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Japan & the Russian Far East

Japan Russia Far East Cruise

Summary : Observe ceremonies and performances by locals such as traditional Cossack song and dance. Peer into Mt. Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan. Tour Kumamoto Castle. Visit military and historical museums, including the highly regarded Arsenyev Regional History Museum. Board a C-56 WWII submarine and visit Vladivostok Railway Station – terminal of the Trans-Siberian railroad. Behold Buddhasugi, a 2,500 year old cedar tree and the massive 400 year old Sakishimasuou tree, the largest of its kind in Japan. And explore the Ryukyus (Okinawa) Islands on this trip of a lifetime. Travel in the company of experts including an ecologist, marine biologist and wildlife veterinarian.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking


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$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1
Otaru, Japan

Embark the Silver Discoverer for this amazing expedition. Meet your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, and meet some of your fellow travelers.

Day 2
Korsakov, Sakhalin Island, Russia

Explore part of this city founded in 1853 as Sakhalin's first Russian military post. From here drive to Sakhalinsk, the capital of the island. Founded as a small Russian settlement in the 1880’s, the city became a Japanese prefect capital when the southern half of Sakhalin was declared a Japanese colony in 1905; after WWII it was returned to Russia. Highlights include a visit to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Regional Museum housed in an impressive former Japanese mansion, and the bustling market. Celebrate with the locals and enjoy a performance of traditional Cossack song and dance.

Day 3
At Sea

Enjoy a leisurely day at sea to exchange notes with fellow travelers and take advantage of the luxurious amenities aboard Silver Discoverer. Help birders spot some of the seabirds found far away from their nesting grounds. Enjoy a lecture, an interesting book, or just relax in the comfort of your suite and watch a movie.

Day 4
Olga Bay, Russia

Arrive by Zodiac at Olga Bay, located in the Sea of Japan, at the East coast of Primorsky Krai. Olga Bay is quite calm and inviting. Upon arrival, be treated to a ceremonial greeting by the locals, after which a visit to the local lore museum is in store.

Day 5
Petrov / Zakatnaya

Join your Expedition Team for a walk across the wide tundra valley where once – ages ago – stood an enormous glacier.

Day 6 – 7

Charming and picturesque, Vladivostok will draw you in with its unique nature and lovely sceneries. Take in the culture and history of the area while visiting the Vladivostok Railway Station (terminal of the Trans-Siberian railroad), the C-56 WWII submarine on the harbor embankment, and the highly regarded Arsenyev Regional History Museum.

Day 8 – 9
At Sea

A leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Begin perhaps with a late breakfast and another cup of coffee or tea during the first of the day’s lectures. Hear fascinating tales of adventure and learn more about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields.

Day 10
Kumamoto, Japan

From emerald fields to architectural wonders of a time past, Kumamoto is a real treat for the eyes. We’ll begin our day at Mt. Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan, as well as one of the largest in the world. Taking the ropeway cable car, arrive at the top of the mountain for an up close view of the caldera, which measures 75 miles in circumference. After a delicious lunch, head to the awe-inspiring Kumamoto Castle for a tour of this magnificent structure.

Day 11
Yakushima, Japan

As if out of a storybook, the island of Yakushima and its famous 1,000 year old cedar trees will fill you with childlike wonder. Take a hiking tour through Yakusugi Park and pass through the groves of ancient Yaku-sugi where Buddhasugi, a 2,500 year old cedar mightily stands. The Yaku-sugi and indigenous fauna earned the island a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1993.

Day 12
Motobu, Okinawa-jima, Japan

Okinawa is a typical Japanese subtropical region with a warm climate where cherry blossoms bloom in late January. There are more than sixty islands between the main island, Okinawa, in the North and Yonaguni-jima at the southwestern end.

Once called Ryukyus, these Islands were unified into a kingdom in the 12th century, while a dynasty was established in the 15th century by the Sho Clan. In the 17th century, the Islands had come into the joint possession of China and Shimazu Clan of Japan. Later, the region became a prefecture of Japan.

Today explore the Yambaru Discovery Forest. Walk along the nature trail with a local guide for about 1.5 hours. At the beginning of the trail, you will see a small traditional house with a thatched roof. If you are lucky, you will see some indigenous species such as, Ishikawa frogs, hanasaki frogs, and some of the migratory birds that stop by this area in winter.

Day 13
Miyako-jima, Japan

Miyako-jima is the largest of the eight islands of the Miyako Island Chain. The island contains many historical relics and beautiful white sandy beaches. A scenic drive and glass bottom boat ride are the best ways to experience Miyako-jima, mostly known as one of the world’s best diving destinations. Plenty of photo opportunities will also be had at Higashihennazaki Cape and Ikema Ohashi Bridge.

Day 14
Iriomote-jima / Ishigaki-jima

Often known as the Galapagos of Japan, Iriomote-jima has unique animals such as the Iriomote wildcat and crested eagle, along with various and rare flora and fauna indigenous to the Island. A one-hour mangrove cruise is one of the best ways to see the Island, and features the massive 400 year old Sakishimasuou tree, the largest of its kind in the country.

Continue on to Ishigaki-jima. The many hibiscus and deigo flowers fascinate as they create an unforgettable color scheme. The Ryukyu village is a National Traditional Architecture Preservation District. This beautiful village boasts houses topped with red clay roofs, coral stone garden walls, and sandy streets. A water buffalo carriage tour will move you slowly through the quaint village.

Day 15
Hualien, Taiwan

Satisfy your mochi rice cake cravings and feast your eyes on the gorgeous Taroko Gorge scenery. The region is a locus of Han Chinese and indigenous culture, as well as of Taiwan-based Japanese culture. It boasts scores of historical sites, remnants of immigrant villages, temples, tea plantations, and more – all from the period of Japanese occupation.

Day 16
Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan

Following breakfast, disembark the vessel.


This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Suite accommodations; onboard meals and entertainment; butler service; parka; backpack; water bottle; gratuities aboard ship (except spa); complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soda, water and coffee).

Not Included:
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; optional shore excursions; park entrance fees; government fees and taxes; passport and visa expenses; Visa Invitation Letter $40; some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars; laundry or valet services; items of a personal nature such as boutique purchases, medical care, and spa services; fuel surcharge may apply.

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