One departure is scheduled for the spring of 2023, with passengers traveling aboard the Seven Seas Explorer.
Cruise aficionados aching to return to Japan on a post-pandemic trip will be able to do so in style thanks to Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ newest offering. Set to depart on April 25, 2023, the Captivating Japan adventure is a 10-night journey aboard Seven Seas Explorer that takes in three of the country’s four main islands. It promises an all-inclusive onboard experience paired with free unlimited shore excursions, as well as a complimentary three-night pre- or post-cruise land program in Tokyo. The latter ensures ample time to explore Asakusa’s Sensoji temple, wander the streets of Ginza, and admire the city’s skyline from the observation deck at the Fuji TV headquarters on the Odaiba waterfront.
Guests will board the ship in nearby Yokohama for the initial passage to Shimizu in Shizuoka Prefecture, the base for the following day’s activities. Here, vacationers have the chance to dine on ocean-fresh seafood at a restaurant inside a bustling fish market and visit the scenic coastal area of Miho no Matsubara, whose views of Mount Fuji have inspired Japanese artists for centuries.
Seven Seas Explorer will spend the next day and a half docked in Kobe, which will serve as the jumping-off point for multiple excursions in the Kansai region. Guests can hop between the ancient temples and shrines of Kyoto, Japan’s former imperial capital; ride the cable car up to the summit of Mount Rokko for panoramic vistas over Kobe and Osaka Bay; tour Osaka Castle; and encounter the famous deer of Nara Park before taking in the 15-meter-high Great Buddha statue inside Todai-ji temple.
Next stop: Kochi. Shore excursions will introduce passengers to the natural beauty of Shikoku, whether it’s the sandy beaches between Cape Muroto and Cape Ashizuri, or the mystical limestone caves of Ryu-ga-do. Hiroshima, the destination for the following day, is equally intriguing: guests can explore Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park — a World Heritage Site dedicated to the victims of the first atomic bombing — along with the 17th-century Shukkei-en Garden. It may also be possible to visit the neighboring island of Miyajima to see the UNESCO-listed Itsukushima Shrine and its iconic “floating torii.”
Following a day at sea, guests will also get to spend nine hours in the South Korean city of Busan, which is known for its beaches and seafood delights. Seven Seas Explorer will then turn due south toward Kyushu to make a stop at Nagasaki. While it’s famous for enduring the second atomic bombing, the city was once the center of European influence in feudal Japan and the primary gateway for ideas from abroad, as evinced by its historic Catholic churches and the Portuguese-influenced castella cake, a local specialty.
The final port of call in Kyushu is Kagoshima, known as the “Naples of the East” for its mild climes and scenic bay-side location facing Mount Sakurajima, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Kagoshima is home to a memorial site dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, the Spanish Jesuit missionary who brought Christianity to Japan when he landed here in 1549. A potential excursion here will bring holidaymakers to the hot-spring town of Ibusuki, where they can experience a unique bathing tradition that sees yukata-clad visitors buried in naturally heated black sand on the beach. After cruising the Pacific Ocean for a day, guests will return to Yokohama, where they will disembark from Seven Seas Explorer on the morning of May 5, 2023.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Captivating Japan adventure, which includes unlimited complimentary shore excursions, all meals at the onboard speciality restaurants, and free-flow beverages, is now available for booking. Fares start from US$7,999 per person in a Veranda suite. More information here.