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Viking Oceans Cruises – Australia, Asia & Alaska (11 Countries) 79 Days

0
  • 79 Days
  • River Cruise
  • 11 Countries

Map of Australia, Asia & Alaska itinerary

See cultural & natural treasures

Combine Komodo & the Australian Coast, Bangkok, Bali & Beyond, Southeast Asia & Hong Kong, Far Eastern Horizons and North Pacific Passage for a remarkable 79-day journey. From Australia and Indonesia to Indochina and the northern reaches of America’s “Last Frontier,” join locals and delve with them into an astonishing array of cultural treasures and breathtaking natural wonders. Overnights in 13 ports bring your destinations into sharp focus.

Australia, Asia & Alaska

Departure & Return Location

Sydney, Australia / Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Departure Dates/Times

2023 Sailings on September

2025 Sailings on March

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

Rates

Cruise fare from $46,499.0 per person

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

What's Included

Itinerary

Day 1Sydney, Australia

Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. Sydney was founded as a penal colony in 1788 and is celebrated for its magnificent natural harbor. It has grown into the major cultural center of Australia, beloved for its all-embracing, free-spirited nature. The cultural jewel in its crown is the iconic Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled harborside like a gleaming white bird taking wing. Adjacent, the Royal Botanic Garden displays one of the world’s most important horticultural collections across its 70 acres of flora-lined pathways.

Day 2Newcastle, Australia

Newcastle boasts some of the most picturesque coastal vistas in Australia. The city was built on coal export and remains a major exporter. But locals care more about soaking up the spectacular outdoors. High cliffs, well-kept green parks and long stretches of beach grace these shores. And the people of Newcastle know how to keep connected to their breathtaking surroundings: They have built ocean baths along the shore that collect sea water during high tide. Nearby, in one of the country’s first wine regions, the vintners of Hunter Valley bottle some of the coast’s favorites.

Day 3Sail the Australian Coast

Trace the scenic Australian coastline, indigenous people inhabited the continent for 60,000 years prior to European discovery. Renew your body, mind and spirit in our Scandinavian-inspired spa, a Nordic sanctuary of holistic wellness, today while at sea. Whether you unwind in the Sauna, refresh in the Snow Grotto or take a dip in the Thermal Pool, you will feel recharged and revitalized.

Day 4Brisbane, Australia

The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is situated on its namesake river and spreads over picturesque hills rising from Moreton Bay. One of the oldest cities in Australia, its first European settlers were the secondary offenders from the Sydney penal colony. In addition to its riverside skyscrapers, the city is host to some decidedly less dramatic architecture: the quaint Queenslander homes characterized by their terraces and raised living spaces. Art galleries, museums and beloved musical venues also make the city one of Australia’s most vibrant and active cultural centers.

Day 5Sail the Australian Coast

Follow the route of English explorer James Cook, who famously laid eyes on Australia’s “Sunshine Coast” from the deck of the HMS Endeavour. As you sail, explore our well-curated library, tucked in a private alcove of The Living Room, and select from a broad range of titles. Read a book by the Main Pool, a calming oasis in any weather with its retractable roof, allowing for year-round swimming.

Day 6Whitsunday Islands (Airlie Beach), Australia

The Whitsunday archipelago emerges from the Coral Sea amid the Great Barrier Reef. The seafaring Ngaro people called this paradise home until 1870 and hunted these waters in bark canoes. Nature’s brushstrokes are astonishing here: pure-white sands meet cerulean waters, swirling together at sandbars to merge into a palette of turquoise, cream and emerald-green hills. Glassy, invigorating and impossibly blue, the waters provide the ideal oasis for relaxing and idling away a few hours on the beach.

Day 7Townsville, Australia

Townsville is the unofficial capital of North Queensland and a favorite cultural center. The city’s location on the banks of the Ross River and along the shores of Cleveland Bay hints at the local love of outdoor life. Riverway, a path-lined green park that traces the Ross, leads walkers and joggers past scenic views and the city’s original wharves and ports. Nearby, The Strand, a tranquil walkway, follows the long tropical beach. And no matter which corner of Townsville you are exploring, the red sandstone monolith of Castle Hill is always in view.

Day 8Cairns, Australia

Queensland’s seaside resort town, Cairns is the gateway to a rich array of natural beauty onshore and off. Catamarans take marine lovers to the Great Barrier Reef; stretching for 1,400 miles, it is the largest continuous coral reef system on Earth. Inland, the wet tropics have given rise to Daintree and Kuranda National Parks, vast rainforest systems of extraordinary biodiversity and a profusion of birdlife. For all its appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, Cairns’ thriving culture is a pleasure to absorb from the outdoor cafés or along the scenic waterfront promenade.

Day 9Sail the Coral Sea

Traverse the mineral-rich waters of the Coral Sea, where the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef welcomes divers to explore its spectacular marine life. As you sail, take advantage of the array of delicious cuisine offered on board. You may visit Mamsen’s, our casual gourmet deli, any time from early morning to late at night for a taste of traditional Norwegian fare. Or, dine at Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant for authentic fare with options ranging from Milanese risotto to Tuscan-inspired classics.

Day 10Thursday Island, Australia

Thursday Island was once home to a thriving pearl fishing industry. From the late 19th century, divers came from Japan, Malaysia and India to harvest these precious stones. The diving has declined, but traces of Asia’s diverse influences remain. The island’s Green Hill Fort was built during the 1890s with growing concerns of a potential Russian invasion. The fort was shut down just 30 years later and reactivated during World War II as a wireless station. Many islanders, still to this day, abide by a no-footwear policy out of respect for the spirits of their ancestors.

Day 11Sail the Arafura Sea

Trace the route of early civilizations as you sail the Arafura Sea. During the Ice Age, entire populations were once able to walk between continents, exchanging languages and customs. Meet fellow guests and listen to the soothing sounds of classical music in The Living Room, an ideal setting for relaxation. Enjoy a cup of coffee or sip on a refreshing cocktail.

Day 12Darwin, Australia

Darwin is the cultural hub of the continent’s northernmost region. The laid-back city got its name after the HMS Beagle sailed into the harbor during a surveying expedition in 1839. The famed naturalist Charles Darwin was so esteemed that its captain named this newest discovery for him. Today, it is the largest city in the thinly populated Northern Territory state. It boasts a rich and lively arts and culture scene, much of it centered on the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Its collection of art and artifacts reflects the region and its indigenous people.

Day 13Darwin, Australia

Darwin may be far removed from Australia’s other provincial capitals, but it is proudly cosmopolitan. Its varied museums highlight the rich history and abundant marine life. The Royal Flying Doctor Service museum chronicles the organization’s part in World War II and illuminates its current role in the bush. On the waterfront, the Indo-Pacific Marine Exhibition recreates various underwater ecosystems, each one self-sustaining with no feeding or filtration, providing unique insight into fascinating aquatic worlds.

Day 14Sail the Timor Sea

Follow in the footsteps of Indonesia’s indigenous people and sail the Timor Sea. This stretch of water shares its name with the independent state of East Timor, which lies to its north. Enjoy the amenities of your ship as you sail. Perhaps take a breath of fresh air on a brisk walk around the Promenade Deck or begin your day with a workout in the well-equipped Fitness Center.

Day 15Komodo, Indonesia

Komodo is one of the world’s most unique and prehistoric-feeling national parks with a magnificent menagerie of wildlife. Its most famous denizen is the legendary Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world. These breathtaking creatures can grow up to ten feet long and typically weigh about 150 pounds. Gentler-looking animals also roam, including the island’s graceful Timor deer, beautiful wild horses and stout little boars. Resident giant fruit bats, also known as flying foxes, are a sight to behold with their jet-black capes.

Day 16Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok exudes a relaxed atmosphere in a tropical setting. Wood carvers, potters and other artisans keep artistic traditions alive, finding endless inspiration in the lush forests, the soothing sands and the soaring peak of Mt. Rinjani, the nation’s second-tallest volcano. The crafts of the island are steeped in the artistry of the indigenous Sasak people. The island is also home to pearl divers who pluck these treasures from the sea and offer them for sale. On the western shore, Senggigi is home to the island’s best beach, stretching several miles along a lush, green coast.

Day 17Bali (Benoa), Indonesia

With a thriving arts scene, lush beauty and magnificent seaside vistas, Bali has long beckoned travelers in search of ultimate beauty. The island’s rich Hindu culture has forever held that gods live in all things natural—from mountains to streams to pebbles on the beach—lending the island a peaceful air. Denpasar is the island’s thriving capital. Founded as a market town, it still bustles with colorful stalls and vast emporiums selling bright sarongs and intricately patterned batik.

Day 18Bali (Benoa), Indonesia

With its distinct flavors and traditions, Bali’s food culture stands apart from that of the rest of Indonesia. Indigenous ingredients, recipes and techniques blend with influences from the island’s Chinese and Indian heritages to create dishes found nowhere else. For many, a daily ritual may involve shopping for ginger, turmeric and kaffir lime in spice markets or for fruits, vegetables and meats in a pasar pagi. Traditional warungs, tiny family-owned food stands, often specialize in a particular dish, such as babi guling (suckling pig) or bebek betutu (crispy duck).

Day 19Surabaya, Java, Indonesia

Surabaya played a central role in the Indonesian War of Independence. The memorials to that struggle stand as soaring testaments to the will and courage of the Javanese. Today, Surabaya is a diverse patchwork of vibrant cultures. Mosques stand proudly in the Arab district and elegant churches adorn the European quarter. But perhaps the most authentic way to fully experience Java’s varied cultural influences is by tasting them. A stroll through the Pasar Pabean traditional market reveals fresh fish, vegetables, spices, incense and countless other specialties.

Day 20Semarang, Indonesia

Java is Indonesia’s repository of history and island culture. The bustling port of Semarang was founded by the Dutch and hints of the island’s colonial past dot the cityscape. Outside the city, Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world, strikes a dramatic pose against a backdrop of four volcanoes. A popular place of pilgrimage and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the massive pyramidal temple towers to a great height. The devout walk up a clockwise path to the pinnacle, passing 2,672 reliefs and 504 Buddha statues along the way.

Day 21Jakarta, Java, Indonesia

Jakarta is a melting pot of cultures and a bustling capital. The city has been important to trade since the 4th century; it was founded as Sunda Kelapa, a significant trading port for the Sunda Kingdom, the Hindu realm that once occupied this area. The Dutch arrived in 1619 to establish the Dutch East Indies, renaming the city Batavia and proclaiming it their capital. Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and more were exported from here. During the Japanese occupation of World War II, the Dutch were expelled and the city took its current name, which it retained after independence.

Day 22Jakarta, Java, Indonesia

Jakarta is an enormous mélange of cultures imported from Indonesia’s 6,000 inhabited islands. Whether strolling the capital’s outdoor markets or dining at a high-end restaurant, the city’s menus reveal a cornucopia of cuisines that reflect the varied traditions of today’s Jakartans. The local Betawi food is the culmination of centuries of Malay, Chinese, Javanese and other influences. Gado-gado, salad in peanut sauce, is one popular dish. Countless variations of skewered meats, fried rice and dumplings are also on offer.

Day 23Sail the Java Sea

Sail one of the world’s most successful commercial trade routes in history. The countless crates of spices carried over the Java Sea reportedly contributed to the famed Dutch Golden Age. As you sail today, relax in the Explorers’ Lounge, inspired by epic journeys of discovery. Marvel at the views through the two-story panoramic windows as you share a cocktail with friends, or settle down to read a book.

Day 24Singapore, Singapore

Singapore is the world’s only island city-state. Established in 1819 for the East India Company by Sir Stamford Raffles, after whom the famed hotel is named, it grew from a secluded backwater into a shabby port city before transforming itself into a sophisticated metropolis. The technology and economy are highly advanced here, yet the islands host plentiful green parks with tree-lined footpaths and the stunning National Orchid Garden. For a panoramic view of it all, the observation deck of the Marina Bay Sands towers offers the perfect solution.

Day 25Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur was built by Chinese tin prospectors in the mid-1800s. Since then, the city of KL, as the locals call it, has grown into a stunning mix of colonial, Moorish, Tudor, neo-Gothic and Grecian-Spanish architecture. The two-story shophouses of Old Market Square, with storefronts below and residences above, reveal the lives of merchants. The magnificent Petronas Towers are the centerpiece of this fascinating city; the side-by-side twin spires resemble a pair of rockets, connected by a two-story sky bridge that spans the 41st and 42nd floors.

Day 26Scenic Sailing: Strait of Malacca

This narrow passage between Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra was a major route for early traders shipping glassware, precious stones, camphor, ivory and sandalwood. Today, it is one of the busiest shipping channels in the world, linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Along this historic waterway, the lush shores of Sumatra grace the horizon to the south, stretching out to lowlands, mangroves and swamps. The more urban skylines of Malaysia—George Town and Kuala Lumpur among them—shimmer in the distance to the north.

Day 27Scenic Sailing: Gulf of Thailand

Surrounded by palm-lined shores, idyllic resort towns and bustling port cites, the Gulf of Thailand provides an enriching glimpse of seaside locales in Southeast Asia. Home to a large diversity of marine life, the waters themselves also draw admirers of some of the world’s most elusive sea creatures. Whale watching ships set off from shore hoping to spot Eden’s whales and rare dwarf fin whales, sometimes encountering the Chinese white dolphin, Irrawaddy dolphin, manatee-like dugongs and the endangered hawksbill turtle.

Day 28Bangkok, Thailand

Often called the “City of Angels,” Bangkok is Thailand’s largest and most populous city. A sprawling and heady mix of modern skyscrapers, floating markets and longtail boats skimming the Chao Phraya River, the scintillating capital of old Siam engages all the senses. Yet it all seems devoutly grounded by the presence of its revered gilded wats, or temples. Wat Arun, in particular, can be seen from all corners of the city. This majestic riverside “Temple of Dawn” catches the first light of each day like a pearl, casting a soft glow on one of Asia’s most remarkable cities.

Day 29Bangkok, Thailand

Historic Siam of old, Bangkok is beautifully set on the Chao Phraya River. Thai culture is rich and engaging in this bustling center, and its origins are reflected through centuries-old Buddhist wats, or temples. The towering Wat Arun, named for the god of the rising sun, stands dramatically on the river’s banks. The revered temples and elegant buildings within the walls of the renowned Grand Palace date to the late 1700s. A gilded array of golden pagodas and stupas (shrines), it has been the royal family’s residence for more than 150 years.

Day 30Bangkok, Thailand

Amid the bustle of Bangkok, numerous temples, or wats, pay tribute to the Buddha. The most prominent, for its 286-foot height along the Chao Phraya River, is Wat Arun. Its soaring spire represents Mount Meru, mythic home of the Hindu gods. At the 17th-century Wat Pho, Thailand’s oldest and largest temple, a gold-leafed Buddha lies in repose, stretching some 150 feet. The nation’s most venerated Buddha resides on the Grand Palace grounds in Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The 26-inch-tall figure carved from semiprecious jade draws pilgrims from across the world.

Day 31Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sihanoukville is perched on the end of a scenic elevated peninsula. Its almost uninterrupted stretch of sandy shores and turquoise waters lend it one of the nation’s most picturesque settings. This sleepy city was developed after the French departed, so its streets are lined with less fanciful examples of New Khmer architecture and traveled by modern-day tuk-tuks, carriages pulled by motorcycle. The city’s many beaches and offshore islands draw locals and visitors alike, making this one of Cambodia’s prime seaside resorts.

Day 32Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sihanoukville has an abundance of beautiful beaches and a lively culture along its shores, drawing backpackers, young adventurers and other beach lovers to its long stretches of sand. One of its most famous beaches, the tree-shaded Independence Beach, was visited by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1967 during her tour of Cambodia. The clean, white sands of Otres Beach, lined with casuarina trees and coconut palms, are also a firm favorite. At Serendipity Beach, locals and visitors take in the seaside vistas from one of the many beachside outdoor cafés.

Day 33Scenic Sailing: Gulf of Thailand

The Gulf of Thailand, the massive sea basin bordered by Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, is still known as the Gulf of Siam to the Malay and Khmer people. Long stretches of sandy beach, low-lying emerald hills and soaring mountains surround this oval-shaped gulf. The lush hills of Botum Sakor National Park unfold north of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Along Thailand’s shores, several beach-ringed islands point the way to Laem Chabang port.

Day 34Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Founded as a small fishing village, Ho Chi Minh City is now Vietnam’s largest city. Though it is still commonly called Saigon, locals are as likely to simplify the name of their hometown to HCMC. No matter what you call it, it is a seamless blend of history and modern youthful energy, where pagodas and French colonial grandeur mingle with bustling old-world marketplaces and modern skyscrapers, all against a constant buzz of motor scooters and trill of bicycle bells. From enduring, narrow alleyways to wide, Parisian-style boulevards, Ho Chi Minh City has an identity all its own.

Day 35Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a heady mix of French and Vietnamese cultures, where baguettes and croissants are sold alongside pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and motor scooters buzz past colonial-era architecture. The city’s wide boulevards are reminiscent of Paris, lined with jewels such as the Opera House, fashioned after the Petit Palais, and the grand Central Post Office, designed by Gustave Eiffel. Aromatic food stalls and colorful shops purvey local specialties and all manner of Vietnamese wares, from conical hats to ao dai, the traditional silk tunic worn by women.

Day 36Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Despite Ho Chi Minh City’s densely packed urban districts, there are several green spaces that can be enjoyed. In Tao Dan Park, locals can be spotted engaging in their daily morning exercise with a round of badminton, tai chi or the outdoor gym equipment. Afternoons welcome a number of classes, from aerobics to dance, attracting good-sized crowds. In addition to the wide open spaces, there are a variety of walking trails shaded by towering trees as well as water features and ponds to be admired.

Day 37Sail the South China Sea

Sail the South China Sea; after the five oceans of the world, it is the world’s largest body of water covering more than one million square miles. As you sail today, attend an informative lecture or watch a film in our state-of-the-art theater. A range of insightful TED Talks and destination-inspired seminars are offered daily.

Day 38Hue (Chan May), Vietnam

Chan May serves as a gateway to the fascinating and historic city of Hue, scenically set along the Perfume River. From 1802 to 1945, this was the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors. Numerous historic monuments from that period remain, including the massive walled Imperial City, built in the 19th century, that once housed the country’s most extravagant temples and royal residences and was hailed as the center of politics, religion and culture. Among the Imperial City’s treasures are palaces, shrines and the Forbidden Purple City.

Day 39Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

More than 1,600 islands of towering limestone dot the seascape of Ha Long Bay. Among them, Vietnam emerges at its most authentic. Fishermen cast their nets into the bay, villages hug the shores and children play in the waters as traditional junks drift by. As local lore has it, dragons created this magnificent place when the gods sent them to the coast to protect locals from marauders. The protective beasts breathed countless jewels into the bay, sinking the approaching ships—and creating a spellbinding canvas of mystical-looking monoliths.

Day 40Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Evidence of a human presence in Ha Long Bay dates back to prehistoric times, with the discovery of stone tools attributed to the Hoabinhian culture that flourished in the region 10,000 years ago. As late as the 19th century, the bay was used as a base by Chinese and Vietnamese pirates. During the 20th century, the bay remained sparsely populated; today, a community of approximately 1,600 people live on Hạ Long Bay spread across four fishing villages, living in distinctive floating houses with fishing and marine aquaculture being the primary occupations.

Day 41Sail the South China Sea

Sail the South China Sea; after the five oceans of the world, it is the world’s largest body of water covering more than one million square miles. Renew your body, mind and spirit in our Scandinavian-inspired spa, a Nordic sanctuary of holistic wellness, today while at sea. Whether you unwind in the Sauna, refresh in the Snow Grotto or take a dip in the Thermal Pool, you will feel recharged and revitalized.

Day 42Hong Kong, China

A British Overseas Territory until 1997, Hong Kong is home to long-cherished Eastern traditions amid modern Western sensibilities. This forest of glittering skyscrapers stands between soaring mountains and bustling Victoria Harbor. The entire sweeping vista is best taken in from atop Victoria Peak, lush with landscaped gardens and footpaths. Back down at sea level, Aberdeen provides a fascinating glimpse of China old and new as a skyward-reaching cluster of residential towers watches over a bustling bay where floating villages bob in the waters beside stylish pleasure boats.

Day 43Hong Kong, China

Victoria Harbor keeps the heart of Hong Kong beating and it does so with grace and beauty. The natural harbor divides Hong Kong Island from Kowloon. Today, much of the harbor’s beauty lies in its location amid a dense urban area. Junks, tugs, sampans, yachts and the distinctive Star Ferry commuter boats share these teeming waters surrounded by a stunning setting. For the most impressive view of Hong Kong’s forest of skyscrapers and Victoria Peak, join locals for a harbor crossing on a Star Ferry. Or take in the nightly light show that plays off the skyline.

Day 44Hong Kong, China

Amid the bustle and bright neon of Hong Kong, temples and shrines to Buddhism offer tranquility and provide insight into the spiritual life of locals. The Chi Lin Nunnery in the city’s heart, a Buddhist complex of gardens, comprises 16 timber-built Tang Dynasty structures recreated here without a single nail. Another pocket of serenity is the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. The entry path, which includes 400 steps, is flanked by some of the statues for which the complex is named. A peaceful monastery and a chance to try sweet do fu fa, a tofu custard, await at the top.

Day 45Sail the East China Sea

Chinese and Japanese traders traversed the East China Sea for centuries, before the British, French and Americans crossed these waters in the mid-1800s to establish territories outside the walled city of Shanghai. As you sail, take advantage of the array of delicious cuisine offered on board. You may visit Mamsen’s, our casual gourmet deli, any time from early morning to late at night for a taste of traditional Norwegian fare. Or, dine at Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant for authentic fare with options ranging from Milanese risotto to Tuscan-inspired classics.

Day 46Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China

Taipei stands proudly as one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities. Yet, the city cherishes centuries-old traditions, which have been shaped by Chinese, Japanese and Western influences. The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall looks over Liberty Square; the ornate landmark honors the leader who led nationalists from mainland China during the 1949 Communist takeover. However, the most prominent symbol of the city’s robust development is the famed Taipei 101, the world’s tallest skyscraper from 2004 to 2009.

Day 47Sail the East China Sea

Sail the fabled East China Sea, one of the four seas representing ancient China’s metaphoric borders. Spend a relaxing day at sea to unwind and admire the vistas from your stateroom veranda.

Day 48Nagasaki, Japan

Nagasaki is one of the rare Japanese cities where East and West intermingle. The Dejima district provides a fascinating and unique glimpse of European colonialism in the heart of Japan. Portuguese traders had a strong presence here and later Dutch traders lived here for two centuries. Nagasaki changed forever on August 9, 1945, destroyed by an atomic bomb. The city’s vast Peace Park contains sculptures donated by countries and artists around the world, each dedicated to world harmony and to an unwavering optimism for a peaceful future.

Day 49Kagoshima, Japan

Historic Kagoshima is often compared to the Italian city of Naples for its mild climate, palm-lined streets and the Sakurajima volcano that reminds so many visitors of Italy’s Mt. Vesuvius. Kagoshima experienced great power and prosperity throughout the Edo period. It has been said that the city brought the industrial revolution to Japan’s doorstep after 17 young men ignored a ban on foreign travel and set off to explore England and the United States. They returned with ideas that transformed society, using Western science and technology.

Day 50Beppu, Japan

Nestled on the island of Kyushu, between Beppu Bay and a range of picturesque mountains, Beppu is renowned for its hot springs. These onsen, as they are known in Japanese, emerge from eight geothermal hot spots that together boast the second-largest volume of hot water in the world. Since Japan’s Edo period, the waters have been harnessed for curative and health benefits in soothing public baths. Outside the city, landscapes of steaming fissures and mineral-rich bubbling mud pools attract locals and visitors alike.

Day 51Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima was founded in 1589 and grew to become one of Japan’s most important educational and industrial centers. Military supplies were later exported from here, an industry that would seal the city’s fate at the end of World War II, when an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. It is hard to imagine the destruction today, so modern and forward-looking are its streets and its people. In Peace Memorial Park, the hollowed dome of the former Industrial Promotion Hall symbolizes the city’s hope that nuclear weapons will never be used again.

Day 52Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima’s delta is dived into a number of islets. It was upon one of these islets that Mōri Terumoto (1553–1625), a feudal lord who ruled over much of the Chūgoku region, constructed Hiroshima Castle. This solidified the city as a jōkamachi (castle town). Although the castle had successfully survived into the 20th century, it was unable to withstand the atomic bombing of the city during World War II. In 1958, Hiroshima Castle was restored to its original splendor, complete with a main keep and moat. Today, it houses a museum providing insight into the city’s rich history.

Day 53Osaka, Japan

Osaka is located at the mouth of the Yodo River and is second only to Tokyo in size and cultural landmarks. For centuries, it prospered on its mercantile economy. During the Edo period, it introduced agriculture, particularly rice, to its exports and was soon known as “the nation’s kitchen.” The city is home to some of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines. Its Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine is the flagship of 2,000 others spread throughout Japan. Each honors the guardian deity of sailors and the deity of prosperity, but the one here is the most majestic.

Day 54Shimizu, Japan

Shimizu is a scenic city set on Suruga Bay, watched over by Mt. Fuji. It has long been a thriving harbor town and prospered during the Edo period. Today, its economy stands upon a vast fishing industry and on the export of green tea, whose leaves are cultivated in nearby hills. Beyond the city limits, wide plains reach to coastal hills, and to the original burial place of the nation’s first shogun. This Shinto shrine, Kunōzan Tōshō-gū, is Japan’s oldest. With its flamboyant design, it is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the leader who unified Japan after years of civil war.

Day 55Shimizu, Japan

Shimizu is a scenic city set on Suruga Bay, watched over by Mt. Fuji. It has long been a thriving harbor town and prospered during the Edo period. Today, its economy stands upon a vast fishing industry and on the export of green tea, whose leaves are cultivated in nearby hills. Beyond the city limits, wide plains reach to coastal hills, and to the original burial place of the nation’s first shogun. This Shinto shrine, Kunōzan Tōshō-gū, is Japan’s oldest. With its flamboyant design, it is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the leader who unified Japan after years of civil war.

Day 56Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is a spellbinding blend of neon splendor and tranquil Shinto shrines, towering skyscrapers and meditative Zen gardens. Founded as the tiny fishing village of Edo, Tokyo’s history was shaped by emperors and shoguns. As the Edo period progressed, it grew into one of the world’s largest cities, as it remains today. Tokyoites embrace the traditional and the cosmopolitan here, both worshipping at the city’s Asakusa Kannon Temple and frequenting the high-end retail stores of the Ginza district, all while the distant symmetrical cone of Mt. Fuji watches over the city.

Day 57Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo as a city was officially dissolved in 1943 and 23 independent municipalities were formed, known as ku. Each neighborhood is representative of a small city yet collectively, they are still recognized as Tokyo. Exploring this vast city is easy, thanks to Tokyo’s excellent transport system. Look to the skies and admire its ever-changing skyline with towering buildings in every corner of the city. Observation platforms feature in many, including Mori Tower or the Metropolitan Government Building.

Day 58Tokyo, Japan

Located for centuries on the site of modern-day Tokyo, the small fishing village of Edo grew into a city during the Tokugawa period, when it became the capital of the Tokugawa shogunate. It became the capital of Japan during the Meiji Restoration of the mid-19th century and was renamed Tokyo, meaning “eastern capital.” Japan’s largest city since the 17th century, Tokyo’s population exceeded one million during the late 19th century, and as the country’s political, economic, and cultural center, it has become one of the world’s most populous cities.

Day 59Scenic Sailing: Tsugaro Strait

The Tsugaru Strait links the Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean, flowing between Japan’s two major islands—Honshū to the south and Hokkaidō to the north. At its narrowest point, just 12 miles wide, green slopes rise on the Tsugaru Peninsula to the south and the coastal Matsumae to the north. Halfway through, a broad channel flows into Honshū to form Mutsu Bay. At the strait’s other narrow point, the small town of Ōma rests on the northernmost tip of Honshū; opposite, Hokkaidō’s Hakodate, with its namesake mountain watching over, is one of Japan’s most modern cities.

Day 60Sapporo (Otaru), Japan

Sapporo is renowned for its traditional cuisine, green spaces, revered shrines and market culture. The city was developed with the help of President Ulysses S. Grant’s commissioner of agriculture, who became an oyatoi gaikokujin, a foreign adviser, at Grant’s request. Since then, Sapporo has been recognized for its ability to transform the natural world into the highest art. It is, however, perhaps better known as the city where miso ramen was invented; restaurants line the historic Original Sapporo Ramen Alley to celebrate the noodle’s many forms.

Day 61Sapporo (Otaru), Japan

Sapporo is located along the Ishikari Bay, an inlet of the Sea of Japan. It is not only the capital but also the largest city of Hokkaidō island, often referred to as the “Kingdom of Food.” As such, savvy travelers can be certain a visit to Sapporo will not leave them in want of tasty delights—particularly fresh seafood, for which the city has become nearly synonymous. From crab to salmon roe to sea urchin, some of the finest selection of seafood can be found in downtown Sapporo at the historic Nijo Fish Market, where visitors can indulge in sushi or a kaisendon.

Day 62Sail the Okhotsk Sea

The Okhotsk Sea, one of the world’s most biologically productive seas, is considered the “heart” of the vast Pacific Ocean, supplying the larger body of water with life-enriching oxygen, cold seawater and nutrients.

Day 63Sail the North Pacific Ocean

The Mighty Pacific Leg is one of the most anticipated crossings of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The crossing of the North Pacific Ocean, one of the last great wildernesses on the planet, is one of the race’s highlights. Enjoy the amenities of your ship as you sail. Perhaps take a breath of fresh air on a brisk walk around the Promenade Deck or begin your day with a workout in the well-equipped Fitness Center.

Day 64Cross the International Date Line

Cross the International Date Line today, a time-honored travel milestone long marked by ceremony. Heading east across this imaginary line between the poles sets the clock back 24 hours, effectively gaining a day. While traversing this meridian, it is tradition to celebrate the occasion by raising a glass to the event.

Day 65Sail the Bering Sea

Set sail into one of the world’s most productive eco-systems. The Bering Sea boasts deep marine canyons that feature varied temperatures, creating upwellings of nutrients that attract countless hungry fish and predators. Meet fellow guests and listen to the soothing sounds of classical music in The Living Room, an ideal setting for relaxation. Enjoy a cup of coffee or sip on a refreshing cocktail.

Day 66Dutch Harbor, United States

Known simply as “Dutch” to locals, the charming town of Dutch Harbor is nestled on Unalaska, one of the Aleutian Islands. The Aleut people called this picturesque place home for nearly 10,000 years, yet they met the arrival of the Russians and their Orthodox Church, as they offered education and other support. The Russian-American Company operated here, mainly trading in fur, until the United States purchased Alaska. Today, the town’s fishermen harvest the Bering Sea’s pollack and cod, which thrive along one of the world’s largest continental shelves.

Day 67Scenic Sailing: Gulf of Alaska

The Gulf of Alaska stretches from the Aleutian Islands to the Inside Passage. Teeming with marine life, it meets dramatic shores lined with the pristine wilderness for which Alaska is celebrated. The state’s famed soaring mountains dominate the landscape, their ravines and peaks draped with snow. Lush green forests spill down steep slopes and gleaming tidewater glaciers stand like white monoliths at the water’s edge. The tiny outpost towns and villages that dot the shoreline still rely on the sea for their livelihood, offering a glimpse into life in this unspoiled region.

Day 68Kodiak, United States

Kodiak plays an outsize role on its namesake island home, known as Alaska’s “Emerald Isle” for its green hillsides. It is the only link to the outside world, so all goods enter and leave through its port. Inhabited by Alutiiq natives for more than 7,000 years, it became the capital of Russian Alaska in the 18th century. Sea otter pelts were the major commodity of export until the animal was almost hunted to extinction. For 150 years, the native people fought for the beloved creature, sacrificing their lives to protect them. Today, the sea otter thrives here once again.

Day 69Seward, United States

Seward enjoys a magnificent setting between snowcapped peaks and Resurrection Bay, a pristine harbor ringed by mountains. The Alaskan city was named after Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state who defied public opinion to pursue the purchase of Alaska from Russia. Seward is steeped in marine culture, from its busy fishing port to the excellent exhibits and preservation efforts of the Alaska SeaLife Center. It is also the famed starting point of the Iditarod Trail, the dogsled race route originally laid to link Seward to inland Alaska.

Day 70Valdez, United States

Valdez enjoys a breathtaking setting at the tip of a deep-cut fjord in Prince William Sound. The glacial Chugach Mountains rise up all around the city, adding to its scenic allure. In its early days, the promise of gold attracted explorers and seekers of wealth, but the land proved barren. The town finally experienced its economic boom as North America’s northernmost ice-free port. Today, it is the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline that carries oil south from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic coast.

Day 71Scenic Sailing: Yakutat Bay

Surrounded by glacier-carved mountains and fed by the enormous Hubbard Glacier, Yakutat Bay spreads some 18 miles across at its widest point. On calm days, snow-covered slopes are reflected in the mirror-like bay, casting the entire scene in a soft, icy azure glow. Disenchantment Bay extends farther inland like a finger; at its farthest point, Hubbard Glacier creeps seaward from its source five miles away. The ice at the water’s edge began its journey from near Mt. Walsh more than 400 years ago in the early 1600s.

Day 72Scenic Sailing: Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a breathtaking alpine paradise at the northernmost reaches of the Inside Passage. The Sitakaday Narrows lead into its waters, passing the pristine Beardslee Islands to the east. The bay feeds several inlets that wind their way deeper into the mountains, all surrounded by soaring ice-capped peaks and forested shorelines. Glacier Bay is part of a national park, a haven for wildlife including sea lions and otters, brown bears, moose, bald eagles and, in summer, humpback whales.

Day 73Sitka, United States

Sitka has long been inhabited by the indigenous Tlingit people. Fur trading brought Russian settlers here in 1799 as part of a colonial merchant company. The town grew to become the capital of Russian Alaska, and remains of those days can be found in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the Russian Bishop’s House, the latter built by the Tlingit with guidance from Finnish carpenters in the 1840s. Today’s Sitka is a delight to explore by foot, its streets dotted with inviting art galleries displaying artwork inspired by the region’s natural beauty and rich heritage.

Day 74Ketchikan, United States

Ketchikan is set among the soaring coastal mountains and sloping woodlands of the Tongass National Forest. The gateway into America’s 49th state, it is known to travelers journeying north by ship as Alaska’s “First City” and the “Salmon Capital of the World” for its thriving fishing industry. Ketchikan also embraces its rich and enduring Tlingit heritage; it is home to the most standing totem poles anywhere in the world. The artful icons are sprinkled throughout the town as well as its parks and cultural centers.

Day 75Scenic Sailing: The Inside Passage

Stretching some 500 miles along the Alaska Panhandle, the Inside Passage is a pristine wilderness of fjord-like channels. It winds its way through a vast maze of islands laden with emerald-green forests and strewn with glistening glaciers. Nature is at her most magnificent here, tranquil and hushed. Unspoiled waterways weave their way past tiny coastal villages and a breathtaking array of snowcapped mountains and pine-covered hills. Sea lions and otters reside in these waters, and moose and brown bears are often spotted as they wade along the coast.

Day 76Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is one of Canada’s most diverse cities and the influence of its multi-ethnic society is reflected in the city’s multitude of restaurants and public settings, such as the tranquil Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden at the heart of Chinatown. The city’s cultural treasures reflect its indigenous community and embody the influence of European and Asian settlers. Its vibrant institutions run the gamut, from bustling markets to museums that chronicle the region’s anthropology and rich art heritage. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.

Additional Info

* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.

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