Join this extraordinary voyage that reveals Japan and its neighbors as you never imagined them. Explore the rarely visited Ryukyu Islands, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong, accompanied by an award-winning expedition team and choosing from a variety of enriching experiences en route.
Experience an island-hopping adventure spanning seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a diverse spectrum of climates, gaining insider insight from A&K's award-winning Expedition Team, keynote lecturers and guides along the way.
Discover unique ports and secluded wilderness areas only accessible by small ship.
Reflect on Japan's turbulent history and witness its miraculous resurgence at Hiroshima and Okinawa.
Set out on remote island shore excursions to snorkel, explore or just relax.
Learn the process of precious pearl harvesting in Uwajima.
Craft chopsticks out of 1,000-year-old Yakusugi cedar.
Witness the 1,300-year-old tradition of fine kimono dyeing.
Experience the distinctive culture, history and natural beauty of Taiwan and its Penghu Islands.
Cap your adventure off in the world's most iconic port city, Hong Kong.
Upon arrival at Osaka’s Kansai or Itami International Airport, you are met by an A&K representative and transferred to the Imperial Hotel Osaka, spending the remainder of the day at your leisure. Rest up from your travels, or explore on your own with guidance from the A&K hospitality desk.
Set out on an enlightening tour of Kyoto, paying visits to Nijo Castle and The Golden Pavilion. Pause for a fascinating discussion about Zen Buddhism at Tenryuji Temple. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine. Gather for a welcome reception, dining with your fellow guests, local guides and A&K staff.
After breakfast, enjoy a morning at leisure to relax or explore on your own. After lunch, set out on a driving tour of Osaka, visiting Osaka Castle and Shitennoji Temple, one of the oldest in Japan. Next, step aboard the luxury cruiser ‘L’Austral,’ your home for the next 12 nights. This evening, join your captain, crew and Expedition Team for a welcome briefing.
This morning, ‘L’Austral’ arrives at Uno-Ko near Okayama. Choose from a wide range of available art, culture, architecture, horticulture and active hiking experiences. You may, for example, choose a full-day excursion to Naoshima Island. Set in the Seto Inland Sea, it is known for its modern art museums, architecture and sculptures. Visit the Benesse museums, designed by Japanese architect Ando Tadao, including the Chichu Art Museum. Next, enjoy lunch at the Benesse House. Garden enthusiasts may embark on a full-day excursion to the beautifully landscaped Korakuen Gardens, followed by a visit to Kurashiki — an important rice distribution center — to explore converted storehouses, boutiques and an exclusive opening of the Ohara Museum for A&K guests, featuring a large collection of work from Western and Asian artists. Meanwhile, active guests may opt to visit the Edo-era village of Takahashi, seeing the Kibitsu Shrine, trekking to Matsuyama Castle in Takahashi and witnessing its preserved old town, once home to samurai residences and merchant houses. Back on board, gather with fellow guests — as well as your captain, officers and A&K team — for a captain’s reception and dinner.
Disembark in the port of Hiroshima, where you may choose to visit Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum, its cenotaph containing names of the known victims of the atomic bomb, followed by a speedboat ride to Miyajima Island to witness the scarlet Torii Gate at the entrance to the sacred Shinto Shrine. Or, set out on a full-day excursion through Hiroshima, visiting Hiroshima Castle and Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum and attending a private meeting and lecture conducted by an atomic bomb survivor. Alternately, you may spend a full day on the tranquil island of Miyajima, where you visit the Itsukushima-jinja Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; take a cable car and hike to the top of Mount Misen; and visit the Shinto Shrine and Torii Gate. Return to ‘L’Austral’ and continue sailing through the Kamnon Strait en route to the Korea Strait.
This morning, disembark for the excursion of your choosing in Uwajima, a scenic port town nestled among Shikoku Island’s western mountains. You may opt to visit a working pearl farm, learning the process of implanting, harvesting, extracting and sorting these little treasures. Afterward, explore Sakiiya Square and the historic Daikakuji Temple. Alternatively, visit Uwajima Castle, one of only 12 such original structures surviving from the Edo period. Cap off your excursion at Tenshaen Garden, a manicured masterpiece bursting with wisteria and bamboo. You may also opt to explore Uchiko’s Old Town, stopping at Koshojim Temple, the Uchikoza Kabuki Theater and Michinoeki Kisaiya Hiroba. Early this afternoon, re-board ‘L’Austral’ and depart mainland Japan, heading south toward Yakushima and the Ryukyu Islands.
Set out for a day of discovery in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Yakushima Island, a lush natural treasure spanning every climate zone of Japan. Sprawling with mountain peaks and cedar forests, this sub-tropical island is home to some of Japan’s oldest trees — many older than 7,000 years. Choose from a number of hikes exploring the cedars, waterfalls and boardwalk trails of Yakusugi Land Nature Park. Next, delve into the ecology, history and industry of these forests at the Yakusugi Nature Museum. Under the guidance of one of the island’s expert craftsmen, carve your own personal set of chopsticks from 1,000-year-old Yakusugi Cedar. You may also opt for an active trek and onsen (hot springs) experience at Iwasako Yakushima. Throughout your excursions, be on the lookout for the distinctive Yakushima macaque monkey and Yakushima deer. Re-board ‘L’Austral’ and depart Yakushima in the evening. Conditions and time permitting, embark on a Zodiac excursion to Toro-ki, a scenic waterfall cascading directly into the sea.
Disembark to explore Amami-oshima, a wild island paradise of mangrove forests, stunning deep blue waters and vibrant coral reefs. Often compared to the Galápagos, Amami-oshima Island boasts incredible biodiversity. Learn how Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy is helping to preserve the endangered Amami rabbit, a distinctive native to the island for some 100 million years. Continue on to visit the Amami Cultural Center and take in a collection of masterworks by renowned artist Isson Tanaka. Following lunch, pay a visit to Amami-oshima Tsumugi, a charming village known for crafting some of the world’s finest kimonos for more than 1,300 years. Adventurous guests may also opt for a guided trek through the virgin forest canopy and a behind-the-scenes look at the Amami Conservation Center. Alternatively, you may enjoy a morning at the Ohama Seaside Park Aquarium, with free time for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking through the deltas of the mangrove forest.
This morning, set foot on the largest island in the Ryuku chain for a full-day tour of Okinawa. Begin with a visit to the Chineseinfluenced architecture of Shuri-jo Castle and a stroll through the whimsical Kokusai street market. After lunch at a local restaurant, learn about the centuries-old Okinawan Bingata dyeing process, a traditional stenciling technique yielding vivid images of fish, water and flowers. Alternatively, tour the vast Churaumi Aquarium, home to one of the largest display tanks in the world. Cap off your excursion by taking in the ruins of Nakijin Castle, an inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site. Active guests may choose instead to enjoy a full-day excursion trekking northern Okinawa’s Yamburu National Park.
Today, dip your toes in the sands of Miyako-jima, a small volcanic island of crystal waters, bio-diverse reefs and pristine beaches. If you wish, snorkel the coral reefs, swimming among sea turtles and other exotic marine life. Alternatively, enjoy a glass-bottom boat ride in Hagashi Henna Zaki Cape and a visit to the Makiyama Observatory. Conclude your excursion with a traditional Ai-zome indigo dyeing demonstration.
This morning, set foot on the island of Ishigaki-jima, a tropical paradise bridging the cultures of Japan and Taiwan. Disembark to explore Ishigaki-jima, strolling Kabira Bay and taking in the tropical flowers and Pacific breezes of the Tamatorizaki Observatory. Next, visit the Yaeama palm groves for a refreshing swim at Yonehara beach. After lunch aboard ‘L’Austral,’ set out to spelunk a limestone cave and discover the ornate beauty of the Chinese-influenced Toujin Tomb. Alternatively, visit the small island of Taketomi, combing the beautiful Hoshinosuna beach and visiting a traditional Ryukyu village adorned with thatched and tile-roofed houses. Or, take a ferry for a jungle cruise on the island of Iromote-jima, home of the endemic and endangered Iromote cat. This evening, ‘L’Austral’ departs the Ryukyu Islands en route to Taiwan.
Disembark in the port of Keelung, Taiwan, for today’s excursions. Begin with a visit to Taipei, the cultural capital of Taiwan. Browse artifacts spanning over 10,000 years of Chinese history at the National Palace Museum. Next, visit the compelling National Martyrs Shrine, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. Continue on to the Confucius Temple, the Pao An Temple and Dihua Street, a centuries-old marketplace for tea, medicinal herbs, fabrics and incense. You may also choose to take in the dizzying heights of Taipei 101 and the grandiose façade of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Alternatively, tour Taiwan’s northern coast, stopping in the former gold rush town of Cheifun. Following lunch at a local restaurant, explore the distinct limestone outcroppings of Yehliu Geopark.
Set out for an inspiring day of discovery on Taiwan’s Penghu Island. Begin with a visit to the Penghu National Scenic Area and Zhongtung Wind Power Park, learning how this uniquely beautiful corner of the world is working for a cleaner tomorrow. Next, take in the iconic Penghu Bridge, Southeast Asia’s first deep-sea bridge. Next, visit Dayi Temple, an undersea shrine of coral, precious whalebone, fish specimens, seashells and a pond of resident sea turtles. Following lunch, learn about the local lifestyle, culture, history and ecosystems at Penghu Living Museum. Next, plumb the depths of Fenggui Cave, explore the Shai-kan-tang Temple and stroll the white sand beach of Shanshuei. This evening aboard ‘L’Austral,’ join your captain and Expedition Team for the captain’s farewell gala.
Sail to Hong Kong, recapping your adventures in Japan, Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands by sharing stories and photos with your fellow guests.
Bid farewell to ‘L’Austral’ in the iconic port city of Hong Kong. Begin your tour by strolling stalls of dried food and herbal medicine in a Western District market, stopping to explore the striking interior of Man Mo Temple. Next, ascend Victoria Peak for a panoramic view from the observation deck. Afterward, step aboard a traditional sampan for a cruise through the local floating villages of Aberdeen, disembarking to enjoy a Dim Sum lunch at the Aberdeen Marina Club’s private ballroom. Later in the evening, transfer to the Hotel Langham Hong Kong for a farewell dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight, or continue on to extend your stay in Beijing.
Classic Balcony Stateroom
Premier Balcony Stateroom
Superior Balcony Stateroom
Premier 2-Room Balcony Suite
Category 1 - Classic Balcony Stateroom
Prestige 2-Room Balcony Suite
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship
Length: 142 metres
Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica)
This superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral has a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being.
A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. Precious materials in smoothing neutral tones are brought to life with splashes of cheerful reds. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht”.
Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark.
Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The Gastronomic Restaurant, with a capacity of 268 persons, is situated on Le Liberté Deck and serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. On the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportuniny to eat outside and enjoy buffet lunch and themed dinner.
Life On Board
Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or games area (Wii™ consoles, etc), or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, L'Austral has been designed to meet the needs of every guest.
Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, a spa in partnership with Sothys™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please.
Fitted with the latest equipment (Kinesis Wall, running machine) and in partnership with the famous
Sothys™ brand, the Beauty Centre on L'Austral welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser).
Save up to US$4,500 per person
Join this extraordinary voyage that reveals Japan and its neighbours as you never imagined them.
From Osaka to Hong Kong - 16 days.
28 May 2017
Saving: US$4,500 per person
Discounted Rates: US$15,495 - US$17,495
Standard Rates: US$19,995 - US$21,995
Special Offer: Save US$4,500 per person
Subject to availability and offer can be withdrawn at any time.