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Hiroshima, Japan at Hiroshima Castle

The Best of Japan on Le Soleal

11-day ocean cruise from £6,860 pp incl. flights


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Book with confidence. Find out more about our Flexibility Promise, available on holidays booked by 31st January 2022 for travel to 31st August 2022.


  • Discover the ‘Empire of the Rising Sun’, its culture, its ancestral traditions and iconic sites.
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites like The Miyajima Sanctuary and its vermillion Torii & the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
  • Discover Tamano, a former feudal domain with a surprising cultural heritage, and its famous “black castle
  • Indulge in all-inclusive cruising with a French flair, including discreet service and refined cuisine

In Brief

  • 1 Night Osaka
  • 1 Night Tamano
  • 1 Night Hiroshima
  • 1 Night Uwajima
  • 1 Night Kagoshima
  • 1 Night Nagasaki
  • 1 Night Busan
  • 1 Night Sakaiminato
  • 1 Night Maizuru
  • 1 Night Kyoto


Recommended for:
May holidays | Ocean cruise

As the only French cruise company, PONANT is an ambassador of the “French Touch” around the world. With French crew, discreet service, refined cuisine and partners with excellent track records, PONANT do their utmost to maintain their unique cruising philosophy.

Discover the treasures of the land by sea on board luxurious yachts that are built on an intimate, human scale with French crew, expertise, attentive service and gastronomy. Set sail in a five-star environment and enjoy a travel experience that is simultaneously authentic and sophisticated

On PONANT cruise ships, it is only natural that a certain French art of living resonates - through the main language spoken, the accessible crew, the French design, cuisine and wines, and the discreet service. Passengers of all nationalities truly enjoy the relaxed, cultured atmosphere.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Osaka

Relax before your flight in the comfort of your included airport lounge, before flying overnight to Osaka, where you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to the ship to embark.

Stay: Le Soleal

Meals: D

Day 2

Like its big sister Tokyo, Osaka is the product of ancestral traditions and amazing technological innovations. And despite its size, its location on the Pacific Ocean give it a sense of serenity. The main historic landmark is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which stands proud in the midst of majestic skyscrapers. The lively streets of Dotomburi and the bizarre Shinsekai district attract thousands of locals and visitors. A multitude of restaurants offer menus full of regional specialities: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.

Stay: Le Soleal

Meals: B L D

Day 3

Located on the island of Honshu, hugging the banks of the Sento Inland Sea, Tamano is a popular destination thanks to its sun-drenched climate. Upon arrival, marvel at the way in which the city has been built along the coast at the foot of a deep, dark forest. In the area surrounding Tamano, stroll down the streets of Kurashiki, known as the 'white-walled city' in a nod to the pretty façades of the houses that line the streets of this ancient Edo-period trading town. Another major regional attraction is the Seto Ohashi bridge. Its 12.5 kilometres make it the world's longest double-decker bridge.

Stay: Le Soleal

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Hiroshima & Miyajima

Visiting Hiroshima is a moving experience. The town spreads along Honshu Island, along the inside coasts of Seto. While firmly focused on the future, Hiroshima doesn't forget its past, and a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome is a must. You'll enjoy the city's modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and effervescent nightlife just as much as the peaceful stillness of its natural parkland areas such as splendid Shukkei-en, the town's historic garden.

At the heart of the Inland Sea, Miyajima, the “island sanctuary” will reveal its treasures. In the background you will see the Shinto Grand Sanctuary, whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermillion “Torii“. Considered to be one of the most beautiful sites in the Japanese islands, you will be transported by the unique character and the serenity of this sacred site.

Stay: Le Soleal

Meals: B L D

Day 5

Located on the west coast of Shikoku island, Uwajima will delight lovers of history and traditional customs. The magnificent Uwajima Castle was built in the 17th-century by the powerful Date clan and has a beautiful ornamental garden and bridge. The much-visited Taga Shrine is dedicated to fertility and is full of phalluses. As for eating, you must taste jakoten, a local delicacy based on fried fish.

Stay: Le Soleal

Meals: B L D

Day 6

The seaside city of Kagoshima, at the south of Kyushu Island, ᅠis best known for Sakurajima, an active volcano that faces Kinko Bay. A visit to this busy metropolis will remind you just how much the volcano is part of the inhabitantsメ everyday life: in the wake of the almost daily eruptions, a delicate layer of ash settles on everything. The top of a buried torii (traditional Japanese gate) measuring three metres that was 'swallowed up' by a giant lava flow in 1914 can still be seen. The power of nature will send a shiver down your spine.

Stay: Le Soleal

Meals: B L D

Day 7

Located on the north-west coast of Kyushu, Nagasaki will impress you by its rich heritage. Despite the destruction in 1945, you can visit several ancient sites, including the beautiful 19th-century Catholic Church of Oura and its garden, the sanctuary of Suwa Shrine as well as several Buddhist temples. A visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum gives you insight into the extent of the damage caused by the nuclear attack. Close by, a walk in the Memorial Peace Park leads you to a collection of objets d'art offered as a gift from Japan to the world.

Stay: Le Soleal

Meals: B L D

Day 8

With around four million inhabitants, Busan is the second largest metropolis on South Korea, after Seoul. This dynamic harbour city, located in the south-east, surrounded by the warm waters of the Sea of Japan, benefits from a mild, pleasant climate. You’ll find delightful simply to stroll around the lively streets and explore the city’s outstanding cultural heritage of art galleries, museums, and Buddhist sites, such as the Haedong Yonggungsa temple, which elegantly sits on the waterfront. Rich too in magnificent beaches and superlative natural landscapes, Busan’s peaceful atmosphere will win you over, as will its inhabitants, whom you’ll have the pleasure of meeting.

Stay: Le Soleal

Meals: B L D

Day 9

Located on the south-west coast of Honshu Island, the busy fishing port of Sakaiminato celebrates the comic writer and artist Shigeru Mizuki, who was born here. As well as a museum a dedicated tourist route leads through streets and squares that feature 134 bronze statues representing his beloved characters. This isn't the only thing Sakaiminato has to offer; try some local seafood specialities and enjoy the stunning views of Mt Daisen and the Yumigahama peninsula.

Stay: Le Soleal

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Maizuru, Miyama and Kyoto

Located on the western coast of Honshu island, in the province of Kyoto, the charming town of Maizuru boasts one of Japan’s most exquisite closed bays.   After disembarkation you will be driven to the village of Miyama, where there remain many traditional thatched houses surrounded by beautiful mountains and streams. The scenery is one of a typical Japanese farm village that was once seen everywhere in Japan but is now very rare. The area is now a Traditional Architecture Preservation Area where you can see how life was in the old days in the Kyoto countryside.  You will have some free time to stroll around Miyama’s Thatched Village before transferring to a local restraurant for a Japanese style lunch.  Then proceed to the Arashiyama region, located on the western outskirts of Kyoto, to visit Tenryuji Temple founded by Ashikaga Takauji in 1339. As a temple related to both the Ashikaga family and Emperor Godaigo, it is held in high esteem and has  been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The garden created by Muso Soseki, features a circular promenade around Sogen Pond. You may appreciate to stroll along a bamboo path admiring the beauty of the area.  You will then be transferred to your hotel where dinner and the rest of the evening is at leisure.  

Stay: Kyoto Okura Hotel

Meals: B L

Day 11
Depart Kyoto for the UK

After an early breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the UK, arriving in the evening. 

Meals: B



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


11-day ocean cruise from £6,860 pp incl. flights

Departure: 7 May 2022


  • Return schedules flights from the UK to Osaka 
  • Private transfer from airport to ship
  • 9-day cruise aboard le Soleal
  • One post-cruise night in Kyoto with tour to Miyama and Kyoto
  • Shared transfer from Kyoto to Osaka airport
  • All meals on board
  • Open bar including a wide selection of drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee, tea) served on request and at any time of the day
  • Free Wi-Fi internet access 24 hours a day
  • Access to the Fitness room, steam room, swimming pool (sea water, heated), solarium, lounges, theatre & leisure area

Ponant offers two additional sailings operating the itinerary in reverse, departing Osaka on 30 April 2022 and 16 May 2022.

Price varies by departure date, please call for details.

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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.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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