Treasures of Japan with South Korea

Treasures of Japan with South Korea

From USD $15,980


A classic Zegrahm expedition, not only will you enjoy a thorough Japan tour, you’ll also spend a full day in Gyeongju, South Korea. Other highlights include visiting sacred Shinto shrines and ancient Buddhist temples, discovering Hiroshima, and spending time in Matsue.

Trip Name
Treasures of Japan with South Korea
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 90 metres Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites) Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012 The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows. If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere. Your Suite Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub. Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Your space The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request. Your dining With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board. For your comfort, safety and security The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only. Gratuities Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.


Day 1 - Day 1 Osaka, Japan / Kyoto
Arrive in Osaka and transfer to Kyoto, Japan’s lovely cultural capital. Check in to the Hotel Okura for dinner and overnight.
Day 2 - Day 2 Kyoto
After breakfast, visit Nijo Castle, one of the best surviving examples of palace architecture from Japan’s feudal era. Then visit the stunning Golden Pavilion, a picturesque temple overlooking a serene pond. In the afternoon, tour the exquisite Kiyomizu-dera Temple with its sacred waterfall, and the Heian-jingu Shrine and its gardens, built in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 - Day 3 Kyoto / Kobe / Embark Caledonian Sky
Today, visit the 12th-century Sanjusangen-do Temple, housing the Thousand-Armed Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, before lunch at a local restaurant. Then take one of Japan’s famed bullet trains for the port city of Kobe. Board the Caledonian Sky this afternoon.
Day 4 - Days 4 & 5 Uno-ko / Naoshima
Visit some of the many contemporary art museums in Naoshima. The Benesse House Museum, features interesting displays that combine art and nature through the collaborative efforts of many world-renowned artists and architects. The Chichu Art Museum, literally, “in the earth,” houses a number of site-specific installations by James Turrell and Walter De Maria, and paintings by Claude Monet. The next day, take a relaxing walk through one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens, Koraku-en, a 17th-century formal garden encompassing 28 acres of walking trails, ponds, plum and cherry trees, and a classic teahouse. In the afternoon, tour the old merchant quarter of Kurashiki, where many fine examples of 17th-century warehouses, mills, and shops can be found.
Day 5 - Day 6 Miyajima / Hiroshima
This morning, visit one of Japan’s scenic wonders, Miyajima, or “shrine island.” Photograph the iconic scarlet torii, a giant camphor-wood gate at the entrance to the Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage Site and a sacred site of pilgrimage. At high tide it appears to float in the surrounding waters. Enjoy lunch in Hiroshima, then visit the compelling Peace Memorial Park located in the heart of the city. A World Heritage Site, the park and its monuments are dedicated to the hope for world peace; an arch-shaped cenotaph includes the names of all the known victims of the atomic bomb.
Day 6 - Day 7 Beppu
Beppu is one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts, thanks to the geothermal activity of the lush Tsurumi Volcanoes that rise behind the town. Join a tour of the town that includes a series of hot springs with distinctive features. Or, take a walk through the Tadewara Wetlands to observe unique flora and search for resident birds and wildlife.
Day 7 - Day 8 Akiyoshi-do / Karato
After breakfast set out for Akiyoshi-do, a huge limestone cavern, filled with a fantastic variety of rock formations and other unique geological features. After lunch on board, take a stroll through the lively Karato Fish Market, then visit the Kanmon Kaikyo Museum in Moji. Afterward, enjoy some free time to browse the shops or take a walk along the lovely seaside promenade.
Day 8 - Day 9 Shimonoseki / Hagi
Disembark in Shimonoseki this morning and depart overland for Hagi, an exquisite medieval samurai town which served as the capital of the local daimyo, feudal lords, between 1603 and 1868. Stroll through the serene Tokoji Temple and burial site of the daimyo which is surrounded by thousands of stone lanterns. Hagi is also world-renowned for its pastel-glazed pottery and you will have the opportunity to watch a master-potter at work.
Day 9 - Day 10 Tsushima Island
The island of Tsushima, renowned for its rugged beauty, was blasted apart in 1896 by the Japanese navy to create a ship canal. Today, an 80-meter arched bridge connects the two island segments. Step ashore on the northern island of Kami to visit Watazumi Jiniya, a shrine dedicated to the god of the sea, built in 895 A.D. Then enjoy spectacular views of the coast and Aso-wan Bay from the Mt. Eboshidake Observatory.
Day 10 - Day 11 Busan, South Korea / Gyeongju
This morning disembark in the bustling port of Busan and depart overland for magnificent Gyeongju. Considered by UNESCO as one of the world’s ten most historically significant sites, it is often described as a “museum without walls.” As the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty, Gyeongju’s cultural heritage dates back to the first millennium when the dynasty began its rule of Korea after conquering and uniting divergent monarchies. The cultural flowering of Gyeongju reached its artistic pinnacle in the 8th century as craftsmen created masterpieces in wood, metal, stone, and pottery.
Day 11 - Day 12 Matsue, Japan
The coastline along the north shore of Honshu offers splendid views of craggy rock faces and rugged shores sculpted by waves. Matsue, the “town of water,” is nestled between a scenic lake and a large lagoon. Visit the cultural attractions of the town which include the Matsue Castle and a 250-year-old Samurai house complete with tatami rooms. Continue to nearby Yasugi for a tour of the Adachi Museum of Arts, which displays famous Japanese paintings and ceramics.
Day 12 - Day 13 Kanazawa
Kanazawa is a thriving center of the arts, long renowned for its lacquerware and superb collectible Kutani-style pottery. Kanazawa is also home to one of Japan’s premier botanical highlights—the famed Kenroku-en Garden. Sophisticated, centuries-old designs create an artful aura of seclusion and contemplation. A serene teahouse perches on a small peninsula in the middle of a pond, while carved stone lanterns line the footpaths. In the afternoon, visit Higashi Chaya Machi District where you will find a number of well-preserved, traditional teahouses. Browse the shops for local handicrafts, including high quality ceramics, lacquerware, and gold leaf products.
Day 13 - Day 14 Sado Island
Well off the beaten path of most travelers, Sado Island possesses both the pastoral charm of verdant rice paddies and bamboo groves, and the dramatic beauty of surf-pounded seacoasts. Learn how to make soba noodles by hand, then explore the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine in Aikawa which operated for over 300 years. In Toki Forest Park, view the endangered Japanese crested ibis and learn about conservation efforts.
Day 14 - Day 15 Niigata / Disembark / Tokyo
Disembark in Niigata this morning and board the bullet for Tokyo. Check in to the Hotel New Otani with the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 15 - Day 16 Tokyo
After breakfast transfer to the Tokyo airport for your independent flight back home.
Day 16 - Please Note:
We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

Trip Dates

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    • Visit sacred Shinto shrines and ancient Buddhist temples.
    • Stroll through the moving Peace Memorial Park at Hiroshima.
    • Spend a full day in Gyeongju, South Korea with a visit to Bulguksa Temple, a World Heritage Site. View Matsue’s architectural treasures, including a perfectly preserved medieval castle and a 250-year-old Samurai house.
    • Watch a master potter create distinctive pastel-glazed ceramics in Hagi.
    • Photograph two of Japan’s most celebrated traditional gardens—Koraku-en and Kenroku-en—as well as Miyajima’s iconic red torii.