DATES / RATES
Rates are listed per person
|Start Date||End Date||From EUR||From USD|
|Jun 14, 2023||Jul 11, 2023||16,506
Rates are listed per person
|Start Date||End Date||From EUR||From USD|
|Jun 14, 2023||Jul 11, 2023||16,506
Day 1: Osaka, Japan
Arrive at Honshu’s largest port city Osaka where modern architecture and a vibrant dining scene are nestled alongside the 16th Century shogunate Osaka Castle, and transfer to your hotel where our group will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening meet your fellow voyagers and expedition guides over dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Kobe, Japan
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before exploring Japan’s seventh-largest city and the third largest port – Kobe. In 1995, Kobe was hit by the Great Hashin-Awaji Earthquake, which killed more 5,000 people. Today the city is completely rebuilt, and few signs of the terrible event remain. Today you will have a variety of excursions on offer alongside time to explore for yourself including visiting Pure Water Temple Kiyomizudera, one of Japan’s most revered temples and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, built over the Otowa Waterfall and dating back to 780. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before exploring Buddhist temple Sanjusangendo or Rengeo-in, renowned for its 1,001 statues of the goddess of mercy Kannon, and the ultimate torii gate experience Fushimi Inari Shrine, dedicated to the gods of rice and sake. This afternoon board Heritage Adventurer, moored in Kobe, settle into your cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.
Day 3: Takamatsu, Japan
Takamatsu has had a long history as a port town earning itself the nickname ‘Gateway to Shikoku’, although more recently locals have been calling it ‘Udon Kingdom’. If you have an interest in plants a visit to Ritsurin Park, considered one of Japan’s finest gardens, is sure to be a highlight. Next you will enjoy a visit to Kinashi, one of Japan’s main bonsai production centres, where you will learn about traditional methods of growing bonsai. For those more interested in history and art you may wish to travel to Naoshima Island for a full-day excursion. Shikoku Island is known for its art and this excursion to Naoshima will have you admiring its architecture and art museums, including Chichu Art Museum and Benesse House, featuring work by Japanese and international artists.
Day 4: Miyajima & Hiroshima, Japan
This morning we plan to visit Miyamjima, a small island off the coast of Hiroshima and location of the famous giant torii gate which appears to float over the water at high tide and is ranked as one of Japan’s three best views. Miyamjima is also home to one of Japan’s most famous sites Itsukushima Shrine, which like the torii gate, is built over water. Spend the afternoon in Hiroshima, the epicentre of the world’s first nuclear bomb attack in 1945, now rebuilt as a centre of peace and reconciliation. We plan to visit the beautiful Peace Park and Museum, with its sombre cenotaph containing names of atomic bomb victims, and the permanently lit ‘Flame of Peace’.
Day 5: Uwajima, Japan
Today sees us exploring the city of Uwajima, on Japan’s Shikoku Island. One of Japan’s premier pearl producers, we will have the chance to learn about the traditional process of cultivating and harvesting pearls during a visit to a pearl farm. We also plan to visit Uwajima Castle, built in the Edo Period (1603 – 1867), it features spectacular panoramic views of the town, harbour, and the tranquil Tenshaen Garden built in the Samurai era. We will make sure you have free time today to explore the town or perhaps visit one of the many gardens including Tenshaen and the island’s largest Nanrakuen Gardens. Other options include meandering along a cherry tree-lined lane in Yoshida, or visiting the historic Kabuki theatre.
Day 6: Yakushima Island, Japan
Renowned for being the wettest place in Japan, Yakushima Island is located among the southern Japanese island chain of Osumi. Considered an eco-paradise, this 200-square-kilometre island is home to almost 2,000 species of flora including the hauntingly beautiful primeval temperate rainforest of giant sugi (Japanese cedar). Earning this small island UNESCO World Heritage status (Japan’s first), these ancient cedars have stood for upwards of 5,000 years with the incredible Jomon Sugi thought to be 7,200 years old making it one of the oldest trees in the world. Experience the majesty of these ancient giants on a trek through Yakusugi-Land while keeping a look out for Yakushima deer and monkeys, and gain further insight through the interactive displays at Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village. The island is also known as an important nesting site for endangered Loggerhead and Green turtles and, with all that water, boasts some seriously impressive waterfalls.
Day 7: Amami Oshima, Japan
With 65% of Amami Oshima, the largest island in the Satsunnan Amami archipelago, forested in lush jungle and the location of Japan’s second-largest mangrove forest this tropical outpost is rightly famous for its rare and diverse birdlife and primeval subtropical Kinsakubaru Virgin Forest. Beyond white sand beaches explore crystal clear underwater worlds and stunning wildlife filled coral gardens while on land a rich human history and unique cuisine charms. Visit the Nature Observation Park for a wilderness experience followed by a thrilling immersion into the island’s culture including observing the incredible detail that goes into creating the revered Oshima Tsumugi silk which has been used to make high-quality kimonos for centuries.
Day 8: Okinawa Island, Japan
Dubbed the ‘Hawaii of Japan’ and the centre of the Ryukyu Kingdom for centuries, Okinawa Island only became part of Japan in 1868. Today we will discover the kingdom’s historic importance and the devastating impact of World War II which resulted in losses of more than 100,000 Japanese troops and thousands of US troops over 82 days. Options include a deep dive into the WWII history with a visit to the battle-scarred tunnel complex now a tribute to the former Japanese Navy Underground Headquarters, the Peace Memorial Park dedicated to the more than 200,000 lives that were lost, and the Himeyuri Tower which honours the female high school students and their teachers who lost their lives after being put to work in army field hospitals in caves. Or explore the lush subtropical rainforest and Valley of Gangala, a limestone cave system created hundreds of thousands of years ago and working excavation site. Believed to have been the dwelling site of pre-historic humans who existed some 20,000 years ago, structures dating back thousands of years have been found at this site along with a giant banyan tree estimated to be 150 years old. Discover the ancient Shurijo Castle, the former residence of the Ryukyu kings was left in ruins following the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 and restored and opened as a national park in 1992.
Day 9: Ishigaki, Yaeyama Islands, Japan
Surrounded by turquoise coastal waters, the idyllic subtropical Ishigaki Island combines coral reefs and jungle-clad mountains with being the commercial centre of the Yaeyama Islands and the largest island in the chain. Renowned for its pristine beaches, here we have the opportunity to explore the mangrove-lined Miyara River with its prolific butterflies and birdlife, take in the sensational views of the Hirakubo Peninsula from the Tamatorizaki Observatory and experience island traditions including weaving the distinctive Minsa textiles. Discover the hidden treasures of Ibaruma Sabichi Cave resplendent with stalactites and leading to beautiful beach. A highlight of the day will be visiting neighbouring Taketomi Island where we will enjoy transport via a traditional buffalo cart to see the island’s iconic bungalow-style houses with their terracotta roofs and hibiscus and bougainvillea covered walls.
Day 10: Keelung, Taiwan
Surrounded by mountains and proudly presided over by Taipei 101 – the 1,600-foot-high skyscraper and former Taipei World Financial Center styled on a bamboo stalk – Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, combines an exciting mix of Asian and Western influences. Rightly famous for its prevalent street food, be sure to sample its variety of xiaochi (little snacks) while exploring top attractions including the Chinese-influenced Martyrs’ Shrine; Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, commemorating Taiwan’s former president; and the National Palace Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Chinese art. For those looking for a nature fix, head to Yehliu Geopark with its world-famous surreal landscape of honeycomb and mushroom eroded rock formations and Japanese-era mining complex turned tourist attraction Gold Ecological Park where hillside walkways connect 1930s offices, workshops and dormitories for an insight into early mining history.
Day 11: Hualien, Taiwan
Taiwan’s second-largest city Hualien, located on its mountainous east coast, is our gateway to the world-famous 19-kilometre-long canyon Taroko National Park and its namesake Marble Gorge. The spectacular marble walls here soar to more than 300 feet high and are surrounded by verdant green bamboo forests promising an unforgettable experience. Comprising some 227,000 acres and varying altitudes, from near sea level at the mouth of the Liwu River to towering more than 12,000 feet high at Mt Nanhu, the park’s dramatic landscape provides a diverse array of vegetation and habitats which boast a third of Taiwan’s vascular plants, half of its mammal species, the rare Nanhu Salamander and more than 140 resident bird species.
Day 12: Batan Island, Philippines
Part of a tiny archipelago of 10 islands, the Philippines northernmost province Batan was the country’s first landmass to succumb to Japan’s invasion during World War II. Offering an intriguing mix of historic churches, the unique architecture of its Ivatan houses, rugged coastline and rock formations, panoramic vistas and beaches, we will have the option to join local guides who will share the island’s harrowing WWII history with us during a visit to a tunnel used as a hideout by Japanese soldiers. There will also be an option to venture to the top of former lighthouse and U.S. weather station Radar Tukon where incredible 360-degree views across of the island can be enjoyed. Take in the charming country/ocean views of the endless grassy undulations at Vayang Rolling Hills and explore the town plaza and the striking Santo Domingo de Basco Church, one of the first limestone building to be built under the Spanish regime in 1812.
Day 13: Vigan, Philippines
Anchoring in the port of Currimao this morning, our day starts with an exploration of the culturally rich North Luzon. At Badoc we plan to visit Juan Luna Shrine, the restored home of famous Ilocano painter Juan Luna’s and Badoc Church where a 400-yearold image of the Virgin Mary, La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, found by fishermen in the 17th Century is displayed. In Bantay the iconic 16th Century Bantay Church Bell Tower, built in 1590 with Baroque and Gothic inspired architecture, takes centre stage and offers a glimpse into the region’s colourful history along with incredible views from the top, before making our way to Vigan. Considered Asia’s finest example of a planned Spanish colonial city, the perfectly preserved 16th Century Vigan’s grid street pattern and architectural influences fusing Philippine building design and construction with colonial European architecture earned the city UNESCO status in 1999. Wander the historic cobblestone streets, consider the unique architecture and pay a visit to the traditional Pagburnayan pottery makers and learn about Vigan’s famous hand-crafted earthenware Burnay jars.
Day 14: Hundred Islands National Park, Philippines
Despite its name, Hundred Islands National Park is comprised of 124 lushly vegetated, mushroom-shaped islands and islets scattered across the turquoise waters of the Lingayen Gulf, believed to be formed more than two million years ago. Decreed a national park in 1940 the collection of islands combine white sand beaches lapped by tranquil crystal clear waters, caves, fascinating limestone cliffs and rock formations, coral reefs teeming with marine life, and bird and wildlife-filled forests and mangroves. We spend the day exploring one of these magical islands birding, beachcombing, snorkelling and Zodiac cruising among this wonderland.
Day 15: Manila, Philippines
This morning we arrive in the Philippines’ bustling capital Manila, a former port town now buzzing commercial hub, heritage centre and culinary hot spot. Enjoy breakfast before exploring this fascinating city which mixes Spanish colonial architecture with modern skyscrapers before re-joining Heritage Adventurer this afternoon as we set sail for the Sibuyan Island.
Day 16: Sibuyan Island, Philippines
One of the three main islands and the second largest in the Romblon archipelago, Sibuyan Island offers a glimpse into primordial Philippines due to its isolation from the mainland. With 50 per cent of the island covered in what many consider the world’s densest rainforest, including large swathes of primary-growth woodland, it is little wonder Sibuyan has been dubbed ‘Galapagos of Asia’ with its more than 100 bird species, 15 types of bats, dozens of reptiles and amphibians, undiscovered insect species and an estimated 700 types of plant, including 54 species endemic to the island. Options today include an energetic hike for birders up Cantigas Mountain, or experience an authentic slice of village life.
Day 17: Donsol & Ticao Island, Philippines
Considered the ‘Whale Shark Capital of the World’, at the small fishing village of Donsol there will be the opportunity to enjoy the unforgettable experience of swimming and snorkelling with these gentle giants which are known to grow more than 12-metres in length. Joining local boats and guides we will venture into the bay where, during the months of November through June, large concentrations of plankton attract the world’s largest fish and, if we are lucky, Manta Rays may also be observed in the pellucid water. Our afternoon will be spent on the tropical paradise of Ticao Island where one of the Philippines best kept secrets, the towering Catandayagan Falls which tumble down sheer stone cliffs into the ocean in a dramatic display of unrestrained nature. There may also be the opportunity to visit a local village.
Day 18: Bohol Island, Philippines
An early rise with cameras at the ready is recommended this morning as the sun rises over Bohol Island’s famed Chocolate Hills this morning. Often dubbed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World,’ during the dry season the grass covering the more than 1,200 conical karst hills scattered across an area of 50 square kilometres turns a chocolatey brown creating this incredible phenomena best enjoyed from a viewing station some 200 steps up, but absolutely worth the effort. During our time here we may explore the lush countryside cruising the Loboc River by local boats sampling local delicacies and traditional music from local musicians. Other highlights include a visit to a Tarsier Sanctuary to see the world’s second smallest primate the tiny Philippine Tarsier, the threatened species are protected in the Philippines but their numbers are declining due to logging, mining and the illegal pet trade, the coral stone Baclayon Church and National Cultural Treasure, and sampling The Pastry Capital of Bohol’s world famous Broa or Lady Fingers. This afternoon unwind on the pristine white sand beaches of Balicasag Island. Ringed by a reef and marine sanctuary enjoy an incredible underwater experience snorkelling impressive coral garden and underwater cliffs teeming with colourful marine life including, if we are lucky, sea turtles.
Day 19: Bucas Grande Island, Philippines
Emerging from the shadow of its popular neighbour surfing hotspot Siargao Island, Bucas Grande Island combines stunning white sand beaches, with waterfalls, emerald green waters, mangroves, expansive limestone cave systems, iron wood forests, inland lakes, elaborate coral gardens, exotic wildlife and rightly famous 60-kilometre Sohoton Cove and National Park. Look for Rufous Hornbill as we explore this pristine tropical island paradise Zodiac cruising the coastline where quiet coves and beaches await discovery both above and below the water. Highlights here include Tojoman Lagoon/ Sohoton Jellyfish Sanctuary where thousands of stingless jellyfish thrive, the iconic Blue Lagoon with its labyrinthine waterways comprised of numerous limestone islets and incredible snorkelling, swimming and hiking opportunities. At nearby Cinnamon Island, named after its abundance of cinnamon trees, a cup of the local delicacy, cinnamon tea, has become the traditional welcome.
Day 20: At Sea
Relax on board after our recent adventures, join a lecture or our naturalists on deck, update your photos/journal or watch the world go by in the Observation Lounge.
Day 21: Bitung, Indonesia
Berthing at the bustling, cosmopolitan harbour of Bitung, Manado city, we head for the nearby wildlife-filled jungles of Tangkoko Nature Reserve one of Indonesia’s oldest reserves. Spanning some 8,800 hectares from beaches to the peak of Tangkoko Mountain the reserve is a haven for endemic flora and fauna. Exploring the lowland tropical rainforest with local guides, we’ll be looking for the critically endangered Crested Black Macaque, known for their distinctive pink rumps and jet-black mohawks, symbol of Bitung and smallest primate in the world the saucer-eyed Tarsier and Sulawesi Bear Cuscus. For birders there’s the Knobbed Hornbills, Kingfishers, Sulawesi Myna, Lorikeets and Maleo birds, other flying highlights include the brightly-coloured Forester Moth and the Draco Flying Lizard or Sulawesi Lined Gliding Lizard.
Day 22: Ternate, Indonesia
This surprisingly busy island city and port, once a leading clove and nutmeg producer, sits perched alongside the dramatic cone of triple-peaked volcano Gamalama in the North Maluku Islands. Well off the tourist route and renowned for its incredible scenic beauty and fascinating history, today is a true expedition day with options including visiting the spice and cinnamon plantations, the palace of the Sultan of Ternate, numerous forts dating back to the colonial era, the stunning views over Ngade Lake and observing the bustling, anachronistic port in action.
Day 23: Banggai Islands & Taliabu Island, Indonesia
Today we plan to explore the intricate archipelago of 123 Banggai Islands, of which 69 are inhabited, sitting just below the arm of Central Sulawesi, at the convergence of the Banda and Maluku Seas. Home to astounding coral reefs including “the mother of all living coral reefs” according to British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace who embarked on a famed field trip in the 19th Century, which led him to devise the theory of evolution through natural selection independently of Charles Darwin. An astounding variety of marine life awaits below the surface including Ribbon Eels, anglerfish, the Zebra-striped endemic Banggai Cardinal and Dugong among others, while verdant jungles are home to incredible wildlife and villages where life is still hacked out of the jungle and taken from the sea. Such is their remoteness that in 2020 scientists discovered 3 new bird species on nearby birding hotspot Taliabu Island including the Taliabu Grasshopper-warbler, Taliabu Myzomela and the Taliabu Leaf-warbler, and three new subspecies the Taliabu Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Taliabu Island Thrush and Sula Mountain Leaftoiler.
Day 24: Buru Island, Indonesia
Fascinating and seldom visited, Buru Island is located at the boundary between the biogeographic zones of Australia and Asia. A high proportion of the species of birds and mammals here are found nowhere else with 10 endemic bird species and 4 endemic mammals as well as a number of near-endemic species. This morning we will explore these remote shores together with our expert naturalists and guides. Enjoy opportunities to explore the forests in search of wildlife and many of the endemic species including the Blue-fronted Lorikeet and experience the hospitality of local communities during village visits.
Day 25: Banda Neira, Indonesia
Under consideration as a World Heritage Site due to its fascinating history as the centre of the Spice Islands trade and incredible biodiversity, Banda Neira is the main island in the archipelago of 10 tiny volcanic Banda Islands. Once the world’s sole source of nutmeg due to the islands’ native Myristica trees, the principal town of Banda Neira offers a glimpse into bygone days with its charming 17th century European relics including the five-sided Fort Belgica overlooking the harbour. Built in 1611 by the first Governor General of the Dutch East Indies and refurbished in the 90s it was designed to guard against sea threats and to protect the colonialists from any uprising locals. Across a narrow strait lies 640-metre cone of active volcano Gunung Banda Api which sits on its own island and is home to a variety of wildlife and bird species. Below the sparkling sapphire water the islands’ location near the centre of the Coral Triangle is evident with sprawling coral fields where myriad fish species including Scorpion, Ghost Pipefish, Napoleon Wrasse, Mandarin Fish, Hammerhead Sharks and more can be observed. Village visits and cultural immersions round out our time here including observing Banda’s famous Kora Kora canoes in action.
Day 26: Tanimbar Islands, Indonesia
Discover paradise on our last stop before we arrive in Darwin, as we enjoy another expedition day well off the typical tourist route exploring the powdery white sand shores and crystal-clear waters of the Tanimbar Archipelago. This group of about 65 islands separating the Banda and Arafura Seas, is fringed by unspoiled beaches and reefs home to abundant coral gardens and teeming with marine life, the islands are a snorkellers paradise, while birders can look out for the Tanimbar Starling, poorly known Moluccan or Lesser Masked Owl, Fawn-breasted thrush and Bluestreaked Lory. We also plan to experience the unique culture and traditional crafts like Ikat cloth and carved wooden statues the islands are known for.
Day 27: At Sea
Take the time to relax and reflect on an amazing experience as we recap the highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.
Day 28: Darwin, Australia
This morning we arrive in Darwin, Australia’s ‘northern gateway’ famous for its glittering harbour, World War II history and enviable tropical outdoor lifestyle. After breakfast there will be a complimentary coach to a central hotel or to Darwin International Airport or continue with us on expedition cruise of Australia’s famous Kimberley Coast on Kimberley Explorer: Expedition Cruising Australia’s Iconic Kimberley Coast. For those disembarking, to allow time for disembarkation procedures and travel from Darwin, we do not recommend booking flights departing before 1500 hours. Note: During our voyage circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Please note: Voyages are planned and scheduled pending final regulatory approval. About Our Discovery Fund Each area we visit has rich cultural experiences and wild treasures to offer. As guests, we have made a point to source and support local projects in the areas through which we travel. A contribution from each passenger represents a portion of the money we donate to ensure the longevity and success of educational, environmental and cultural initiatives in these regions.
Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of
exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the 'Grande Dame of
Exploration Cruising' due to her celebrated history and refined design,
she was purposebuilt for adventure in 1991 at Finland's Rauma shipyard
and specifically designed for Polar exploration. Setting a peerless
standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (formerly
known as MS Hanseatic) combines the highest passenger ship iceclass
rating (1A Super) with an impressive history of Polar exploration.
Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, Heritage Adventurer now
welcomes just 140 expeditioners ensuring spacious, stylish and
comfortable voyages, while a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are
able to maximise their expedition adventure.
(Click image to view Ship details)
- Discovery fund (All prices are per person in USD):
- Pre and post cruise transfers
- One night hotel accommodation equivalent to your on board
accommodation (incl. dinner/breakfast)
- All on board ship accommodation with meals, house beer,
wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- All shore excursions and activities
- Programme of lectures by noted naturalists
- Pricing per person in US$.
- All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks,
gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.