Think ‘Princess Cruises‘ and odds are images of The Love Boat come to mind somewhere along the way. Those who have sailed in the Caribbean or the waters of Alaska are probably familiar with Princess Cruises also. But Princess is also a global cruise and tour company operating a fleet of 18 modern ships that is a recognized leader in worldwide cruising and will carry 1.7 million guests this year to more than 350 destinations around the globe. One of those places is Japan.
“Japan is steeped in tradition and lore, with ancient sites, hallowed temples and natural wonders throughout the island chain. The ideal way to explore this fascinating country is by sea and Princess offers travelers unmatched options for discovering its many jewels,” -Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises
In 2016, Princess Cruises will offer a variety of Japan voyages from sailing from Tokyo and Kobe that circumnavigate the country, visiting top-rated ports. Also new for 2016, new ports of call with the island of Kyushu, along with visits to Korea, Taiwan and Russia. The voyages have UNESCO World Heritage sites as a centerpiece and are scheduled to be on the scene at some of Japan’s largest and most celebrated cultural festivals and special events. New cruisetour Land and Sea Vacation packages will take travelers into the heart of Japanese culture in Kyoto and Tokyo. In other words, this too is a destination-focused cruise line.
Four Different Ways To See Japan
Sailing on Diamond Princess, itineraries range from four to 20 nights and break down into four different categories:
- Circle Japan voyages– All of Japan on Circle Japan voyages;
- Circle Hokkaido Island voyages– Northern Japan on Circle Hokkaido Island voyages, with a visit to Korsakov, Russia;
- Southern Japan on Kyushu Island voyages– feature maiden ports of call in the beautiful southern beach port of Miyazaki and the famous castle ruins of Yatushiro as well as Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands.
- Grand Japan voyages ranging from 14- to 20- nights offer the greatest variety of ports and experiences; while four- and five-night getaway cruises provide a sampling of some of Japan’s not-to-be-missed destination highlights.
“We visit the top-rated ports, provide local cultural entertainment and culinary experiences onboard and offer bi-lingual service to make it easy and memorable for our guests to explore all that Japan offers, ” saidJan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The new Princess Cruises itineraries take guests to a wide variety of culturally significant sites listed by including some of the world’s greatest attractions such as 7th Century Bulguska Temple in the Korean capital of Gyeong-Ju and remote historic villages in central Japan. All Hokkaido Island cruises feature the Shiretoko Peninsula, one of the world’s richest eco-systems and one of the few places in the world where multiple species of whales, dolphins and porpoises can be spotted, among many more.
Festivals and Special Events
Spectacular summer festivals and fireworks displays are the highlight of many summer cruises ranging from seven- to 11-night itineraries. These sailings include late evening departures from ports to allow guests time to participate in vividly colored lantern processionals, parades of giant floats, dance festivals and spectacular fireworks displays like the famous Toyohashi Fire Festival in Nagoya and the Kagoshima Summer Night Fireworks with an active volcano as the backdrop.
Guests on next year’s July 25 and August 4 voyages will experience the Nebuta Festival, Japan’s most extravagant display of brilliantly-colored floats, musicians and dancers. Sailings on August 15, 24 and September 9 of 2016 feature some of Japan’s largest and most spectacular fireworks festivals.
Land and Sea Vacations
To further enhance the cruise line’s Japanese vacations, Princess Cruises will offer multi-day land tour package options, available for add-on with most cruises, to explore Kyoto and Tokyo. Kyoto tours will include sightseeing at Nijo Castle, the famed Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and popular Japanese gardens. Tokyo tours explore this fascinating city before heading out to Mt. Fuji, Togendai and Lake Ashi.
Customized For Japan Immersion
While Diamond Princess features the cruise line’s signature innovations including its popular Movies Under the Stars poolside theater and The Sanctuary, an exclusive top-deck retreat, it also offers many unique features designed to enhance the Japanese cultural experience onboard including:
- Traditional Izumi Japanese Bath – the largest of its kind at sea and modeled after the popular Japanese onsen experience
- Kai Sushi restaurant – boasting made-to-order sushi and a full selection of Japanese sake
- Noodle stations – serving up a rotating selection of ramen, soba and udon noodles
- Tamagoyaki – a traditional Japanese omelet available daily for breakfast
- Unique Japanese entertainment offerings such as “rakugo” storytelling performances and origami classes
- Unparalleled luxury brand duty-free shopping
Also, dining room menus offer a wide variety of international cuisine including Japanese options on all menus and onboard collateral items and stateroom information is available in both English and Japanese.
Princess Cruises’ 2016 Japan season runs from April to October, the only full season of voyages offered by a North American cruise line in Japan, and bookings for the new itineraries open to the public on April 16, 2015. More details can be found at princess.com.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.
Watch this video for a nice overview of Princess Cruises Japan