Nothing says Japan more than Kimonos, tea ceremonies and perfectly manicured gardens. A country that is a combination of modern and traditional, man-made and natural, and spirit and human worlds join us to explore the southern tip of this wonderful island. Deepen your Asian experience by crossing the sea to South Korea and the Kingdom of Silla, to see the country’s largest traditional village.
Okayama is home to the renowned Koraku-en Garden. Although severely damaged by bombs in WWII, the descriptions and paintings from the Edo period permitted an exact reconstruction to its original, elegant state. This rebuild has earned the site the designation of “Special Scenic Location.” Okayama is also home to the Ohara Museum, the first Japanese museum to permanently exhibit western art.
Takamatsu is located on Shikoku, the smallest of the four main Japanese islands. Here the 75-hectare Ritsurin Garden features six ponds, thirteen hills, a waterfall, plum, cherry, and pine trees, a bamboo forest, a tea house, and a garden that is recognized one of the most beautiful strolling gardens in Japan. It was awarded three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan.
Miyajima and Hiroshima, Japan
Pay your respects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in central Hiroshima. This was Ground Zero for the Atomic Bomb dropped on August 6, 1945. The Peace Memorial Museum surveys the history of Hiroshima and the advent of the nuclear bomb. The nearby small island of Miyajima (“The Shrine Island”) is home to the Floating Torii Gate. Built in the water, the Torii Gate leads to the Itsukushima Shrine and at high tide it seems to float.
Sakaiminato is the gateway to the towns of Matsue and Yasugi. Matsue is known as the “Town of Water” and has one of the very few wooden castles that still remain in Japan. Yasugi has the Adachi Museum of Art, a private museum that houses one of the finest collections of contemporary Japanese paintings, but also has 165,000 square metres of meticulously arranged plants, water and rocks. Six different gardens –which can only be seen from inside the museum- will show different scenarios depending on the season. Under the motto that “the Japanese garden is like a living picture” these gardens have been selected as ‘Japan’s best garden’ for several years.
Maizuru (Gateway to Kyoto), Japan
Maizuru will permit us to reach Kyoto, renowned for spectacular architecture and UNESCO Word Heritage Sites. Among them is the famous Tenruji Temple, the first among Kyoto’s five great Zen temples, and the adjacent bamboo groves. Kyoto’s most famous landmark, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), was built by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu as a villa in 1397. The Chinese-influenced three-story home at the edge of a tranquil pond was later converted to a temple by Yoshimitsu’s son. Another highlight is Nijo Castle, a fortification of cypress wood built in 1603 as the residence of the Tokugawa clan. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the castle is protected by a moat, stone walls, and ingenious nightingale floors, which chirp like a bird when walked upon to alert the guards of potential intruders.
Kanazawa is known for its many artistic offerings, including its lacquerware, Kutani-style pottery, gold leaf workmanship and delicately painted silk kimonos. It also houses Kenroku-en, one of the famous “Three Gardens of Japan.” Kenroku-en’s 11.4 hectare grounds include Japan’s oldest fountain using natural water pressure and a tea house dating back to 1774.
• See Korea’s traditional lifestyle attending a tea ceremony and during a visit of Gyeongju Yangdong Village, Korea’s largest traditional village.
• Stand at Hiroshima Ground Zero and experience the sombre history of this crucial World War II site.
• Try some of Japan’s special dishes and ice-creams and master the craft of udon noodle making.
• See several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
• Stroll through some of Japan’s most famous gardens to enjoy and understand the aesthetic and poetic concepts of the Japanese art of gardening.
- Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
- Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
- Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
- Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
- Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
- Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
- Gratuities always included in your fare
- Unlimited Free Internet
- Travel Insurance
- Pre- or post-cruise arrangements
- Items of personal nature
Embark the Silver Explorer. Depart at 11:00 PM.
We recommend adding at least one night hotel prior, which we are happy to arrange for you.
Located on the calm waters of the Inland Sea, Kobe has served as an important port town for hundreds of years. It was one of the first harbors to accept foreign traders in 1868 when Japan was just emerging from its centuries of isolation. What followed was a surge of Western trade and exports. Today, Kobe is quite multicultural, with expatriates from 98 different nations in residence, providing a cultural diversity most easily visible in restaurants serving every kind of cuisine, including world famous Kobe beef. The Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 set back Kobe’s development, but not for long. Kobe emerged more vibrant than before – with additional attractions, hotels and urban redevelopment, and only a few remnants of the extensive damage.
Okayama is an important transportation hub and one of the largest cities of the Chugoku Region. It is famous because it has one of Japan’s most significant gardens. Although the “Korakuen” Garden was severely damaged by bombs in WWII, the descriptions and paintings from the Edo period permitted an exact reconstruction. It is one of the “Three Gardens of Japan” and has been designated a “Special Scenic Location”. Known formerly as the center of rice-distribution in the Okayama area, many old warehouses next to the preserved canal have been converted into museums, boutiques and cafes. Another attraction is the Ohara Museum, which was the first Japanese Museum to permanently exhibit Western Art.
Takamatsu city is the capital of Kagawa prefecture which is Japan’s smallest prefecture. This city is a vibrant blend of natural beauty and cosmopolitan functionality with a population of 420,000 people. The port of Takamatsu used to be the main gateway to Shikoku Island until the opening of the 37km long Seto Ohashi Bridge in 1988. Takamatsu city has flourished along with the Seto Inland Sea since 17th century when Matsudaira family, the relatives of the Tokugawa Shogun, ruled this area. Matsudaira family has completed the famous Japanese “Ritsurin Garden”. It took more than 100 years to complete this spacious garden with 75 hectares of land which features 13 landscaped hills, 6 ponds and many stone arrangements that have been placed in perfect balance in front of a vast green vista of Mt. Shiun. This garden was constructed as a villa of Matsudaira family and it attracts many visitors from all over the world.
MIYAJIMA & HIROSHIMA, JAPAN
The small island of Miyajima (“The Shrine Island”) is known for the Floating Torii Gate, which is one of “The Three Most Beautiful Views” of Japan. Built in the water, the Torii Gate leads to the Itsukushima Shrine and at high tide it seems to float. The Torii Gate is one of the most photographed sites in all of Japan. There are many more shrines and paths on Miyajima that are inviting to walk. Mount Misen has a cable car leading partly up to the top with nice views and wild monkeys and deer roaming the trails.
Despite being devastated in 1945, this Japanese city is known to all for its commitment peace – its ruin on the 6th August 1945 led to the end of the war and today, the Peace Memorial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), is a constant reminder of the destruction that war brings. A walk in the leafy boulevards of Peace Memorial Park brings quiet contemplation. The Flames of Peace – set in the park’s central feature pond – burn brightly and will continue to do so until all the nuclear bombs I the world have been destroyed. There are many other inspiring messages of hope around the city too; the Children’s’ Peace Monument just north of the park is a homage to little Sadako Sasaki, who was just two in 1945. When she developed leukemia in 1956, she believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes – a symbol of longevity and happiness in Japan – she would recover.
Moji used to be an important international trading port with a number of well-preserved Western buildings. Several of these historic buildings can be seen along the attractive waterfront. Southwest of Moji , and part of the same city, is Kokura, the financial and business capital of the area. Kokura’s landmark is its castle, which has been beautifully restored. The remarkable garden located next to the main castle is not too far from the Manga Museum. South of Moji is the Hiraodai Limestone Plateau, Japan’s most representative karst plateau. The pure white limestone scattered throughout the landscape is often mistaken for sheep grazing in the grass. A “Natural Treasure” the plateau has underground caves as well.
MASAN, SOUTH KOREA
Entry port into South Korea.
POHANG, SOUTH KOREA
Pohang used to be a sleepy port on Korea’s east coast until the late 1960s. Pohang is famous for its cultural villages and the largest traditional market in the Gyeongsangbuk-do area. Nearby is the Jukdo fish market. This is the largest open-run market in the east with more than 200 fish stores –offering the best of the area’s catches.
Sakaiminato is a small city almost totally surrounded by water: the Sea of Japan to the east, the Sakai Channel to the north and Lake Nakaumi to the west. Across the lake the towns of Matsue and Yasugi offer interesting experiences. Matsue is known as the “Town of Water” next to scenic Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi. It has one of the very few wooden castles that still remain in Japan. Touring the castle and boat rides on the Horikawa River and the castle’s moat are popular. Yasugi has the Adachi Museum of Art, a private museum that houses one of the finest collections of contemporary Japanese paintings, but also has a 165,000 square meter garden –with plants and rocks collected by the museum’s founder. Six different gardens show different scenarios depending on the season. These gardens have been selected as “Japan’s best garden” for several years.
MAIZURU FOR KYOTO, JAPAN
Maizuru port is considered as the gateway to the Japanese most popular historic city, Kyoto. Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan in the 8th century, and it was the center for politics, economy and culture for more than 1,000 years. After capital functions were transferred to Tokyo in the middle of 19th century, luckily Kyoto did not lose its luster. As soon as you step into the city, you will see how hard the local people tried to keep the atmosphere of the heyday. Nowadays, Kyoto is not the center of attention within Japan anymore; nonetheless it is indeed the center of tourism industry. There are seventeen historic sites such as Nijo castle and Kinkakuji temple which were designated a World Heritage Site. There are also numerous sites which can be seen from your coach, so please keep your eyes wide open while you are in Kyoto!
The capital of the Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa once rivalled Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) as a town rich in cultural achievements. Kanazawa escaped destruction during World War II and accordingly has been able to preserve many of the old districts in good shape. The city is famous because of Kenrokuen. classified as “One of the Three Gardens of Japan”. The garden has an artificial pond, and hills and houses are dotted within the 11.4 hectares. It has Japan’s oldest fountain using natural water pressure and a tea-house dating back to 1774. Close by is the Higashi Chaya Gai Geisha District, designated a National Cultural Asset and the biggest of the Geisha districts of Kanazawa. Some of the houses not only retain the original structure, but still are used as Geisha houses. Some of the streets have traditional shops creating a nostalgic atmosphere.
SADO ISLAND, JAPAN
Sado is Japan’s sixth-largest island and depends mainly on fishing and agriculture. The island’s Tori Forest Park had been selected for the successful reintroduction of Crested Ibises into Japan –a bird that was down to what was believed to be a total world population of 12 birds in 1981. At that time the last five wild ibises found in Japan were taken into captivity on Sado and both Japan and China cooperated in a breeding program for these birds. Fortunately, the work has paid off and released Crested Ibises successfully nested in the wild again in 2012. Another attraction is the Sado Gold Mine.
NOSHIRO & AOMORI, JAPAN
Noshiro port is bound by the Sea of Japan on the coastal plains of Akita Prefecture. The city of approximately 55,000 provides access to nearby Shirakami-Sanchi, a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its wilderness of Japanese beech trees. The mouth of the Yoneshiro River is adjacent to the port and the highest point in the area is Mount Yakeyama at almost 1000 meters or just over 3000 feet. Throughout the year you can enjoy delicious seafood from Aomori Bay, including Oma no Maguro (tuna of Oma), as well as delicious fruits and vegetables (particularly garlic).
Facing out on two bays, Hakodate is a 19th-century port town, with clapboard buildings on sloping streets, a dockside tourist zone, streetcars, and fresh fish on every menu. In the downtown historic quarter, a mountain rises 1,100 feet above the city on the southern point of the narrow peninsula. Russians, Americans, Chinese, and Europeans have all left their mark; this was one of the first three Japanese ports the Meiji government opened up to international trade in 1859.
OTARU, JAPAN - DISEMBARK
Otaru is a small harbor city west of Sapporo. Famous for its many hills and a nearby ski resort, the town has been an important trade and herring fishing center. A wide canal that led from the port to the old town’s warehouses has been maintained for touristic purposes and the old stone or brick-built warehouses have been beautifully converted to restaurants and boutiques.
We are happy to arrange Pre- and post-cruise programs to suit your interests.
The purpose-built Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions. A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables Silver Explorer to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of Zodiac boats allows guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure.
- Officers: International
- Length: 354 ft
- Beam: 52 ft
- Tonnage: 6072 t
- Cruise Speed: 14 knots
- Total Staff: 117
- Passenger Capacity: 132
A full range of salon services is available for both men and women including hairstyling, manicures and pedicures. Appointments for these chargeable services may be made on board the ship, or in advance via My Voyage.
Featuring designer collections and duty-free shopping, the onboard Boutiques offer a selection of jewellery, fashions, perfumes and Silversea logo items. Shops are closed while in port and on occasion due to local government regulations. Toiletries and convenience items are also available for purchase.
The Connoisseur’s Corner offers exceptional cognacs along with a premium selection of cigars for purchase.
The Fitness Center is open daily and offers a treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike and a weight machine.
Email friends and family back home or surf the web for a nominal fee. CD burners, headphones, digital camera media readers, and complimentary black and white laser printing are also available.
Complimentary self-service laundry facilities are available onboard.
The Library has an extensive selection of hardcover books, magazines, reference materials and newspapers, as well as audio listening stations. Movies are also available and can be viewed on your in-suite entertainment center.
Located on Deck 6 high atop the ship, the Observation Lounge offers panoramic views. Here you will find comfortable seats to enjoy a beverage and watch the ever-changing view.
Outdoor Grill and Whirl Pool
Alfresco dining in the soft ocean breeze. Menu options include healthy CruiseLite selections, fresh-from-the-oven pizza and lighter fare.
The Panorama Lounge is specially designed to provide an uninterrupted view of the day’s destination from the comfort of the ship’s interior. This is an ideal place to unwind, listen to the pianist and enjoy a nightcap with new friends.
This central lobby area welcomes guests to speak with a Guest Relations specialist should they have a question or require any service. Assistance is available 24 hours a day.
Sparkling with silver, crystal and candlelight, The Restaurant encircles its guests with sophisticated elegance and impeccable service.
The Spa at Silversea
Relax your body and mind with a wide range of soothing therapies including facials, body wraps and massages. Sauna and steam rooms are perfect for relaxing before your spa treatment or after a long nature hike. Appointments for chargeable services may be made on board the ship, or in advance via My Voyage.
Gather in The Theater to hear fascinating tales of adventure or to learn about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Lectures and seminars are presented by knowledgeable experts in a variety of scientific fields.
All suites feature:
• Butler service
• Champagne upon request
• Refrigerator and bar setup stocked with your preferences
• European bath amenities
• Fine pratesi bed linens and down duvets
• Premium mattresses
• A choice of nine pillow types
• ipod docking station
• Plush robes and slippers
• Personalized stationery
• Hair dryer
• Wifi internet access (fee applies)
• Daily suite service with nightly turndown
Owner’s Suite can accommodate 3 guests
728 sq. ft./67 m2 including large veranda (158 sq. ft./15 m2)
Large teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, Living room with sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom, with full-sized bath and separate shower, Walk-in wardrobe with personal safe, Vanity table with hair dryer, Writing desk, Two flat screen televisions with interactive video, on-demand movies and music, and satellite news programming, Direct-dial telephone, Laundry service, Dry cleaning and pressing, Afternoon canapés upon request, Dinner at officer’s table, Four hours of internet service per suite, per voyage segment, Two hours of worldwide phone use from your suite, per voyage segment
Grand Suite can accommodate 3 guests.
618 sq. ft./57 m2 including veranda (86 sq. ft./8 m2)
Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, Living room with sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom with full-sized bath and separate shower, Walk-in wardrobe with personal safe, Vanity table with hair dryer, Writing desk, Two flat screen televisions with interactive video, on-demand movies and music, and satellite news programming, Direct-dial telephone, Laundry service, Dry cleaning and pressing, Afternoon canapés upon request, Dinner at officer’s table, Four hours of internet service per suite, per voyage segment, Two hours of worldwide phone use from your suite, per voyage segment
400 sq. ft./37 m2 including veranda (86 sq. ft./8 m2)
Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom with full-sized bath and separate shower, Writing desk, Flat screen television with interactive video, on-demand movies and music, and satellite news programming, Direct-dial telephone, Afternoon canapés upon request, Dinner at officer’s table
SILVER SUITE/EXPEDITION SUITE
Silver and Expedition suites can accommodate three guests.
SILVER SUITE 422 sq. ft./39 m2 including 2 French Balconies with floor-to-ceiling glass doors (30 sq. ft./3 m2)
EXPEDITION SUITE 388-397 sq. ft./36-37 m2 with 2 view windows or 2 large picture windows
Living room (with convertible sofa to accommodate an additional guest), Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom with full-sized bath and separate shower, Walk-in wardrobe with personal safe, Vanity table with hair dryer (Silver Suite), Writing desk, Two flat screen televisions with interactive video, on-demand movies and music, and satellite news programming, Direct-dial telephone, Laundry service (Silver Suite), Afternoon canapés upon request
(Silver Suite), Dinner at officer’s table (Silver Suite)
VERANDA SUITE 206-216 sq. ft./19-20 m2 including French Balcony
(16 sq. ft./1.5 m2) with floor-to-ceiling glass doors
VISTA SUITE 192 sq. ft./18 m2 with large picture window providing panoramic ocean views
VIEW SUITE 192 sq. ft./18 m2 with view window
Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed (Veranda suites 500, 501, 512 and 513 have a fixed queen-sized bed), Triple capacity that can accommodate young children on sofa bed (View suites 310, 311, 312, 313 and Vista suites 410, 412, 415, 417), Marbled bathroom with tub/shower combination, Writing desk, Flat screen television with interactive video, on-demand movies and music, and satellite news programming, Direct-dial telephone
EXPLORER SUITE/ADVENTURER SUITE
EXPLORER SUITE 175–190 sq. ft./16–18 m2 with view window
ADVENTURER SUITE 157–167 sq. ft./14 – 15 m2 with 2 portholes
Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom with tub/ shower combination, Writing desk, Flat screen television with interactive video, on demand movies and music, and satellite news programming, Direct-dial telephone