Small ship Japan cruise
Description of Small ship Japan cruise
Join the ultimate exploration of Japan’s wilderness, beyond its national parks and last frontier – Hokkaido. Translating in English to ‘Northern Sea Circuit’, Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost and least developed island, and a world away from the country’s more traditional and contemporary cities.
Bordered by the Sea of Japan, Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, Hokkaido’s rugged landscape features a mountainous center, complete with volcanic plateau, and is rightly famous for its volcanoes and hot springs. Among its multiple plains is Kushiro, the largest wetland in Japan and home of the Red-crowned Crane, one of the world’s largest and rarest cranes and iconic symbol of Japan where it is also known as the ‘bird of happiness’.
During our semi circumnavigation of this remarkable island we plan to explore to the outlying Rebun and Rishiri Islands, venture into national parklands, observe wildlife and experience traditional cultures and the swathes of colourful flowers Hokkaido is renowned for. Our voyage also includes a day in South Korea’s Ulsan visiting the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site Gyeongju – the ‘museum without walls’ among other highlights. We’ll also visit the incredible UNESCO registered Global Geopark Dogojima Island, world famous gardens, the serene lakes and forest of Juniko (12 Lakes) park, observe wildlife and discover the fascinating art of Japanese paper making on our visit to the historic town of Matsue with its impressive 17th Century castle.
We hope you can join us for this rare opportunity to join this voyage including Japan’s most enchanting isle as we explore the unspoiled nature, primeval wilderness, astounding rare wildlife, limpid lakes and alpine flowers during this unforgettable adventure.
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PlanetDuring our long involvement in visiting remote islands (over 35 years) we have been instrumental in developing responsible visitor guidelines, and we are aware of the need to travel with minimal impact on the natural environment, and educate and support our passengers to follow our lead, and respect the needs of different ecosystems.
Many issues confront animals and their habitats, the world's oceans and isolated ethnic groups. We share unique, pristine, and wild place with you, as well as taking action. We aim to provide eco-education for our passengers whilst onboard through on-board lectures and information throughout voyages.
All waste generated on our expeditions is disposed of in a responsible manner. The vessel complies with MARPOL where possible and allowable we practice recycling, otherwise all non-recyclable waste is brought back for disposal at approved sites.
Our goal in managing our vessel is to minimise fuel consumption and emissions with regular servicing and a proactive maintenance programme. We annually clean and antifoul our vessel's hull to reduce the risk of biofouling. When selecting our specialist expedition equipment, we research this carefully to ensure that they are the most suitable and environmentally responsible. Group sizes are kept small to minimize impact and enhance visitor experience.
PeopleDuring our Asian voyages we visit local historic sites, Wildlife Management Areas, and use local guides, such as wildlife and dive guides, wherever possible to support the local knowledge-base and economy. During this voyage we will visit and support Kushiro Shitsugen, Japan’s largest marshland and national park including the Kushiro (Red-Crowned) Crane Reserve, Fukushimagata Wetlands, Towada Hachimantai National Park, Bandai Asahi National Park, Daisen-Oki National Park and more. We allow time for passengers to explore local markets, and visit local artists, artisans craftspeople and assist in sustaining their craft and traditions, as well as create a money flow. We provide opportunities for passengers to meet with remote and isolated locals and learn about their unique culture and life in remote areas, and encourage respect of local customs and traditions. Where required and able we aim to use local resources and services.
Throughout our voyages scientific research is incorporated, both through the logistical support of research projects and as an integral part of our voyages, and conservation programs are supported with funds, advocacy and logistical assistance.
We work with a number of conservation and wildlife organisations, are a Birdlife International Species Champion and regularly welcome scientists on board. Through our True Young Explorer Scholarships we enable young scientists, conservationists, educators, authors and artists to travel and experience wild places otherwise off limits. We choose to travel in small groups, maintain industry leading staff to guest ratios ensuring we operate in the most environmentally responsible manner while maximising the opportunities for education and advocacy both ashore and aboard.
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