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Setting sail from Beijing
Home to 11 million people and an astonishing six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Beijing is an exhilarating and at times overwhelming introduction to China's distinctive history, society and culture. Brave the smog and feast your eyes on the majestic Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, along with an ever-expanding roster of spectacular modern architecture, including the iconic Bird's Nest Stadium, star of the 2008 Olympic Games. The old Beijing is still alive and well, and we recommend exploring the maze of narrow alleyways known as hutongs, where you'll find traditional shops, markets and restaurants.
The Forbidden City in the centre of Beijing was the imperial palace from the Ming dynasty, dating back to 1420. No argument here; it’s a must see.
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.
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.
Three days after Hiroshima was flattened by an atomic bomb, Nagasaki suffered the same horrifying fate. The reconstruction of both cities has been quite extraordinary; Nagasaki today is a vibrant, cosmopolitan place, with a fascinating history that goes back a lot further than 1945.
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.
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.
Shimizu is one of the most spectacular ports in Japan, a sweeping bay in the shadow of the iconic Mount Fuji. You can spend some time admiring the views and wandering through peaceful pine groves, or visit the unique Shimizu Sushi Museum at the S-Pulse Dream Plaza shopping mall.
Arriving in Tokyo
Tokyo is a dazzling introduction to Japan and its utterly unique culture. With more neon than Las Vegas and more Michelin stars than Paris, it's a real assault on the senses, but an efficient public transport system means it's easy to explore. Asakusa is an atmospheric district where you'll find Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple, Akihibara spills over with shops selling electronic gadgets, and Harajuku is the place to marvel at the latest colourful Japanese fashions. It's also easy to escape the crowds and find a spot of peace and quiet, with tranquil parks, shrines and lotus ponds dotted around the city.
Brave the metro subway system. It’s efficient, fun and easy to use. The staff are unfailingly polite if you get confused or lost. Live like the locals but avoid rush hours!
Your home from home
Recent additions to the Windstar fleet, these former Seabourn ships are hugely popular little vessels, for good reason.
What we love
These small ships accommodate just 212 guests in large and recently refurbished all suite accommodation. There's a choice of restaurants and comfortable lounges and plenty of deck space. The ship's marina ensures you can enjoy the complimentary watersports when anchored in hidden bays and tiny coves.
|Crew||140 International Staff|
|Style||This is laid-back luxury at its best with relaxed informal days, refined yet comfortable evenings and a friendly and welcoming crew.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Beijing
We think the Aman at Summer Palace is really special.
Excursions from Beijing
Within reach of the city are various sections of China’s Great Wall. We think Mutiyanya is the most scenic and the best to visit, and a private tour to help avoid the crowds is a must.
Extend your stay in Tokyo
The Park Hotel at Shimbashi in the Shiodome Media Tower offers premium rooms with great views from the 25th floor up!
Get on your bike
The 25km Tokyo Great Cycling Tour is one of the city’s greatest trips. See both secret back streets and landmark attractions on this full day extravaganza.