Princess Cruises has announced that Diamond Princess will offer an immersive cultural experience on its 2021 Japan sailings, offering guests an introduction to the history, culture and signature cuisines of the region.
Built in Japan at Mitsubishi Shipyard in Nagasaki, the 2,706-guest Diamond Princess includes distinctly Japanese offerings including authentic sushi served at Kai Sushi, a Japanese-style open-air bath at sea, folkloric shows and regional entertainment.
The vessel will sail on the cruise line’s longest Japan season yet, from March 2021 through December, with more opportunities to enjoy seasonal highlights.
Festivals include the introduction of the Osaka Danjiri Festival on a Japan Explorer cruise and the return of the Northern Japan with Nebuta Festival itinerary.
Five Spring Flowers cruise itineraries move from south to north, according to the predicted blooming season. There are also cruises sailing from north to south, according to the predicted autumn foliage season, which will allow guests to witness the changing colours of the Japanese maple and gingko trees.
“The 2021 Japan season gives our guests the opportunity to travel to extraordinary, intriguing destinations all around this beautiful island nation,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “From our expertly curated itineraries to our exclusive Local Connections shore excursions programme, we provide our guests with a convenient and meaningful way to connect to the local culture.”
On sale from 18 December 2019, Princess Cruises customers wishing to visit Japan can choose from 48 itineraries, ranging in length from four to 19 days, visiting four countries and 44 destinations, including Spring Flowers Cruises, Festival Cruises, Fall Foliage Cruises, Circle Hokkaido Cruises, Circle Japan Cruises, Southern Islands and Taiwan Cruises and Getaway Cruises.
Sailings will depart from ports including Tokyo (Yokohama) and Kobe. Diamond Princess will also visit five new ports this season: Ube, Hitachinaka (for Nikko), Shimonoseki, Omaezaki and Jeju.
Travellers on the 2021 cruises will also have an opportunity to visit 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Mount Fuji, Ancient Kyoto, Buddhist monuments in the Horyu-ji area, Shrines and temples of Nikko, the historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
Tranquil temple gardens, beautiful landscapes, and Japanese flavours both ashore and onboard will help connect guests to local daily life. A new Local Connections shore excursion programme in Japan was designed to provide guests with the most personal, meaningful, authentic and exclusive experiences ashore by offering them a first-hand glimpse into the local food, beverage, arts and culture scene with 29 new tours in 19 Japanese ports.
The cruise line’s More Ashore programme offers late-night stays in Akita, Aomori, Busan, Hakodate, Hong Kong, Kobe, Kochi, Osaka, Tokushima and Wakayama.
Guests who wish to spend more time in Tokyo and Kyoto can add five days on land exploring more of the country’s contrast of ancient traditions and modern technology before the start of their cruise for a ‘Highlights of Japan Cruise’ tour. They can go sightseeing at Nijo Castle and the famed Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), or immerse themselves in the history of Nara with the Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine while en route to the bullet train for Tokyo. After experiencing central Tokyo, they can explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mt. Fuji with views from Togendai and Lake Ashi.
Image: Princess Cruises