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Home Cruises Japan, Taiwan & The Philippines Westerdam 2023-10-28

Japan, Taiwan & The Philippines - W372 MS Westerdam departing 28 Oct 2023

Call now 01246 819 819 to book

MS Westerdam
  • Carefully crafted journeys
  • Spacious-mid-sized ships
  • Exclusive onboard activities
  • Family friendly
Ship
Cruise Line
Embark
28 Oct 2023
Duration
14 Nights
From / To
Yokohama (Tokyo) / Hong Kong
Ports of call
Yokohama (Tokyo) - Osaka - Osaka - Okinawa - Miyako, Iwate

Inside from £1,710pp

Outside from £1,330pp

Balcony from £2,179pp

Suite from £2,768pp

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Itinerary

Show sea days

Date Date
Location Location
 
In In
Out Out
Date 28/10/2023
Location Yokohama (Tokyo)
In
Out 17:00

Until the mid-19th century, Japan lived in isolation, closed off from the rest of the world, and Yokohama was a mere fishing village. But in 1853, American naval officer Matthew Perry demanded the country open to foreign trade, and Yokohama was changed forever. The city quickly emerged as an international trading center, and while today it is often overshadowed by nearby Tokyo, it continues to be one of Japan’s liveliest, and most international, destinations. With its microbreweries and international restaurants, Yokohama has a decidedly different feel from many other Japanese cities.

From Yokohama, it’s a quick trip to peaceful Kamakura, home to Daibutsu, Japan’s second-largest bronze Buddha, and to the important Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Head to Hakone National Park on a clear day and you’ll be rewarded with picture-postcard views of majestic Mt. Fuji.

Tokyo is the largest city on earth and packed with some of the world’s best shops, museums and restaurants, big and small. While the bright neon lights and the bustle of contemporary Tokyo may be what comes to mind when you think of the city, there is another side. Tokyo’s historic gardens and neighborhoods of traditional homes on narrow lanes speak to a timeless Japan that has survived into the 21st century.

Date 29/10/2023
Location Osaka
In 08:00
Out

Think of Osaka, Japan (accent on the O), as a combination of Los Angeles and Chicago. It very definitely has L.A.’s second-city complex, but its attitude is pure Chicago. The only business that matters is business, and so what if the Hanshin Tigers, the local baseball team, are frequently the worst professional athletes in the world? They’re the home team. People in Osaka laugh louder, play harder and drink more than Tokyo’s most decadent dreams. Osaka even has its own dialect, one the rest of the country calls “dirty Japanese,” one entirely different than even Kobe’s—and Kobe is an Osaka suburb.

Nothing is old in Osaka. The place was flattened during the war (and then again in 1962 and 1989, by Godzilla). During the reconstruction, they forgot to include much in the way of parks or green space, and the sheer amount of concrete and steel sights can get overwhelming.

But Osaka has its attractions and interesting things to do. Sumo wrestlers wait for trains, reeking of chanko-nabe (traditional sumo food; pure energy and calories), just daring the official railway pushers to push them. Yakuza (Japanese gangsters) get train cars to themselves, but if you get on with them, it’s like you’re invisible. Busy markets, the visual noise of neon and nonstop action on shopping streets offer insight into the energy and ambition of Osaka.

And if all that isn’t enough, Osaka is less than an hour from some of the most beautiful temples, shrines and ancient Japanese tourist attractions in the world—a thousand years of Japanese history—waiting in the old capitals of Kyoto and Nara.

Date 30/10/2023
Location Osaka
In
Out 17:00

Think of Osaka, Japan (accent on the O), as a combination of Los Angeles and Chicago. It very definitely has L.A.’s second-city complex, but its attitude is pure Chicago. The only business that matters is business, and so what if the Hanshin Tigers, the local baseball team, are frequently the worst professional athletes in the world? They’re the home team. People in Osaka laugh louder, play harder and drink more than Tokyo’s most decadent dreams. Osaka even has its own dialect, one the rest of the country calls “dirty Japanese,” one entirely different than even Kobe’s—and Kobe is an Osaka suburb.

Nothing is old in Osaka. The place was flattened during the war (and then again in 1962 and 1989, by Godzilla). During the reconstruction, they forgot to include much in the way of parks or green space, and the sheer amount of concrete and steel sights can get overwhelming.

But Osaka has its attractions and interesting things to do. Sumo wrestlers wait for trains, reeking of chanko-nabe (traditional sumo food; pure energy and calories), just daring the official railway pushers to push them. Yakuza (Japanese gangsters) get train cars to themselves, but if you get on with them, it’s like you’re invisible. Busy markets, the visual noise of neon and nonstop action on shopping streets offer insight into the energy and ambition of Osaka.

And if all that isn’t enough, Osaka is less than an hour from some of the most beautiful temples, shrines and ancient Japanese tourist attractions in the world—a thousand years of Japanese history—waiting in the old capitals of Kyoto and Nara.

Date 31/10/2023
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 01/11/2023
Location Okinawa
In 06:00
Out 16:30

Naha, the capital of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture and its biggest city, also serves as the region’s key political, economic and transportation hub. With a fascinating past as the capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom and a working port that dates back to the 15th century, this city of 300,000 residents manages to be both a compelling city and a laid-back one.

Because it was largely destroyed during World War II, there aren’t many old buildings here; however, a few restored remains from the Ryukyu Kingdom era provide historic interest, including Shuri Castle, the royal residence, and its extraordinary gardens—both of which are included in a local group designated together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other legendary sites include the Royal Mausoleum (burial tombs set inside caves) and the Shurei Gate, so magnificent that its image appears on the 2,000-yen note.

There are also a few contemporary hotspots, namely Kokusai Street, which offers almost two kilometers (1.25 miles) of shops, cafés and restaurants, and the nearby Makishi Public Market, which has dozens of food vendors hawking delicious treats. If you want to explore farther afield, Naha is the ideal jumping-off point for excursions to the rest of Okinawa.

Date 02/11/2023
Location Miyako, Iwate
In 06:00
Out 13:00

Set against a ruggedly beautiful coastline, Miyako is home to Jodogahama Beach, a picturesque pebble beach with rock outcroppings. Go for a swim then stop at Miyako Fish Market for a tasty lunch.

Date 03/11/2023
Location Taipei
In 06:00
Out 13:00

Keelung City’s sheltered harbor and its location on Taiwan’s north coast have meant that, over the centuries, it has been ruled by the Spanish, Dutch and Chinese. While there are plenty of good coffee shops, markets and museums in the compact downtown and you can enjoy delicious seafood dishes at the Night Market, the city is today principally a gateway to Taipei for many travelers. Taiwan’s capital is just a half hour away by car or around 45 minutes by train. Long a small outpost of the Chinese empire, the city began to grow in the 19th century, when settlement from the mainland was encouraged. Then, from 1895 to 1945, the city (and all of Taiwan) was occupied by the Japanese. At the end of World War II, Taipei was handed over to the Republic of China, led by Chiang Kai-shek. In the decades since, it has seen an explosion of growth, but traditional temples and world-class museums still sit amid the skyscrapers. The modern metropolis also has top restaurants, food markets and upscale shopping. The Taipei Metro makes it easy to explore the city, or you can take an excursion to the countryside: A national park and a protected forest make for excellent day trips from both Taipei and Keelung.

Date 04/11/2023
Location Kaohsiung
In 06:00
Out 19:00

Kaohsiung is a massive port city in southern Taiwan. It’s home to many skyscrapers, such as the 248m-tall Tuntex Sky Tower, and is known for its diversity of parks. Its focal point is the Love River, with walking paths and cafes along its banks, and cruise boats navigating its waters. Shopping options range from high-end malls to the Liuhe and Ruifeng night

Date 05/11/2023
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 06/11/2023
Location Manila
In 06:00
Out 17:00

Called the Island of Gold during the latter half of the Ming Dynasty, the area that is now Manila has known Burneian, Spanish, British, American and Japanese rule. This long and diverse history is reflected in Manila’s architecture and neighborhoods. Explore Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown dating back to 1594, Intramuros, Asia’s only medieval, European-style walled city, and the posh neighborhood of Malate. Sample shore excursion: Modern Manila.

Date 07/11/2023
Location Boracay
In 06:00
Out 16:30

Little more than a dot off the northwestern tip of Panay, Boracay is the Philippines’ trophy beach. It offers an intoxicating mix of sun, sand and fun with hotels, restaurants and shops dotted along the beach. If you wish, you can visit popular White Beach or drive to Bulabog Beach as it is wilder and windier and a favorite windsurfing spot. Yet another option: relax on the serene and quiet beach of Puka in the north.

Date 08/11/2023
Location Palawan
In 08:00
Out 19:00

Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan in the Philippines, is home to 250,000 people and offers a vastly different experience from Manila’s often overwhelming big-city dynamism. For many travelers, it’s simply a gateway to the resorts of El Nido, also on Palawan Island. Those who spend some time here, however, will discover a city that combines a laid-back vibe with beautiful sandy beaches and a wealth of marine life. Nearby, there are also lush mountains, rain forests, waterfalls and dramatic limestone cliffs. Among the most popular sights are the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, where visitors are welcome to celebrate Mass accompanied by choral singing; the Palawan Heritage Center, which displays local artworks and crafts; and the peaceful Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village. The city’s biggest draws, however, are a boat trip through the limestone caves of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and the beaches and islands scattered around scenic Honda Bay—perfect for snorkeling, sunbathing and picnics. Speaking of food, a visit to the most famous restaurant in the city, Kalui, is guaranteed to be a memorable experience for seafood fans; adventurous foodies can order crocodile sisig, a traditional—and delicious—stir-fry dish.

Date 08/11/2023
Location Palawan
In 08:00
Out 19:00

Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan in the Philippines, is home to 250,000 people and offers a vastly different experience from Manila’s often overwhelming big-city dynamism. For many travelers, it’s simply a gateway to the resorts of El Nido, also on Palawan Island. Those who spend some time here, however, will discover a city that combines a laid-back vibe with beautiful sandy beaches and a wealth of marine life. Nearby, there are also lush mountains, rain forests, waterfalls and dramatic limestone cliffs. Among the most popular sights are the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, where visitors are welcome to celebrate Mass accompanied by choral singing; the Palawan Heritage Center, which displays local artworks and crafts; and the peaceful Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village. The city’s biggest draws, however, are a boat trip through the limestone caves of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and the beaches and islands scattered around scenic Honda Bay—perfect for snorkeling, sunbathing and picnics. Speaking of food, a visit to the most famous restaurant in the city, Kalui, is guaranteed to be a memorable experience for seafood fans; adventurous foodies can order crocodile sisig, a traditional—and delicious—stir-fry dish.

Date 09/11/2023
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 10/11/2023
Location At Sea
In
Out
Date 11/11/2023
Location Hong Kong
In 06:00
Out 16:30

Can any city in the world top Hong Kong’s phenomenal energy? Judge for yourself as you ride the tram to the top of Victoria Peak, join the surge into countless markets and watch the hardworking world of Aberdeen’s fishing junks. Sample shore excursions: Morning Tai Chi & Cooking Tour; Hong Kong Island City Sightseeing; Explore Lantau Island & Monastery.

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