An Immersion in Japanese Culture
* Subject to availability.
• An included exclusively arranged ceremony and reception hosted by the Abbot of the Kofukuji Temple in Nagasaki (see details under “Cruise Package”)
• An included exclusive traditional Tea Ceremony
• Lectures and discussions with cultural historian Timon Screech and landscape design experts Holly and Osamu Shimizu
• Additional opportunities to immerse ourselves in local culture include:
o Special Performance of Kagura dance at Itsukushima Shrine
o Cooking class on how to cut and plate the deadly puffer fish
o Guided walk of Pusan fish market, including lunch
o Private visit to Yuushien Garden in Sakaiminato
• Optional excursions to iconic temples, shrines, and gardens all along the itinerary: Korakuen in Okayama, Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, and more
• Optional excursions to art museums: Adachi Museum in Sakaiminato, the Pusan Museum of Art, and the Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki.
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE SOLEAL
- Port of call & excursions
- Cruise Package
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
Superior Stateroom $5,920 Available Deluxe Stateroom $6,310 Available Prestige Deck 4 $6,960 Available Prestige Deck 5 $7,260 Available Prestige Deck 6 $7,580 Available Deluxe Suite $10,240 Available Prestige Deck 5 Suite $13,600 Available Prestige Deck 6 Suite $14,230 Available Owner's Suite $22,710 Not Available
Designed in 2013 and loyal to the PONANT spirit, Le Soléal like her sisterships embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and wellbeing which is Ponant’s signature. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size (only 132 staterooms and suites)make this a rare and innovative yacht on the cruise market.
With her fluid lines and a modern colour scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white, Le Soléal presents references to a nautical theme.
Port of call & excursions
OsakaEmbarkation 30/05/2020 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 30/05/2020 at 22H00 .
Like its big sister Tokyo, Osaka is the product of ancestral traditions and amazing technological innovations. And despite its size, its location on the Pacific Ocean give it a sense of serenity. The main historic landmark is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which stands proud in the midst of majestic skyscrapers. The lively streets of Dotomburi and the bizarre Shinsekai district attract thousands of locals and visitors. A multitude of restaurants offer menus full of regional specialities: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.
31 May 2020 – TamanoArrival 31/05/2020 early morning. Departure 31/05/2020 evening.
Located on the island of Honshu, hugging the banks of the Sento Inland Sea, Tamano is a popular destination thanks to its sun-drenched climate. Upon arrival, marvel at the way in which the city has been built along the coast at the foot of a deep, dark forest. In the area surrounding Tamano, stroll down the streets of Kurashiki, known as the 'white-walled city' in a nod to the pretty façades of the houses that line the streets of this ancient Edo-period trading town. Another major regional attraction is the Seto Ohashi bridge. Its 12.5 kilometres make it the world's longest double-decker bridge.
1 June 2020 – HiroshimaArrival 01/06/2020 early morning. Departure 01/06/2020 midday.
Visiting Hiroshima is a moving experience. The town spreads along Honshu Island, along the inside coasts of Seto. While firmly focused on the future, Hiroshima doesn't forget its past, and a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome is a must. You'll enjoy the city's modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and effervescent nightlife just as much as the peaceful stillness of its natural parkland areas such as splendid Shukkei-en, the town's historic garden.
1 June 2020 – Miyajima IslandArrival 01/06/2020 early afternoon. Departure 01/06/2020 evening.
At the heart of the Inland Sea, Miyajima, the “island sanctuary” will reveal its treasures. In the background you will see the Shinto Grand Sanctuary, whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermillion “Torii“. Considered to be one of the most beautiful sites in the Japanese islands, you will be transported by the unique character and the serenity of this sacred site.
2 June 2020 – UwajimaArrival 02/06/2020 early morning. Departure 02/06/2020 early afternoon.
Located on the west coast of Shikoku island, Uwajima will delight lovers of history and traditional customs. The magnificent Uwajima Castle was built in the 17th-century by the powerful Date clan and has a beautiful ornamental garden and bridge. The much-visited Taga Shrine is dedicated to fertility and is full of phalluses. As for eating, you must taste jakoten, a local delicacy based on fried fish.
3 June 2020 – KagoshimaArrival 03/06/2020 early morning. Departure 03/06/2020 late afternoon.
The seaside city of Kagoshima, at the south of Kyushu Island, ﾠis best known for Sakurajima, an active volcano that faces Kinko Bay. A visit to this busy metropolis will remind you just how much the volcano is part of the inhabitantsﾒ everyday life: in the wake of the almost daily eruptions, a delicate layer of ash settles on everything. The top of a buried torii (traditional Japanese gate) measuring three metres that was 'swallowed up' by a giant lava flow in 1914 can still be seen. The power of nature will send a shiver down your spine.
4 June 2020 – NagasakiArrival 04/06/2020 early morning. Departure 04/06/2020 early evening.
Located on the north-west coast of Kyushu, Nagasaki will impress you by its rich heritage. Despite the destruction in 1945, you can visit several ancient sites, including the beautiful 19th-century Catholic Church of Oura and its garden, the sanctuary of Suwa Shrine as well as several Buddhist temples. A visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum gives you insight into the extent of the damage caused by the nuclear attack. Close by, a walk in the Memorial Peace Park leads you to a collection of objets d'art offered as a gift from Japan to the world.
5 June 2020 – BusanArrival 05/06/2020 early morning. Departure 05/06/2020 early afternoon.
With around four million inhabitants, Busan is the second largest metropolis on South Korea, after Seoul. This dynamic harbour city, located in the south-east, surrounded by the warm waters of the Sea of Japan, benefits from a mild, pleasant climate. You’ll find delightful simply to stroll around the lively streets and explore the city’s outstanding cultural heritage of art galleries, museums, and Buddhist sites, such as the Haedong Yonggungsa temple, which elegantly sits on the waterfront. Rich too in magnificent beaches and superlative natural landscapes, Busan’s peaceful atmosphere will win you over, as will its inhabitants, whom you’ll have the pleasure of meeting.
6 June 2020 – SakaiminatoArrival 06/06/2020 early morning. Departure 06/06/2020 early evening.
Located on the south-west coast of Honshu Island, the busy fishing port of Sakaiminato celebrates the comic writer and artist Shigeru Mizuki, who was born here. As well as a museum a dedicated tourist route leads through streets and squares that feature 134 bronze statues representing his beloved characters. This isn't the only thing Sakaiminato has to offer; try some local seafood specialities and enjoy the stunning views of Mt Daisen and the Yumigahama peninsula.
MaizuruDisembarkation 07/06/2020 at 07H00 .
Located on the western coast of Honshu island, in the province of Kyoto, the charming town of Maizuru boasts one of Japan’s most exquisite closed bays. A climb to the observatory will allow you to appreciate the splendour of this inlet scattered with tiny wild islands. You can also admire the treasures of traditional architecture by visiting the temple of Enryu-ji or the Tanabe-jo castle. The town also bears traces of a rich military past, which you can see in the old arsenals of the navy, red brick buildings that today house a museum.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
The Quintessential Collection is a selection of themed voyages that immerse likeminded guests around a specific topic of interest including fine art, music, gastronomy, and history, just to name a few.
These special cruises include activities akin to the theme both onboard and ashore including excursions, lectures and enrichment, and even cuisine.
Your total cruise package will include (for no additional fees), a pre- or post-cruise stay with excursions relevant to the theme, lectures and performances aboard ship by world class experts and musicians, and one or two exceptional activities ashore that encourage guests to embrace the sights and sounds, tastes and smells of the local culture.
Quintessential Collection included cruise package
Saturday, May 30. You will be met at your airport in Osaka and transferred to the port to embark Le Soleal.
Thursday, June 4. Today we have the extraordinary privilege of being guests of the Abbot at Kofukuji Temple in the heart of Nagasaki. Kofukuji is the oldest and one of the most important Chinese-founded Temples in the city and the birthplace of the Obaku school of Zen Buddhism in Japan. We will be greeted by the Abbot and guided through the temple. The Abbot will perform a service and there will be music followed by a reception featuring Zen cooking. Please note that these arrangements are exclusive to our program and not available anywhere else.
Sunday, June 7. After disembarkation in Maizuru, you will be transferred to your airport in Osaka for flights homeward.
Note: All guests who are interested will also experience an included traditional tea ceremony at some point along our itinerary.
• Transfers and luggage handling from your Osaka airport to the ship
• The private exclusive ceremony and reception in Nagasaki as described above
• Traditional Tea Ceremony
• Gratuities to guides and drivers on included excursions
• Comprehensive 8-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Soleal, with all the amenities for which Ponant ships are famous.
• Transfer from the ship to airport in Osaka at the end of the cruise.
• Meals and beverages ashore other than those specified above
• Optional excursions
• Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, Internet, etc.)
• This voyage is offered on a space available basis.
• Program is subject to change without notice.
Holly H. Shimizu
Holly H. Shimizu, recently retired Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden, is an internationally recognized horticulturist. She has worked in gardens in many parts of the world and is often recognized from ten years as a host of the popular Victory Garden television show on PBS. Holly has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Thomas Roland Medal for outstanding contributions to horticultural education from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Professional Award for an Outstanding Public Garden Director from the American Horticultural Society. Dedicated to heightening an awareness and love of plants through her work, she has written for numerous publications and has been an international flower show judge. Her husband Osamu is a Garden Designer whom she met while working in Europe. They live in Maryland with their naughty dog, enjoying their sanctuary garden near the Potomac River.
Languages spoken: English
Photo credit: ARR
Osamu Shimizu grew up in Japan where he studied and worked in both historic and contemporary Japanese Gardens. He then worked in Europe for over ten years in both private and public gardens, helping with garden designs, mapping, and garden improvements. In 1982 he started his own garden design/build company, Shimizu Landscape Design, and has been creating gardens, for residences as well as public spaces. Many of his gardens are Japanese but some represent a blending of styles with influences from east and west.
Languages spoken: English
Photo credit: ARR
Professor of the History of Art at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London, Timon Screech has devoted his career to the study of Japanese art and culture and to the interplay between art and the broader social landscape. Educated at Oxford and Harvard, Tim is the author of some dozen books on the visual culture of the Edo period. Perhaps his best-known work is Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan, 1700-1820. More recently, he has introduced and edited the writings of two 18th-century travellers, as, Japan Extolled and Decried: Carl Peter Thunberg and the Shogun’s Realm, 1775-1796 and Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822.
His field-defining general study, Obtaining Images: Art, Production and Display in Edo Japan was published in 2012 and issued in paperback in 2017. Tim has just completed two new books, one on the early history of the East India Company and its role in cultural exchange, and also the Oxford History of Japanese Art.
Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.
Pre/Post & Overlands
Before your cruise
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy