London - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport and a scheduled Cathay Pacific flight to Kyoto via Hong Kong.
On arrival, we transfer by coach to the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel (4T) and after settling in, the rest of the day is at leisure.
Kyoto is Japan’s old capital, surrounded on three sides by snow-covered mountains and full of exciting places to discover. The city’s rule ceased in 1868, however its historic value is still vast. It is said that over 1,000 Buddhist temples stand in Kyoto, from true architectural masterpieces to some more petite, secret sanctuaries. Our morning tour includes a visit to the beautiful Zen Buddhist Kinkaku-ji Temple, known as the ‘Golden Pavilion’. We will also enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and there will be free time to discover the sights of Gion, one of Japan’s best-known Geisha districts.
Kyoto - Hakone
After visits to Kiyomizu Temple and Nijo, a fortified castle with ornate audience halls and unique ‘nightingale’ floors designed to replicate the sound of the nightingale song when stepped on. We later take the JR Bullet Train from Kyoto to Mishima and continue to Hakone, for a stay at the Hakone Sengokuhara Prince Hotel (3T) where we have an included dinner tonight.
Hakone - Tokyo
This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Hakone, including a cruise on beautiful Lake Ashi, formed in the caldera of a volcano. It’s a beautiful setting with a fine view of Mount Fuji (weather permitting). We take a cable car ride over the Owakudani Hot Springs and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Later we travel on to Tokyo, arriving late this afternoon at our hotel for the next two nights, the Keio Plaza Hotel (4T).
We embrace this dazzling city with a full-day tour, taking in legendary landmarks - the moated Imperial Palace and the Meiji Shrine, the picturesque Shinto shrine set in a delightful tree-lined avenue. A sushi-making experience at lunch is followed by a boat cruise from Asakusa to Hamarikyu Gardens.
Day 7 - Tokyo
A leisurely start to the day to further explore Tokyo before we transfer to embark MS Volendam (4T) this afternoon, with plenty of time to settle into your cabin before dinner this evening.
Day 8 - At sea
A relaxing day at sea provides the perfect opportunity to settle into life on board, relax on deck and join in one of the many onboard activities.
Day 9 - Hakodate
From the lively morning market of Asaichi, to the unparalleled views from Mount Hakodate, discover the history of the first Japanese port opened to international trade. A range of optional shore excursions will be available throughout your cruise. Perhaps walk the ruins of the star-shaped Fort Goryokaku, the first of its kind in Japan, learn about local Ainu culture or simply feast on the abundance of fresh seafood for which this city is famous.
Day 10 - Kushiro
Perhaps take the opportunity to visit Kushiro Marsh, now called Kushiro Tancho Nature Park, to see one of its rare Tancho (Japanese) cranes. The Nature Park is renowned as the site of the first successful artificial breeding of Tancho cranes, which are designated natural treasures.
Day 11 - Cross the International Date Line
After advancing watches by an hour each day, we reach the International Date Line and are rewarded by an entire extra day!
Days 12-15 - At sea
A wealth of activities and entertainment is available to enjoy as we make our way across the North Pacific. On day 15, you can expect to see mountainous islands in the distance - the volcanic Aleutian Islands chain which lead to the Alaska mainland.
Day 16 - Kodiak, Alaska
We reach the beautiful Alaskan island of Kodiak, home to the Alutiq people for more than 7,500 years. Its most famous inhabitant is surely the enormous sub-species of grizzly known as the Kodiak brown bear. Kodiak is also home to thousands of bald eagles, emperor geese, harlequin ducks, hummingbirds, Sitka spruce and black-tailed deer. The Russian Orthodox Church and nearby museum is a reminder of the days of Russian sovereignty of the state.
Day 17 - At sea
Day 18 - Glacier Bay
There can be few more inspiring sights to greet you on waking than Glacier Bay National Park. This morning you will find yourself in the midst of towering mountains, magnificent tidewater glaciers, vast icebergs and an abundance of wildlife - a paradise for photographers, artists, birdwatchers and anyone who appreciates the majesty and beauty of the natural world.
Day 19 - Ketchikan
This morning we arrive at Ketchikan, stretching like a ribbon along a narrow shelf of shoreline beneath the slopes of Deer Mountain.
Day 20 - Cruise Canada’s Inside Passage
We head southwards on the final stages of our voyage through Canada’s Inside Passage, with more epic views from the deck. The fabled Inside Passage is one of the most scenic sea-lanes in the world, and one of the few where deep-draft vessels can sail close to steep mountain walls.
We arrive in the stunning city of Vancouver this morning where we disembark. A city tour introduces us to its standout highlights before we enjoy lunch at the ‘Top of Vancouver’ revolving restaurant. At 553ft high, you’ll have spectacular panoramic views of the city. Later we transfer to the Georgian Court (4T), excellently located in the centre of Vancouver to allow you to make further explorations.
Today is free to make your own discoveries in Vancouver.
Vancouver - In flight
Enjoy a leisurely morning, with some time for last-minute shopping before we transfer to the airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to London.