Taiwan and Japan with Holland America
Your Taiwan and Japan cruise begins in Shanghai, one of Asia’s most dynamic cities which is divided in two by the Huangpu River.
Visit Shanghai’s premier attraction, The Bund, during an overnight stay. We then set sail on Holland America Line’s beautiful Westerdam visiting Busan, South Korea’s second largest city, Fukuoka, Naha and Ishigaki Island in Japan and Hualien, Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, as well as modern and fast paced Manila in the Phillipines before your 14-night journey ends amid the lights of Hong Kong, one of the world’s most glamorous and cosmopolitan cities – all paced with a great mix of sea days and port visits.
14 nights – Shanghai to Hong Kong
Departure Date: 03 March 2019
FROM ONLY $2,609 PP TWIN SHARE IN OCEANVIEW*
Many cruises in Southeast Asia start or end in Hong Kong and it's a great city to spend a day or two before or after your voyage. You won’t be disappointed with the myriad of shopping, fashion and food, boasting more than 60 Michelin-starred restaurants.
Are you ready to embark on a journey through beautiful Taiwan and Japan? Contact us NOW to book your Holland America Cruise! Simply fill out the enquiry form, or give us a call on 1300 487 283. Don't miss out!
*Terms and conditions apply: price is per person twin share, in oceanview. Other departures are available. All information is correct as at 27 July 2018 but are subject to availability, black-out periods and change or withdrawal. Itinerary advertised is taken from the supplier. For more information please contact your itravel agent. Promotion ends 30 Sept 2018 unless sold out prior.
MAR 3, 2019 - MAR 4, 2019
DEPARTS 06:00 PM
Shanghai is one of Asia’s most dynamic cities, and one of juxtapositions. It’s divided in two by the Huangpu River—to the west is Puxi and to the east Pudong. Puxi is the city’s downtown and its historic center; on this side of the river, much of the city was historically divided into the famous foreign concessions, and it’s here that much of the shopping, dining and nightlife is concentrated today. Shanghai has more than 30,000 restaurants, from humble soup dumpling spots to formal affairs helmed by Michelin-starred chefs. Its museums, particularly the Shanghai Museum with its 120,000-strong collection of antiquities, are equally impressive. Pudong is where the city’s major skyscrapers stand, among them the Jin Mao and Oriental Pearl towers.
Nowhere is Shanghai’s rich history and bright future more evident than along the Huangpu River. Stand on the Puxi side and, with the Bund—along which curve Shanghai’s stately early-20th-century heritage buildings—behind you, you can gaze across the river at some of the world’s tallest buildings, soaring skyscrapers that glow nightly, their lights reflected in the river.
Day at Sea
Busan (Pusan), South Korea
MAR 6, 2019 ARRIVES 08:00 AM DEPARTS 05:00 PM
South Korea’s second-largest city (after the capital, Seoul), Busan is located in the southeastern corner of the country along the Sea of Japan. It combines a vibrant, big-city atmosphere with a famously laid-back attitude and subtropical landscapes. Often described as the "San Francisco of Korea," thanks mainly to its hilly terrain and close-knit neighborhoods, it offers visitors a little of everything: fashionable boutiques, dynamic culture and buzzy nightlife, as well as sandy beaches, hot springs and nearby mountains crossed with hiking trails and dotted with temples. Cultural highlights include the Gamcheon Cultural Village; the spectacular Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, built into the side of a cliff; and Art Street in Sinchang-dong, which hosts art competitions, exhibitions and cultural events such as the annual Busan International Film Festival. Those who enjoy hiking can explore the famed cliffs of Taejongdae Park, while the white sand beaches at Gwangalli and Haeundae are ideal places to relax by the seashore. Foodies will love Busan, too, not just for its excellent restaurants but also for the many atmospheric markets: the low-key Millak Hoe Town Market, tourist spots like Jagalchi Fish Market and the market at Haeundae with its ramshackle stalls selling gukpab (a traditional rice soup).
Fukuoka (Hakata), Japan
MAR 7, 2019 ARRIVES 08:00 AM DEPARTS 06:00 PM
Fukuoka, Kyushu's largest city, was once two separate entities: Fukuoka in the west and the merchant area of Hakata to the east. Joined together in 1889, the contemporary city—population 1.5 million—has a lively, modern atmosphere, an array of impressive architecture by international starchitects, including Rem Koolhaas, César Pelli, Emilio Ambasz and Aldo Rossi, and a number of cultural attractions and museums such as the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. Modern developments like Canal City—a mixed-use complex designed by American Jon Jerde that contains hotels, cinemas, restaurants and shops—lend the city space a futuristic air, as does the striking 234-meter (768-foot) Fukuoka Tower, which is covered in mirrored glass and has an observation deck. On the historical side, sites like the Kushida Shrine and the ruins of Fukuoka Castle offer traditional and cultural insights. The pond in the center of ?hori, Fukuoka's largest park, was once part of Fukuoka Castle's moat, and you'll find gardens, a zoo, an amusement park and a car museum in Uminonakamichi Seaside Park.
Days At Sea
MAR 9, 2019 ARRIVES 07:00 AM DEPARTS 05:00 PM
Naha, the capital of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture and its biggest city, also serves as the region’s key political, economic and transportation hub. With a fascinating past as the capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom and a working port that dates back to the 15th century, this city of 300,000 residents manages to be both a compelling city and a laid-back one.
Because it was largely destroyed during World War II, there aren’t many old buildings here; however, a few restored remains from the Ryukyu Kingdom era provide historic interest, including Shuri Castle, the royal residence, and its extraordinary gardens—both of which are included in a local group designated together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other legendary sites include the Royal Mausoleum (burial tombs set inside caves) and the Shurei Gate, so magnificent that its image appears on the 2,000-yen note.
There are also a few contemporary hotspots, namely Kokusai Street, which offers almost two kilometers (1.25 miles) of shops, cafés and restaurants, and the nearby Makishi Public Market, which has dozens of food vendors hawking delicious treats. If you want to explore farther afield, Naha is the ideal jumping-off point for excursions to the rest of Okinawa.
Ishigaki Island, Japan
MAR 10, 2019 ARRIVES 09:00 AM DEPARTS 06:00 PM
Talk with the Japanese a while about the Japanese and you’re going to hear the word shimagunikonjo. The breakdown is simple: shima—island; guni—nation; konjo—consciousness. In one word, it's the firm belief that people who live on islands are different from people who live on continents, and anyone who’s done both is likely to agree. American culture may be the strongest influence in Japan now, but the Japanese will understand the motivations of the Brits a whole lot better. Islands require a different mind-set than continents. Islands require manners.
But what if your island was never meant to be part of another bunch of islands? That’s what’s happened with today’s Okinawa Prefecture. The people who’ve always been there are Okinawan, one of the healthiest, longest-living people on earth. But now they’re part of Japan and seriously outnumbered by the Japanese. (And they’re not at all happy that the Japanese interlopers gave so much of their land over to U.S. military bases.)
Signs of Okinawan culture can be subtle but are easier to pick out in more remote islands of the chain, like Ishigaki. Traditional buildings are a mixture of Chinese and Japanese influences. In the markets, you’ll find fu chanpuru (an Okinawan stir fry dish) and whole-wheat soba, which the Japanese won't touch. The ryuso robe holds on despite crowded kimono stores. The few people left who speak Uchinaguchi are praying for a movement like the Hawaiian renaissance to bring the culture back. The tipping point is close. A trip to Ishigaki now is to witness either the beginning or the end.
MAR 11, 2019 ARRIVES 08:00 AM DEPARTS 05:00 PM
Most of the population of Taiwan is concentrated on the island’s west coast, where Taipei, Kaohsiung and the country’s other large cities are located. The east coast, however, is an entirely different world. Even with a population of only around 110,000, Hualien is the largest city in eastern Taiwan. Here, rugged, verdant mountains meet the deep-blue Pacific Ocean and you’ll find the most spectacular scenery on the island. Pebble and black-sand beaches sit next to cerulean seas, and there are big waves ideal for surfing. Numerous biking trails make it easy to explore the coastline as well as Hualien itself, which is home to many Tao and Buddhist temples and shrines. There's also a rich aboriginal culture thanks to several ethnic tribes that reside here, including the Ami. Watch them perform traditional dances and songs at the Ami Cultural Village, then peruse the handicrafts for sale. The city has several busy markets—perfect for tasting local specialties like coffin bread (a kind of potpie encased in toast) and the local variation of mochi, the famous rice flour sweet. But what most visitors come to see is the lush Taroko Gorge and its dramatic cliffs, waterfalls and marble canyons.
Keelung (Taipei), Taiwan
MAR 12, 2019 ARRIVES 08:00 AM DEPARTS 05:00 PM
Keelung City’s sheltered harbor and its location on Taiwan’s north coast have meant that, over the centuries, it has been ruled by the Spanish, Dutch and Chinese. While there are plenty of good coffee shops, markets and museums in the compact downtown and you can enjoy delicious seafood dishes at the Night Market, the city is today principally a gateway to Taipei for many travelers. Taiwan’s capital is just a half hour away by car or around 45 minutes by train. Long a small outpost of the Chinese empire, the city began to grow in the 19th century, when settlement from the mainland was encouraged. Then, from 1895 to 1945, the city (and all of Taiwan) was occupied by the Japanese. At the end of World War II, Taipei was handed over to the Republic of China, led by Chiang Kai-shek. In the decades since, it has seen an explosion of growth, but traditional temples and world-class museums still sit amid the skyscrapers. The modern metropolis also has top restaurants, food markets and upscale shopping. The Taipei Metro makes it easy to explore the city, or you can take an excursion to the countryside: A national park and a protected forest make for excellent day trips from both Taipei and Keelung.
MAR 13, 2019 ARRIVES 08:00 AM DEPARTS 05:00 PM
This attractive city—Taiwan’s second largest and its largest port—offers visitors an alluring blend of ancient and modern culture. The architecture ranges from atmospheric temples and monasteries to soaring commercial skyscrapers and gleaming malls topped with Ferris wheels, and the city is home to funky boutiques, colorful metro stations and modern galleries. The wide streets are filled with cafés and restaurants, and the seafood and noodle stalls around Cijin Island and the Kaisyuan and Jin-Zuan night markets, which together form the largest night market in Taiwan, are especially worth a visit.Stroll along Kaohsiung’s impressive harbor, one of the largest container ports in the world; walk or cycle around scenic Lotus Lake, with its Chinese pagodas; or sit at a bankside café on the Love River. Farther afield, visitors wishing to beat the city bustle can explore the striking landscapes of Kenting National Park, relax at one of the city’s swimming beaches, or enjoy a hike through the city’s nearly 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of dense forest.
Days At Sea
MAR 15, 2019 ARRIVES 08:00 AM DEPARTS 06:00 PM
Fast-paced and endlessly fascinating, modern Manila is one of the most densely packed cities in the world, with some 1.6 million residents. Characterized by intense contrasts—soaring skyscrapers next to shantytowns, atmospheric food markets as well as air-conditioned malls—it’s also an impressively multicultural city, with a swirl of languages, cuisines and cultures. To catch some historic atmosphere, head to Manila's oldest neighborhood, the fortress enclave of Intramuros, which was founded in the 16th century and features sights such as Fort Santiago, Casa Manila and San Agustin Church.In the upscale financial center of Makati, visitors can find an array of bars, spas and restaurants in addition to malls like Glorietta, the landscaped Greenbelt Park and Ayala Museum, which showcases archaeological artifacts and indigenous textiles and art. In and around Rizal Park are several good museums, while the creative spirit of the city—from live music venues to independent art galleries—is sprinkled throughout several districts, and spaces such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines host shows, film screenings and plays. For day trips, Corregidor Island should not be missed.
Days At Sea
Hong Kong, China
MAR 17, 2019 ARRIVES 08:00 AM
Among the world's most glamorous and cosmopolitan cities, Hong Kong sits on the southern coast of China at the Pearl River estuary of the South China Sea. It comprises Hong Kong Island, where the Central Business District and most affluent areas and attractions are, and, on the mainland, Kowloon and the New Territories. Hong Kong is a regional and global hub for banking, shipping, fashion and food, boasting more than 60 Michelin-starred restaurants. Its five-star hotels are among the most elegant to be found anywhere; many are set in the towering skyscrapers that carpet Hong Kong Island's steep slopes and light up its skyline so beautifully.Officially known as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy relative to the rest of China, even after it was reunified with China in 1997 after 156 years of British rule ended.Many cruises in Southeast and East Asia start or end in Hong Kong, and it's definitely a great city in which to spend a day or two sightseeing and finding cultural things to do before or after the voyage. Smaller cruise ships can dock right in Victoria Harbour, for front-row seats of the stunning skyline. Unfortunately, pollution is a problem, and sometimes the views are obscured because of it.