The Best of Japan – From Maizuru To Osaka Luxury Cruise

The Best of Japan – From Maizuru To Osaka Luxury Cruise

From AUD $12,500


Ponant invites you on a timeless journey around the fascinating and surprising Empire of the Rising Sun, where unbridled modernism and ancestral traditions form a delightful blend, where the history of the samurai rubs shoulders with the delicateness of the geisha, and where the aromas of the tea plantations intermingle with the fragrances of cherry blossom. From Maizuru, set sail aboard Le Soléal for a cruise with a thousand traditions, with the exceptional presence onboard of the Japanese chef Mitsuru Tsukada. For 9 days, during various ports of call, you will have the opportunity to explore an unrivalled cultural heritage as well as an incomparable gastronomic heritage. On the programme: culinary activities, sake tasting, dinners featuring traditional flavours, discussions with the chef…
Throughout your journey, you will benefit from an excursion included per person per port of call, to choose from a selection offered by PONANT. During this cruise, explore the picturesque city of Chiran and its ancestral history from Kagoshima, discover the cultural heritage of Nagasaki, or appreciate the natural jewels of Uwajima. The diversity of experiences on offer promises you intense and varied moments (to discover the full range of excursions, go to the itinerary tab).
At the whim of the trade winds in the Sea of Japan, Le Soléal will sail eastbound for the charming feudal city of Sakaiminato. Here you will get a real glimpse into medieval Japan and allow yourself to fall under the spell of the samurai residences edging the picturesque little streets of the old city.
Then you will sail to South Korea, a small peninsula that juts out into the Sea of Japan, and discover Busan, South Korea’s second city. A place of great contrasts, Busan offers a spectacular view over its port, as well as over the ancient district of Chalgachi.
Further south, Nagasaki remains in the world’s imagination as the symbol of nuclear horror. Fortunately, in the same way as Hiroshima, the city has become one the archipelago’s most peaceful towns as well as one of its most attractive. The warm and cosmopolitan city unveils its many riches throughout its narrow streets: the Oura Catholic Church and its gardens, the Suwa Shrine, the sumptuous Buddhist temples…
Hiroshima does not seek to elicit strong emotions. Opposite the Inland Sea, only the Hiroshima Peace Memorial bears witness to past events in the city known as a “City of Peace”. It is resolutely future looking and you will be able to appreciate its modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere, the hustle and bustle of its lively streets and the tranquillity of its natural settings, such as the splendid Shukkei-en, the city’s historic gardens.
The jagged coastlines of the captivating Miyajima Island, also known as Itsukushima, come into view, and the vermillion Torii of the emblematic Shinto Shrine of Itsukushima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unfolds before you in a lush forest setting. Time here seems stuck in the feudal era: the frenetic energy and modernity of the large Japanese metropolises make way for striking serenity and tranquillity, and hundreds of deer wander between its spiritual and architectural treasures.
Following the currents, clinging to the shores of the Seto Inland Sea, Le Soléal will sail east. At the foot of a tropical forest burgeoning with life, Tamano stands proudly in the middle of this enchanting environment. Last port of call of your journey, it still bears the traces of traditional Japanese life in the 18th century, as the particular architecture of the town demonstrates.

Trip Name
The Best of Japan - From Maizuru To Osaka Luxury Cruise
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship Length: 142 metres Passenger Capacity: 264 Built: 2013 Sailing under the French flag, this magnificent yacht of only 132 staterooms and suites, with balconies, joined in 2013. You will be enchanted by the contemporary decor inspired by the luxury yachting world, with fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white. A refined ambience is enhanced by the quality of the workmanship and materials: white Corian counters in the lobby contrast with the warmth of leather to recall a boat's hull, while the central scuplture of enamelled pieces takes its inspiration from the sea.  In the loungebar, the carpet picks up a tennis stripe theme symbolising a certain idea of cruising, one synonomous with French elegance and a chic seaside spirit.


Day 1 - Day 1 MAIZURU
 Located on the western coast of Honshu island, in the province of Kyoto, the charming town of Maizuru boasts one of Japan’s most exquisite closed bays. A climb to the observatory allows to appreciate the splendour of this inlet scattered with tiny wild islands. Visitors can also admire the treasures of traditional architecture by visiting the temple of Enryu-ji or the Tanabe-jo castle. The town also bears traces of a rich military past, which you can see in the old arsenals of the navy, red brick buildings that today house a museum.
 Located on the south-west coast of Honshu Island, the busy fishing port of Sakaiminato celebrates the comic writer and artist Shigeru Mizuki, who was born here. As well as a museum a dedicated tourist route leads through streets and squares that feature 134 bronze statues representing his beloved characters. This isn't the only thing Sakaiminato has to offer; try some local seafood specialities and enjoy the stunning views of Mt Daisen and the Yumigahama peninsula.
Day 3 - Day 3 BUSAN
 With around four million inhabitants, Busan is the second largest metropolis on South Korea, after Seoul. This dynamic harbour city, located in the south-east, surrounded by the warm waters of the Sea of Japan, benefits from a mild, pleasant climate. You’ll find 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 4 - Day 4 NAGASAKI
 Located on the north-west coast of Kyushu, Nagasaki will impress you by its rich heritage. Despite the destruction in 1945, you can visit several ancient sites, including the beautiful 19th-century Catholic Church of Oura and its garden, the sanctuary of Suwa Shrine or several Buddhist temples. A visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum gives you insight into the extent of the damage caused by the nuclear attack. Close by, a walk in the Memorial Peace Park leads you to a collection of objets d'art offered as a gift from Japan to the world.
Day 5 - Day 5 KAGOSHIMA
 The seaside city of Kagoshima, at the south of Kyushu Island, ᅠis 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 metres 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 6 - Day 6 UWAJIMA
 Located on the west coast of Shikoku island, Uwajima will delight lovers of history and traditional customs. The magnificent Uwajima Castle was built in the 17th-century by the powerful Date clan and has a beautiful ornamental garden and bridge. The much-visited Taga Shrine is dedicated to fertility and is full of phalluses. As for eating, you must taste jakoten, a local delicacy based on fried fish.
 Visiting Hiroshima is a moving experience. The town spreads along Honshu Island, along the inside coasts of Seto. While firmly focused on the future, Hiroshima doesn't forget its past, and a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome is a must. You'll enjoy the city's modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and effervescent nightlife just as much as the peaceful stillness of its natural parkland areas such as splendid Shukkei-en, the town's historic garden. At the heart of the Inland Sea, Miyajima, the “island sanctuary” will reveal its treasures. In the background you will see the Shinto Grand Sanctuary, whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermillion “Torii“. Considered to be one of the most beautiful sites in the Japanese islands, you will be transported by the unique character and the serenity of this sacred site.
Day 8 - Day 8 TAMANO
 Located on the island of Honshu, hugging the banks of the Sento Inland Sea, Tamano is a popular destination thanks to its sun-drenched climate. Upon arrival, marvel at the way in which the city has been built along the coast at the foot of a deep, dark forest. In the area surrounding Tamano, stroll down the streets of Kurashiki, known as the 'white-walled city' in a nod to the pretty façades of the houses that line the streets of this ancient Edo-period trading town. Another major regional attraction is the Seto Ohashi bridge. Its 12.5 kilometres make it the world's longest double-decker bridge.
Day 9 - Day 9 OSAKA
 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 give 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 specialities: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.
Day 10 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
14-05-202522-05-2025AUD $12,500Superior Stateroom
14-05-202522-05-2025AUD $13,600DeLuxe Stateroom
14-05-202522-05-2025AUD $15,180Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
14-05-202522-05-2025AUD $15,980Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
14-05-202522-05-2025AUD $16,930Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
14-05-202522-05-2025AUD $23,890Deluxe Suite
14-05-202522-05-2025AUD $32,590Prestige Suite - Deck 5
14-05-202522-05-2025AUD $34,340Prestige Suite - Deck 6
14-05-202522-05-2025AUD $39,570Owner’s Suite


    • A cruise discovering the Empire of the Rising Sun, its culture, its ancestral traditions, its gastronomic heritage and its emblematic sites.
    • With featured guest Japanese chef Mitsuru Tsukada.
    • A culinary exploration via highlights: dinners featuring Japanese flavours, gastronomic activities and demonstrations, sake tasting, and so on.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Miyajima Sanctuary and its vermillion Torii, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
    • Make the most of an excursion included per person per port of call during your cruise thanks to the selection made by our destination experts.
    • Sakaiminato or medieval Japan and the former homes of the Samurais.
    • The visits to the Peace Memorial and Peace Museum in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the martyred cities of the Second World War.
    • The port of call on the island of Uwajima, with its strong feudal past and ancestral traditions.
    • Discovering Tamano, a former feudal domain with a surprising cultural heritage, and its famous “black castle”.
    • A passionate lecturer on board.