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Apra to Kobe

12 days with Silversea   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1 Apra, Guam
Guam is blessed with spectacular natural beauty and a rich cultural history. Apra Harbor is a deep-water port located on the western side of the island. The island is part of the Mariana Islands and near the Mariana Trench, which is the deepest part of the earth’s oceans, and the deepest location of the earth itself. The port serves both as a U.S. naval station and Guam’s main commercial port. The harbour, formed by the Orote Peninsula to the south and Cabras Island in the north, is considered to be one of the best natural ports in the Pacific. Guam’s unique culture, traditions and heritage have remained intact despite European imperialism, wars and changing foreign governments. Archaeological evidence suggests that the indigenous Chamorros of Indo-Malayan descent migrated from the Southeast Asian islands and settled throughout the Marianas archipelago. Being expert seamen and skilled craftsmen, they flourished and built unique houses and canoes suited to the region. As a matriarchal society and through the prestige of the women, much of the Chamorro culture and traditions were able to survive. Since the 16th century, a wave of foreigners have arrived on Guam’s shores, including Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 who remained on the island for three days to restock his small convoy. Americans, Asians, Europeans, Micronesians and other visitors have since left their imprint on the island’s pastimes and tastes.
 
Day 2 Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands are a chain of 15 tropical islands in the western Pacific Ocean, about 120 miles (193 km) north of Guam. At 12 miles in length and 5 miles wide (19 x 8 km), Saipan is the largest of the 15 islands, and site of the CNMI capital. Settlement of Saipan and its neighbouring islands occurred circa 2000 BC by the Chamorro people who arrived via similar routes as their cousins in Guam. Ferdinand Magellan first sighted the Mariana Islands in March 1521 and claimed “Las Islas de las Velas Latinas” for Spain. In 1668, the islands’ name changed to the present one in honour of Mariana of Austria, the widow of Spain’s king, Philip IV. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the Northern Marianas a United States Commonwealth and its residents U.S. citizens. Today, Saipan boasts a well-developed tourist industry, which is concentrated around Garapan, the capital. In addition to beaches and colourful marine life, American World War II relics, overgrown Japanese bunkers, and mangrove swamps can be seen around the island. Garapan, located on the western side of the island, is home to major hotels and the American Memorial Park, which honours American soldiers who died during the Battle of Saipan.
 
Day 3 Pagan, Northern Mariana Islands
Among the 15 islands of the Northern Marianas, Pagan Island consists of two stratovolcanoes joined by a strip of land that is less than 600 meters (2,000 feet) across at its narrowest point. The island was completely evacuated in 1981 when a large eruption forced the small Micronesian community to relocate to Saipan. Pagan, the northern volcano, is still active, and one of the more recent lava-flows has come close to the small former settlement on the west coast. To reach this lava flow one has to follow an old runway used by the Japanese during the 1940s, where the remains of several bunkers, pill boxes and planes can still be seen. A hike up the ridge will reveal a scenic view of two lakes further north. The Marianas fruit bat, the Micronesian Megapode, and the impressive coconut crab used to thrive on Pagan.
 
Day 4 Maug Islands, Northern Mariana Islands
Three small elongated islands up to 2.3 km (1.4 miles) in length are all that remains of Maug volcano. The islands form the northern, western, and eastern rims of Maug’s largely submerged caldera. The highest point reaches 227 meters (745 feet) above sea level and the caldera has an average submarine depth of about 200 meters (656 feet). The natural harbor contains a twin-peaked central lava dome that rises up from the seafloor to within a few fathoms (1 fathom equals 1.8288 meters/6 ft) of the surface. This perfect natural harbour often sees dolphins near the southern entrance. The truncated inner walls of the caldera on all three islands show expose lava flows and pyroclastic deposits that are cut by radial dikes. East Island has been used to grow coconut palms and the interior is vegetated providing nesting sites for several bird species. In fact, eleven seabirds, two shore birds and three land birds (the Marianas Megapode, Micronesian Starling and White-collared Kingfisher) are known to be found on Maug.
 
Day 5 At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
Day 6 Chichijima, Japan
The remote Bonin Islands are known in Japan as the Ogasawara Islands. This archipelago has earned the nickname, “Galapagos of the Orient” and was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2011 for the unique plant and animal species that have evolved here. Chichijima, the “father island,” is the largest in the Ogasawara family of islands and yet another fantastic avian destination with several endemic species. Minamijima, a small uplifted coral island just south of the town, has a much photographed natural stone arch reflected in the small turquoise blue lagoon. Chichijima itself has good opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing on one of the island’s pristine beaches. Next to the harbor is a humpback whale monument. Although these massive marine mammals migrate away from this area by April, sperm whales visit between May and November. Green turtles, spinner dolphins, and dogtooth tuna are some of the other larger marine creatures found.
 
Day 7 Tori-Shima, Japan
The name Torishima translates to “Bird Island” and is a fitting name for this stark, uninhabited volcanic island that Japan has declared a Bird Sanctuary, Natural Monument and National Wildlife Protection Area. Located in the Izu Islands chain about 600 kilometers (370 miles) due south of Tokyo, Torishima is home to about 1500 mature Short-tailed Albatrosses. 2017 estimates considered 4200 birds to exist on Torishima. This rare species is known to breed on only four islands in the North Pacific, with close to 80% nesting on the volcanic ash slopes of Torishima. Adults will leave in April, fledglings will stay until mid-May. As the island is an active volcano (last eruption in 2002) a landing here is only granted to scientists, and then only by helicopter.
 
Days 8-9 At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
 
Day 10 Hiroshima, Japan - Miyajima Island, Japan
History buffs will want to write home Hiroshima. Despite being devastated in 1945, this Japanese city is known to all for its commitment peace – its ruin on the 6th August 1945 led to the end of the war and today, the Peace Memorial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) , is a constant reminder of the destruction that war brings. A walk in the leafy boulevards of Peace Memorial Park brings quiet contemplation. The Flames of Peace – set in the park’s central feature pond – burn brightly and will continue to do so until all the nuclear bombs I the world have been destroyed. There are many other inspiring messages of hope around the city too; the Children’s’ Peace Monument just north of the park is a homage to little Sadako Sasaki, who was just two in 1945. When she developed leukemia in 1956, she believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes – a symbol of longevity and happiness in Japan – she would recover. Sadly she died before she finished her task but her classmates finished the rest. If you are lucky enough to visit during the unpredictable and short-lived Sakura (cherry blossom) season, then the extraordinary sight of the delicate pink blossom floating across the water to the red gate, means you can consider yourself one of the luckiest people on the planet.
 
The small island of Miyajima (“The Shrine Island”) is known for the Floating Torii Gate, which is one of “The Three Most Beautiful Views” of Japan. Built in the water, the Torii Gate leads to the Itsukushima Shrine and at high tide it seems to float. The Torii Gate is one of the most photographed sites in all of Japan. There are many more shrines and paths on Miyajima that are inviting to walk. Mount Misen has a cable car leading partly up to the top with nice views and and deer roaming the trails.
 
Day 11 Okayama, Japan
Okayama is an important transportation hub and one of the largest cities of the Chugoku Region. It is famous because it has one of Japan’s most significant gardens. Although the “Korakuen” Garden was severely damaged by bombs in WWII, the descriptions and paintings from the Edo period permitted an exact reconstruction. It is one of the “Three Gardens of Japan” and has been designated a “Special Scenic Location”. Known formerly as the centre of rice-distribution in the Okayama area, many old warehouses next to the preserved canal have been converted into museums, boutiques and cafes. Another nearby attraction is the Ohara Museum, which was the first Japanese Museum to permanently exhibit Western Art. Specializing in French Art at the beginning, it has an eclectic mix of paintings and objects by El Greco, Renoir, Gauguin, Pissarro, Degas, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Rodin, and Picasso, as well as pieces from Jackson Pollock, de Chirico and Jasper Johns.
 
Day 12 Kobe, Japan
Located on the calm waters of the Inland Sea, Kobe has served as an important port town for hundreds of years. It was one of the first harbours to accept foreign traders in 1868 when Japan was just emerging from its centuries of isolation. What followed was a surge of Western trade and exports. Today, Kobe is quite multicultural, with expatriates from 98 different nations in residence, providing a cultural diversity most easily visible in restaurants serving every kind of cuisine, including the now world famous Kobe beef. The Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 set back Kobe’s development, but not for long. Kobe emerged more vibrant than before - with additional attractions, hotels and urban redevelopment. It is a cosmopolitan place with lively shopping arcades, interesting museums, great restaurants, and a port that is still at the heart of things. Kobe also serves as the gateway to the ancient Japanese capitals of Kyoto and Nara.
Map
All This Included
The world has about 500 active volcanoes. More than half are in the Pacific Ocean, in the Ring of Fire, so if you are looking for an explosive thrill, then look no further! Along the way, visit Japan’s “Galapagos of the East” and pay your respects at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. From WWII posts to endemic bird species, it is impossible not to be thrilled by this nature-laden voyage.
  • 1 night hotel
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Spacious suites
  • Butler service in every suite
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • In-suite dining and room service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Onboard gratuities
Accommodations
Cruising: Suite onboard Silver Explorer
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available. 
  • Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Silversea terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.