Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
Day Yokohama, JapanDeparts 08:00 PM "Until the mid-19th century, Japan lived in isolation, closed off from the rest of the world, and Yokohama was a mere fishing village. But in 1853, American naval officer Matthew Perry demanded the country open to foreign trade, and Yokohama was changed forever. The city quickly emerged as an international trading center, and while today it is often overshadowed by nearby Tokyo, it continues to be one of Japans liveliest, and most international, destinations. With its microbreweries and international restaurants, Yokohama has a decidedly different feel from many other Japanese cities.
From Yokohama, its a quick trip to peaceful Kamakura, home to Daibutsu, Japans second-largest bronze Buddha, and to the important Shinto shrine Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Head to Hakone National Park on a clear day and youll be rewarded with picture-postcard views of majestic Mt. Fuji. "
Day Shimizu, JapanArrives 08:00 AM Departs 02:00 PM Shimizus rich cultural heritage is rooted in the surrounding Shizuoka areas history as the home of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo shogunate, following his retirement from government. A collection of historic buildings in the vicinity, such as Kunozan Toshogu Shrine (designated a National Treasure by the Japanese government), Sumpu Castle Park, and Shizuoka Sengen Shrine, depict a fascinating portrait of the life and accomplishments of this major historical figure. The Shizuoka areas ancient culture is available not only for observation but for hands-on experience as well. At Sumpu Takumi-shuku, visitors can try their hand at making traditional Suruga handicrafts characteristic of the Shizuoka region, such as bamboo works, dyes, and lacquerware.
Day Osaka, JapanArrives 08:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM "Think of Osaka, Japan (accent on the O), as a combination of Los Angeles and Chicago. It very definitely has L.A.s second-city complex, but its attitude is pure Chicago. The only business that matters is business, and so what if the Hanshin Tigers, the local baseball team, are frequently the worst professional athletes in the world? Theyre the home team. People in Osaka laugh louder, play harder and drink more than Tokyos most decadent dreams. Osaka even has its own dialect, one the rest of the country calls dirty Japanese, one entirely different than even Kobesand Kobe is an Osaka suburb.
Nothing is old in Osaka. The place was flattened during the war (and then again in 1962 and 1989, by Godzilla). During the reconstruction, they forgot to include much in the way of parks or green space, and the sheer amount of concrete and steel sights can get overwhelming.
But Osaka has its attractions and interesting things to do. Sumo wrestlers wait for trains, reeking of chanko-nabe (traditional sumo food; pure energy and calories), just daring the official railway pushers to push them. Yakuza (Japanese gangsters) get train cars to themselves, but if you get on with them, its like youre invisible. Busy markets, the visual noise of neon and nonstop action on shopping streets offer insight into the energy and ambition of Osaka.
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Day Busan (Pusan), South KoreaArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM Busan is the second largest city in South Korea, and the country's seaside connection to Japan and the West. Lovely urban scenery, the Pusan International Film Festival, and near-by hot springs has made Busan a popular leisure destination. Busan has the sophistication of a major city, as well as famous beaches that lure visitors from all over the world. The city is a microcosm of South Korea, a nation whose economic success often obscures, to Westerners, one of Asia's most sophisticated and venerable cultures.
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Day Incheon (Seoul), South KoreaArrives 08:00 AM Departs 11:00 PM "Once upon a time, Incheon was a quiet seaside village, pretty typical for Korea. The men went fishing, the women made kimchi. There were maybe a couple thousand people altogether in the region.
And then it got caught in the middle of a war. Incheon is where, late in 1950, the U.S. Marines landed, marking the beginning of the end of the Korean War, a war that ultimately claimed more than 40,000 American soldiers lives and an undetermined number of Koreans.
After the fighting, when Incheon had a chance to dig itself out from the mud and shrapnel, it became part of the Korean economic miracle, the countrys first official free-enterprise zone. With its perfect natural port, flat landscape and 3 million residents, its become as much a part of the Seoul megalopolis now as it is a place of its own.
Visit Incheon with a Korean War vet, and they likely wont recognize a thing, except maybe a small area around Freedom Park. Where once there were rice ponds, there are now high-rise apartment buildings. Even the beach the Marines landed on has been filled and reshaped to make more room for the Korean economic miracle. But theres an entire generation haunted by this place, and its well worth looking around."
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Day Tianjin (Beijing), ChinaArrives 08:00 AM Departs 06:00 PM Tianjin Xingang (literally Tianjin New Port) is the largest and most important seaport in Northern China and the main marine gateway to the capital of the Peoples Republic at Beijing. The actual municipality of Tianjin is a short way inland. The capital is about 170 km (105 miles) away, served by a highway connection, as well as a high-speed bullet train. Seabourn uses the port for access to an optional mid-cruise overland Journey to Bejing and its many incomparable wonders including the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall.
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Day Qingdao, ChinaArrives 08:00 AM Departs 05:00 PM "Qingdao, located in the southeast part of Shandong Province, is a beautiful seaside city with clear air and enchanting sea view. This city, bordered by the Yellow Sea on two sides, has the largest bathing beach in Asia and produces the mellow Tsingtao Beer.
The red roofs, green trees, blue sea, and azure sky form a bright and colorful picture here. The city is sometimes known as the Switzerland of the Orient. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, the city attracts many visitors with its charming seascape. Sights like the Eight Passes Villas, Wusi Square, the Zhan Bridge, Mt. Laoshan, No.1 Bathing Beach, Badaguan Scenic Area will help you remember the city."
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Day Shanghai, ChinaArrives 08:00 AM "Shanghai is one of Asias most dynamic cities, and one of juxtapositions. Its divided in two by the Huangpu Riverto the west is Puxi and to the east Pudong. Puxi is the citys downtown and its historic center; on this side of the river, much of the city was historically divided into the famous foreign concessions, and its here that much of the shopping, dining and nightlife is concentrated today. Shanghai has more than 30,000 restaurants, from humble soup dumpling spots to formal affairs helmed by Michelin-starred chefs. Its museums, particularly the Shanghai Museum with its 120,000-strong collection of antiquities, are equally impressive. Pudong is where the citys major skyscrapers stand, among them the Jin Mao and Oriental Pearl towers.
Nowhere is Shanghais rich history and bright future more evident than along the Huangpu River. Stand on the Puxi side and, with the Bundalong which curve Shanghais stately early-20th-century heritage buildingsbehind you, you can gaze across the river at some of the worlds tallest buildings, soaring skyscrapers that glow nightly, their lights reflected in the river.