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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017)

Join A&K USA President Phil Otterson on exclusively chartered 'L'Austral' for an extraordinary voyage that reveals Japan and its neighbors as you never imagined them. Explore the rarely visited Ryukyu Islands, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong, accompanied by an award-winning expedition team and choosing from a variety of enriching experiences en route.

Time Event Description
28th May 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Upon arrival at Osaka’s Kansai or Itami International Airport, youare met by an A&K representative and transferred to the ImperialHotel Osaka, spending the remainder of the day at your leisure.Rest up from your travels, or explore on your own with guidancefrom the A&K hospitality desk.
29th May 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Set out on an enlightening tour of Kyoto, paying visits to NijoCastle and The Golden Pavilion. Pause for a fascinating discussionabout Zen Buddhism at Tenryuji Temple. After lunch at a localrestaurant, continue to Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine.Gather for a welcome reception, dining with your fellow guests,local guides and A&K staff.
30th May 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) After breakfast, enjoy a morning at leisure to relax or explore onyour own. After lunch, set out on a driving tour of Osaka, visitingOsaka Castle and Shitennoji Temple, one of the oldest in Japan.Next, step aboard the luxury cruiser ‘L’Austral,’ your home forthe next 12 nights. This evening, join your captain, crew andExpedition Team for a welcome briefing.
31st May 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) This morning, ‘L’Austral’ arrives at Uno-Ko near Okayama.Choose from a wide range of available art, culture, architecture,horticulture and active hiking experiences. You may, for example,choose a full-day excursion to Naoshima Island. Set in the SetoInland Sea, it is known for its modern art museums, architectureand sculptures. Visit the Benesse museums, designed by Japanesearchitect Ando Tadao, including the Chichu Art Museum. Next, enjoy lunch at the Benesse House. Garden enthusiasts mayembark on a full-day excursion to the beautifully landscapedKorakuen Gardens, followed by a visit to Kurashiki — animportant rice distribution center — to explore convertedstorehouses, boutiques and an exclusive opening of the OharaMuseum for A&K guests, featuring a large collection of workfrom Western and Asian artists. Meanwhile, active guests mayopt to visit the Edo-era village of Takahashi, seeing the KibitsuShrine, trekking to Matsuyama Castle in Takahashi and witnessingits preserved old town, once home to samurai residences andmerchant houses. Back on board, gather with fellow guests —as well as your captain, officers and A&K team — for a captain’sreception and dinner.
1st Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Disembark in the port of Hiroshima, where you may choose tovisit Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum, its cenotaph containingnames of the known victims of the atomic bomb, followed by aspeedboat ride to Miyajima Island to witness the scarlet ToriiGate at the entrance to the sacred Shinto Shrine. Or, set out ona full-day excursion through Hiroshima, visiting HiroshimaCastle and Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum and attendinga private meeting and lecture conducted by an atomic bombsurvivor. Alternately, you may spend a full day on the tranquilisland of Miyajima, where you visit the Itsukushima-jinja Shrine,a UNESCO World Heritage Site; take a cable car and hike to thetop of Mount Misen; and visit the Shinto Shrine and Torii Gate.Return to ‘L’Austral’ and continue sailing through the KamnonStrait en route to the Korea Strait.
2nd Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) This morning, disembark for the excursion of your choosing inUwajima, a scenic port town nestled among Shikoku Island’swestern mountains. You may opt to visit a working pearl farm,learning the process of implanting, harvesting, extracting andsorting these little treasures. Afterward, explore Sakiiya Squareand the historic Daikakuji Temple. Alternatively, visit UwajimaCastle, one of only 12 such original structures surviving from theEdo period. Cap off your excursion at Tenshaen Garden, a manicured masterpiece bursting with wisteria and bamboo.You may also opt to explore Uchiko’s Old Town, stopping atKoshojim Temple, the Uchikoza Kabuki Theater and MichinoekiKisaiya Hiroba. Early this afternoon, re-board ‘L’Austral’ anddepart mainland Japan, heading south toward Yakushimaand the Ryukyu Islands.
3rd Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Set out for a day of discovery in the UNESCO World HeritageSite of Yakushima Island, a lush natural treasure spanning everyclimate zone of Japan. Sprawling with mountain peaks and cedarforests, this sub-tropical island is home to some of Japan’s oldesttrees — many older than 7,000 years. Choose from a number ofhikes exploring the cedars, waterfalls and boardwalk trails ofYakusugi Land Nature Park. Next, delve into the ecology, historyand industry of these forests at the Yakusugi Nature Museum.Under the guidance of one of the island’s expert craftsmen, carveyour own personal set of chopsticks from 1,000-year-old YakusugiCedar. You may also opt for an active trek and onsen (hot springs)experience at Iwasako Yakushima. Throughout your excursions,be on the lookout for the distinctive Yakushima macaque monkeyand Yakushima deer. Re-board ‘L’Austral’ and depart Yakushimain the evening. Conditions and time permitting, embark on aZodiac excursion to Toro-ki, a scenic waterfall cascading directlyinto the sea.
4th Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Disembark to explore Amami-oshima, a wild island paradise ofmangrove forests, stunning deep blue waters and vibrant coralreefs. Often compared to the Galápagos, Amami-oshima Islandboasts incredible biodiversity. Learn how Abercrombie &Kent Philanthropy is helping to preserve the endangered Amamirabbit, a distinctive native to the island for some 100 millionyears. Continue on to visit the Amami Cultural Center and takein a collection of masterworks by renowned artist Isson Tanaka.Following lunch, pay a visit to Amami-oshima Tsumugi, acharming village known for crafting some of the world’s finestkimonos for more than 1,300 years. Adventurous guests mayalso opt for a guided trek through the virgin forest canopy anda behind-the-scenes look at the Amami Conservation Center.Alternatively, you may enjoy a morning at the Ohama Seaside ParkAquarium, with free time for swimming, snorkeling and kayakingthrough the deltas of the mangrove forest.
5th Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) This morning, set foot on the largest island in the Ryuku chainfor a full-day tour of Okinawa. Begin with a visit to the Chineseinfluencedarchitecture of Shuri-jo Castle and a stroll through thewhimsical Kokusai street market. After lunch at a local restaurant,learn about the centuries-old Okinawan Bingata dyeing process, atraditional stenciling technique yielding vivid images of fish, water and flowers. Alternatively, tour the vast Churaumi Aquarium,home to one of the largest display tanks in the world. Cap off yourexcursion by taking in the ruins of Nakijin Castle, an inspiringUNESCO World Heritage Site. Active guests may choose instead toenjoy a full-day excursion trekking northern Okinawa’s YamburuNational Park.
6th Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Today, dip your toes in the sands of Miyako-jima, a small volcanicisland of crystal waters, bio-diverse reefs and pristine beaches.If you wish, snorkel the coral reefs, swimming among sea turtlesand other exotic marine life. Alternatively, enjoy a glass-bottomboat ride in Hagashi Henna Zaki Cape and a visit to the MakiyamaObservatory. Conclude your excursion with a traditional Ai-zomeindigo dyeing demonstration.
7th Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) This morning, set foot on the island of Ishigaki-jima, a tropicalparadise bridging the cultures of Japan and Taiwan. Disembarkto explore Ishigaki-jima, strolling Kabira Bay and taking inthe tropical flowers and Pacific breezes of the TamatorizakiObservatory. Next, visit the Yaeama palm groves for a refreshingswim at Yonehara beach. After lunch aboard ‘L’Austral,’ set outto spelunk a limestone cave and discover the ornate beauty of theChinese-influenced Toujin Tomb. Alternatively, visit the smallisland of Taketomi, combing the beautiful Hoshinosuna beach andvisiting a traditional Ryukyu village adorned with thatched andtile-roofed houses. Or, take a ferry for a jungle cruise on the islandof Iromote-jima, home of the endemic and endangered Iromotecat. This evening, ‘L’Austral’ departs the Ryukyu Islands en routeto Taiwan.
8th Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Disembark in the port of Keelung, Taiwan, for today’s excursions.Begin with a visit to Taipei, the cultural capital of Taiwan. Browseartifacts spanning over 10,000 years of Chinese history at theNational Palace Museum. Next, visit the compelling NationalMartyrs Shrine, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Continueon to the Confucius Temple, the Pao An Temple and Dihua Street,a centuries-old marketplace for tea, medicinal herbs, fabrics andincense. You may also choose to take in the dizzying heights of Taipei 101 and the grandiose façade of the Chiang Kai-shekMemorial Hall. Alternatively, tour Taiwan’s northern coast,stopping in the former gold rush town of Cheifun. Followinglunch at a local restaurant, explore the distinct limestoneoutcroppings of Yehliu Geopark.
9th Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Set out for an inspiring day of discovery on Taiwan’s PenghuIsland. Begin with a visit to the Penghu National Scenic Areaand Zhongtung Wind Power Park, learning how this uniquelybeautiful corner of the world is working for a cleaner tomorrow.Next, take in the iconic Penghu Bridge, Southeast Asia’s firstdeep-sea bridge. Next, visit Dayi Temple, an undersea shrine ofcoral, precious whalebone, fish specimens, seashells and a pondof resident sea turtles. Following lunch, learn about the locallifestyle, culture, history and ecosystems at Penghu LivingMuseum. Next, plumb the depths of Fenggui Cave, explore theShai-kan-tang Temple and stroll the white sand beach of Shanshuei.This evening aboard ‘L’Austral,’ join your captain and ExpeditionTeam for the captain’s farewell gala.
10th Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Sail to Hong Kong, recapping your adventures in Japan, Taiwanand the Ryukyu Islands by sharing stories and photos with yourfellow guests.
11th Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) Bid farewell to ‘L’Austral’ in the iconic port city of Hong Kong.Begin your tour by strolling stalls of dried food and herbalmedicine in a Western District market, stopping to explore thestriking interior of Man Mo Temple. Next, ascend Victoria Peakfor a panoramic view from the observation deck. Afterward,step aboard a traditional sampan for a cruise through the localfloating villages of Aberdeen, disembarking to enjoy a Dim Sumlunch at the Aberdeen Marina Club’s private ballroom. Later inthe evening, transfer to the Hotel Langham Hong Kong for afarewell dinner.
12th Jun 2017
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New!Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President's Journey (2017) After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board your homeboundflight, or continue on to extend your stay in Beijing.

gory 1 - Classic Balcony Stateroom

Join A&K USA President Phil Otterson on exclusively chartered 'L'Austral' for an extraordinary voyage that reveals Japan and its neighbors as you never imagined them. Explore the rarely visited Ryukyu Islands, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong, accompanied by an award-winning expedition team and choosing from a variety of enriching experiences en route.

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