PONANT launches 2 new itineraries to the Japanese archipelago

   February 20, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

After 2+ years of almost total closure, the legendary Japanese archipelago is reopening to tourism.

This summer, PONANT is expected to become the world's first shipping company to call there again and this time, it is to new ports of call.

The French cruise line has crafted 9 exclusive expedition itineraries on its ships Le Jacques-Cartier and Le Soleal. With an exclusive program, PONANT ships' Zodiacs (RIBs) are the only ones allowed to access Japan's most remote sites. 

Ryo Ijichi, PONANT’s Japanese Expedition Leader said that thanks to its small ships, PONANT could "create the conditions for guests to approach protected ecosystems with the greatest respect for the places and cultures." That was "a new order in terms of exploration, experience, and Japanese tourism."

“Some ports of call, like the Ryukyu Islands for example, where small fishing villages have been spared the country’s hyper-modernisation, are like time capsules, right off the beaten track”.

Drawing on his expertise, Ryo Ijichi has drawn up rich programs including UNESCO World Heritage sites, idyllic beaches, national parks, encounters with local communities, and discovering unknown cultures.

On the Orient’s frontier, travelers will embark from Halong (Vietnam) to Naha (Okinawa Island, Japan).

The expedition voyage on Le Jacques-Cartier visits Kyushu Island (Koshikishima Islands), Iki, Jeju Island Korea, Kamigoto, and the Amakusa islands (off Kyushu).

Le Jacques-Cartier operates the following Japan-themed expedition voyages in 2024:

The 12-night/13-day "Odyssey in the heart of Japan's subtropical islands" itinerary is from Halong to Naha. The voyage (departure March 4th) visits Hong Kong, Ishigakijima Island, Yaeyama Islands (Taketomi, Iriomote, Yonaguni), Miyakojima Island, Kumejima Island, Iheyajima Island, Zamami Island (Kerama Islands).

The 7-night/8-day "Japanese Subtropical Islands" itinerary is from Naha to Keelung/Taipei Taiwan. The voyage (departure March 16th) visits Iheyajima, Zamami (Kerama), Kumejima, Ishigakijima, Yaeyama Islands (Taketomi, Iriomote, Yonaguni).

The 7-night/8-day "Kyushu’s secret islands and ancestral heritage" itinerary is from Kagoshima to Fukuoka. The voyage (departure April 20th) visits Yakushima, Koshikijima Islands, Shimoshima Island (Amakusa), Goto Islands (Shinkamigoto), Iki Island, Cheju (Korea).

The reverse 7-night/8-day "Kyushu's secret islands and ancestral heritage" itinerary from Fukuoka to Kagoshima (departure April 27th) visits Cheju (Korea), Nagasaki, Shinkamigoto, Shimoshima/Amakusa, Koshikijima Islands, Yakushima.