Saturday, 21 May 2011

Orion II Ryukyu Islands expedition - fugu, samurai and onsen

Orion II inaugural Ryukyu Islands expedition 
 
Join the specialist expedition team onboard the newly re-fitted Orion II for her maiden Ryukyu Islands voyage; explore from Japan through the rarely visited sub-tropical Ryukyu Islands to the Philippines and Sabah.  

This 14 night voyage – with special pricing equivalent to a 10 night voyage - features diverse elements for adventurous spirits seeking cultural experiences far removed from the predictable tourist hotspots of Asia, including two destinations unique to this voyage, Shimonoseki and Kagoshima, plus a visit to Coron Palawan in the Philippines, the first by a foreign ship. 

Guests can try their hand at the fine art of preparing Fugu – poisonous puffer fish, (Fugu sashimi washed down with sake anyone?), warm their feet in a volcanic heated foot bath, explore an impressive cave and underground river system and remove their clothes and inhibitions in a very elegant private hot spring onsen (public bath).  

Active volcanoes and traditional samurai castles contrast with beautiful bays and islands perfect for snorkelling and diving, while a buffalo cart ride across tidal flats, cultural performances, art galleries and exploring a little township with bars and cafes example other dimensions to this voyage. 

Reminders of World War II abound, including visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as a fascinating Kamikaze museum and, in Okinawa, a former Japanese Imperial Navy HQ underground tunnel command centre.  

The significant red Shuri Castle has many ancient links to the unique system of paying tribute to both Japanese and Chinese emperors and an archaeological dig site guests may visit contains some of the oldest human remains found in Asia. 

Orion II's visit to Coron Palawan will be celebrated with welcoming cultural displays, performances and interaction. Guests will have time for snorkelling, relaxing in hot springs, a village visit and scenic Zodiac cruising to capture the dramatic sunset.  
 
This voyage features:
  • Unique Japan content in Kagoshima and Shimonoseki
  • WWII History in Okinawa
  • Unique sub-tropical Japan including snorkelling in Iriomote
  • Unique Ryukyu Culture in Okinawa
  • Filipino culture in Baguio and Coron
  • Snorkelling and beaches in Puerto Galera and Coron
  • Volcano and hot springs in Kagoshima
  • Hot Springs in Coron
  • Exclusive art gallery access in Kagoshima
  • Incredible art gallery access in Baguio at BenCab
  • Fugu fish cuisine in Shimonoseki; Filipino banquet in Baguio
  • First foreign ship to visit Coron
Lecturers in the expedition team include: 

Amy Loewen - Japan expert, many years of experience leading groups in Japan
Grace Winer - expert geologist to provide interpretation on the regions stunning and active geology
Justin Friend to lecture on Filipino and Ryukyu cultures
Expedition Leader Alastair Newton with many years experience in the region


2011 Ryukyu Islands Voyage of Discovery: 

28 July 2011: 14 nights, KOBE, Hiroshima, Shimonoseki, Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Ryukyu Islands - Okinawa, Iriomote Island – San Fernando (for Baguio), Puerto Galera, Coron , KOTA KINABALU 

14 night fares from $8,150 per person for an Ocean Suite
Junior Suites begin from 10,400 per person
Balcony Suites are $14,700 per person
Penthouse Suites are $16,400 per person
All prices twin share.

This voyage is essentially repeated with some additional content as Shanghai to Borneo in 2012. 
 
Details of itinerary available at http://www.orionexpeditions.com/expeditions/japan/voyage_summary  

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website www.orionexpeditions.com  

For reservations or to obtain a brochure of 2011 or 2012 voyages call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) / 0800 444 462 (New Zealand) or see your travel agent.  

Email: info@orionexpeditions.com