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Cruising the Land of the Rising Sun - Southbound 2018 tour

Cruising the Land of the Rising Sun - Southbound 2018

Tauck Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
By Tauck
4.9 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
14 days
From: $ 11,990 $ 856 / day
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Cruising the Land of the Rising Sun - Southbound 2019

Cruising the Land of the Rising Sun - Southbound 2019

4.9 • Excellent 16 Reviews
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Overview

Highlights

  • 8-night cruise aboard the yacht L'Austral
  • 3 nights in Osaka and 2 nights in Tokyo at premier hotels
  • special Tauck Experiences featuring local cultural entertainment including a sumo wrestling demonstration
  • geisha and taiko performances and more

Short Description

Spend fourteen days discovering the "land of the rising sun" on the best of Japan cruises - with eight nights aboard our elegant yacht L'Austral and five nights at premier hotels in the heart of Osaka and Tokyo; explore Nara, Uno Ko, Uwajima, Kagoshima, Nagasaki and more.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Osaka
End City Tokyo, Japan

Travel Theme

50 plus Small Ship Cruise

Destinations

Japan South Korea

Cities & Attractions

Busan Hiroshima Kyoto Nagasaki Nara Osaka Tokyo

Activities

Culture

N/A
See more

Trip Includes

  • Private Tauck Shore Excursions - $2,267 Value!
  • All gratuities to Tauck Director, ship staff, local guides and drivers
  • 8-night cruise aboard the yacht L'Austral
  • Your cruise may be a shared ship experience with non-Tauck guests onboard as well; all Tauck guests will be accompanied by one Tauck Director for approximately every 40 Tauck guests, and your itinerary will always be highlighted by exclusive, private Tauck shore excursions
  • 3 nights in Osaka and 2 nights in Tokyo at premier hotels
  • Special Tauck Experiences featuring local cultural entertainment include a sumo wrestling demonstration, geisha and taiko performances and much more
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available throughout the day aboard ship including house wines and spirits; premium spirits and wines are available at extra cost.
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 35 meals on land and at sea, service charges, applicable fuel surcharges, taxes, and porterage

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Osaka

Tour begins: The St. Regis Osaka, The Ritz-Carlton Osaka or The Conrad Osaka. A transfer is included from Osaka's Kansai Int'l Airport or Itami Airport to The St. Regis Osaka, The Ritz-Carlton Osaka or The Conrad Osaka. After settling in to your hotel, depart for a Tauck Exclusive evening including a welcome reception followed by a Geiko / Geisha cultural lecture and performance and a welcome dinner.

MEALS : D

LODGING : The St. Regis Osaka, The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka or The Conrad Osaka

PORTOFCALL : Osaka, Japan

Day 2 Temples and traditions of Kyoto

Travel today from your hotel in Osaka to nearby Kyoto, and immerse yourself in the loveliness of this classic city of 2,000 temples and shrines. Like a divine dream the Zen Golden Pavilion, bathed in gold leaf and capped by a golden phoenix, sits in a landscape design meticulously preserved since the 1400s, with a strategically placed pond that hauntingly reflects the shimmering golden temple. Next visit the Sanjusagen-do, a Buddhist temple in Kyoto's Higashiyama District - officially called "Rengeo-in" ("Hall of the Lotus King"). After lunch at a local restaurant, attend a traditional Japanese Taiko drumming experience and explore more of Kyoto before returning to your hotel in Osaka. (Please note that sightseeing on days 2 and 3 may alternate.)

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : The St. Regis Osaka, The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka or The Conrad Osaka

PORTOFCALL : Osaka, Japan

Day 3 Exploring historic Nara

Head to the city of Nara this morning to visit Todai-ji (Eastern Great Temple), a Buddhist temple complex that was once one of the city's powerful Seven Great Temples. Its Great Buddha Hall houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site officially called the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara," Todai-ji temple also serves as headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism in Japan. You'll note that deer roam the grounds freely; they are regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion. After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy a pleasant visit to Nara Park at the foot of Mount Wakakusa; established in the 14th century, it is one of the oldest public parks in Japan and is considered a national treasure - as are the more than 1,200 free-roaming wild sika deer that call the park home. Return to your Osaka hotel for an evening spent as you please.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : The St. Regis Osaka, The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka or The Conrad Osaka

PORTOFCALL : Osaka, Japan

Day 4 Osaka discoveries & embark L'Austral in Maizuru

Begin the day with a walking tour of Osaka's Dotumburi district, then visit the impressive Umeda Sky Building; one of the city's most recognizable landmarks, it features two 40-story towers that connect at their two uppermost stories, with a wide atrium in the center criss-crossed by bridges. After lunch at a local restaurant in Osaka, take a scenic drive to the port of pretty Maizuru, tucked in a bay off an inlet of the Sea of Japan, where your yacht L'Austral awaits. Begin your cruise along the southwestern coast of Honshu, the largest island in the Japanese archipelago, bound for Sakaiminato.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard L'Austral

PORTOFCALL : Osaka, Japan

Day 5 Sakaiminato and Matsue's black castle

Arrive this morning in Sakaiminato, Western Japan's fishing industry center, for an excursion to Matsue, known as "the water city" for its river, canals, and setting on two lakes and the Sea of Japan. Weather permitting, take in the great view of the city and beyond from the feudal fortress, the Black Castle, which presides over the city in solemn majesty. Begin the day ashore with a visit to the Adachi Museum of Art, then return to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, you may choose to shuttle into Sakaiminato to explore the town as you please, or head off on an excursion to Matsue and a visit to the famous Black Castle. After returning to L'Austral and setting sail for Busan in Korea, please join us onboard for the captain's welcome dinner tonight.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard L'Austral

PORTOFCALL : Sakaiminato, Japan

Day 6 Sail on to Busan, South Korea

Your crossing of the Strait of Korea to Busan, South Korea, today is a perfect time to enjoy some of the amenities aboard ship. After docking in Busan, city sightseeing includes the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, honoring troops from many nations who fell during the Korean War; and a tour of the renowned Jagalchi Fish Market, a traditional seafood market on Busan's waterfront, and the largest in the country. In Korea as in Japan, seafood has been a mainstay of local cuisine for millennia, and your visit to this vast cooperative market offers an in-depth look at this longstanding cultural tradition. Return to the ship this afternoon and set sail for Nagasaki.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard L'Austral

PORTOFCALL : Busan, South Korea

Day 7 A day well spent in Nagasaki

L'Austral arrives in the port city of Nagasaki for a day filled with historic sights. In the morning, visit the Nagasaki Peace Park, graced with notable monuments and memorials, and the Atomic Bomb Museum. After lunch aboard ship, return for a choice of activities this afternoon: a visit to Glover Gardens, an al fresco museum memorializing the Europeans who settled in Nagasaki in the late 19th century; or an excursion on the Mt. Inasa Ropeway, which takes visitors from Nagasaki to the top of Mt. Inasa, rising to the west of the city. Return to the ship for dinner, and continue your cruise to Kagoshima.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard L'Austral

PORTOFCALL : Nagasaki, Japan

Day 8 From samurai to a volcano in Kagoshima

Called the "Naples of Japan" for its location on a bay, Kagoshima lies on the southwestern tip of Japan's southernmost main island, Kyushu. After disembarking, head for nearby Chiran and wander the well-preserved samurai district's stunning Chiran Samurai Gardens, and stop in at the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots. Following lunch aboard ship, you'll have the choice of ferrying across the bay to see the active volcano Sakurajima up close, or visiting Sengan-en, a stately home and traditional Japanese garden in Kagoshima that has been owned by the Shimadzu family for over 350 years. The house offers a look at the lifestyle of a powerful feudal lord of centuries ago, while the gardens provide spectacular views of nearby Sakurajima.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard L'Austral

PORTOFCALL : Kagoshima, Japan

Day 9 Pearls and squirrels in Uwajima

Today in Uwajima provides a rare opportunity to spend a day in a rural Japanese community. Visit a pearl farm, stroll through a local market, and check out the Flying Squirrel Temple on a fascinating tour led by a Buddhist monk; the squirrels for which the temple is named, by the way, fly only at night! Return to L'Austral late in the afternoon and chart a course for the city of Hiroshima.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard L'Austral

PORTOFCALL : Uwajima, Japan

Day 10 Today's Hiroshima

In your next port of call, Hiroshima, you'll set off on a morning sightseeing tour and visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and sites associated with the WWII atomic bomb blast of August 1945. After lunch at a local restaurant serving regional fare, you can choose to visit the iconic Miyajima-Itsukushima Shrine that seems to float on water (a photographer's dream); or take a tour of the local Mazda factory. This evening, L'Austral sets sail for Uno Ko.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard L'Austral

PORTOFCALL : Hiroshima, Japan

Day 11 Art, bicycling & beer in Uno Ko & environs

Anchor in Tamano and travel to the old merchant town of Kurashiki for a walking tour of its historic quarter, where warehouses, shops, and mills remain virtually unchanged by time, and weeping willows line a koi-filled canal. Another Kurashiki treasure, the Ohara Museum of Art, reveals a great collection of Western art, including works by Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, El Greco, and Pollack. After lunch onboard L'Austral, you'll have a choice of three activities this afternoon. On one, you'll ferry to the unique little island of Naoshima, exclusively devoted to art installations and the work of the world-class architect Tadao Ando. Wander through the Art Houses Project, traditional houses transformed into stand-alone art projects; the Ando Museum; and the Benesse House Museum, designed by Ando to express and explore coexistence among nature, art, and architecture. Another choice is a bicycle ride through Uno Ko. Beer is considered by many to be the most popular alcoholic drink in Japan... and your third choice today is a visit to Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, one of nine factories of the Japan Kirin Group. Your tour winds its way around parts of the factory, offering views from above through observation windows of various parts of the manufacturing process. As you watch, thousands of cans and bottles of beer shoot through factory machines at incredibly high speeds... and some 2,000 cans of beer are filled and packed every minute! Near the end of the tour, you arrive at the tasting bar, where you can sample your choice of several varieties of Kirin beers. Back onboard ship, enjoy your captain's farewell dinner tonight as L'Austral sails for Osaka.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Aboard L'Austral

PORTOFCALL : Uno Ko, Japan

Day 12 Disembark Osaka & Bullet Train to Tokyo

Disembark L'Austral in Osaka, and take a ride on the Bullet Train to Tokyo, where you'll arrive in time for lunch at a local restaurant. After checking in at your premier Tokyo hotel, join your local guide for a walking tour introducing you to the city's famed luxury shopping district of Ginza. Enjoy dinner and time to check out Japan's inimitable capital city on your own this evening.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo or Shangri La Hotel, Tokyo or Palace Hotel, Tokyo

PORTOFCALL : Tokyo, Japan

Day 13 From shrines to sumo in Tokyo

Plunge into an eclectic day in cosmopolitan Tokyo with a visit to the Meiji Shrine, plus a guided tour of the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Lunch is at a local restaurant before an afternoon of poking around on your own. Finish the day in style with our farewell reception and dinner at Happo-en with traditional music and what's sure to be a highlight of your cruise adventure in Japan, an unforgettable sumo wrestling demonstration that has to be seen to be believed.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo or Shangri La Hotel, Tokyo or Palace Hotel, Tokyo

PORTOFCALL : Tokyo, Japan

Day 14 Journey home

Tour ends: Tokyo. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, the Shangri La Hotel, Tokyo or the Palace Hotel, Tokyo to Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in.

MEALS : B

PORTOFCALL : Tokyo, Japan

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Price Per Day: $ 856 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

16 Tauck Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 14
Great 2
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

Cruising the Land of the Rising Sun - Southbound 2018

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Company Reviews

Pay for a 4 star trip and get 2 star food

2.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals1.0
My husband and I took the Treasures of the Mediterranean tour two weeks ago. The food off the ship was very good. The food on the ship was subpar (2 stars out of 4 stars). We ended up ordering French Fries at the beginning of each meal so we would at least have something to eat. I called Tauck and voiced my concerns. They offered us a $250 voucher each for another trip. I hardly think the food portion on the yacht was $250. Why would I go on another Tauck trip when my first one, which was our retirement celebration due to the poor food. The majority of the people on the trip were dissatisfied with the food and their reviews reflected it.
Read more

Still Spellbound by the Grandeur of Alaska

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Focused on the amazing wildness of Alaska without worrying about the mundane details. Expert, low-key tour director made everything look easy. Excursions enhanced appreciation for the history, terrain, wildlife, peoples, boom and bust cycles that make Alaska so unique. Clear view of Denali, great weather, days 'at sea' with binoculars in hand!

Most Memorable Moment:
Flightseeing, Tundra Wilderness tour (clear Denali, rare wolf sighting and grizzlies in distance), crossing Prince William Sound (sea-otters, orcas, stellar sea-lions, and more), Hubbard Glacier calving, Glacier Bay entire day, Whale Watching out of Juneau, and bald eagles everywhere!
Read more

Australia/New Zealand - Ultimate Experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Travel Date: March 2018
We were excited to have experienced 20 days of everything these 2 countries had to offer. We felt we didn't miss anything. Tauck knows how to provide you with the ultimate activities that any seasoned traveler walks away with and says WOW - truly an experience of a lifetime. Our tour Director Gary was an added plus.

Most Memorable Moment:
Too many to name, all planned activities were outstanding. We particularly enjoyed everything Queenstown had to offer. Probably the most impressive thing about the whole trip was that we got off each of our 6 private flights directly onto an awaiting bus and never during the 3 weeks did we touch our luggage.
Read more

Most Memorable Moment

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
San Jose, Costa Rica, where we began our trip, is at nearly 4000 ft, cool and surrounded by mountains. Panama City, where we ended is at sea level and hot with a modern skyline making for a huge change in climate and atmosphere. We began at a coffee plantation in the mountains and ended on a ship in the impressive Panama Canal. Wow what a contrast.

Most Memorable Moment:

Transiting the Panama Canal and also spending some time in a small boat on the canal. The boat took us into one of the many "inlets" of the canal created by the flooding of the Chagres river when the canal was built. The surroundings have been left as a jungle where we saw monkeys, a large crocodile and a number of birds. Totally unexpected.
Read more

The most indelible image of Costa Rica

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The hotel choices were good and there was plenty of food. Lots of activities for the kids. But, we expected nature walks/hikes for the adults and the kids. That never happened. Where were the talks regarding ecology, wildlife, geology, whatever? The one and only wildlife talk we had was regarding insects, which was great and enjoyed by all.

Most Memorable Moment:
The most indelible image of Costa Rica was the rain forest and foliage. But if you ask my granddaughter, what she loved the most was the zip line and rafting down the river with the other kids. I genuinely enjoyed the visit to a wildlife rescue center, the chocolate factory and the pineapple plantation. Would have liked a hike though the forest.
Read more

Good Introduction to China

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
The tour director was well-organized and managed the local guides really well. My only disappointment was that only 1.5 hours was allocated for the Great Wall of China, even though I could have spent all day hiking it. The dinners provided thorough samples of Chinese cuisine but were sometimes very long and tiring, exceeding 2 hours.

Most Memorable Moment:
The Hutong ride in Beijing and the balmy sunny weather during the transfer to my international flight home made me contemplate the charms of possibly living in Asia.
Read more

Details

Ship Name

L'AUSTRAL

Ship Stats

  • Built: 2010
  • Length: 466 ft.
  • Draft: 15.3 ft.
  • Beam: 59 ft.
  • Tonnage: 10,700 tons
  • Cruising Speed: 14 knots
  • Air Conditioned: Yes
  • Elevator: Yes
  • Number of Guests: 224 - 264
  • Crew Members: 140
  • Registry: France
  • Crew Nationality: French / International
  • Internet: Send / Receive / Surf

Ship Description

L'AUSTRAL

L'Austral, a sleek yacht launched in 2011, is small enough to provide a truly intimate cruise experience; her size makes her ideally suited for visiting ports that bigger ships can’t reach. L'Austral sports 6 decks that include Le Restaurant Gastronomique, the elegant main dining room serving French and international cuisine; the casual Le Grill Restaurant; three lounges offering evening entertainment, bars and access to the open decks; Le Théâtre hosting informative lectures and entertainment; a Fitness and Beauty Corner; a Medical Center; and multiple observation areas. Elevators serve all passenger decks. Staterooms (ranging in size from 200 to 210 sq. ft.) and suites (ranging in size from 301 to 398 sq. ft.) have ocean views; 95% have private balconies. Staterooms are decorated by French designers, offering individually controlled air conditioning, twin beds converting to a queen-size bed (or one queen-size bed), DVD / CD player, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, electronic safe and minibar.

Deck & Cabin Plans

L'AUSTRAL

Group Size:

Standard Group - 25 + people

Trip ID#:

tauck-JPAN2018

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