Post-Tour Extension

Explore Tokyo’s markets and museums, experience hands-on art making, and take a day trip to Hakone.

Japan Tokyo Skyline

4 days from $6,295 per person

Single Supplement from $2,395 per person

Sapporo/Tokyo

One-way internal air included

APR 4

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

Conrad Tokyo
Meals: Lunch
APR 5

Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market and Imperial Palace Plaza. Alternately, travel to Hakone, enjoy a boat tour on Lake Ashi and visit Hakone's Open Air Museum, followed by a puzzle box-making experience.

Conrad Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
APR 6

Visit the Asakusa district and Shunkaen Bonsai Museum, or visit the Meiji Shrine and Nezu Museum with an Edo-period dyeing experience, or visit a sumo training quarters and the Edo-Tokyo Museum. This evening, join fellow guests for a farewell dinner.

Conrad Tokyo
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
APR 7

Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.

Meals: Breakfast


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

  • 2022
  • Mar 22 - Apr 04
    Special Offer
    Waitlist - Call A&K
    Cabin Class
    Price
    Single Supplement
    Availability
    Cabin Class
    Category 1 - Classic Stateroom
    Price
    $18,995 was $20,995
    Single Supplement
    $15,745
    Availability
    Waitlist - Call A&K

    Optional pre-tour and post-tour extensions available on this departure.

    Call for pricing and availability for other stateroom categories and suites.

    'Le Soleal' Deck Plan
Journey Details

This journey contains some active elements.

Note: Itinerary is for guidance purposes only and may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances including weather, medical emergencies and other conditions beyond A&K’s control at the sole discretion of the Captain.

While the itinerary is scheduled over estimated cherry blossom dates, this natural phenomenon is subject to climate and weather, and cannot be guaranteed. Excursions may be altered to offer optimum opportunities to view the cherry blossoms if available.

Minimum age is 7 years.

Categories 4–8 include room upgrade at the hotel and butler service aboard the ship.

First group event: morning excursion on Mar 23.

Last group event: disembarkation by 9:00 am in Otaru on Apr 4.


Special Offer Terms & Conditions

Offer subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.


Preparing for Your Journey

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