Eternal Japan and South Korea

Japan Cruise
Japan Cruise
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Eternal Japan & South Korea 2024

Eternal Japan and South Korea 2024

Expedition Cruising
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

Heritage Adventurer

Expedition at a Glance

Tour Dates

28 April – 9 May, 2024


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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Eternal Japan & South Korea Expedition Prices

Suite/Cabin Type Price
(per person)NZ $
Main Deck Triple Cabin$14,125 (Triple Share)
Superior Triple Cabin$14,500 (Triple Share)
Deck Four Superior Cabin$15,995 (Twin Share)
Deck Five Superior Cabin $17,135 (Twin Share)
Main Deck Single Cabin$19,530
Superior Single Cabin$20,945
Worsley Suite$22,250 (Twin Share)
Heritage Suite$26,000 (Twin Share)

Dates: 28 April - 9 May, 2024
(International Airfares: If you would like an airfare quote, please phone Tours Direct on 0800-868-748 or email Sian at

Day 1    Tokyo

Arrive at Japan’s famed neon-lit capital Tokyo, where tradition meets ultramodern and towering skyscrapers sit alongside ancient temples, and make your way to the hotel where our group will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening meet your fellow voyagers and expedition guides over dinner at the hotel.

Day 2    Kanazawa

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before travelling by Shinkansen, ‘bullet train’, to Kanazawa. This afternoon you will board Heritage Adventurer and settle into life on board. We will also take the opportunity to introduce you to your expedition team and our voyage plans as we moor overnight.

Day 3    Kanazawa

Options today include exploring the historic mountain settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go, high in the remote mountains of the Shogawa River Valley in Hakusan National Park. Take in the sights on mountain walks and experience the unique cultural traditions including the region’s iconic Gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old, designed to withstand the heavy snow in winter and provide a large attic space for cultivating silkworms. Alternatively explore 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 4    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 5    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 Jokamachi District with its old Samurai houses, Hagi Castle ruins at Shizuki Park, and beautiful Zen Tokoji Temple.

Day 6    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 experience Korean delicacies, cultural performances, and visit the National Museum with its gold jewellery, metal weapons, and distinctive pottery. Today provides a perfect taste of the best South Korea has to offer.

Day 7    Masan for Haeinsa

From our berth in Masan we head inland to the Haeinsa Temple. Regarded as one of the three great temples in Korea, it was first settled in 802AD and its name derives from a verse in a Buddhist Sutra as “reflections on a smooth sea”. In the 13th Century when Korea was at war with the Mongols, the government commissioned the Tripitaka Koreana, a complete copy of Buddhist scriptures, in the hope of Buddha’s intervention in the war. They were carved onto 81,258 double sided wooden blocks and stored on floor to ceiling shelves in the Janggyeong Panjeon building. We also visit the main worship hall of the temple. Returning to Masan this afternoon you may wish to visit the vibrant fish market selling the daily catch.

Day 8    Ube

After a leisurely morning at sea we return to Japan and the port of Ube for our exploration of the historic, southern Yamaguchi prefecture. There will be a choice of tours and you may wish to travel inland to visit the picturesque five-storied Pagoda of Rurikoji Temple and the surrounding park. Dating back to 1442, the pagoda was built in memory of Yoshihiro Mori Terumoto who ruled the area during this period. Alternatively drive to Hofu Tenmangu, believed to be the oldest Tenmangu in Japan having been built in 903 at the site where the court officials and scholar Sugawara Michizane stopped on his way to Fukuoka following his exile. Afterwards visit the museum which houses more than 20,000 national treasure items, including swords, armoury, calligraphy and scrolls. We will then have a chance to explore the beautiful gardens.

Day 9    Uwajima

This morning we land on Shikoku Island and the port of Uwajima situated deep inside the sawtoothed coast of Uwajima Bay. The city of Uwajima is emerging as the nation’s largest pearl cultivation centre and we will learn the process of implanting, harvesting, extracting and sorting pearls on a visit to a pearl farm. We will also see Uwajima Castle which is built on top of the hill with panoramic views over the town and harbour and the Tenshaen Garden, built in the Samurai era. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Day 10    Hiroshima & Miyajima Island

Despite its history including being the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack on the 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 11    Koraku-en & Kurashiki 

From the port of Uno-Ko we will visit one of Japan’s most famed gardens, Koraku-en, which translates as ‘garden of pleasure after’. This 17th century formal garden has 28 acres to explore. This afternoon we will continue to Kurashiki where we explore the old merchant quarter and its fine 17th Century wooden warehouses painted white with traditional black tiles, along a canal framed with weeping willows and filled with koi. There will also be the opportunity to visit the Ohara Museum of Art which includes rare works by Matisse, Picasso and Renoir as well as collections from Japan’s renowned Mingei movement including ceramics by Hamada Shoji.

Day 12    Osaka

This morning we sail into Honshu’s largest port city Osaka where modern architecture and a vibrant dining scene are nestled alongside the 16th Century shogunate Osaka Castle. After breakfast there will be a complimentary coach to a central hotel or to Osaka airport. To allow time for disembarkation procedures and travel from Osaka, we do not recommend booking flights departing before 1.00pm.


Price Includes:

  • Pre cruise bullet train transfer and post cruise transfer
  • 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
  • All Expedition shore excursions and activities
  • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists
  • Landing Fees of $1,000
  • Services of your Expedition Leader and crew

Price Excludes:

  • Domestic flights
  • International Airfares: If you would like an airfare quote please phone Tours Direct on 0800-868-748 or email Sian at
  • All items of a personal nature
  • Laundry
  • Extra Drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance