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Setting sail from Shanghai
Shanghai has long been China's most outward-looking, cosmopolitan city, as evidenced by the fascinating mixture of European and Oriental architecture. The Bund, a riverfront promenade flanked by grand colonial era buildings, is the city's most famous thoroughfare, while the Pudong financial district lights up the city skyline at night with its futuristic towers. Shanghai's restaurant scene is thriving like never before, with a number of Michelin-starred chefs setting up shop here, while Nanjing Road is the place to head for a spot of retail therapy, with its shiny shopping malls and luxury boutiques.
Walking along the Bund as the sun rises, watching the locals practise Tai Chi. Magic.
Dalian is an eminently liveable city on the Yellow Sea coast, blessed with a pleasant climate, excellent beaches and a noticeable lack of pollution compared to many Chinese cities. At the centre of Dalian is the vast Xinghai Square, the biggest in the world at a mind boggling 1,760,000 square metres.
China: Beijing (Tianjin)
Home to 11 million people and an astonishing six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Beijing is an exhilarating introduction to China’s distinctive history, society and culture. Feast your eyes on the majestic Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, along with spectacular modern architecture such as the iconic Bird's Nest Stadium.
South Korea: Incheon (Seoul)
Incheon serves as a transport hub for Seoul, South Korea's captivating capital. Seoul is a dynamic metropolis where you can still find tea shops and temples amongst the skyscrapers and neon signs, and the culinary scene is superb, from street food to world class haute cuisine.
South Korea: Busan
Busan is South Korea’s second biggest city and one of the world’s busiest container ports, but it’s an easygoing place with a discernibly different character to Seoul. Haeundae beach is a popular summer holiday destination for Koreans, while the pungent Jagalchi market sells every type of fish and sea creature imaginable.
Osaka, Japan’s third largest city, is a pulsating commercial hub, famous for its food, and the cityscape rivals Tokyo for neon-lit futurism. If you need respite from the urban sprawl seek out Osaka Castle and the surrounding Nishinomaru Garden, a particularly pretty spot during the cherry blossom season.
On 6 August 1945 the world witnessed the terrifying power of nuclear weapons for the first time, unleashed on the unsuspecting Japanese city of Hiroshima. The modern city's sobering Peace Memorial Park commemorates that fateful day, which left more than 140,000 dead.
The laid back port city of Takamatsu sits on the north coast of Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s major islands, and is home to the beautifully designed Ritsurin Koen, one of Japan’s most famous historical gardens.
Small in size and cosmopolitan in its outlook, Kobe is a thoroughly pleasant city with a long and distinguished history as one of Japan’s main trading ports. Kobe’s past as a commercial hub is reflected in its architecture, with a number of unusually European-looking houses, as well as a charming, if slightly touristy, Chinatown.
The charming port town of Otaru has a notable history, playing an important role in the herring trade during the 19th century, and this is reflected in the stone warehouses alongside the picturesque canal.
Petropavlovsk is the main city on Russia’s remote Kamchatka peninsula, a hardy place where bleak Soviet tower blocks stand in the shadow of giant volcanoes. It’s a spectacular setting, and the city serves as the main gateway for exploring Kamchatka’s otherworldly landscapes and incredible wildlife.
United States: Kodiak
Kodiak is known as Alaska’s ‘Emerald Isle’ thanks to the lush green countryside, a landscape crisscrossed by gushing salmon-filled streams that provides a home to around 3,000 Kodiak bears, the world’s largest. Ships dock in Kodiak city, an important fishing port with a fascinating Russian heritage.
United States: Glacier Bay
United States: Sitka
Sitka was founded by Russian fur traders in 1799 as the city of New Archangel, and there is still a discernible Russian influence here, including the distinctive St Michael’s Orthodox Cathedral. The town also enjoys spectacular natural surroundings, facing the Pacific Ocean and dramatic Mount Edgecumbe.
United States: Wrangell
Back in its 19th century heyday Wrangell was a lawless gold rush town, and it's still a little rough around the edges, but it's also a very welcoming place, ideal for exploring the surrounding Alaskan wilderness. Take a trip to the nearby Anan Wildlife Observatory for the chance to see black and brown bears at close proximity.
United States: Ketchikan
Ketchikan is a great introduction to Alaska’s natural attractions, situated at the foot of towering Deer Mountain and within easy reach of the Misty Fjords. The colourful wooden buildings of Creek Street, the old red light district, are a reminder of Ketchikan’s former status as a rough and ready frontier town; these days, things are rather more civilised!
Arriving in Vancouver
Cosmopolitan Vancouver is a city that rewards exploration, an eminently liveable place and an easy gateway to the natural beauty of British Columbia. The culinary scene here is a particular draw, with seafood galore and some fantastic Asian restaurants, and the city has also been at the forefront of the craft beer movement. Verdant Stanley Park is a favourite of locals and visitors alike, while Kitsilano's beaches and wooden houses are wonderfully picturesque. Cultural attractions tend to be on a smaller scale than you'd expect from a city of this size, but the thrill of stumbling across one of Vancouver's quirky little galleries is all part of the city's appeal.
Canadians call their one-dollar coins “loonies” (because it bears the image of a loon) and their two-dollar coins “toonies” so sort out your vocabulary and talk like a local!
Your home from home
Any one of Seabourn's lovely little trio of spacious and elegant sisters is the perfect choice for a combination of contemporary style and traditional expert hospitality.
What we love
When Seabourn built Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest, over a period of just three years, we were delighted. Not only because each one is beautiful, but also because their similarity means that they are interchangeable, enabling you to travel all over the world in a familiar environment.
|Crew||330 International Staff|
|Style||The contemporary décor appeals to a sophisticated and cosmopolitan crowd. With lots of outside space, you can enjoy an al fresco experience if you choose.|
|Odyssey 2009, Sojourn 2010, Quest 2011|
|Cruising Speed||19 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Shanghai
So many fabulous hotels to choose from, but we would go for the Peninsula on the Bund.
Another side to Shanghai
Wander the Yuyuan Gardens with its serene fish ponds, pretty pagodas and enjoy a rest from the crowds at the Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse, reached by a zigzag causeway designed to stop evil spirits.
Our favourite hotel in Vancouver
If you’re not committed to the waterfront where the ships come in, we love the Rosewood Hotel Georgia.
Stay a little longer in Canada
If you’ve time, set aside a couple of days to travel to Knight Inlet Lodge for bear viewing.