Sailing from Taiwan
Setting sail from Keelung (Taipei)
Keelung is a fairly unremarkable port city close to Taiwan's capital, Taipei. The city is best known for its night market, where a mouthwatering array of food is on offer in an atmospheric setting. Otherwise, you are best off heading for Taipei if you want to prolong your stay on the island; the capital draws on an interesting mix of Chinese, Japanese and Western influences, and is home to attractive temples, a burgeoning street food scene and Taipei 101, which was the world's tallest building until it was eclipsed by Dubai's Burj Khalifa in 2010.
Miaokou market is great to see just for the bustle and activity, but this is also a great place to try all sorts of local foods, fresh fish and some Taiwanese specialities.
Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s second largest city and one of the world’s largest container ports, situated on the south west coast of the island. Formerly a rather grim industrial centre, the city has been transformed in recent years, with new parks, cafés, galleries and museums popping up all over the place.
Laid back Hualien is one of the biggest cities on Taiwan’s mountainous east coast, and serves as the gateway to the beautiful Taroko Gorge. It’s also one of the world’s biggest producers of marble, and is home to a number of restaurants specialising in aboriginal cuisine.
The island of Amami-Oshima is rich in flora and fauna thanks to a mild subtropical climate, and a number of whale species can be spotted in the surrounding waters during the winter. The island also has some lovely white sand beaches, and is known for producing high quality hand-made silk.
Japan: Yakushima, Matsuyama
Arriving in Kobe
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. Kobe is overlooked by Mount Rokko, and you can take a cable car to the top for marvellous views. The city is also an important centre for sake production, so it's a great place to sample Japan's most famous tipple.
Kobe’s nearby Rokko mountains mean it is easy to get up high for great views, with lots of cable cars and ropeways to choose from.
Your home from home
One of Noble Caledonia’s flagships, Caledonian Sky is more akin to a country hotel than a big cruise ship.
What we love
Formerly known as the Hebridean Spirit, the MS Caledonian Sky has exceptionally spacious suites with a traditional feel created by the wooden panelling and brass features. The grand yet comfortable Lounge and Restaurant contrast with the modern furnishings on the Sun Deck but all combine to make a wonderful home from home on a usually in-depth and fascinating itinerary.
|Staff||75 International Staff|
|Style||An informal and congenial atmosphere on board is driven by the communal spirit of shared exploration.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Keelung
To be honest you would probably be better off staying in Taipei, but if you need a Keelung hotel, we would choose the Evergreen Laurel.
Excursions from Keelung
Visit the Yeliou Geopark to see its unique rock formations formed by sea erosion and earth movements.
Where to stay in Kobe
We like Hotel La Suite right on the waterfront.
Go to the Sake breweries in the Nada district – much of the best sake comes from this region.