Luxury Expedition Cruise To Visit Islands Of Japan

We were impressed with the way Abercrombie & Kent added a layer of luxury to the standard river cruise fare when we sailed with them last year.   A&K programing was custom designed for our small group, enabling us to make connections with local people and places along the way.  In a similar way, A&K offers a luxury travel experience on small, chartered ocean ships.  Of the future luxury expedition cruise offerings, one in particular looks to be an extraordinary voyage, typical of just how good Abercrombie & Kent  is at this.

“Trying to replicate this itinerary by land would be both difficult and hugely expensive, between the cost of hotels, bus and train transportation, along with the internal flights.”- Bob Simpson, Abercrombie & Kent’s Vice President, Product Operations & Small Ships.

Abercrombie Journeys

Screenshot 2015-03-30 07.06.33Upscale cruise travelers can explore the best of Japan’s main islands with this Abercrombie & Kent Journeys itinerary titled  Wonders of Japan, May 13-26, 2016, on 199-passenger, all-balcony Le Soléal.  This is the sister-ship to Le Boreal, which A&K uses in Antarctica and the Arctic.  Simply sailing on the luxurious small ship could be a memorable experience, but A&K does more here too.

Along for the voyage,  A&K’s knowledgeable expedition team promises to offer incomparable insight into the country’s rich culture, ancient history and natural treasures.  The unique Luxury Expedition Cruise itinerary visits  Japan’s less-frequented coastal areas and remote parts of the country with ease, due to the small size of Le Soleal, all at a relaxed pace. It’s what we call ‘slow travel’ and it can be done on any ship, anywhere in the world; taking the time to enjoy the moment.   That might mean lingering at a sidewalk cafe in France, spending the day exploring a beautiful park in an amazing place or trying something new, like a small ship cruise.  That this one is done with Abercrombie & Kent nearly insures a lifetime-quality experience.

This fourth edition of A&K’s cruise around the islands of Japan will cross the International Dateline and visiting unique ports with access to rarely-seen wilderness areas too.  Frankly, doing the same itinerary would be nearly impossible, between the cost of hotels, bus and train transportation along with internal flights from place to place.

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Making Local Connections On A Luxury Expedition Cruise

Highlights of the voyage feature less-frequented ports and a choice of activities designed to appeal to guests’ personal passions, like these:

  • Exploration of Takahashi to visit Matsuyama Castle and the Kibitsu Shrine,
  • Korakuen Gardens at their spring best and the Kurashiki historical district.
  • Visit the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima
  • See the panoramic landscapes of the Izumu Plain and Matsue
  • Experience the samurai and geisha houses in Kanazawa
  • An A&K exclusive: A private performance by the Kodo Taiko Drummers in Sado-ga-shima.
    Outdoor enthusiasts can hike through Kakusenkie Gorge and enjoy an onsen (hot springs) experience in the Yamanaka onsen district.

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The Expedition Team

In addition to assembling an award-winning expedition team to orchestrate the journey and offer fascinating lectures throughout the Luxury Expedition Cruise voyage, A&K will have experts on hand to provide a distinctly local point of view.

  • Mark Brazil guests will have the opportunity to learn first hand about the natural world from author and Japan Times columnist Mark Brazil
  • Mayumi Kanamura-Brazil- the intricacies of contemporary Japanese culture from native literature expert Mayumi Kanamura-Brazil
  • Richard Harker- hands-on photography instruction with Richard Harker
  • Associate Professor Emeritus Dr. Lee Makela-  Asian architecture and garden design with author and Associate Professor Emeritus Dr. Lee Makela.

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The Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship

Le Soléal features elegant guest quarters that are spacious and comfortable, with a choice of bedding configurations, including two-room, two-bath suites. Common areas, including a theater, two spacious lounges and a small library invite casual conversation with fellow passengers and expedition staff members, as well as space for private reflection in quiet corners. While a full-service salon, steam room, spa and fitness center complete the amenities.

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Booking Information

Wonders of Japan Aboard Le Soleal with Abercrombie & Kent (May 13 – 26, 2016) is a total of 14 days with prices starting at $14,495 per person, double occupancy.  For more details on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, contact your travel professional, go to or call 800 554 7094 to speak to a Travel Consultant.

Abercrombie & Kent’s Luxury Expedition Cruise journeys are one of the most inclusive ways to cruise, by including pre- and post-cruise hotel stays and sightseeing, on-board lectures, shore excursions, equipment, most drinks, and crew and staff gratuities. A&K guarantees an unbeatable guide-to-guest ratio of 1:12.