The Philippines tourism board has a slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”—and we could not agree more! Never have we encountered people so warm and welcoming as in the Philippines. Add this to an island-hopping transect north through Taiwan, and Japan’s volcanic Ryukyu Islands, and we have a fascinating trip loaded with cultural and wildlife diversity.

Highlights


• Experience warm welcomes and legendary Filipino hospitality as you visit remote islands and cultural heritage sites to learn about daily life and local traditions.

• Witness the cultural melting pot of vibrant Taipei, as well as Taiwan's "wild side" in beautiful Taroko Gorge National Park.

• Snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Japan's remote and seldom-visited southern islands, home to a variety of colorful marine life.

• Photograph the iconic scarlet tori of Miyajima; this giant camphor-wood gate is a World Heritage Site and sacred site of pilgrimage that appears to float in the surrounding waters during high tide.

• Discover the cultural treasures of Kyoto; this well-preserved cultural gem was the imperial capital of Japan for over one thousand years.

Arrive in Manila and check into the Marriott Airport Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Spend the day touring Manila’s old walled district and Spanish colonial center. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before embarking the Caledonian Sky.
Comprised of 124 lushly vegetated, mushroom-shaped islands, Hundred Islands National Park offers lovely beaches, gorgeous vistas, and tranquil, crystal-clear waters. Spend the day on one of these private islands birding, snorkeling, diving and exploring by Zodiac.
Established in the 16th century, Vigan stands as Asia’s finest example of a planned Spanish colonial city. Exceptionally intact, its grid street pattern and architectural influences earned the city UNESCO status in 1999. Wander the cobbled streets, and pay a visit to the Pagburnayan pottery makers, to learn about the production of Vigan’s famous burnay jars.
Explore Babuyan, home to steep foothills, volcanic cones, mangroves, and a marine sanctuary. Take a stroll along Calayan’s gorgeous white-sand beaches and snorkel or dive in the warm waters, while birders search the forest for the Calayan rail, a flightless bird endemic to the island.
Batan was the first domino to fall during Japan’s invasion of the Philippines during World War II, and you will hear harrowing tales while visiting a tunnel used as a hideout by Japanese soldiers. Climb to the top of Radar Tukon, a former lighthouse and U.S. weather station, which offers 360-degree views across the island. Savor the fresh air and bucolic setting of the Vayang Rolling Hills, then take a leisurely stroll around the town plaza, dominated by Santo Domingo de Basco Church, built in 1812.
Arrive in Taiwan’s second-largest city, located on the mountainous east coast. Hualien serves as your gateway to Taroko National Park, centered upon its namesake marble gorge. The park comprises some 227,000 acres and varying altitudes, from near sea level at the mouth of the Liwu River to towering Mount Nanhu at more than 12,000 feet. Such dramatic climate changes create a diverse array of vegetation and habitats, which boast a third of Taiwan’s vascular plants, half of its mammal species, and over 140 recorded of resident bird species.
Dominated by Taipei 101—a 1,600-foot-high tower that resembles a stalk of bamboo—Taiwan’s capital offers a captivating mix of Asian and Western influences. The city is famous for its street food, so make a stop to sample a variety of xiaochi (little snacks) while visiting top attractions such as the Chinese-influenced Martyrs’ Shrine, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, commemorating Taiwan’s former president; and the National Palace Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Chinese art. Or, leave the city bustle behind to visit Yehliu Geopark with its surreal rock formations, as well as Gold Ecological Park, built to offer insights into the region’s gold-mining culture.
Commercial center of the Yaeyama Islands, Ishigaki is renowned for its pristine beaches and prime diving spots. Go canoeing along the mangrove-lined Miyara River and soak in the views of the Hirakubo Peninsula from the Tamatorizaki Observatory. Get some spelunking in at the 1,000-foot-long Sabichi limestone cave with its fantastic stalactites; the cave leads out onto a beautiful beach. Lunch at a local restaurant is followed by a visit to Minsa Kogei Kan, where you can watch talented craftswomen weaving their distinctive Minsa textiles.
This mostly uninhabited chain lies southwest of Okinawa—and a world away from its hurried pace. Just four of the Kerama Islands are populated, and you step ashore via Zodiac for a morning walking tour of the main village. Visit the humble Peace Pagoda and Mount Takatsuki Observatory for scenic views before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon board Zodiacs to search for migrating humpback whales.
The Amami Islands are defined by dense jungle, daunting caves, superb beaches, and lush sugarcane fields. Learn about natural wonders, history, and culture at Amami Park on Naze, which houses numerous displays of photographs, artifacts, and artworks by Japanese painter Tanaka Isson, the “Gauguin of Japan.” Isson’s famous images of Naze’s birds and flowers are magically reproduced in textiles at Oshima Tsumugi Pongee Village, as you watch local artisans at work before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon, a short hike through the ancient Kinsakubaru Virgin Forest reveals giant ferns, broadleaf trees, and rare bird species.
Yakushima is home to a primeval temperate rainforest of giant sugi (Japanese cedar), earning this small island UNESCO World Heritage status. These ancient cedars have stood for upwards of 5,000 years, and you get a sense of their majesty on a trek through Yakusugi-Land. Gain further insight through the interactive displays at Yakushima Environmental and Cultural Village.
A day at sea offers the chance to relax on deck and attend informative lectures.
Popularly known as Miyajima or “Shrine Island,” Itsukushima is considered holy to both Shintoist and Buddhist Japanese. The island is home to the iconic Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, masterfully crafted 12th-century red tori gates that appear to float above the water at high tide. Other highlights include taking the ropeway up to Daish¯o-in Temple on Mount Misen, and touring Senjokaku or Toyokuni Shrine, the “Hall of One Thousand Tatami Mats” the largest structure on the island.
The port of Uno-Ko serves as the gateway to Naoshima, an island known for its many modern art museums. Your day of contemporary culture begins at Benesse House Museum, an integrated museum/hotel that incorporates nature inside as well as around the seashore and nearby forest. Then head to the subterranean Chichu Art Museum, where works by Claude Monet, James Turrell, and other major artists are housed almost totally underground. Finally, visit the Ie or Art House Project, an organic project that turns abandoned houses into living art spaces.
Disembark in Kobe, then transfer to Kyoto for an introductory tour. Japan’s imperial capital from 794–1868, the city seems frozen in time with numerous tranquil temples, serene gardens, and traditional tea houses. Visit the 17th-century Nijo Castle, before a tour and tasting at Matsui Sake Brewery. After lunch at a local restaurant, tour the 14th-century Kinkakuji, “Temple of the Golden Pavilion,” covered in gold leaf; and Ryoanji, a Zen temple famous for its rock garden. Check in to the Kyoto Okura Hotel with dinner at the hotel or an option to dine at your leisure.
Visit Kiyomizudera,“Pure Water Temple,” one of Japan’s most revered temples. Dating from 780 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple is built over the Otowa Waterfall. Following lunch at a local restaurant, tour Sanjusangendo or Rengeo-in, a temple noted for its 1,001 statues of the goddess Kannon, and the impressive Fushimi Inari Shrine, dedicated to the gods of rice and sake. Return to the hotel for a festive farewell dinner.
After breakfast, tour Kyoto’s scenic Arashiyama district. Enjoy lunch before transferring to the airport in Osaka for your independent homeward flight.
We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

Category 1

$ 16980 USD pp
Category 1
Standard Suite - 244 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area, bathroom, and portholes; bed can be configured as two twins or one double

Category 2

$ 17980 USD pp
Category 2
Superior Suite - 232 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area, bathroom, and large window; bed can be configured as two twins or one double

Category 3

$ 18880 USD pp
Category 3
Premium Suite - 217 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area, bathroom, and large window; bed can be configured as two twins or one double

Category 4

$ 20780 USD pp
Category 4
Premium Deck Suite - 217 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area and bathroom; bed can be configured as two twins or one double

Category 5

$ 23580 USD pp
Category 5
Corner Deck Suite - 243 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area and bathroom; bed can be configured as two twins or one doubl

Category 6

$ 26380 USD pp
Category 6
Deluxe Balcony Suite - 217 sq feet plus 60 sq feet balcony, ocean-view with sitting area and bathroom; bed can be configured as two twins or one double.

Caledonian Sky ZE

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 90 metres

Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites)

Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012

GENERAL

Five decks of guest facilities. - Castle Deck – guest suites, dining room, doctor’s office. - Caledonian Deck – guest suites, bar, lounge, reception. - Promenade Deck – guest suites with direct deck access, gym, hair salon. - Bridge Deck – guest suites with private balconies, bridge, outdoor dining. - Panorama Deck – sun deck, library, Panorama Lounge, and bar.

Stairs and an elevator service all decks.

The bridge is available to visit most times throughout the day, contingent upon weather, security, and navigation conditions.

Smoking is permitted only on outside decks.

SUITES

All suites feature ocean views and have two twin beds that can be reconfigured into one queen, a sitting area, a well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.

Castle Deck has Category 1 suites that are 240 square feet and have three portholes.

Caledonian Deck has Category 2 suites that are 230 square feet with large picture windows.

Promenade Deck has Category 3 suites that are 220 square feet with a picture window; Category 4 suites that are 220 square feet with direct deck access via a sliding glass door; and Category 5 suites that are 240 square feet and feature two forward-facing portholes and direct deck access via a sliding glass door.

Bridge Deck has Category 6 suites that are 215 square feet and have patio doors leading to private balconies that are 45 square feet.

DINING

The main restaurant can accommodate all guests at one seating. Most diets can be catered for on board, but special dietary requests must be made in advance.

Breakfast is served buffet-style and a la carte.

Dinner is served in the main restaurant. When weather permits, meals can also be served on deck.

Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day.

SERVICES

Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs.

Laundry services (no dry cleaning), a hair salon, and a small doctor’s office are available on board.

The U.K. pound is the currency used on board. Traveler’s checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted for payment of shipboard accounts.

Wi-fi access is available throughout the ship. 

Cabin layout for Caledonian Sky ZE

No Single Supplement on Asia's Subtropical Isles: Philippines, Taiwan & Japan

The Philippines tourism board has a slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”—and we could not agree more! Never have we encountered people so warm and welcoming as in the Philippines. Add this to an island-hopping transect north through Taiwan, and Japan’s volcanic Ryukyu Islands, and we have a fascinating trip loaded with cultural and wildlife diversity.

From Manila to Osaka - 18 days.

Aboard Caledonian Sky ZE.

12 March 2017.

Voyage Rates: US$16 980 - US$26 380

Special Offer: No Single Supplement

Offer is applicable on select small-ship cruises; guests may book a stateroom as a solo traveler and pay the double occupancy rate.  Promotion subject to availability, contact us for further details.

Caledonian Sky ZE

Caledonian Sky ZECaledonian Sky ZE

Luxury Expedition Luxury Expedition

18 Days from
$ 16980 USD pp

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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