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Sail Japan’s Inland Sea, marveling at the fabled shrines, incredible castles, and dramatic coastlines of Honshu Island—as an added bonus, we’ll visit Gyeongju, South Korea, a World Heritage Site and ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty.

Visit sacred Shinto shrines and ancient Buddhist temples.
Photograph two of Japan’s most celebrated traditional gardens—Koraku-en and Kenroku-en—as well as Miyajima’s iconic red torii.
View Matsue’s architectural treasures, including a perfectly preserved medieval castle and a 250-year-old samurai house.

Watch a master potter create distinctive pastel-glazed ceramics in Hagi.
Stroll through the moving Peace Memorial Park at Hiroshima.

Spend a full day in Gyeongju, South Korea with a visit to Bulguksa Temple,

a World Heritage Site.



MS Caledonian Sky

The all-suite, 100-guest Caledonian Sky is a spacious, yet intimate, expedition vessel. Refurbished in 2012, her beautifully designed public spaces include a single-seating dining room, a large lounge with piano, elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, sun deck, library, and small gym.

All suites have an ocean view and feature a sitting room, en suite bathroom, flat screen television, spacious wardrobes, and dressing table.

The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs, available for accessing remote shorelines and islands and is equipped to offer scuba diving.

DAY 1Depart USA

Board your independent flight to Tokyo, Japan.

DAY 2Tokyo, Japan

Arrive in Tokyo and transfer to the New Otani Hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 3Tokyo / Niigata / Embark Caledonian Sky

This morning join a city tour that showcases the modern and ancient highlights of Japan’s dynamic

capital city. After lunch, ride one of the famed bullet trains to Niigata where you will embark the

Caledonian Sky.

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 4Sado Island

Well off the beaten path of most travelers, Sado Island possesses both the pastoral charm of verdant

rice paddies and bamboo groves, and the dramatic beauty of surf-pounded seacoasts. Learn how to

make soba noodles by hand, then explore the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine in Aikawa which operated for

over 300 years. In Toki Forest Park, view the endangered Japanese crested ibis and learn about

conservation efforts

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 5Kanazawa

Kanazawa is a thriving center of the arts, long renowned for its lacquerware and superb collectible Kutani-style pottery. Kanazawa is also home to one of Japan’s premier botanical highlights—the famed Kenroku-en Garden. Sophisticated, centuries-old designs create an artful aura of seclusion and contemplation. A serene teahouse perches on a small peninsula in the middle of a pond, while carved stone lanterns line the footpaths. In the afternoon, visit Higashi Chaya Machi District where you will find a number of well-preserved, traditional teahouses. Browse the shops for local handicrafts, including high quality ceramics, lacquerware, and gold leaf products.

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 6Matsue

The coastline along the north shore of Honshu offers splendid views of craggy rock faces and rugged shores sculpted by waves. Matsue, the “town of water,” is nestled between a scenic lake and a large lagoon. Visit the cultural attractions of the town which include the Matsue Castle and a 250-year-old samurai house complete with tatami rooms. Continue to nearby Yasugi for a tour of the Adachi Museum of Arts, which displays famous Japanese paintings and ceramics.

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 7Ulsan, South Korea / Gyeongju

This morning disembark in the bustling port of Ulsan and depart overland for magnificent Gyeongju. Considered by UNESCO as one of the world’s ten most historically significant sites, it is often described as a “museum without walls.” As the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty, Gyeongju’s cultural heritage dates back to the first millennium when the dynasty began its rule of Korea after conquering and uniting divergent monarchies. The cultural flowering of Gyeongju reached its artistic pinnacle in the 8th century as craftsmen created masterpieces in wood, metal, stone, and pottery.

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 8Shimonoseki, Japan / Hagi

Disembark in Shimonoseki this morning and depart overland for Hagi, an exquisite medieval samurai town which served as the capital of the local daimyo, feudal lords, between 1603 and 1868. Stroll through the serene Tokoji Temple and burial site of the daimyo which is surrounded by thousands of stone lanterns. Hagi is also world-renowned for its pastel-glazed pottery and you will have the opportunity to watch a master-potter at work.

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 9Shimonoseki / Akiyoshi-do

After breakfast set out for Akiyoshi-do, a huge limestone cavern, filled with a fantastic variety of rock formations and other unique geological features. After lunch on board, take a stroll through the lively Karato Fish Market, then visit the Kanmon Kaikyo Museum in Moji. Afterward, enjoy some free time to browse the shops or take a walk along the lovely seaside promenade.

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 10Hiroshima / Miyajima

In Hiroshima, visit the compelling Peace Memorial Park located in the heart of the city. A World Heritage Site, the park and its monuments are dedicated to the hope for world peace; an arch-shaped cenotaph includes the names of all the known victims of the atomic bomb. After lunch visit one of Japan’s scenic wonders, Miyajima, or “shrine island.” Photograph the iconic scarlet torii, a giant camphor-wood gate at the entrance to the Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage Site and a sacred site of pilgrimage. At high tide it appears to float in the surrounding waters.

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 11Takamatsu

Enjoy a tour of Shikoku Village, an open-air museum which exhibits a variety of traditional structures dating from the Edo and Meiji periods, including farmhouses, workshops, bridges, and a kabuki theater. Take a stroll through Noguchi Sculpture Park to view over 150 works of art on display in a traditional Japanese garden setting.

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 12Uno-Ko / Naoshima

Today, visit some of the many contemporary art museums in Naoshima. The Benesse House Museum, features interesting displays that combine art and nature through the collaborative efforts of many world-renowned artists and architects. The Chichu Art Museum, literally, “in the earth,” houses a number of site-specific installations by James Turrell and Walter De Maria, and paintings by Claude Monet. Or, choose a relaxing walk through one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens, Koraku-en, a 17th-century formal garden encompassing 28 acres of walking trails, ponds, plum and cherry trees, and a classic teahouse. In the afternoon, tour the old merchant quarter of Kurashiki, where many fine examples of 17th-century warehouses, mills, and shops can be found.

MS Caledonian Sky

DAY 13Kobe / Disembark / Kyoto

Disembark in Kobe and depart overland for Kyoto, Japan’s lovely cultural capital. Visit the 12th-century Sanjusangen-do Temple, housing the Thousand-Armed Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, before lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, tour the exquisite Kiyomizu-dera Temple with its sacred waterfall, and the Heian-jingu Shrine and its gardens, built in 1895 to commemo­rate the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto. Dinner and overnight for the next two nights at the Hotel Okura.

DAY 14Kyoto

After breakfast enjoy a morning tour of Japan’s lovely cultural capital. Among the tour highlights is a visit to the Heian-jingu Shrine and its gardens, built in 1895 to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto; the 12th-century Sanjusangen-do Temple, housing the Thousand-Armed Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy; and the exquisite Kiyomizu-dera Temple with its sacred waterfall. After lunch at a local restaurant the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure followed by overnighting at our hotel.

DAY 15Kyoto / Osaka / USA

After breakfast transfer to the Osaka airport for your independent flight, arriving in the USA the same day.

Tour Details

Tokyo, Japan
Osaka, Japan

Package price is per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement applies. Land, air, and governmental/park taxes are subject to change based on date of departure. International airfare is additional. Other restrictions may apply. Contact us for complete journey details.