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Kumamoto Castle

Japan and Philippines Discoverer on Silversea

21-day stay & cruise from £11,210 pp incl. flights

Exclusive offer: Exclusive! Includes $300 spending, flights & upgrades


Short description

A luxurious island-hopping cruise that showcases the best of two east-Asian gems


  • Take in Japan’s castle towns, rural beauty and cherry blossom
  • End with the Philippines’ island beauty and colonial charm
  • Explore with shore excursions throughout, from cooking courses to snorkel trips
  • Enjoy luxury stays and private tours in Kyoto and Manila
  • Indulge with all-inclusive fine dining and open bars

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Kyoto
  • 1 Night Kobe
  • 1 Night Okayama
  • 1 Night Takamatsu
  • 1 Night Hiroshima
  • 1 Night Moji
  • 1 Night Kumamoto
  • 1 Night Yakushima
  • 1 Night Amami Oshima
  • 1 Night Okinawa
  • 1 Night Batan Islands
  • 1 Night Vigan
  • 1 Night Hundred Islands
  • 2 Nights Manila


Recommended for:
Exploration cruise

A natural pairing, Japan and the Philippines present some of the world’s most scenic island hopping. But, it’s not just paradise good looks and all-inclusive drinks and fine dining, with Japan’s cherry-blossom castle towns and the unique wildlife of its countryside idyll contrasted by the colonial charm and rich exoticism of the Philippines. And, you’ll enjoy included excursions throughout, from cooking courses and tea tastings in Japanese gardens to cultural performances, canoe trips and horse-and-carriage rides. It’s all bookended by luxury stays and private tours among the fascinating heritage of Kyoto and Manila.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart UK

Start your trip in style with complimentary airport lounge access before your overnight flight to Japan.

Days 2-4

On arrival in Osaka, a private transfer will see you to your luxury accommodation in Kyoto – a contemporary jewel set between a temple and two shrines. As such, you’ll have all of the city’s heritage delights on your doorstep, something showcased on a full-day private tour. Whether it’s the bamboo forests, geisha teahouses, the Imperial Palace or any of the city’s 17- UNESCO-listed sites, your expert guide will tailor your day to your interests. Then, on your third day, we highly recommend a day-trip to next-door Nara. Reached by a train hop, it’s here that Buddhism first made land in Japan – something remembered by a giant daibutsu Buddha and wooden shrines ringed by deer-dotted parks.

Stay: Hyatt Regency, Kyoto (Deluxe)

Day 5
Kyoto to Kobe

After breakfast today, a bullet-train spring will see you down to Kobe – a journey bookended by private transfers. Here, you’ll board the Silver Discoverer. As one of the world’s most luxurious expedition ships, you’ll be treated to an all-inclusive spread of gourmet delights, from fine-dining dinners and volcanic-rock grills to open bars and your complimentary minibar, tailored to your tastes. The rest of your suite is equally delightful, host to marbled accents, on-demand entertainment and, through picture windows, ocean views. However, you’ll also want to spend your time making use of the superb facilities, from the pool deck and fitness centre to the beauty salon and cosy lounges.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Day 6

Today you’ll begin your included programme of shore excursions in Okayama and Korakuen – one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’. Here, winding pathways lead among glassy waterways, perfectly manicured lawns map gentle contours and stunning foliage erupts in technicolour bloom. It’s the idyllic setting for your green-tea tasting. Then, after lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll journey on to Kurashiki. A town whose Edo-period riches were founded on the rice trade, its historic canals and warehouses now enjoy a new lease of life as pretty cafés and boutiques. End the day taking in the Picassos, Pollocks and Rodins of the Ohara Museum.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 7

Hopping over to the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, Shikoku, you’ll arrive at Takamatsu to take in the glorious Ritsurin Garden. Spread across 75 acres, it features no fewer than six ponds and thirteen hills, its impressive numbers matched by everything from waterfalls and bamboo groves to colourful plum and cherry trees. It’s no surprise that it’s been awarded three stars in Japan’s Michelin Green Guide. You’ll also be treated to a cooking course where you’ll learn to make thick, udon noodles before tasting your creation.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Miyajima & Hiroshima

You’ll begin today with Miyajima – the Shrine Island. Home to some of the country’s most spectacular views, its great vermillion temple and torii gate appear to float on its waters. For the best views head up on the cable car for a mountaintop panorama over the Seto Inland Sea. You’ll then hop back over the mainland with Hiroshima. Although blighted by the tragic events of WWII, the city has turned over a new leaf in wide, tree-lined boulevards and the beautiful Peace Memorial Park. Here, skeleton domes stand as haunting reminders.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 9

Continuing south, you’ll arrive at Moji, where you’ll be met and brought out to Kokura. An ancient castle town, your visit will centre on its beautifully tiered fortifications – the stern sentinel to pretty gardens. There’s also a spread of historic redbrick buildings that evidence the town’s 19th-century trading heyday. After lunch, you’ll then drive on to the impossibly scenic Hiraodai Limestone Plateau – a natural treasure where karst stones and white sheep dot bright green hills. You’ll even head underground with the atmospheric Hiraodai Senbutsu Cave, guarded by steaming vents.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 10

Built in the 17th century, Kumamoto is one of Japan’s three most famous castles. Like Kokura yesterday, its stone walls and imposing black-and-white towers are ringed by idyllic gardens. But Kumamoto’s are particular impressive. Host to gorgeous cherry trees – both mountain and Yoshino varieties – it’s one of the best places to take in Japan’s favourite season with your mid-April sailing. The castle is also host to a spread of cultural experiences, from the superb City Museum and the Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art to the Botanical Gardens – a lesson in Japanese horticulture.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 11

Yakushima Island, flung out south of the Kyushu mainland, is host to Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site – its botanical circles. Here, guided nature walks will showcase those famous dwarf plants before turning out into Yakusugi Land to take in the island’s ancient forests. Some of its cedar trees predate Christ. What’s more, among the streams and hiking paths, you’ll have the chance to spot yaku monkey and deer. It’s all brought to life with a visit to the excellent Yakusugi Museum.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 12
Amami Oshima

Your next island hop will bring you to Amami – a paradise archipelago of crystal-clear waters, bright reefs and colourful fish. It’s also home to an intriguing human history, with your day beginning at the Oshima Tsumugi Kimono village. Here, you’ll watch as artisans make use of local flowers to dye their famous tsumugi fabrics. You’ll even be treated to a performance of the traditional, three-stringed shamisen over a lunch of hearty chicken broth – the island’s speciality. There’s then time for a village stroll, some beach relaxation or a canoe trip through a primeval mangrove forest. Keep your eyes out for the elusive Amami rabbit.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 13
Naha, Okinawa

Your last port of call in Japan is Okinawa. A favourite among holidaying Japanese, this is a postcard-perfect archipelago of azure seas and white-sand beaches. You’ll make your introductions with a visit to the Japanese Navy’s former underground headquarters – a maze of historic intrigue and narrow tunnels. Next up is the bright-red, 15th-century Shuri Castle whose tall walls and commanding hilltop views provided security for the Ryukyu royal family. Your final stop on Okinawa will then be Shikinaen, a 300-year-old Japanese garden built around a delightfully simple palace complex. 

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 14
At Sea

With a day at sea, you’ll have some time to relax. For some, that means a treatment at the beauty salon and a cocktail by the pool, while for others it’s a workout in the fitness centre followed by a movie in bed. Whatever you do, be sure to take advantage of the superb lecture series on offer. The executive chef will also invite you to a culinary demonstration where you’ll learn how to prepare some of the delicacies you’ve enjoyed over the course of your journey. Or, try cooking your own fish or meat on deck at the Hot Rocks dining experience.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Day 15
Batan Island, the Philippines

After a leisurely morning at sea, you’ll make land in the Philippines with its northernmost archipelago. You’ll be welcomed to the country with local songs and dances, performed outside the island’s traditional houses – thatched-roof icons built from rough stone. You’ll even enjoy a food demonstration and tasting before taking in the sweeping coastal views from Basco Lighthouse, Valugan Boulder Bay and Rakuh A Payaman – a communal pasture of impossibly bright verdure. Then, there’s time for a further cooking presentation before reboarding your ship.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 16

You’ll again be treated to a welcome committee in Salomague with a local band marking your arrival. You’ll then head south to the historic city of Vigan, its cobblestone streets a step back to the Spanish colonial era. And, you’ll take in its spread of 16th-century churches, antique shops and dark-wood museum mansions with a horse-drawn carriage tour. Then, after a fiesta-style lunch served in a hidden garden, you’ll visit a local pottery collective and indulge with a tasting demonstration on pinakbet – a northern dish of mixed vegetables steamed in a shrimp sauce. 

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 17
Hundred Islands

The Hundred Islands really does live up to its name. Here, densely jungled islets pop out of azure waters as diminutive green specks. And, you’ll get right among it all with a cruise on a local outrigger boat, sweeping in between secluded bays to spot everything from sea turtles to dolphins and dugong. You’ll also have the option to snorkel over the technicolour Coral Garden, found just off Quezon – one of only three developed islands in the region. Come the afternoon, you’ll reboard the Silver Discoverer to continue south, enjoying a presentation on the voyage from the ship’s videographer.

Stay: Silver Discoverer (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 18-19

After a final breakfast you’ll be met off the ship by a private driver who’ll bring you to your five-star accommodation – a jewel of contemporary architecture. Positioned right on the seafront, you’ll be perfectly poised to explore. In between the Filipino capital’s skyscraping glass and steel there’s plenty of historical intrigue, from the Baroque beauty of the San Agustin Church and the 16th-century grandeur of Manila Cathedral to fading European façades of Intramuros and the stern battlements of Fort Santiago. We’ve also included a private tour to Corregidor, an island fortress reached by a ferry hop. It’s a haunting vestige of WWI history, brought to life by your expert guide and a stirring light and sound show in its cavernous tunnels.

Stay: Conrad Manila (Superior)

Meals: B

Days 20-21

You’ll be met this morning by a private driver for the trip to the airport and your overnight flight home.

Meals: B



Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.


Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

21-day stay & cruise on board Silver Discoverer (Silversea Expeditions) from £11,210 incl. flights

Departure: 13 April 2018

Explorer Suite (ES): £11,210
View Suite (VS): £12,010
Vista Suite (VI): £14,810
Veranda Suite (VR): £16,410

Exclusive! Includes $300 spending, flights & upgrades
Book by: 31 March 2018


  • Return international flights to/from Kobe and Manila
  • Private overseas transfers
  • Three nights hotel accommodation in Kyoto including tour
  • Bullet train from Kyoto to Kobe
  • Two nights hotel accommodation in Manila including tour

Includes on board

  • Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
  • Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and room service – available 24 hours aboard Silver Explorer, and from 06:00 to 23:00 aboard Silver Galapagos and Silver Discoverer
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • One hour free Wifi per day for all guests. Unlimited free Wifi for guests sailing on select suite categories
  • Exclusive - $300 on board spending money per suite
  • Free suite upgrade

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0615 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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