Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
Day Hong Kong, ChinaDeparts 05:00 PM Among the world's most glamorous and cosmopolitan cities, Hong Kong sits on the southern coast of China at the Pearl River estuary of the South China Sea. It comprises Hong Kong Island, where the Central Business District and most affluent areas and attractions are, and, on the mainland, Kowloon and the New Territories. Hong Kong is a regional and global hub for banking, shipping, fashion and food, boasting more than 60 Michelin-starred restaurants. Its five-star hotels are among the most elegant to be found anywhere; many are set in the towering skyscrapers that carpet Hong Kong Island's steep slopes and light up its skyline so beautifully.Officially known as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy relative to the rest of China, even after it was reunified with China in 1997 after 156 years of British rule ended.Many cruises in Southeast and East Asia start or end in Hong Kong, and it's definitely a great city in which to spend a day or two sightseeing and finding cultural things to do before or after the voyage. Smaller cruise ships can dock right in Victoria Harbour, for front-row seats of the stunning skyline. Unfortunately, pollution is a problem, and sometimes the views are obscured because of it.
Day At Sea
Day Keelung (Taipei), TaiwanArrives 07:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Keelung is the second largest port in Taiwan, and a booming trade industry has turned it into a very prosperous city and international seaport. However, the main reason for calling here is to travel inland to visit the contemporary metropolis of Taipei. Not long ago, the scenic valley of the Tanshui River was home to rice and vegetable farmers, but today it is the site of Taiwan's bustling center of culture, commerce and government.
Day Miyakojima (Hirara), Miyako, JapanArrives 10:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM "Miyako Island (Miyakojima), located 300 kilometers south of Okinawa Main Island and 100 kilometers north of the Yaeyama Islands, is known for some of Japan's best beaches and as a great destination for snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs. The sub tropical climate provides mild weather year around.
Miyako is the fourth largest island in Okinawa Prefecture. It lacks any major hills or mountains and is mostly covered by sugar cane fields and a few towns, among which Hirara is the largest with a moderate range of restaurants and bars. Resort hotels and pensions are found across the island. Unlike other parts of Okinawa, Miyako is free of habu snakes."
Day Okinawa (Motobu), JapanArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM Renowned for its scenic beauty, rich history and unique Chinese, Japanese and Korean culture, Okinawa is famous for its ceramic wares. Tsuboya Potter Museum is the place to visit to learn about this beautiful artform. You'll also want to see Shuri Castle & Shureimon Gate, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Kokusai Street, the main shopping area.
Day Amami Island, JapanArrives 08:30 AM Departs 06:00 PM The tropical small port of Amami Island is well-known in Japan for the top-quality silk and dyes produce the highest-end kimonos. The white-sand beaches and warm, crystal-clear waters of Amami are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Amami is also known for Keihan, its unique chicken rice dish.
Day Yakushima, JapanArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM Another delightful small port, Yakushima has been a UNESCO site since 1993. This sub-tropical island is covered with an extensive cedar forest with trees that are 7,000 years old. Wildlife here includes the Yakushima deer and snow monkeys. A special Japanese liquor of rice, barley, sweet potatoes and buckwheat is made here.
Day Scenic Cruising: Hashima Island / Nagasaki, JapanArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM / Arrives 10:00 AM Departs 10:00 PM Cruise around the island of Hashima, abandoned over 50 years ago when the coal mining that flourished there suddenly ran out. The mining company shut the mine down and
the island has been a ghost town ever since. (Visibility depends on weather conditions.)
Notable for the nuclear attack it suffered during WWII, Nagasaki has memorialized the event at the city's Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Memorial Park. The museum tells
the story of the events leading up to the bombing and the park, located at the center of the bomb blast, houses a beautiful 30-foot tall fountain symbolizing peace.
Other highlights to see are the Glover Gardens and Dejima Museum, which was originally an artificial island.
Day At Sea
Day Tomonoura, Japan / Scenic Cruising Seto Inland Sea, JapanArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM / Arrives 10:00 AM Departs 10:00 PM This picturesque port city is one of Windstar's iconic hidden harbors. Tomonoura is part of the Setonanikai National Park and features an endearing old-fashioned townscape. One of its thriving industries is the production of âhomeishu,â a medicinal liquor with 16 different herbs in it, said to promote longevity.
Scenic Cruising Seto Inland Sea, Japan
The sparsely traveled Inland Sea separates 3 of the 4 main islands of Japan and is considered one of the most fascinating and little known parts of Japan. Its sheltered coasts include more than 700 islands and islets and is full of picturesque water towns, beautiful bicycling routes and many old-fashioned bathhouses. It is a unique blend of old and new Japan experienced by few people.
Day Kobe, JapanArrives 12:01 AM Departs 11:59 PM "One of the greatest things about Japan is its attention to detail. Nothing is too small for consideration. Nailheads on temple walkways are hidden by inlaid metal covers. If the train schedule says the train arrives at 11:05, it will not be there at 11:04; and if its more than 10 minutes late, you can get the rail line to give you an excuse form to present back at the office, explaining your tardiness. Shops sell combs and hairpins made with the same patterns and in the same way as 500 years ago.
So maybe this attention to detail explains what happened in 20th-century Kobe. Some farmer was looking at his cow, thinking, What possibilities of perfection am I missing? Cows were still a new thing; they were banned as food almost until WWII, so cow rules were in flux when this farmer began massaging his herd with sake. The cows got pleasantly drunk on local beer and listened to classical musicand in return for the pampering, they produced, and continue to produce, heavily marbled, melt-in-the-mouth cuts of meat that can easily sell for a hundred bucks a dish. Like everything else in town, Kobe beef is all in the details.
Among the Japanese, Kobe is considered exotic: If you cant go to Paris, go to Kobe. And it does make a nice break from Osakas relentless pace. Order a steak, find a window booth and watch the details.
Day At Sea
Day Tokyo, JapanArrives 08:00 AM There are so many interesting things about Tokyo it is not possible to list them here and you will want to plan to extend your stay. This is the place for excellent and unlimited shopping choices and from where new fashion trends seem to spring. It offers excellent cuisine and has earned mention on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Even though Tokyos neon-lit streets make it seem modernistic, it also prides itself on retaining its shogun past, carrying on sumo tournaments and kabuki productions. Tokyo is also committed to providing green spaces in the city or on the outskirts, quickly reached by train.