SEATTLE, Jan 14 — Cruise West will explore ancient dynasties and modern cultures of four Asian nations cruising from Northern Japan to South Korea, China and Vietnam on the distinctive Grand Asia voyage. Guests sailing the 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus will be true insiders, journeying beyond well-known attractions to get up-close with the culture, people and history of these countries. Cruise West’s knowledgeable Exploration Leaders will share their passions and expertise, while guest speakers unravel the mysteries of these countries.
The 2008 Grand Asia itineraries, cruising on November 10 and 24, 2008, offer an early booking incentive of up to $900 per person for guests who pay the full amount upon booking by February 8, 2008, or savings of $400 per person for guests booking their cruise and paying in full by May 9, 2008.
After increasing from 16-nights in 2007 to 18-nights in 2008, the Grand Asia experience also now offers four new ports of call: Kobe, Miyajima/Hiroshima, Danang, UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hoi An and Hue. Journeying between Kobe and Hanoi, the Spirit of Oceanus sails Japan’s Seto Inland Sea and the Yellow and South China Seas, winding around islands and down a mystical coastline that boasts a diverse terrain of pristine beaches and verdant mountains.
There are new highlights to experience each day: exploring gardens, temples and artisan centers, coastal ports, castle towns, bustling cities and remote villages in Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam. Other activities include: meeting with a Shinto priest as well as watching a performance in Miyajima; tours of the peace parks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; a visit to Shanghai, once a sleepy fishing town and now China’s premier cultural, commercial and financial center; as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ha Long Bay; Hoi An and Hue, Vietnam’s Imperial City.
Add-on Extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Sites Angkor Wat and Kyoto
Guests can extend their journey with two pre- and/or post-land tours. Those wanting the ultimate tour can add both. The Japan Land Tour offers four days of city exploration beginning with Kyoto, known as the “Heart of Japan.” Touring in Kyoto includes the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kiyomizu Temple, the Kinkakuji Pavilion with its gold leaf on lacquer floors and Ryoanji Temple renowned for its Zen Gardens. In addition, explorers will visit Nara, home to the Daibutsu, an enormous bronze Buddha at Todaiji Temple, and Horyuji Temple, the oldest intact temple complex in Japan. The Vietnam and Cambodia Land Tour offers seven days exploring cities and sites including: the temples of the World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, a prime example of the classical style of Khmer architecture; the cosmopolitan city of Ho Chi Minh; and the Cu Chi Tunnels, a 75-mile-long underground maze and one of the most famous battlegrounds of the Vietnam War; UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Tonle Sap Lake; and Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
Spirit of Oceanus
Cruise West’s Spirit of Oceanus is the line’s most spacious and luxurious ship. Each suite offers spacious closets, a large marble bathroom, sitting area and television. Two lounges, an outdoor bistro and open-seating dining room provide a casual atmosphere for guests to interact with one another, the crew, Exploration Leaders and guest speakers. Seven suite categories are offered onboard, including 14 suites featuring private balconies and one 550- square-foot elegantly spacious Owner’s Suite located on the ship’s Sun Deck.
Up-Close, Casual & Personal Cruising
Cruise West offers the opportunity to explore remote and distinctive destinations throughout North and Central America, Asia and the South Pacific. Small-ship cruising allows for personalized experiences not offered by larger cruise lines. Guest capacities aboard Cruise West’s nine ships range from 78- 138. Guests may expect personal enrichment through onboard narrative and presentations by local experts. The ships’ forward lounges and ample outdoor deck space provide outstanding viewing opportunities, and inflatable boats allow for up-close exploration and shore landings. For more information, call 1-800-296-8307 or visit www.cruisewest.com.