Follow the Path in Asia

Cruise West guests can trace the footsteps of explorers and kings in Asia

By: Terra Judge

Cruise West is offering two distinct voyages in Asia for 2008 that will explore the cities and ancient capitals of Japan, China, Vietnam and Korea.

Guests aboard the 120-guest Spirit of Oceanus will have a chance to get up-close with the culture and people of Asia with the help of knowledgeable Exploration Leaders, guest speakers and local people.

The 2008 Grand Asia itinerary, which sails Nov. 10 and 24, 2008, is available with an early booking incentive of up to $900 per person for guests who book their cruise and pay in full by Feb. 8.

Guests sailing on a spring 2008 Hidden Treasures of Japan itinerary, available on April 13, 23, and May 3, will save up to $400 per person if booked and paid in full by Oct. 12; and guests sailing on a late-fall 2008 Japan itinerary, which leaves October 1, 11, 21 and 31, 2008 will save up to $800 per person if the trip is booked and paid in full by Jan. 18.

The 18-night Grand Asia experience, increased from 16 nights in 2007, offers four new ports of call: Kobe, Miyajima/Hiroshima, Danang/Hoi An and Chan May/Hue. The journey between Kobe and Hanoi will sail the Sea of Japan and the Yellow and South China Seas, winding around islands and down the coastline.

The sailing includes a visit with a Shinto priest and performance in Miyajima; tours of the peace parks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Shanghai, once a sleepy fishing town and now China’s premier cultural, commercial and financial center; the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay; and Hue, the Imperial City.

The Grand Asia itinerary is priced starting at $7,549 per person.

Cruise West’s Hidden Treasures of Japan itinerary is an 11-night journey that sails roundtrip from Kobe and includes new ports for 2008, including Yakushima, a forest of Japanese cedar, and Kagoshima. Other visits include stops at the Yoshida Shrine and Tokoji Temple in Hagi, as well as tours of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Hidden Treasures of Japan itinerary is priced starting at $5,849 per person.