Discover Eternal Japan

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Discover Eternal Japan:

Expedition Cruising - Hokkaido to Kobe, Including South Korea
1 - 15 June, 2023

Discover Eternal Japan:

Expedition Cruising - Hokkaido to Kobe, Including South Korea
Set sail on this voyage to experience medieval castles and temples, magical gardens, beautiful landscapes, and discover a strong cultural history. Our explorations take us beyond the well-known highlights to remote stretches of coastline and islands tourists rarely have the opportunity to experience, all made possible on the purpose-built expedition ship Heritage Adventurer

Ship:
Heritage Adventurer

Expedition at a Glance

Tour Dates

1 – 15 June, 2023

Partnership

We’re excited to let you know we have partnered with pioneering small ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions in Christchurch. 

Like ourselves, they are NZ owned and run.  As we both share common values we know you will be well looked after and have a great adventure.

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Fully Vaccinated Requirement

All travellers joining this tour must be fully vaccinated. Your 'My Vaccine Pass' must be brought on the tour as proof of full Covid 19 vaccination.

It is important that the date of your final dose is at least 14 days before the tour departure date.

Fully Vaccinated Requirement

All travellers joining this cruise must be fully vaccinated. Your 'My Vaccine Pass' must be brought on the cruise as proof of full Covid 19 vaccination.

It is important that the date of your final dose is at least 14 days before the cruise departure date.

Booking Conditions
Cancellations
Inclusions
Variations
Travel Insurance
General Information
Health & Fitness
Covid 19 Vaccinations
Terms & Conditions

  • Booking Deposit of $750 per person
  • Final Payment Date: 16 December, 2021

  • Between 44 – 31 days, 50% of tour cost
  • Less than 30 days, 100% of tour cost
  • No refunds will be made after travel has commenced

  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Accommodation in 4.5 star boutique hotels
  • 2 wine tastings
  • E-Bike and a helmet
  • Full technical and back up support with a vehicle and an experienced driver/guide
  • All shuttles as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Services of a Tours Direct Tour Leader
  • Airport transfers

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

To safeguard your deposit and tour payment in the event of you having to cancel your reservation or curtail your tour, we highly recommend you take out travel insurance.

call us on 0800 868 748 if you like a travel insurance quote

The bike trails in the Hawke’s Bay are easy to ride and generally flat and smooth. Introductory Level.

If you have never ridden an E-Bike before we can help you learn, usually in 15 minutes. These trails are great to build confidence and increase your riding skills.

Needless to say the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the rides. Most days, 2 – 3 hours on an E-Bike (with frequent breaks).

All clients and support crew are required to be fully vaccinated.

Extensive Terms and Conditions are outlined in the free Information Pack

Booking Conditions
Cancellations
Inclusions
Variations
Travel Insurance
General Information
Health & Fitness
Covid 19 Vaccinations
Terms & Conditions

  • Booking Deposit of $750 per person
  • Final Payment Date: 31 January, 2022

  • Between 44 – 31 days, 50% of tour cost
  • Less than 30 days, 100% of tour cost
  • No refunds will be made after travel has commenced

  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Accommodation in 4.5 star boutique hotels
  • 2 wine tastings
  • E-Bike and a helmet
  • Full technical and back up support with a vehicle and an experienced driver/guide
  • All shuttles as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Services of a Tours Direct Tour Leader
  • Airport transfers

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

To safeguard your deposit and tour payment in the event of you having to cancel your reservation or curtail your tour, we highly recommend you take out travel insurance.

call us on 0800 868 748 if you like a travel insurance quote

The bike trails in the Hawke’s Bay are easy to ride and generally flat and smooth. Introductory Level.

If you have never ridden an E-Bike before we can help you learn, usually in 15 minutes. These trails are great to build confidence and increase your riding skills.

Needless to say the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the rides. Most days, 2 – 3 hours on an E-Bike (with frequent breaks).

All clients and support crew are required to be fully vaccinated.

Extensive Terms and Conditions are outlined in the free Information Pack

Inclusions
Variations
Booking Conditions
Cancellations
Travel Insurance
General Information
Health & Fitness
Covid 19 Vaccinations
Terms & Conditions

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Price Includes:

  • Pre/post Cruise Transfers
  • One nights pre-cruise accommodation (equivalent to your onboard accommodation - includes dinner & breakfast)
  • On board ship accommodation
  • All meals on board ship
  • House beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Expedition shore excursions
  • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists
  • Landing Fees ($820 per person)
  • Services of your Expedition Leader and crew

Price Excludes:

  • Domestic flights
  • International Airfares: If you would like an airfare quote (Auckland/Christchurch to Sapporo and Osaka to Auckland/Christchurch) please phone Tours Direct on 0800-868-748 or email Sean at info@toursdirect.co.nz
  • All items of a personal nature
  • Laundry
  • Drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance

Inclusions

  • All meals, including a pre-show dinner at Dockside Restaurant on the Wellington waterfront
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”

Variations

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

Inclusions

  • Return airfares from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports – there could be a price adjustment).
  • All meals
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”

Variations

  • Land Only price on application
  • Travel Insurance

Inclusions

  • All meals
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”

Variations

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

Dates: 1 - 15 June, 2023
(International Airfares: If you would like an airfare quote (Auckland/Christchurch to Sapporo and Osaka to Auckland/Christchurch) please phone Tours Direct on 0800-868-748 or email Sean at info@toursdirect.co.nz)

Day 1    Otaru

Arrive in Otaru, a port city in Hokkaido known for glassworks, music boxes, sake distilleries and the picturesque Otaru Canal flanked with shops and cafes built within its repurposed 1920s warehouses, and transfer to your hotel where our group will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening meet your fellow voyagers and expedition team over dinner at the hotel.

Day 2    Otaru

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before exploring this unique city. This afternoon you will board your ship, settle into your cabin and familiarise yourself with Heritage Adventurer. We will also take the opportunity to introduce you to your expedition team and our voyage plans.

Day 3    Hakodate

Today we sail into the port of Hakodate, located at the southern tip of Hokkaido. This morning will see us venturing to Onuma Park where we plan to explore its picturesque, island- dotted lakes and majestic dormant volcano, Mount Komagatake. Explore the lakes’ endlessly fascinating and Instagram-worthy peninsulas and islands, many of which are connected by small bridges, by foot. Back in Hakodate, this afternoon, there will be an option to enjoy a city tour including the enchanting Fort Goryokaku. This massive star-shaped citadel was built in the last years of the Edo Period, but repurposed now as a quirky public park boasting more than 1,000 cherry trees along its moats.

Day 4    Noshiro

Famous for its local beef, pork and chicken and rice soup known as Kiritanpo, tranquil Noshiro is a modern city flanked by nature with the Yoneshiro River winding through its heart. Gateway to the iconic Juniko (12 Lakes) park, this national treasure is actually a collection of 33 crystal clear ponds and lakes formed by an earthquake in 1704 and surrounded by ancient beech forest. Here we will have the option to explore the forested walks that lead to these serene blue holes including 10-metre deep Aoike (Blue Pond). Other options may include visiting stunning Lake Towada, a 2,000 year old double caldera 400 metres above sea level, and its surrounding forest in Towada-Hachimantai National Park and Japan’s largest pine forest, Kaze no Matsubara, where more than 7 million trees were planted to prevent coastal erosion. Known as the ‘Wind of Matsubara’, in 1996 it was designated as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.

Day 5    Sado Island

Today we plan to explore remote Sado Island off the coast of Niigata. Comprising the mountain ranges of Osado and Kosado flanking the Kokunaka Plain, Sado was once a destination of political exile. It now boasts its own rich cultural and religious life incorporating puppet theatre, Okesa folk songs, Ondeko drumming and demon dances, and Noh theatre thanks to some of its more famous displaced figures. Sado Island is home to the Japanese Crested Ibis, extinct on the Mainland, and the iconic taraibune tub boats. This off the beaten path island combines stunning natural scenery including Senkakuwan Bay and Ogi Peninsula, and wilderness and wildlife with a rich history including gold and silver mining, Samurai warrior culture and unique agri- and aqua-culture practices. Sado is widely considered a perfect, miniature version of Japan.

Day 6    Kanazawa

Today spend the day exploring the rich art centre of Kanazawa discovering some of the unique styles of Japanese art. Kanazawa is rightly famous for its Kutani-style pottery, exquisite lacquerware, gold-leaf workmanship, hand painted silk, and classical Noh dance-drama performed since the 14th Century. Wander winding cobblestone streets, elegant restaurants, craft galleries and visit the impressive Edo-period Kenrokuen Garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and explore the Omicho Market boasting everything from flowers, to crafts and food.

Day 7    Matsue

We set sail towards the port of Sakaiminato and the entry point to Matsue, known as ‘the town of water’ due to being situated between Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi. A highlight of our visit will be the Matsue Castle, a national treasure and one of Japan’s few largely intact 17th Century castles. Other options today may include exploring Daisen-Oki National Park, steeped in beauty and history (it’s also the home of rare flora and fauna including the giant salamander), visiting the picturesque Yuushien Garden, the Adachi Museum of Art, learning about the art of Japanese paper making at the Yakumo-mura village, or perhaps you may wish to spend some time exploring the picturesque streets and local canals.

Day 8    Hagi

Relax on board as we sail south to Hagi, originally a minor fishing port but now famously known for its traditional pottery making, which you will have a chance to learn about. We will also have the opportunity to discover the Teramachi District with its temples and shrines, including the famed ‘Ninja Temple’, the Jokomachi District with its old Samurai houses, Hagi Castle ruins at Shizuki Park, and beautiful Zen Tokoji Temple.

Day 9    Ulsan, South Korea

Today we cross the Sea of Japan to Ulsan in South Korea where we plan to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gyeongju. The capital of the Shilla Dynasty and dating back to the first millennium, Gyeongju is known as ’the museum without walls’ and is full of ancient Korean history and Buddhist culture. Enjoy strolling through hundreds of excavated monuments, temples, tombs and pagodas and enjoy Korean delicacies, cultural performances, and visit the National Museum with its gold jewellery, metal weapons, and distinctive pottery. Today provides a perfect taste of South Korea.

Day 10    Karatsu

Once a major stop for ships and trading post between Korea and China, Karatsu is well known for its medieval heritage including the Karatsu Castle. Built on a plain, construction began in 1602 and the castle is also known as the ‘flying crane castle’ as its shape resembles a bird in flight. We will tour the castle including the Exhibition Hall, which houses the floats and artefacts used in the annual Karatsu Kunchi autumn festival. If you have an interest in plants and/or pottery, an alternative option for today is a visit to the city of Imari celebrated for its porcelain pottery kilns and the flower-laden Mifuneyama Rakuen garden.

Day 11    Ube

From our base at the historic port city of Ube, today we will be exploring the Yamaguchi prefecture, the last point on the main island of Honshu. Options here include visiting the Hofu Tenmangu Shrine, believed to be the oldest Tenmangu in Japan having being built in 903, and dedicated to the god of learning. Alternatively, visit the five-storied Pagoda, symbol of Yamaguchi and national treasure Rurikoji Temple. Built in 1442, this Buddhist temple is considered one of Japan’s top three temples and set amidst the beautifully manicured Kozan Park. Take the opportunity to visit the museum which houses thousands of national treasures and explore the beautiful gardens.

Day 12    Uwajima

Today sees us exploring the city of Uwajima, on Japan’s Shikoku Island. One of Japan’s premier pearl producers, we will have the chance to learn about the traditional process of cultivating and harvesting pearls during a visit to a pearl farm. We also plan to visit the Uwajima Castle, built in the Edo Period (1603 – 1867), it features spectacular panoramic views of the town, harbour, and the tranquil Tenshaen Garden built in the Samurai era. We will make sure you have free time today to explore the town or perhaps visit one of the many gardens including Tenshaen and the island’s largest Nanrakuen Gardens. Other options include a meander along a cherry treelined lane in Yoshida, or visiting the historic Kabuki theatre.

Day 13    Hiroshima & Miyajima Island 

Despite its history including being the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack on 6 August 1945, Hiroshima is a vibrant and thriving cosmopolitan community. We plan to visit the beautiful Peace Park and Museum, with its sombre cenotaph containing names of atomic bomb victims, and the permanently lit ‘Flame of Peace’. After visiting the Peace Park we will travel to Miyajima Island, considered one of Japan’s most scenic spots and the location of the Torii Gate and the Daisho-in Buddhist temple. For those after a nature fix, ascend Mount Misen on Miyajima Island by cable car and enjoy a hike, admiring the views below of the Shinto Shrine and Torri Gate.

Day 14    Takamatsu

Our next stop on Shikoku Island will be Takamatsu. Takamatsu has had a long history as a port town earning itself the nickname ‘Gateway to Shikoku’, although more recently locals have been calling it ‘Udon Kingdom’. If you have an interest in plants a visit to Ritsurin Park, considered one of Japan’s finest gardens, is sure to be a highlight. Next you will enjoy a visit to Kinashi, one of Japan’s main bonsai production centres, where you will learn about traditional methods of growing bonsai. For those interested in history and art you may wish to travel to Naoshima Island for a full-day excursion. This excursion to Naoshima will have you admiring its architecture and art museums, including Chichu Art Museum and Benesse House, featuring work by Japanese and international artists.

Day 15    Kobe

This morning sail into Kobe, Japan’s seventh-largest city and third largest port. Considered one of Japan’s most beautiful cities, Kobe was rocked by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995 which killed more than 5,000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of buildings. Today the city is completely rebuilt, though a few signs of the terrible event remain. After breakfast there will be a complimentary coach to a central hotel or to the Osaka airport. To allow time for disembarkation procedures and travel from Osaka, we do not recommend booking flights departing before 1.00pm.
During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. 

 

The prices below are in NZ dollars and based on an exchange of 0.61 against the US Dollar. Prices include Landing Fees of $820. The final invoice will be calculated using the exchange rate at the time.

Suite/Cabin Type Price
(per person)NZ $
Main Deck Triple Cabin$16,190 (Triple Share)
Superior Triple Cabin$17,130 (Triple Share)
Deck Four Superior Cabin$19,630 (Twin Share)
Deck Five Superior Cabin $21,305 (Twin Share)
Main Deck Single Cabin$23,760
Superior Single Cabin$25,000
Worsley Suite$25,820 (Twin Share)
Heritage Suite$32,785 (Twin Share)

For cancellations received more than 180 days before expedition departure, a full refund will be made less an US$750 per person administration fee.