PONANT has introduced valuable savings on its “An Immersion in Japanese Culture” itinerary.

In addition to bonus savings of up to 25% on fares, travellers will enjoy a $1,500 air credit ($3,000 per couple). The single supplement fee is also waived for all solo travellers. Travel agents also earn a $200 gift card for every booking made by Feb. 29.

The new nine-day/eight-night sailing is part of the Quintessential Collection, a series of themed cruises featuring notable onboard speakers and excursions ashore that embrace the local culture. The cruise, scheduled for May 30 to June 7 aboard Le Soléal, departs from Osaka and ends in Maizuru with stops in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, among other fascinating ports including a visit to Busan in South Korea. Fares start at $6,260 per person (inclusive of 25% savings).

“An Immersion in Japanese Culture” juxtaposes the fast-forward modernity of the country with its cherished traditions such as exquisite gardens, tea ceremonies, rice paddies, holy shrines, traditional dance performances and fine art. Highlights of the itinerary include a private audience with the Abbot of Kofukuji Temple in the heart of Nagasaki and the elegance of a private tea-making ceremony available to all passengers.

Optional activities include a special performance of the Kagura dance at Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto holy place; a private visit to the beautiful Yuushien Garden in Sakaiminato; a cooking class demonstrating how to cut and plate deadly puffer fish; and a guided walk through the Busan fish market in South Korea with lunch included. In addition, an optional two-night pre-cruise visit to Kyoto is also available.

Three noted experts will join the cruise to add depth and insight to the exploration in port and on-board ship: Timon Screech, author and professor of the History of Art at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London; Holly H. Shimizu, former executive director of the US Botanic Garden and former host of Victory Garden on PBS; and Osamu Shimizu, an expert in contemporary Japanese gardens.


(photos courtesy of PONANT – credits/Nick Rains, Margot Sib)