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Japan Cherry Blossoms & Chinese Culture in Spring

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Botanical & historical delights of Japan & China.

Venture along the historic shores of Japan and South Korea, exploring ancient castles, peaceful gardens and opulent temples. See the iconic sights of China and sail the Yangtze River.  View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTJPCN24
Duration: 24 days
Accommodation: Boutique Small Ships
Journey: Osaka to Beijing
Meals included: 66

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Osaka, Kyoto, Embark Cruise

Visit the Ryoanji rock garden and explore the historic city of Kyoto, famous for Geishas.
Stay: Ten Nights, MS Caledonian Sky
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Okayama, Koraku-en Garden, Kurashiki

Visit Koraku-en Garden, one of Japan's most significant gardens, then continue to the beautiful historic town of Kurashiki.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 3. Takamatsu, Ritsurin Park

Tour the city of Takamatsu on Shikoku, and visit Kinashi Bonsai Town. Next visit Ritsurin Park, a 350-year-old garden.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 4. Hiroshima, Miyajima

Visit the compelling Peace Memorial Park, and after returning to the ship for lunch, continue to Miyajima where you will see the famous Torii Gate.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 5. Uwajima, Freedom of Choice

Choose between learning about pearl cultivation before visiting the Samurai era Tensha-en Garden or exploring Uwajima Castle and Tensha-en Garden.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 6. Nagasaki, Dejima Island

Today, tour the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park, Atomic Bomb Museum and Glover Garden. Continue to Dejima Island, built during the Edo Period to accommodate and isolate Portuguese Christian missionaries.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Pusan, South Korea

This morning you will embark on a full-day excursion to Kyongju, a World Heritage-listed site often described as the world's finest open-air museum.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 8. Hagi

Today you will tour a Samurai’s home and visit the historic Daisho Temple. Also see the Hagi Castle ruins, Shizuki Park and the famous Tokoji Temple.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 9. Matsue, Yuushien Garden

Known as the 'Town of Water' Matsue is on the shores of a scenic lake and lagoon. Visit Matsue Castle, and later, Yuushien Gardens, famous for colourful spring blossoms, ginseng and peonies.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 10. Kanazawa, Kenroku-en Garden

Visit the Kanazawa Castle ruins and the famed Kenroku-en Garden, which is ranked one of the country's top gardens.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 11. Kanazawa and Tokyo

Take the Bullet Train to Tokyo and enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing. See the Meiji Shrine and take in the serene surrounds.
Stay: Tokyo, Imperial Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 12. Tokyo, Shanghai

Fly to Shanghai today before enjoying a Welcome Dinner and an acrobatic show.
Stay: Two Nights, Shanghai, Fairmont Peace Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 13. Shanghai, Yu Garden

Cruise the Huangpu River and explore Yu Garden.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 14. Shanghai, Suzhou

See the Azalea Flower Show and visit Tiger Hill Park.
Stay: Two Nights, Suzhou, Hyatt Regency
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 15. Suzhou, Humble Administrator's Garden

Visit the Humble Administrator’s Garden today then enjoy a Suzhou music show in a garden setting.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 16. Suzhou, Jinxi, Xi’an

Visit the watertown of Jinxi, before flying to Xi’an.
Stay: Two Nights, Xi'an, Shangri-La Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 17. Xi’an, Terracotta Army

See the world-famous Terracotta Army from a private viewing platform.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 18. Xi’an, Chongqing, Embark Cruise

Fly to Chongqing and visit the zoo to see giant pandas. Board the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer and cruise the Yangtze River.
Stay: Three Nights, Yangtze River, Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 19. Fuling

Visit the 816 Underground Project. Tonight, enjoy a Captain's Welcome Reception.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 20. Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, Shennong Stream, Xiling Gorge

Cruise through the Three Gorges region and visit a local riverside village.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 21. Three Gorges Dam, Yichang, Disembark Cruise, Beijing

Tour the dam before disembarking then fly to Beijing.
Stay: Three Nights, Beijing, Regent Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 22. Beijing, Tiananmen Square

Tour of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Visit the Summer Palace, the largest Imperial gardens of China.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 23. Beijing, Great Wall of China

Visit one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall of China. Board a cable-car and enjoy great views of the wall. This evening enjoy a Peking Duck Farewell Dinner.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 24. Depart Beijing

Transfer to the airport for your flight.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Trip Highlights

  • Learn about Japanese & Chinese plants & gardens from your Botanical Guide
  • See the cherry blossom bloom in Japan*
  • Explore Ryoanji garden in Kyoto
  • See Koraku-en Garden & Ritsurin Park
  • See Yuushien Garden, famous for growing ginseng & peonies
  • Visit a Samurai’s home
  • Explore Kenroku-en Garden
  • Travel by bullet train to Tokyo
  • Explore Matsue, the ‘Town of Water’
  • Learn about the process of pearl production in Uwajima
  • Explore the colours of the Azalea Flower Show in Suzhou, China
  • Visit the Yu Garden & Garden of the Humble Administrator
  • See the Terracotta Army in Xi’an
  • See giant pandas at Chongqing Zoo
  • Enjoy a four-day Yangtze River cruise
  • Visit one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall of China 

Map

Suite Floor and Ship Plan

MS Caledonian Sky

Discover personalised small ship coastal cruising around Japan and Korea aboard the MS Caledonian Sky with large viewing decks and sun lounge.

Technical Data

Length: 90.6m, Width: 15.3m, Max. Cruising Speed 12 knots, Tonnage: 4,200, Crew: 75, Guest Capacity: 114, Total Refurbishment: 2012

See ship plans for the MS Caledonian Sky here

Suite Floor Plans


The standard suite aboard the Caledonian Sky.Standard Suite
224 square ft / 22.7 square metres featuring four portholes

 

 

The Premium Balcony Suite aboard the Caledonian Sky.Premium Balcony Suite
260 square ft / 20 square metres featuring a 45 square ft / 4.2 square metres private balcony

 

 

 

Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

Cruise aboard the Yangzte River's only luxury all-suite ship.

Technical Data

Length: 91m, Decks: 5, Crew: 130, Cabins: 62, Launched: 2008

See ship plans for the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer here

Suite Floor Plans

Yangzi Explorer Balcony Suite.Balcony Suite
224 Available in Category A & B. 420 square ft / 39 sq metres 

Yangzi explorer deluxe cabin.Deluxe Cabin
260 Available in Category E, D & C. 333 square ft / 31 square metres

 

Included Experiences

  • All sightseeing as mentioned
  • Services of a Cruise Director, Tour Manager & Botanical Guide
  • Airport transfers, tipping & port taxes
  • 66 Meals – 23 Breakfasts, 22 Lunches & 21 Dinners      
  • Wine, beer & soft drink included with lunch & dinner on Japan cruise
  • 10 nights MS Caledonian Sky & 3 nights Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer
  • 1 night in Tokyo & 5-star hotels in China
  • Economy airfare Tokyo to Beijing & flights as per itinerary in China

Additional Information

Fitness Level

  • Our tours and cruise cater to various fitness levels
  • This tour requires a medium level of fitness – Involves walking on uneven surfaces for more than one hour, multiple two-night stays in one location with potential for unexpected changes to itineraries

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • A visa is required for China
  • Shuttle transfers are provided in Tokyo and Osaka
  • Cherry blossom viewing is subject to nature
  • Prices are for land/cruise/rail and flights as specified only 

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