silversea

KOBE To HOKKAIDO (Otaru)

ASIA expedition cruise Silver Explorer

The Japanese believe in “one life, one encounter”, meaning you must experience as much as possible in this life. So, starting in Kobe and ending in Otaru, embrace every aspect of the beautiful dichotomy that is Japan, with serene temples and shrines peacefully nestling next to the sombre remains of World War II. Truly timeless, expect floating gates, manicured gardens and a wealth of new memories.
Voyage E1200607011

Book and pay in full by 03 January, 2019 and save 10%

Fares shown are per guest

Cruise itinerary

Our itineraries are second-to-none – below please find detailed information regarding ports of call, arrival and departure times, as well as supplemental information about the destinations you’ll visit
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Located on the calm waters of the Inland Sea, Kobe has served as an important port town for hundreds of years. It was one of the first harbours to accept foreign traders in 1868 when Japan was just emerging from its centuries of isolation. What followed was a surge of Western trade and exports. Today, Kobe is quite multicultural, with expatriates from 98 different nations in residence, providing a cultural diversity most easily visible in restaurants serving every kind of cuisine, including the now world famous Kobe beef.
Okayama is an important transportation hub and one of the largest cities of the Chugoku Region. It is famous because it has one of Japan’s most significant gardens. Although the “Korakuen” Garden was severely damaged by bombs in WWII, the descriptions and paintings from the Edo period permitted an exact reconstruction. It is one of the “Three Gardens of Japan” and has been designated a “Special Scenic Location”. Known formerly as the centre of rice-distribution in the Okayama area, many old warehouses next to the preserved canal have been converted into museums, boutiques and cafes.
Takamatsu city is the capital of Kagawa prefecture which is Japan’s smallest prefecture. This city is a vibrant blend of natural beauty and cosmopolitan functionality with a population of 420,000 people. The port of Takamatsu used to be the main gateway to Shikoku Island until the opening of the 37km long Seto Ohashi Bridge in 1988. Takamatsu city has flourished along with the Seto Inland Sea since 17th century when Matsudaira family, the relatives of the Tokugawa Shogun, ruled this area. Matsudaira family has completed the famous Japanese “Ritsurin Garden”.
The small island of Miyajima (“The Shrine Island”) is known for the Floating Torii Gate, which is one of “The Three Most Beautiful Views” of Japan. Built in the water, the Torii Gate leads to the Itsukushima Shrine and at high tide it seems to float. The Torii Gate is one of the most photographed sites in all of Japan. There are many more shrines and paths on Miyajima that are inviting to walk. Mount Misen has a cable car leading partly up to the top with nice views and wild monkeys and deer roaming the trails.
History buffs will want to write home Hiroshima. Despite being devastated in 1945, this Japanese city is known to all for its commitment peace – its ruin on the 6th August 1945 led to the end of the war and today, the Peace Memorial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) , is a constant reminder of the destruction that war brings. A walk in the leafy boulevards of Peace Memorial Park brings quiet contemplation. The Flames of Peace – set in the park’s central feature pond – burn brightly and will continue to do so until all the nuclear bombs I the world have been destroyed.

Hagi is a former castle town located in the middle of Yamaguchi prefecture along the coast of the Sea of Japan. It is surrounded by the ocean, mountain and Abugawa River. Early in the 17th century, Terumoto Mori built Hagi Castle at the foot of Mt. Shizuki-yama, and the area served as the seat of the Yamaguchi prefecture government until the middle of 19th century. Around then, Hagi produced many capable men who played a leading role in the construction of modern day Japan, including Hirobumi Ito who became the first prime minister in Japan.
White-sand city beaches and hot-spring resorts may not be everyone's first image of Korea, but these are what Koreans flock to Busan for all year. And there are plenty of opportunities for rest, relaxation, retail therapy, and even a touch of glamour every October with the Busan International Film Festival. Busan's beaches are the big summertime draw but there is plenty to be seen year round. Quintessential experiences include taking some rest and relaxation at a local spa and exploring the Beomeosa temple complex.

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Sakaiminato is a small city almost totally surrounded by water: the Sea of Japan to the east, the Sakai Channel to the north and Lake Nakaumi to the west. Across the lake the towns of Matsue and Yasugi offer interesting experiences. Matsue is known as the “Town of Water” next to scenic Lake Shinji and Lake Nakaumi. It has one of the very few wooden castles that still remain in Japan. Touring the castle and boat rides on the Horikawa River and the castle’s moat are popular.
The capital of the Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa once rivalled Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) as a town rich in cultural achievements. Kanazawa escaped destruction during World War II and accordingly has been able to preserve many of the old districts in good shape. The city is famous because of Kenrokuen. Located next to Kanazawa Castle, Kenrokuen is classified as “One of the Three Gardens of Japan”. The garden has an artificial pond, and hills and houses are dotted within the 11.4 hectares. It has Japan’s oldest fountain using natural water pressure and a tea-house dating back to 1774.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Facing out on two bays, Hakodate is a 19th-century port town, with clapboard buildings on sloping streets, a dockside tourist zone, streetcars, and fresh fish on every menu. In the downtown historic quarter, a mountain rises 1,100 feet above the city on the southern point of the narrow peninsula. Russians, Americans, Chinese, and Europeans have all left their mark; this was one of the first three Japanese ports the Meiji government opened up to international trade in 1859. The main sights around the foot of Mt.

Otaru is a small harbor city west of Sapporo. Famous for its many hills and a nearby ski resort, the town has been an important trade and herring fishing center. A wide canal that led from the port to the old town’s warehouses has been maintained for touristic purposes and the old stone or brick-built warehouses have been beautifully converted to restaurants and boutiques.

SELECT YOUR SUITE AND REQUEST A QUOTE

Owner's Suite

728 ft² / 67m² including private balcony

Waitlist
Grand Suite

618 ft² / 57m² including a private balcony

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Silver Suite

422 ft² / 39m² including 2 French balconies

From US$ 14,220 with early booking bonus
Medallion Suite

400 ft² / 37m² including a private balcony

Waitlist
Veranda Suite

216 ft² / 20 m² including a french balcony

From US$ 11,070 with early booking bonus
Vista Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with large picture window

From US$ 8,100 with early booking bonus
View Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with view window

From US$ 7,830 with early booking bonus
Explorer Suite

190 ft² / 18 m² with view window

From US$ 7,290 with early booking bonus
Adventurer Suite

167 ft²/15 m² with 2 portholes

From US$ 7,020 with early booking bonus
Fares shown are per guest
  • *Excluding All Full World Cruise and Grand Voyages
  • *If required by air connection. Free Transfers, Hotel are available only for guests utilizing Silversea air offer. In case Promotional Flights are not available or for guests not utilizing the promotional bundle offer, we are pleased to offer a $1,500 Air credit. Terms and conditions.

Silver Explorer

Silversea’s purpose-built luxury Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions.  A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables the Silver Explorer Expedition Cruise Ship to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of 12 Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure. 

Suites

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Suites

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Owner's Suite

728 ft² / 67m² including private balcony

Waitlist
Grand Suite

618 ft² / 57m² including a private balcony

Waitlist
Silver Suite

422 ft² / 39m² including 2 French balconies

From US$ 14,220 with early booking bonus
Medallion Suite

400 ft² / 37m² including a private balcony

Waitlist
Veranda Suite

216 ft² / 20 m² including a french balcony

From US$ 11,070 with early booking bonus
Vista Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with large picture window

From US$ 8,100 with early booking bonus
View Suite

192 ft² / 18m² with view window

From US$ 7,830 with early booking bonus
Explorer Suite

190 ft² / 18 m² with view window

From US$ 7,290 with early booking bonus
Adventurer Suite

167 ft²/15 m² with 2 portholes

From US$ 7,020 with early booking bonus
Fares shown are per guest

Restaurants

Discover our collection of onboard venues where you'll enjoy spending time with like-minded travellers and of course, our personalized all-inclusive service.

Public Areas

Renowned for culinary excellence and innovative spirit, Silversea's luxury cruises offer a choice of open-seating dining options throughout the fleet, as well as several specialty venues aboard all non-expedition ships.

3 Hotels

Our land programmes (multi-day mid-, pre- or post-cruise) provide additional opportunities to discover more of the highlights and hidden treasures of the lands you visit.

Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary programme of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by team of expert guides and lectures, allows you to fully experience the lands you'll visit.

voyage highlights

Starting in Kobe, Silver Explorer will sail around the southern tip of Japan’s main island to cross the Sea of Japan to Busan, South Korea, and to continue on to Hokkaido. Experience the ways that modern societies of Japan and South Korea are influenced by their past and learn how tradition still plays an important part in daily life. On the semi-circumnavigation of Japan we will visit some of the most outstanding natural and man-made sites Japan has to offer including National Parks and three of Japan’s highest-ranked gardens. Along the way you will see traditional buildings such as castles, homes and warehouses and feel serenity in outstanding shrines, temples and memorials. In South Korea, we intend to see Gyeongju, once the Silla royal capital, and its historic area, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife, history and botany of these locations from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.

Voyage Highlights:        

Okayama, Japan
Okayama is home to the renowned Koraku-en Garden. Although severely damaged by bombs in WWII, the descriptions and paintings from the Edo period permitted an exact reconstruction to its original, elegant state. This rebuild has earned the site the designation of “Special Scenic Location.” Okayama is also home to the Ohara Museum, the first Japanese museum to permanently exhibit western art.

Takamatsu, Japan
Takamatsu is located on Shikoku, the smallest of the four main Japanese islands. Here the 75-hectare Ritsurin Garden features six ponds, thirteen hills, a waterfall, plum, cherry, and pine trees, a bamboo forest, a tea house, and a garden that is recognized one of the most beautiful strolling gardens in Japan. It was awarded three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan.

Miyajima and Hiroshima, Japan
Pay your respects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in central Hiroshima. This was Ground Zero for the Atomic Bomb dropped on August 6, 1945. The Peace Memorial Museum surveys the history of Hiroshima and the advent of the nuclear bomb. The nearby small island of Miyajima (“The Shrine Island”) is home to the floating torii gate. Built in the water, the torii gate leads to the Itsukushima Shrine and at high tide it seems to float.

Hagi, Japan
Hagi’s “Old Town,” includes Shizukiyama Park and Hagi Castle ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the heart of Hagi lies the Samurai Quarter, which preserves the traditional style Japanese houses and old-fashioned streets. Hagi is also home to Tokoji Temple, of the Obaku-shu school of Zen Buddhism, the resting place of the two first Mori daimyo, a family of powerful and territorial pre-modern Japanese lords.

Kanazawa, Japan
Kanazawa is known for its many artistic offerings, including its lacquerware, Kutani-style pottery, gold leaf workmanship and delicately painted silk kimonos. It also houses Kenroku-en, one of the famous “Three Gardens of Japan.”  Kenroku-en’s 11.4 hectare grounds include Japan’s oldest fountain using natural water pressure and a tea house dating back to 1774.

Busan (for Geongju), South Korea
Going north from Busan, two UNESCO World Heritage sites are visited: the historical center of Gyeongju, often called “the museum without walls”, and the Bulguksa Temple, a religious architectural complex of exceptional significance considered a masterpiece of Far Eastern Buddhist Art.

  Cultural Highlights:

  • Stand at Hiroshima Ground Zero and experience the sombre history of this crucial World War II site.
  • Visit the Samurai Quarter in Hagi, Japan, which preserves the traditional style Japanese houses and old-fashioned streets to see how the Japanese lived in traditional ways.

 

Please Note: Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

GEAR UP

Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.

Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials:

Clothes for all types of weather, boot rentals, accessories and more »

Packing List »

restaurants & public areas

Your time on board will be time well-spent. Discover the dining options where you'll savour culinary excellence, and the exciting venues where you'll mingle with international travellers while enjoying our all-inclusive lifestyle.