Prices per person starting from $21,231 CAD Ocean View Stateroom, incl. taxes, fees, & port expenses
Your Ship: Seabourn Sojourn
“Paris of China” and “Pearl of the Orient,” the vibrant city of Shanghai is a shining symbol of the economic emergence of the world’s largest nation. A comfortable jumble of old and new, it is a city in seemingly unstoppable transition. Like the rest of China, Shanghai is undergoing one of the fastest economic expansions the world has ever seen, yet has striven to retain its historical roots. Today’s Shanghai is a montage of stunning architecture, mixed with noble reminders of long-gone eras. Shanghai, as you soon discover, has many faces.
Compared to ancient capital cities such as Beijing, Xi’an or Nanjing, Dalian is a young city with a 100-year history. Situated at the tip of China’s Liaodong Peninsula, it is China’s northernmost ice-free seaport, and the trading and financial center of northeastern Asia. Because of a history of foreign occupation, the city is an eclectic medley of architectural styles: China sprinkled with a dash of Japan, old Russia and some Soviet socialist realism. The impression Dalian gives to the world is of a city of lawns, squares, fountains and gardens, and impressive skyscrapers.
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 People’s 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.
Yantai is located on the Shandong Peninsula, a region famous for its production of fruits. The city’s skyline is dominated by the world’s largest shipbuilding crane. The city boasts a number of parks and even a popular zoo. A stroll through the neighborhood of Yantai Mountain offers relaxation and pleasant views of colonial-period architecture. The Changyu Wine Culture Museum offers insights into this important local industry, as well as a look at the winery’s three “king-barrels,” each of which holds 15 tonnes of wine during fermentation. The visit includes tastings of some of the varieties produced here. Outside town, the Changdao Islands hold a number of traditional temples, and nearby Kunyu Mountain is the picturesque location of a famous Shaolin kung fu martial arts academy.
Nagasaki’s fine natural harbor on Kyushu island was mostly of local interest until Portuguese explorers landed there in 1543. It quickly flourished as a trading center for European and Asian merchants, which continued throughout its history. It also developed into an important industrial center. Because of its open status, the city harbored a significant Christian community, as well as a bustling Chinatown. During World War II, Nagasaki’s concentration of military and industrial sites made it a target of repeated Allied bombing raids, culminating in a nuclear bombing on August 9, 1945, the second, and to date the last use of a nuclear weapon in war. As in Hiroshima a few days before, the devastation from the aerial explosion of the “Fat Man” plutonium bomb was horrific. An area of over 2.5 square miles was flattened, and about 80,000 people were killed directly, with an equal number suffering injuries. Now rebuilt, and with a thriving industrial and shipbuilding economy, Nagasaki still attracts visitors with the relics of its history up to and including the atomic bombing.
Jeju (Cheju) Island is a volcanic island, dominated by Halla-san (Halla Mountain), a volcano 6,398 feet high and the tallest mountain in South Korea. The island was created entirely from volcanic eruptions approximately two million years ago. Because of the relative isolation of the island, the people of Jeju have developed a culture and language that are distinct from those of mainland Korea. The most distinct cultural artifact is the ubiquitous dol hareubang (“stone grandfather”) carved from a block of lava. Jeju translates to “Island of the Gods” and lives up to its name with beautiful beaches, waterfalls and volcanic rock formations.
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.
One of Japan’s best-preserved cities, Kanazawa escaped war damage and natural disasters to reward visitors with a wealth of architecture as an important clan castle town from the mid-17th century until the middle of the 19th. The mighty Kanazawa Castle did not survive intact, but its famous Ishikawa Gate, the Sunjikken Longhouse and lavish Kenrokuen Garden hint at the grandeur. Of special note are the surviving Higashi Geisha District and Samurai District streets. The Temple area holds the Myoryuji Temple with its hidden passages and secret doors giving it the nickname the Ninja Temple. The Oyamajinja Shrine is a later addition, its three-story gate with impressive stained glass windows reveal a Dutch influence. Museums worth exploring include the Kanazawa Yasue Gold Leaf Museum, with examples of the arts and crafts using the pure gold decoration for which the region is famous. Another museum celebrates the Buddhist philosopher D. T. Suzuki, credited with introducing Zen philosophy to the West, and a striking 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Nearby Mt. Utatsu is renowned for its Three Shrines.
Renowned for its bounty of fresh seafood, Sakaiminato is a fishing town backed by mountains in the Honshu region. Izumo Grand Shrine is one of Japan’s most important Shinto temples, and the six-story, black Matsue Castle is one of the oldest surviving Tokugawa Samurai castles. View the snow-capped Mount Daisen, the vermilion, elaborately carved Hinomisaki temples or soak in the Kaike Onsen hot springs by the sea. The Adachi Museum holds a collection of modern Japanese art, while the Tottori Flower Road is a 124-acre flower garden. On the streets, a number of statues commemorate the Yokai figures created by the locally-born manga artist Mizuki Shigeru.
Kitakyushu is a large city on Kyushu island in Japan. It boasts a number of attractions to satisfy visitors. The Kokura Castle is a fully-restored moated fortress castle built in 1602.It also has an adjacent garden and houses museums in the Keep, as well as a museum dedicated to the popular crime fiction author Seicho Matsumoto. Of special interest is an archaic Japanese style lighthouse on the castle grounds. The Mojiko Retro neighborhood is an interesting area of period Western-style buildings that is a favorite of photographers. Outside the city, the Hiraodai is a natural reserve consisting of a large karst plateau, whose grassy slopes are festooned with rounded white limestone boulders that remind the Japanese of sheep in a meadow. In the reserve are also waterfalls, bamboo forests and limestone caverns. Tall Mount Sarakura is accessible by cablecar, and give a breathtaking view back over the sprawling city. Kitakyushu also has a Railway Museum with some well-preserved antique trains and a unique museum dedicated to toilets manufactured by the TOTO company. Many visitors find this museum surprisingly interesting as it contains displays showing the evolution of plumbing and oddities such as a toilet mounted on the body of a motorcycle.
Hiroshima means “wide island” in Japanese. The city was established in the 16th Century on Japan’s largest island, Honshu, and grew into an important shipping center and prefecture capital, boasting a fine castle. Although it was an important city in Japan throughout the imperial period, its reputation in the greater world was burned into history when it became to target of the first atomic bombing of a civilian target in August of 1945. The United States airplane Enola Gay dropped a nuclear device nicknamed “Little Boy” on the city that morning, obliterating everything within a two-kilometer radius and directly killing 80,000 people. Approximately 70 percent of Hiroshima’s buildings were destroyed. Within a year, injury and radiation illness had killed an additional 90, 000 to 116,000 citizens. The attacks on Hiroshima and nearby Nagasaki quickly led to the surrender of Japan and effectively precipitated the end of World War II in Asia. Within a few years, Hiroshima had begun to rebuild, and the city became the focus of an international movement to eliminate nuclear weapons from future wars. Relics of its past such as the impressive Hiroshima Castle and the tranquil Shukkeien Garden were rebuilt, and the city undertook the construction of a Memorial Peace Park, which today attracts visitors from around the world. The park, which holds a museum and a memorial “Atomic Dome” constructed on the closest remaining building to the blast site, is a moving and impactful place of pilgrimage in this re-born City of Peace. One notable feature is a colorful memorial to Sadako Sasaki, a young woman whose dying wishes for world peace were recounted in the story A Thousand Paper Cranes.
Takamatsu is located on Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, in the Kagawa Prefecture on the Seto Inland Sea. During the Edo period, it was famous for its seaside castle, one of the few with a moat utilizing seawater. The castle was destroyed during the Meiji period, and today the so-called Sunport waterfront project has substituted the Symbol Tower, Takamatsu’s tallest building, for the castle tower that once graced its flag. Long an important port for Japan, Takamatsu was nearly destroyed in 1945 by Allied incendiary bombing. A portion of the famous castle, including foundations and part of the wall, still strand on the city-center park, and there are plans to reconstruct more of it. The Ritsurin Koen garden, first built in the Edo period, survives, and makes a welcome oasis in the city, with a folk museum, rest houses and a tranquil tearoom among lakes, hills and groves of cherry trees that bloom in the spring and flame into color in the autumn. The Shikoku Mura is an open-air museum with traditional buildings gathered from all over Shikoku on display. The Yashima area boasts an Isamu Noguchi Museum dedicated to the late designer, artist and sculptor, with several traditional buildings he relocated and used as work spaces and galleries, along with many finished and unfinished sculptures. There is also a lovely Yashima Temple halfway up the mountain, and at the top, an observation deck with breathtaking views of the city and port.
Once the busiest port in Japan, this attractive city was devastated by an earthquake in 1995 and even after rebuilding never regained its maritime dominance. Nevertheless, its ultra-modern Harborland, crowned by the Kobe Port Tower offers a warm welcome to the Kansai district of Japan. Kansai is ruled by a trio of Japan’s most important cities: Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto. One of the first cities in Japan opened to trade, Kobe has a cosmopolitan air that includes a venerable Chinatown and a section of 19th-Century Western-style buildings in the Kitano neighborhood. The city’s history began in the 3rd-Century with construction of the Ikuta Shrine. Many visitors ascend looming Mt. Rokko via the Shinkobe Ropeway, for panoramic views over the city and the glass-domed Nunobiki Herb Garden on the slopes. The Arima Onsen hot springs right in Kobe is one of Japan, most famous spas. Massive Osaka is the largest of the trio of cities, with over 2.5 million people and attractions of its own including a reconstructed castle, the impressive Kaikuyan Aquarium and the odd-ball Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum commemorating the man who invented the ubiquitous cup-of-noodles. The richest repository of Japanese culture, however, is centered in Kyoto, where a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses no fewer than 17 structures as the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. Castles, gardens, temples and other treasures abound, and make a compelling reason for visitors to make the pilgrimage from Kobe for the day.
Located on the northernmost harbor of Japan’s main island of Honshu, Aomori is the traditional departure point for Hokkaido Island. It is famous for its summer Nebuta Matsuri festival, and has a museum that recaptures the color and pageantry for those who visit in other seasons. Explore the earliest prehistoric cultures of Japan at the Sannai Maruyama archaeological site, or visit the Aomori Museum of Art for a look at more contemporary works. Nearby Hirosaki boasts a 17th Century castle. Visit either the Auga or the Furukawa public fish market, where you can create your own version of a donburi rice bowl with pristinely fresh local seafood.
This port on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido thrived on coal exports and the herring fishery through the end of the 19th and the early 20th centuries, evidenced by the Western influenced “herring mansions” that line its central canal. The 1897 Nishin Goten is an early example, while the Aoyama Villa from 1924 is a later version. The 1912 Bank of Japan Museum is also influenced by Western taste, but nods to tradition with keystones representing owls, an ancient Ainu deity. Further afield, explore the Yoichi Nikka Whisky Distillery, the spas at the Jyozankei Hot Springs, or the Hokkaido coast as seen from the Cape Kanui Lighthouse. Any visit to Sapporo should include the mile-long Odoro Park.
Dramatically sited on hills and surrounded by majestic, snow-blanketed volcanoes and distant snowcapped mountains, Petropavlovsk is itself a rather plain, workaday Soviet-styled city. But the Kamchatka Peninsula on which it sits is one of the most fascinating geographical features in the world. No roads lead to Kamchatka, a domain still largely given over to unbridled natural forces. Get a handle on the region at the half-timbered Museum of Regional Studies, which covers both natural and human history. Climb the forested slopes of Nikolskaya Hill, passing the gold-domed Monument of Glory honoring the heroes who resisted the Franco-British assault in 1854, for panoramic views back over the city and the shining Avacha Bay. The new Vulkanarium explains the seismically active area and its numerous active and dormant peaks. In the city center, a heroic statue of Lenin still inspires with a sweeping gesture. Several nearby volcanoes beckon those wishing to climb: Koryaksky, Mutnovsky and Gorely. For indoor pursuits, the Alexander Nevsky Chapel, the Gold-domed Trinity Cathedtral or the Salmon Museum offer interesting material.
The largest of the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak is also Alaska’s largest island the second largest in the United States. Although occupied by native people for some 7,000 years, it languished in relative obscurity until the Second World War, when it housed as many as 25,000 troops. Fort Abercrombie, once the major center of North Pacific operations, today is a State Historic Park and a good place to learn the history. At the other end of the road system is the United States Coast Guard’s largest base, with a fleet of orange and white watercraft and aircraft that serves the Alaskan fishing fleet and other shipping and maritime activities in the Pacific area. Kodiak harbor is seasonally home to a fleet of some 650 fishing vessels, including huge trawlers, long-line and crab boats. Fishing is also a popular draw for visitors, but they also are attracted by opportunities to view and photograph local birds and wildlife, including the island’s massive brown bears, the males of which weigh as much as 1,500 pounds and stand ten feet tall. In the town, the fur warehouse originally built by the Russian American Company in 1808 is now the Baranov Museum, the oldest standing building in Alaska.
The Hubbard Glacier is the largest, and one of the most spectacular tidewater glaciers in North America. Its ice cliffs, some 400’ (121 m) tall, calve icebergs into the fjord, which may frequently be larger than a five-story building. The glacier’s surface is creased and contorted, resembling the wrinkled skin of a giant elephant. Records show it has been growing in thickness and advancing since 1895. This stands in stark contrast to other glaciers around the world, most of which have been receding during the past century. In 2002, the glacier blocked Russell Fjord for two and a half months, raising water levels 61’ (18 m) and threatening local communities with flooding.
Nutrient-rich waters along the glacier face attract many species. Gulls and kittiwake colonies adorn smaller islands and harbor seals patrol the icy waters.
In 1890, Israel Russell explored the area of Yakutat Bay and Hubbard Glacier, naming it after Gardiner G. Hubbard, a financier of his expedition and a founder and the first president of the National Geographic Society.
Icy Strait is a 40-mile channel in the Alexander Archipelago of southeastern Alaska separating Chichagof Island from the Alaskan mainland. There are two islands in the strait, Pleasant island and Lemesurier Island. The Cape Spencer Light is no longer a lighthouse, but still a active navigation aid. The strait gives its name to the popular cruise ship destination Icy Strait Point.
Scenic Cruising Tracy Arm Or Endicott Arm
JUN 2, 2019 ARRIVES 07:00 AM DEPARTS 03:00 PM CRUISING ONLY, SERVICE CALL, ROUTE SUBJECT TO WEATHER ICE
A short distance south from Alaska’s capital of Juneau, where Holkham Bay cuts into the coastline under a dramatic back-drop of high snow-capped peaks and the verdant Tongass National Forest, lies the entrance to Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness.
From Holkam Bay, the waterway is bisected into Tracy Arm to the north and Endicott Arm to the south. Each arm terminates at a stunning blue river of ice: North and South Sawyer glaciers in Tracy Arm and Dawes glacier in Endicott Arm. It is hard to imagine that thousands of years ago these now-distant glaciers joined in Holkham Bay, more than thirty miles from their present locations. Extremely active, the glaciers calve frequently, filling their fjords with icebergs, some three stories in height.
Brown and black bears, wolves, deer, mountain goats, seals and many seabirds frequent this vast wilderness region. Designated as a wilderness area in 1980, Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness covers an area of 653,179 acres (264,000 hectares) — and one fifth of its area is covered by ice.
Decision Passage is the western end of the Sumner Strait, which runs through the Alexander Archipelago into the Pacific Ocean in Southeastern Alaska, bounded on the north by Kuiu Island and Cape Decision, the location of a 1932 lighthouse. This is the route your ship takes when coming from or going to the colorful historic community of Sitka on the west coast of Baranof Island, which was originally the Russian fortress town of New Archangel.
Sumner Strait runs for 80 miles/110 km more or less east-and-west through the Alexander Archipelago in southeast Alaska, from the mouth of the Stikine River, north of the community of Wrangell, to Iphigenia Bay. The islands of Mitkof, Kupreanof and Kuiu are on the north side of the strait, and Zarembo and Prince of Wales Islands are on the south. The first European to navigate the strait was a fur trapper named William Brown, in 1793. That same year, James Johnstone surveyed the strait as a part of George Vancouver’s expedition. It was named in 1875 for the abolitionist Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner. The strait passes between picturesque snow-capped peaks, and there is a 1932 lighthouse located at Cape Decision which is still a functioning signal.
Wrangell, Alaska, US
JUN 3, 2019 ARRIVES 07:00 AM DEPARTS 08:00 PM
One of the thousands of islands of the Alexander Archipelago, Wrangell Island sits at the heart of the Tongass National Rain Forest and receives approximately 80” (203 cm) of rain per year. The city of Wrangell, a true Alaskan frontier town, sits at the northern end of the island, a short distance from the mouth of the mighty Stikine River. The history of Wrangell is deeply rooted in the Tlingit people, the fur trade and the gold rush. The Stikine River trade route brought the Tlingit people here thousands of years ago, evidenced by some forty petroglyphs at Petroglyph Beach State Historic Site and Totem Park.
The Stikine River, Shakes Glacier and Anan Creek Bear Observatory are highlights in the region. Anan Creek boasts the largest pink salmon run of the Inside Passage, attracting brown and black bears in great numbers. Wrangell was named for Ferdinand Petrovich Wrangel, a Russian explorer and administrator of the Russian-America Company during the mid-1800’s.
Originally named the Duke of Clarence Strait by George Vancouver in 1793, Clarence Strait is a portion of the Inside Passage in the Alexander Archipelago in Southeast Alaska, separating Prince of Wales Island from Revillagigedo and Annette Islands. It was named for England’s Prince William, the Duke of Clarence. The strait had actually been named Entrada de Nuestra Señora del Carmén by Jacinto Caamaño, who navigated it a year before Vancouver. It is 126 miles/203 km long, between the Dixon Entrance and the Sumner Strait. There are two lighthouses, the Guard Island Light and Lincoln Rocks Light, which served as navigational aids prior to the era of automation.
Ketchikan is a picturesque coastal town with a colorful frontier history, standing at the southern entrance to Alaska’s famed Inside Passage. It began as a salmon cannery in 1885, built by company employee Mike Martin at the mouth of Ketchikan Creek. Once dubbed the ‘Canned Salmon Capital of the World,’ today government, commercial fishing, and tourism are its main industries. The renowned Creek Street, perched on stilts along the mouth of the creek, would bring lasting infamy to the area for the red-light district that burgeoned there during the Gold Rush.
The town’s site first served as a camp for Tlingit people, and for thousands of years this has been their home. Their rich culture is being preserved to this day. A visit to Ketchikan is not complete without visiting one or all of Native American sites such as Totem Bight State Park, Potlatch Park, Saxman Native Village and the Totem Heritage Center. Together, these locations comprise the world’s largest collection of standing Native American totem poles.
Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada
JUN 5, 2019 ARRIVES 08:00 AM DEPARTS 06:00 PM
Prince Rupert, set amongst the coastal mountains, is the jumping-off point for travelers joining the coastal ferries to Haida Gwaii, Vancouver or north to Alaska. Highlights include the quaint Cow Bay with its shops and restaurants, the Museum of Northern British Columbia, the totem carving house or the stunning sunken gardens.
Prince Rupert certainly has abundant wildlife. Whether you join a local boat for whale-watching, hike along the Butze Rapids or take a scenic flight, you are sure to be pleased. The region is home to the highest concentration of grizzly bears in North America. The Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, established in 1994, was the first area in Canada to be protected specifically for grizzlies and their habitat.
Founded in 1910, the town was named for Prince Rupert, who was a governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670. Prince Rupert is the northern terminus of the Canadian National Railway and an important port for goods moving towards Alaska.
The upper latitudes of North America’s Pacific Coast are blessed with a long strand of islands scattered just offshore of the mainland. These islands provide shelter from the swells generated across the expanse of the world’s largest ocean, and offer one of the most scenic passages for ships to be found anywhere on the globe. Stretching from Washington State’s Puget Sound northward through British Columbia, Canada onward to the Panhandle of Southeast Alaska, it threads between forested islands and coastal mountain ranges, encompassing a total of over 45,000 miles of coastline, thousands of islands and innumerable coves. It is comprised of the Strait of Georgia, Johnstone Strait, the more open Hecate Strait near the Haida Gwai (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands), Fitz Hugh Sound, and the Princess Royal and Grenville Channels. These waterways are subject to tidal currents with variable velocity resulting from their restricted channels. At the northern end, diurnal tides can change the sea level by as much as 30 feet (9 meters), underlining the importance of using knowledgeable pilots during any passage. A wide variety of vessels pass through the Inside Passage in both directions. People on board enjoy the scenic land- and seascapes, as well as frequent sightings of wildlife including whales, seals, birds and occasionally bears.
The humble beginnings of the City of Vancouver, in the settlement of Gastown on Burrard Inlet, rose out of the old growth forests and the sawdust of the old Hastings Mill. Its location between the Pacific Ocean and the snow-capped coastal mountains creates one of the most idyllic settings of any city in the world. As a world-class city it has the best of both worlds, intermingling urban sophistication with a sense of wilderness and outdoor adventure. Whether you are exploring Vancouver’s diverse downtown core, strolling through the giant trees of Stanley Park or taking in the 20 miles (30 km) of uninterrupted waterfront trails along the seawall, you are bound to fall in love with Canada’s third largest metropolitan center, which is consistently ranked as one of most livable cities on earth.
In 1886, the Canadian Pacific Railway reached Vancouver, completing Canada’s ‘National Dream’ of a connection between east and west, and opening up new trade routes between Asia and Europe. The city was named for British captain and explorer George Vancouver.