Ponant has rolled outs its Japanese luxury expedition program for 2024, which includes three brand new itineraries that offer a new side to Japanese travel. Ponant will be the first cruise operator to visit many of these remote destinations and among the first for many others.

Ryo Ijichi, PONANT’s Expedition Leader and Commercial Manager for Japan and Korea says the key to the sailings is subverting the idea of what it means to travel in Japan.

“As an island state, Japan was originally more connected by sea than by land. Most of the cities, the gateways to these regions, there faced the ocean. Imagine what a great playground this is for an expedition ship discovery.

“When one considers Japan, one often thinks of the contemporary pace of Tokyo and the traditional aspects of Kyoto, but it is my hope from our itineraries that our guests will learn and experience an entirely different way of being in this unexpectedly rich country.”

New itineraries

Kyushu Secret Islands and Ancestral Heritage

Onboard Le Jacques-Cartier this itinerary combines some of Japan’s most rugged and hidden nature with history lessons.

Highlights will include the UNESCO World Heritage site of Yakushima and its striking greenery, the cliffs of the Koshikijima islands, and the small towns of the Goto Islands and their curious past of Christianity. 

This cruise will run twice, once in opposite directions from Kagoshima to Fukuoka, in April 2024. For the seven-night sailing prices begin from $8990.

Japan, Natural Archipelago and secular heritage

This eight-night sailing on Le Jacques-Cartier takes you through some of Japan’s lesser-known history and heritage that can be found between Kagoshima and Kobe.

You’ll learn of the small Christian populations that fled after the ban on Catholicism in the Edo period and visited Sakitsu’s UNESCO-listed church.

Guests will also see remarkable natural sights such as the Koshikijima islands and take cultural excursions, such as to the temples of Onomichi or Moji in Kyushu. 

Leave on May 5, 2024, the sailing starts from $11,560.

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