In the Wake of General MacArthur: The Legacy of World War II
14 days with Ponant Rating:
Day 1 – HONG KONG
Embarkation from 16H00 to 17H00. Departure at 18H00.
Hong Kong, known as the “Fragrant harbour”, bordered by the South China Sea, is a heady place attracting tourists from the world over. This former British colony today combines ultramodern shopping malls and authentic markets like the Ladie’s Market or the night market on Temple Street. At first sight, you’ll be overwhelmed by the city’s architecture which, because of lack of ground space, reaches skywards, with its 1,250 skyscrapers and other towers. Believing is seeing, so if you go up to Victoria Peak, the highest point on the island, you’ll see a dizzying and unforgettable view of the bay.
Day 2 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 3 – KEELUNG (CHILUNG)
On the north-east tip of Taiwan, the harbour city of Keelung stands on one of the most beautiful coasts on the island. Nearby is the spectacular natural park of Yehliu, famed for its striking rock formations. It's easy to tour the city's historical sites on trails that cross the lush green hills surrounding the harbour from Chung Cheng Park to Fort Ershawan, you can enjoy superb views of Keelung and the coastline. But the main attraction is the Miaokou night market, where you can taste some typically Taiwanese culinary delights.
Day 4 – ISHIGAKI
Located to the south of the main island of the Yaeyama archipelago, Ishigaki boasts all the aspects of an authentic piece of paradise. You've guessed it, you don't come here for its skyscrapers but for its pure emerald waters and idyllic beaches. Explore pristine coral reefs on a scuba-dive or snorkelling session where you may witness the flight of a manta ray. The waters off Shiraho, on the island's south-west coast, have one of the largest areas of blue coral in the world.
Day 5 – NAHA, OKINAWA
Capital of Okinawa Prefecture, the town of Naha is located on the south-west of the island. You'll love its lively atmosphere, particularly along Kokusai Dori, otherwise known as "international street". The picturesque Makishi Public Market, nicknamed "Naha's kitchen" offers a profusion of colourful fish, Okinawan foodstuffs and local spices and you can sample delicacies cooked on the spot. For an insight into the island's heritage, which combines Japanese and Taiwanese influences, visit Shuri Castle, a medieval building protected by UNESCO and surrounded by lovely gardens.
Day 6 – AT SEA
Day 7 – KAGOSHIMA
The seaside city of Kagoshima, at the south of Kyushu Island, is best known for Sakurajima, an active volcano that faces Kinko Bay. A visit to this busy metropolis will remind you just how much the volcano is part of the inhabitants' everyday life: in the wake of the almost daily eruptions, a delicate layer of ash settles on everything. The top of a buried torii (traditional Japanese gate) measuring three metres that was "swallowed up" by a giant lava flow in 1914 can still be seen. The power of nature will send a shiver down your spine.
Day 8 – UWAJIMA
Located on the west coast of Shikoku island, Uwajima will delight lovers of history and traditional customs. The magnificent Uwajima Castle was built in the 17th-century by the powerful Date clan and has a beautiful ornamental garden and bridge. The much-visited Taga Shrine is dedicated to fertility and is full of phalluses. Another interesting tradition is togyu, a Japanese variant of bull-fighting where two bulls are pitted against each other without a toreador. As for eating, you must taste jakoten, a local delicacy based on fried fish.
Day 9 – HIROSHIMA
Visiting Hiroshima is a moving experience. The town spreads along Honshu Island, along the inside coasts of Seto. While firmly focused on the future, Hiroshima doesn't forget its past, and a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome is a must. You'll enjoy the city's modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and effervescent nightlife just as much as the peaceful stillness of its natural parkland areas such as splendid Shukkei-en, the town's historic garden.
Day 10 – TOKUSHIMA
Day 11 – AT SEA
Day 12 – SHIMIZU
The former town of Shimizu is located on the Pacific coast of Japan, south-west of Tokyo. “Former” since, from 2003, it has been absorbed into the neighbouring town of Shizuoka. From its port, the view onto the bay of Suruga is unique. Its Kashi-no Ichi fish market rolls out an armada of fresh fish. On the very bustling S-Pulse Dream Plaza, you’ll find cinemas, a museum, restaurants and a shopping mall. In a quieter area, along the coastline, the bike rides are very enjoyable. The Miho no Matsubara beach, bordered by a magnificent pine grove, offers a breathtaking view of mount Fuji, when the weather permits.
Day 13 – SHINGU
To the south-west of the Japanese archipelago, Shingu is a port town in the Kansai region. Founded in 1933, it belongs to the peninsula of Kii, the country's largest. Take a trip around the Kumano Sanzan religious complex dedicated to three sacred mountains and home to two Shinto temples, Kumano Hong Taisha and Kumano Hayatama Taisha. The latter features the famous sacred nagi tree, said to have been planted around 1159. Pilgrims flock to these two sanctuaries that feature on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Hop on a boat and journey to the Dorokyo Gorge, a natural beauty spot carved out by the emerald waters of the Kumano river.
Day 14 – OSAKA
Disembarkation at 07H00.
Like its big sister Tokyo, Osaka is the product of ancestral traditions and amazing technological innovations. And despite its size, its location on the Pacific Ocean give it a sense of serenity.? The main historic landmark is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which stands proud in the midst of majestic skyscrapers. The lively streets of Dotomburi and the bizarre Shinsekai district attract thousands of locals and visitors. A multitude of restaurants offer menus full of regional specialities: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.
All This Included
Expressly for Americans.
The ports of call on this voyage from China to Japan introduce us to the rich historical and cultural diversity of the western Pacific. 5,000 years of Chinese history collected in the National Palace Museum in Taipei; the unique crafts and music of the people of Ishigaki; the legacy of the Ryuku kingdom represented in the UNESCO World Heritage Shuri Castle on Okinawa; the samurai houses of Chiran; the Fujisan Sengen shrine in the foothills of Mt. Fuji; the Kumano Shinto shrines near Shingu – these are just some of the fascinating places you may visit along our way from Hong Kong to Osaka.
As we explore the natural and cultural heritage of the distant past of islands we visit, we will also attend to a more recent chapter in their history. Word War II was without doubt the defining event of the 20th century – realigning the balance of power both in Europe and in Asia, and establishing the United States as a global superpower. As we sail – metaphorically – in the wake of General Douglas MacArthur on his way to accept Japanese surrender in 1945, our guest lecturers, James Bradley and Philip Hurst, will guide us in an exploration of the origins and conduct of the war and consider with us how the war has shaped the world in which we live.
As we combine an introduction to the historical legacy of China and Japan with an in depth look at World War II in the Pacific, some of the highlights of our voyage:
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Laperouse
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