Unravel the mysteries of one of the most captivating corners of Asia. Make sense of the dazzling cultures of Tokyo and Shimizu with the help of those who live there. Hear about the recovery of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from residents who connect you to their rebirths. Witness Busan's bustling South Korean culture. Learn the nuances of Taiwan from a local. And mingle with merchants at Hong Kong's famed Stanley Market. Overnight stays in four ports let you delve deeply.
Embark today and settle in for a fascinating journey that bridges the cultures of Asia and North America. Settle in to your veranda stateroom and explore your ship, perhaps browsing our onboard art collection. Later, head for dinner in our elegant main dining room, The Restaurant.
Formerly known as Edo, today's Tokyo is the cultural and economic heart of Japan, residence of its emperor and a fascinating study in contrasts. Take in sweeping views of Tokyo as you drive across the Rainbow Bridge, and admire some of the city's signature landmarks before strolling through the plaza of the emperor's primary residence, the Imperial Palace. You may choose to join a walking tour of Tsukiji Market, one of the world's largest wholesale seafood markets, followed by a visit to a local restaurant to learn how to make the city's signature Edomae sushi. Or immerse yourself in Japan's ancient traditions on a visit to a bonsai museum.
Arrive in Shimizu for an overnight stay, affording you time to get to know this historic city. Travel to beautiful Nihondaira, where the area's elevated topography allows you to take in sweeping views of the city and the famous Mt. Fuji. This included tour also features a guided walk through scenic Miho no Matsubara. Alternately, you may opt to learn more about one of Shimizu's most important industries on a visit to a tea plantation. Tonight, enjoy dinner in town or on board and an evening at leisure.
You have another day to relax and enjoy the lush natural surroundings of Shimizu. You may also travel to the slopes of Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest peak. You will ascend to an elevation of 7,900 feet, passing pristine countryside and charming small villages. Pause your journey to view the work of famed artist Utagawa Hiroshige in a museum dedicated to the Japanese landscape master.
Home to two of Japan's oldest shrines, Osaka is a pilgrimage site for many devout followers of Shinto. At Sumiyoshi Taisha (Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine), admire the fine architecture that stretches back 17 centuries, a stark and elegant style with vivid red beams and columns. On the way back to your ship, admire the nearly 1,000-foot-tall Abena Harukas, Japan's tallest building. If you wish, you may journey to Kyoto, Japan's former imperial city of stunning shrines, bamboo forests and the splendid Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion).
Arrive in Hiroshima for an overnight stay, giving you time to ponder this resilient city. Once at the forefront of industry and education, it grew from the 19th century to become one of Japan's most important industrial centers. Contemplate the city's decades-long recovery from its devastation on August 6, 1945, at the burned-out shell of the Industrial Promotion Hall and the Peace Memorial Park. Perhaps you will choose to travel to historic Hiroshima Castle and the charming 'shrunken scenery garden,' or board a ferry to discover the wooded hills and cherished Itsukushima Shrine on the picturesque Itsukushima Island.
Today, you may combine a visit to the beautiful Mitaki temple with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. If you prefer, you may explore more of Hiroshima on your own, perhaps paying your respects at the Children's Peace Monument; its Flame of Peace will burn until the last nuclear weapon on the planet has been dismantled.
Visit Busan, South Korea's 'second city' after Seoul and one of the world's largest ports. Busan has been built on 17 centuries of history, yet its modernity is unmistakable and distinct. Get to know its treasures during a hop-on/hop-off bus tour, stopping along the way to explore bustling markets, beaches, parks and other sights. You may also hop off to spend time at the Busan Museum or the Busan Museum of Art; however, admission is at your own expense. Alternately, journey to the magnificent hillside temple of Beomeosa and the coastal temple of Haedong Yonggung.
Situated on a scenic bay formed by a sunken caldera and overseen by the Sakurajima volcano, Kagoshima is often called the 'Naples of the Eastern World' for its setting. During a city tour, head to the hilltop Shiroyama Park for splendid views of the city and Sakurajima volcano, and visit the Reimeikan museum in the old city castle to view exhibits on Japan's history and culture. Or, you may opt to participate in a unique 'sand bath' experience at a nearby hotel.
Call in Nagasaki today, where East meets West—most notably in the city's delicious cuisine. Embark on an included tour of Nagasaki, pausing at the Nagasaki Peace Park to stroll among its moving statues. You will also see the Urakami Cathedral and the island of Dejima, built to house European merchants. If you like, you may choose to enjoy lunch and a geisha performance followed by a visit to a 1,000-foot-high observatory on one of our optional excursions.
Spend a relaxing day on board as you cruise the East China Sea. Perhaps you will learn about your next destination, Japan, in The Library or at an enrichment lecture. Enjoy a Norwegian-inspired lunch at Mamsen's gourmet deli. This evening, savor wine pairings with your dinner at The Chef's Table.
Visit the fascinating Taiwanese capital of Taipei on the island's northern shore. This city boasts a curious blend of Chinese, Japanese and Western influences. Visit the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, a monument dedicated to the founding father of Taiwan, and the National Revolutionary Martyrs' Shrine to those who have fallen in China's wars. You will stop for photos of Taipei 101, a stunning skyscraper that held the title as 'tallest' from 2004 to 2009.
The East China Sea welcomes you today. This strategically important shipping lane is also a key stretch of water for several nations' fishing industries. As you cruise today, enjoy regional cuisine in the World Café or treat yourself to a massage at The Spa.
Cruise into dazzling Hong Kong this morning and admire the glittering forest of skyscrapers standing between soaring mountains, a bustling harbor and offshore islands. See where deeply held Eastern traditions meet modern Western sensibilities during a panoramic city tour that takes you up Victoria Peak for sweeping views of the metropolis. An overnight stay in Hong Kong lets you explore further on your own or with one of our shore excursions.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the Hong Kong airport for your flight home. Or explore with our extension in this fascinating city.
Japan, Taipei and Hong Kong 13Gareth, NSW, Australia, Sep 2019
The quality of the Viking Orión was stunning. The food was excellent with good variety and choice. The crew were attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The shore excursions were generally informative and interesting. Time on the ship went quickly due to the wide choice of entertainment, talks and topical information provided.
Five Star in every respect. 14Peter & Anne Maree , VIC, Australia, Jul 2019
This cruise was wonderful. The scenery was spectacular. An included optional excursion was available at every port and the arrangements for these ran like clockwork. Additionally there were a number of optional trips for which there was a charge. The times for these could be booked online pre cruise and so your personal itinerary was created. The cruise ...read more catered for approximately 900 passengers and because the ship was extremely well designed with a variety of spaces you never ever felt "crowded".
We really enjoyed the high quality of the food and we especially liked being able to book into the fine dining "Chef's Table" or the Italian "Manfredi's restaurant" if we pleased (available to all at no extra charge). A real highlight for me was participating in a French cooking lesson with 11 others. It was run by one of the chefs on the cruise. We also appreciated the talks given by the resident historians and specialists on board.
We certainly would book another cruise with Viking - in fact we have already done so! Jemma at Global Journeys was excellent. She responded to any enquiries relating to the trip very promptly and ensured all paperwork was in place in a timely manner. Thank you Jemma.
Viking Orion Cruise, 32Bill & Jan, NSW, Australia, Aug 2018
Almost new ship, with very good Penthouse suite, plenty of storage, great bathroom. Destinations were the attraction to book, and very good also, but August September 2018 very hot, especially in Egypt and Jordan, the worry of heat leading to our non-appearance for the Petra excursion. August & September proved to be a bad time for such a cruise and ...read more its excursions. Excellent on-board lectures/lecturers. Food OK, but a little below our expectations. Evening entertainment limited. All staff terrific.
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