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World Cruise - Roundtrip San Francisco

15th January 2024 FOR 132 NIGHTS | Silver Shadow

Freephone9am - 7pm

0808 202 6105
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This fly cruise holiday is financially protected by SILVERSEA under ATOL 4681

Freephone9am - 7pm

0808 202 6105

NOW ON SALE! Includes private transfer from home to airport to pier and private transfer post cruise from pier to airport, Business Class flights, meet & greet at the airport of departure, Bon Voyage reception, dinner, and overnight accommodation pre-embarkation, $2,000 FREE to spend on-board per couple, one FREE shore excursions per port per day, exclusive world cruise events, special commemorative gifts, silver shore baggage valet between home and ship in San Francisco, laundry service, unlimited Wi-Fi, medical service and a Visa package.

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Please check that you can meet the conditions below in order to travel on this cruise

1) All guests need to be in possession of a valid UK passport. This is also the case on any British Isles cruises. Please click here to check your passport will still be valid on your dates of travel.

2) Please check your travel insurance meets any criteria as specified by your cruise line. You can check your cruise line requirements here. For a travel insurance quote click here. Proof of travel insurance may be required on boarding.

3) Please check the vaccination and testing requirements from the FCDO, your cruise line and any destination countries here

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itinerary

1

San Francisco, California

San Francisco's bounty overflows. Everywhere you look, every place you go, there's something to see or something interesting to do. The "City by the Bay" combines a splendid setting with cultural and historical elements, making San Francisco one of the finest and most beloved cities in the world. Visitors to San Francisco find themselves faced with very difficult decisions - what to see and do first. There are so many possibilities that its virtually impossible to see and do everything in one visit. The city itself is relatively small; many of the areas of interest are in close proximity of each other. From downtown to Chinatown and from North Beach to Fisherman's Wharf, there are numerous historical monuments, modern buildings, Victorian masterpieces, museums, parks, gardens and ethnic neighborhoods. Its no wonder that San Francisco captures the heart of all who visit.

15 Jan 2024

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3
4
5
6

At Sea

16 Jan 2024 - 20 Jan 2024

7
8

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu's setting on the Pacific Ocean, backed by dramatic cliffs and the extinct volcanoes of Punchbowl and Diamond Head, is spectacular. Three-quarters of Hawaii's population live on the island of Oahu and 80 percent of visitors to Hawaii arrive in Honolulu. Some remain here for their entire vacation; others use it as gateway to the other islands. Until the arrival of Europeans, Honolulu was just a small, laid-back town. As more and more foreign ships arrived and used adjacent Pearl Harbour, King Kamehameha declared Honolulu the capital.

21 Jan 2024 - 22 Jan 2024

9

Nawiliwili, Kauai, Hawaii

Nawiliwili Beach Park is a beach park and port on the south-east coast of the island of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands.

23 Jan 2024

10

Kailua, Kona, Hawaii

Kailua-Kona is a town on the west coast of Hawaii Island (the Big Island). Hulihee Palace is a former royal vacation home dating from 1838. Mokuaikaua Church, from the 1800s, is Hawaii’s oldest Christian church. On Kailua Bay, reconstructed thatched houses at Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark mark King Kamehameha I’s residence. Colorful coral lies off Kamakahonu Beach. Kailua Pier has boat moorings.

24 Jan 2024

11

At Sea

25 Jan 2024

12

International Date Line

26 Jan 2024

13
14

At Sea

27 Jan 2024 - 28 Jan 2024

15

Christmas Island

The former British Crown Colony of the Gilbert Islands became the independent Republic of Kiribati (pronounced Kiribass) in 1979. Christmas Island is only one of the many atolls that comprise Kiribati. With 140 square miles, Christmas Island has the largest land area of any coral atoll in the world; however, it hardly rises anywhere higher than 12 feet.The island lies only 119 miles north of the equator and therefore the climate is hot despite the fairly steady tradewinds. As a bird paradise, it is home to 18 species of marine birds including the beautiful Fairy Terns and the white-capped Noddy. The only indigenous landbird is the Christmas Island Warbler. Bonefishing enthusiasts will find the island as one of the world's foremost bonefishing sites. Officially called Kiritimati, Christmas Island received its name because of the discovery by Captain Cook on Christmas Eve in 1777. He anchored off Kiritimati and landed on a small islet now known as Cook Islet. To this day, Christmas Island remains largely unspoiled with virtually no commercialism. The population of less than 4,000 is of Gilbertese descent and known to be an especially warm and friendly people. They speak both Gilbertese and English and make their living from the sparse land of the atolls, which are nothing more than bits of coral rock covered with hard sand. The islands' scanty soil is just enough to grow taro, coconut and pandanus.

29 Jan 2024

16
17
18

At Sea

30 Jan 2024 - 01 Feb 2024

19

Apia, Upolo

As the first independent state of Polynesia, Samoa is considered the cradle of the nation, a place where the Earth and the heart fuse seamlessly fuse together. Incidentally, were one to translate the word “Samoa” into the traditional Polynesia dialect, they would find that the words “Sa” and “Moa” mean exactly that: earth and centre. Apia, Samoa’s only town, is found central north coast of Upolu, Samoa’s second largest island. Originally a tiny village of just over 300 inhabitants (c. View less 1800), the town’s population has grown to be just shy of 40,000. While a population of such size might mean forgetting traditional roots in favour of modern life, this has not been the case (too much) in Apria. The Samoan way of life is still very much the order of the day; traditional open-sided houses with thatched roofs on platforms of coral or concrete, also known as ‘fales’, can be seen everywhere and nearly all of the population (including the policemen) wear the typical local dress; skirts, or ‘lavalavas’ for men, and long, mumu-style dresses for women. The markets are bursting with culture and colour, selling everything from handicrafts to cuisine and local produce. If the idyllic setting of aquamarine pools of bluey green water, framed by low fringed palms and huge umbrella trees seems familiar, that’s because it probably is. The island, and notably the southern resort of Lefaga, was used in the 1953 Gary Cooper classic Return to Paradise Beach. It is also the last place on Earth to see each day’s sunset.

02 Feb 2024

20

At Sea

03 Feb 2024

21

Savusavu

An island paradise of rich colours and verdant scenery, Savusavu is a staggeringly beautiful, and gloriously undeveloped South Pacific island. Fiji's more tourist-orientated Viti Levu island is close by, but the joy of Savusavu comes in venturing off the beaten track and delving into the heart of a tropical idyll, where hidden villages welcome you with open arms. Revelling in its nickname as Fiji's hidden paradise, the country's second-largest island is a place of adventure - and geothermically fuelled relaxation. View less Mud baths burble and hot springs simmer across the island, adding to the sense that the land itself is alive and breathing. Trek the rainforests, with parrots chattering overhead, and see the colours splashed across the green landscapes and gardens by orchids and water lilies. Gardens overlook the gorgeous Savusavu Bay, and you can walk between hundreds of palm varieties and trees that droop, laden with exotic fruits. The sprawling rainforest opens up briefly to reveal Savusavu, the island’s compact main town. Thriving coral reeds add yet more colour and life to the surrounding seabeds, with spectacular snorkelling opportunities, and the chance to spot bottlenose and spinner dolphins skipping and skimming acrobatically across the tips of the waves. The fertile environment also encourages black lip pearl oysters to thrive here, leading to the development of one of the island’s treasured exports, beautiful black pearls. Visit the bay’s farm to find out more.

04 Feb 2024

22
23

Lautoka

Lautoka is often described as the sugar city. Sugar cane is the major industry of Fiji and Lautoka is its main base. Here are the industries' headquarters, the largest sugar mill, modern loading facilities and a large wharf. It features 70 miles of roads, almost all paved, a wonderful botanical garden and royal palm trees decorating the city's main street, Vitogo Parade. The municipal market is another attraction from both outside and inside. Fiji typifies the image of paradise. The people here live as they have done for centuries, retaining their ancient traditions and simple and carefree lifestyle supported by the harvest of a generous land and bountiful sea.

05 Feb 2024 - 06 Feb 2024

24
25

At Sea

07 Feb 2024 - 08 Feb 2024

26

Bay Of Islands, New Zealand

The Tasman Sea on the west and the Pacific Ocean on the east meet at the top of North Island at Cape Reinga. No matter what route you take, you'll pass farms and forests, marvellous beaches, and great open spaces. The East Coast, up to the Bay of Islands, is Northland's most densely populated, often with refugees from bigger cities—looking for a more relaxed life—clustered around breathtaking beaches. The first decision on the drive north comes at the foot of the Brynderwyn Hills. Turning left will take you up the West Coast through areas once covered with forests and now used for either agricultural or horticulture. Driving over "the Brynderwyns," as they are known, takes you to Whangarei, the only city in Northland. If you're in the mood for a diversion, you can slip to the beautiful coastline and take in Waipu Cove, an area settled by Scots, and Laings Beach, where million-dollar homes sit next to small Kiwi beach houses. An hour's drive farther north is the Bay of Islands, known all over the world for its beauty. There you will find lush forests, splendid beaches, and shimmering harbors. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed here in 1840 between M?oriand the British Crown, establishing the basis for the modern New Zealand state. Every year on February 6, the extremely beautiful Waitangi Treaty Ground (the name means weeping waters) is the sight of a celebration of the treaty and protests by M?ori unhappy with it. Continuing north on the East Coast, the agricultural backbone of the region is even more evident and a series of winding loop roads off the main highway will take you to beaches that are both beautiful and isolated where you can swim, dive, picnic, or just laze. . The West Coast is even less populated, and the coastline is rugged and windswept. In the Waipoua Forest, you will find some of New Zealand's oldest and largest kauri trees; the winding road will also take you past mangrove swamps. Crowning the region is the spiritually significant Cape Reinga, the headland at the top of the vast stretch of 90 Mile Beach, where it's believed M?ori souls depart after death. Today M?ori make up roughly a quarter of the area's population (compared with the national average of about 15%). The legendary M?ori navigator Kupe was said to have landed on the shores of Hokianga Harbour, where the first arrivals made their home. Many different wi (tribes) lived throughout Northland, including Ngapuhi (the largest), Te Roroa, Ngati Wai, Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngaitakoto, Ngati Kahu, and Te Rarawa. Many M?orihere can trace their ancestry to the earliest inhabitants

09 Feb 2024

27
28

Auckland, New Zealand

Blending beachy recreation with all the delights of a modern, diverse and thoroughly multicultural city, Auckland sits on the lucid blue-green waters of New Zealand’s north island. Known as the ‘City of Sails’, its two harbours will tempt you with waterfront walks, and the chance to breathe fresh sea air deep into your lungs while absorbing spectacular views of Auckland’s grand harbour bridge’s span. Take in the true scale of Auckland’s magnificent cityscape by ascending 192 metres to the Sky Tower, and looking out over the city’s gleaming silver towers, which reflect on the abundant waters below. Views over the bay and adjacent islands await, and you can share elegant cocktails at this dizzying height, above the mingling yachts of Viaduct Harbour. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the area at Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o T?maki. Set beside tranquil fountains and handsomely landscaped flowerbeds of Albert Park, the French-Renaissance building houses New Zealand’s most extensive art collection, and exhibits works from M?ori and Pacific artists. New Zealand is world-renowned for its captivating natural scenery, and day trips across the sparkling bays, to nearby islands like Waiheke, Tiritiri Matangi, and Rangitoto, are always tempting. Discover lava caves, grape-laden vineyards and flourishing wildlife in the Hauraki Gulf’s islands. You’ll also find an exceptional 360-degree panorama over the city, to the horizon beyond, from the heights of ancient Mount Eden. The spectacular dormant volcano rises improbably from a city suburb, and also lends its name to Eden Park – the unusual, translucent stadium of New Zealand’s mighty All Blacks.

10 Feb 2024 - 11 Feb 2024

29

Tauranga (Rotorua) New Zealand

Tauranga is the principal city of the Bay of Plenty. The founders of Tauranga, 19th-century missionaries, left a legacy of well-planned parks and gardens for today's residents and visitors to enjoy.

12 Feb 2024

30

Gisborne

With a population of around 35,000 and located on the north island, Gisborne exudes history at every turn. Maori for “Great standing place of Kiwa”, Kiwa was a leading figure aboard the Maori ancestral canoe, Takitimu, which ran aground in Gisborne around 1450 AD. After landing, Kiwa became a coastal guardian, eventually marrying Parawhenuamea, the keeper of the streams. View less The union point of three rivers and the first place to see the sun, the city is filled with light and laugher and gracefully squeezes surfer’s beaches with the district’s colonial past. Captain Cook made his first landfall here, John Harris set up his first trading station in the then village and today, Gisborn is the major centre of Maori cultural life.Suffice to say then that the city is a watery wonderland. With its picture perfect beaches, what savvy traveller does not want to add being among the first people in the world to say they have watched the sky change colour as the sun bursts from out of the sea. A place of nature, spectacular beach cliff views are all just part and parcel of everyday life here, and easy walks from the centre of town to the Titirangi Reserve will award you with yet more unbelievable 180? vistas from Poverty Bay to Gisborne City; stretch your eyes with the panorama, while stretching your legs on one of the many enjoyable walks.A perfect place to stroll, amble and wander, like much of New Zealand Gisborne keeps a healthy respect for history and nature and enjoys a very laid back feel.

13 Feb 2024

31

Napier, New Zealand

Napier, with its pleasant Mediterranean climate and famous art deco architecture, is a charming and lively seaside resort located on the eastern side of North Island.

14 Feb 2024

32

Wellington, New Zealand

Sprawling around a hook-shaped peninsula, Wellington is a vibrant and energetic seaside capital. A compact, well-stocked city of buzzing bars and chatting cafes, New Zealand's capital is a bright and breezy place with an infectious, easy-going atmosphere. Known as the creative hub of the South Pacific, there are shows to see, art installations to enjoy, and rich flavours to savour here. The sounds of rare and beautiful birdlife fill the hills around the city, and the bush of the green belt provides easy-to-access sanctuary, strolls and cycle rides. View less The Botanical Gardens break up the buildings, even more, while an iconic, cherry-red cable car rumbles up Wellington's slope to the city's best viewpoint, looking out over the city's scenic harbour from above. Zealandia has provided an urban home for rare and endangered birdlife, bringing many species back from the brink. Varied museums cover everything from Maori traditions to earthquake simulations and even the real-life Kraken - a displayed colossal squid. Wellington is only New Zealand's third-biggest city, but spend some time here and you'll realise that's a blessing. Eminently strollable, you can stop in at countless cool cafes to top up your caffeine levels whenever your energy is flagging - the smell of a fresh artisan espresso is never far away. The wines grown nearby are revered, and the city's craft beers are also making waves. Wander the breezy waterfront, and admire the surfers riding the wind-whipped rollers of the self-proclaimed 'coolest little capital in the world'.

15 Feb 2024

33

Akaroa, New Zealand

With pretty painted cottages, overflowing verdant balconies and street names such as Rue Lavaud and Fleur Lane, you could be forgiven for thinking that you have stepped onto the streets of Provence upon arrival in Akaroa. And yet, here you are, in New Zealand’s South Island, less than 50 kilometres from Christchurch. The French connection stems from 1838, when Captain Jean Francois Langlois acquired the land for six British pounds (and questionable circumstances) from the Maoris. He then travelled home to France in order to bring back anyone who might want to join him in his new life. However, during his travels, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed (signatories included two Akaroa Maori chiefs) and New Zealand's first Governor, Hobson, declared sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand. Thus when Langlois and his settlers arrived back, they were faced with a choice: either return home to France or stay on. They chose the latter, and their legacy prevails. There are many stunning places on the coast of New Zealand, but none of them can quite hold a candle to Akaroa. Visually, it is stunning. Surrounded by natural wonders, the town (Maori for “Long Harbour”) stands on a peninsula formed by two volcanic cones, and is self-styled as nature’s playground. Such a moniker might seem superlative for other destinations, but not here: sheep graze almost right to the water’s edge, dolphins are regularly spotted in the many small, secluded bays and Lord of the Rings grandeur stretches as far as the eye can see.

16 Feb 2024

34

Kaikoura, New Zealand

Lodged between high mountains and the Pacific Ocean, on New Zealand’s South Island, it is said that no two views in Kaikoura are the same. Look left, and you’ll see snow caped peaks and rolling meadows. Look right, and you’ll see seals hauling out on rugged shores. Look straight ahead and you’ll see nothing except the wide expanse of the Pacific. Kaikoura’s claim to fame is its rich abundance of marine life. View less Visitors have a 95% chance of spotting giant sperm whales, as well as dusky dolphins, orcas and humpback whales, regardless of whether you are travelling by boat or by air. Additionally, New Zealand Fur Seals live in the shallow waters of the town’s peninsula, and surely there can be no greater experience than swimming alongside the playful marine mammal in its natural habitat. Very little is known about the town’s M?ori history, although the word “Kaikoura” translates in the M?ori language as a 'meal of crayfish' ('kai' meaning 'food', 'koura' meaning 'crayfish'). In M?ori legend, the great fisherman Maui placed his foot on the Kaikoura peninsula to steady himself while he fished the North Island from the sea with his fishhook taken from his grandmother's jaw-bone. The legend attracted M?ori settlers to the coast, and several of their settlements (pa) can still be seen from the peninsula. More recently, Captain Cook discovered the region in 1770, although believed it to be an island. European settlers began a thriving whaling trade in the 1840s, which only ceased in the mid-1960s.

17 Feb 2024

35

Nelson, New Zealand

Tucked right into the very top of New Zealand’s South Island, Nelson is easy to miss. Yet, it would be foolish to do so; overlooking Nelson would be overlooking a fabulous town with friendly people, gorgeous scenery and no shortage of superlative food and wine. The city has long held a magnetic pull for creatives of all types: it's known for artisanal craft shops and diverse art galleries. View less In fact, with one of the largest numbers of working artists and galleries in the country, you’ll find an array of talented craftspeople living in the region; from traditional, to contemporary to M?ori. Not only is Nelson one of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, but it is the oldest on the South Island (and second oldest in the country). The land was bought in 1840 by the British for £800, with the intention of providing a place to live to settlers. By 1843 almost 2,000 adults had relocated to the province, yet lack of funds thwarted their dreams of becoming landowners. Thus Nelson has been largely left alone by industry. Population has swelled in recent years due to the town’s stunning natural landscapes, but this is a place for young families and lovers of the Great Outdoors. Set on the Able Tasman Coast Track, and on the border of the Nelson Lakes National Park, there is much to your eyes – and legs! – occupied. Kayak alongside dolphins, penguins and seals in the Tonga Island Marine Reserve, bathe in the crystal waters of the Kahurangi National Park or a low tide beach walk – or ride – in Wharariki.

18 Feb 2024

36
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At Sea

19 Feb 2024 - 21 Feb 2024

39

Eden, Australia

Known for the migrating whales that cruise through its waters between May and November, Eden sits in New South Wales’ scenic Twofold Bay. While the whales are now protected and cherished here, the town was initially founded as a whaling centre and has many fascinating stories to tell. Namely, a unique symbiotic relationship with the killer whales. Rewarded with the tongues from freshly caught whales, the orcas would help to round up baleen whales in the bay, making it easy for humans to land them. This mutually beneficial exchange came to be known as The Law of the Tongue. Find out more about it, and the area’s whaling past, at Eden Killer Whale Museum – where you can see the skeleton of the most famous orca accomplice, Old Tom. A yearly whale festival now celebrates the return of the magnificent whales to these waters. Head into Ben Boyd National Park for amazing bird watching, and to see the arches of soaring rock formations rising beside fire-red cliffs. View the glorious coastal scenery of frothing aqua-seas and rugged headlands, from the viewing deck on top of Boyd's Tower. Initially devised as a lighthouse, it would later be used as a lookout to spot whales breaching the bay's waters, and to see Old Tom splashing his tail to alert the whalers. Travel through more glorious scenery and tangled rainforest, to the verdant promontory of Green Cape Lighthouse. Jutting out into the South Pacific Ocean, the pearly-white lighthouse caps crumbling cliffs and offers sweeping views of the jagged cliffs and wave-thrashed rocks. The wrecks that lie offshore attest to the respect these sometimes-punishing waves demand.

22 Feb 2024

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Sydney, Australia

With its glorious harbour, lavish golden beaches and iconic landmarks, Sydney is Australia's showpiece city. Creative and curious, discover the world-class cuisine, indigenous culture, and irresistible beach life that make Sydney one of the world’s most dynamic, exciting destinations. Sydney’s sparkling harbour is the heart of a richly cultural city. Overlooked by the metallic curves of the masterpiece of an Opera House, and that grand arched harbour bridge. Take it all in from the water, and admire the iconic landmarks, which are set before the city’s gleaming skyline backdrop. View less If you’re feeling adventurous, take the legendary climb up the smooth curve of the bridge – nicknamed the Coathanger - to soak in the shining city’s spread from a unique perspective. Spread out to tan on one of the world’s most famous stretches of sand - Bondi Beach. Restaurants and bars burble away in the background, while the sun beams down, and surfers curl and leap over pure rollers. Swim in spectacular salty ocean pools, or wander the beautiful Bondi to Coogee coastal walk for more of this sun-gorged stretch of prime coastline. Leaving the thrills of Australia’s largest city behind is surprisingly simple – take to the skies to be flown above skyscrapers and rippling ribbons of waves, out to majestic peaks, sheer cliffs and iconic rock formations - like the Three Sisters of the Blue Mountains. Or, drop in on wildlife sanctuaries caring for the country’s animals – from hopping kangaroos to adorably cute, cuddly koalas.

23 Feb 2024 - 24 Feb 2024

42

At Sea

25 Feb 2024

43

Brisbane, Australia

They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing, and Brisbane’s modern metropolis fully exploits its sun-blessed location, basking in Queensland’s generous year-round glow. The envied climate makes Brisbane a city of outdoor adventure, activity and relaxation, where days drift by surfing rollers, or relaxing in the shade of swaying palms. While Brisbane may play second fiddle to Sydney and Melbourne at times, it radiates a creative and contemporary energy, offering visitors a refreshing combination of laidback waterfront luxury and urban sophistication. Sandy islands nearby provide scenic diving and oceanside relaxation opportunities, while the city's animal santuaries offer opportunities to meet unbearably cute koalas and kangaroos. Brisbane’s impressive skyline of metallic cylinders rises high above the broad Brisbane River below, which curves lazily through downtown. The rolling waves of the Pacific are close by, but there’s something special about relaxing on soft sand in the very heart of the city, on the beautifully executed South Bank Parklands man-made beach. With golden sand and shallow lagoon waters to cool off in, it’s a dreamy spot to lie back with a book, amid the landscaped gardens. Nestled in a river meander of its own, Brisbane Botanic Park glows with colour, tropical plants and wading ibis birds, and is easily walkable from the Parklands. The South Bank is the cultural hub of city, and houses the celebrated Queensland Gallery of Modern Art - a surreal and vibrant jaunt through contemporary Australian art. The city’s award-winning restaurants also serve up elite food, matched with generous splashes of wine, direct from the nearby Granite Belt’s wine regions.

26 Feb 2024

44

Mooloolaba, Queensland

Once a humble fishing village, tourism has boomed in recent years and transformed Mooloolaba into one of the most coveted of Queensland’s popular holiday resorts. Located 97 km from Brisbane and set right in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba is much more than an oceanfront playground. Certainly, surfers will find their nirvana here, with ideal spots for both the initiated and the beginner dotted along the coast, along with the famous surfing festival in March. View less But it’s not all about waxing your board and point breaks – Mooloolaba Beach has featured as one of the world’s top ten beaches for two years running and it looks set to stay that way. An early morning stroll will see you mingling with the locals, and with no beach goers around, be sure to take your cameras for some of the most instagrammable views you’re ever likely to see. Step away from the beach and guests will find some good shopping with everything from antiques and jewellery to beach towels and sarongs for sale. Local artists set up stalls on the pretty esplanade so art lovers will be sure to take home a souvenir that is really special. Epicureans meanwhile will already no doubt looking forward to tasting some of the famous Mooloolaba prawns, caught straight off a trawler. How’s that for freshness! Try the delicious local speciality either in one of the buzzing restaurants in town or straight from the Seafood Precinct and grab a spot in the shade for a picnic! If fun in the sun isn’t your cup of tea, then the Mooloolaba coastline is certainly worth seeing. Hire a motorboat, or relax on a mini-cruise and enjoy the opportunity of searching, and perhaps swimming, with whales, dolphins and turtles. Seaplanes offer another interesting way of seeing the coast with the more adventurous opting for the “doors off” experience.

27 Feb 2024

45

Fraser Island

Fraser Island, off Australia’s eastern Queensland coast, is the world's largest sand island, stretching over 120km. Panoramic viewpoints include Indian Head, a rocky outcrop on the island's easternmost tip, and the Cathedrals, a cliff famous for sculpted ribbons of coloured sand. It's a camping and ecotourism destination, with beaches and swimming sites at Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby and other freshwater pools.

28 Feb 2024

46

At Sea

29 Feb 2024

47

Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia

With the finest powder sand, knots of deep green rainforest and ankle-deep shelves of turquoise sea water - Airlie Beach is your gateway to some of the world’s most spectacular beaches. This lively town welcomes wide-eyed young adventurers and the yachting crowd alike to the Whitsunday Islands’ serenity, and the hiss of espresso machines, and excited chatter of adventure, spills out from its many cafes and bars. Relax at Airlie Beach Lagoon – the social hub of this town - where sun-heated saltwater invites you to wade, before flaming fresh coral trout over a barbecue as the sun sets. Or, take a seat at one of the glorious restaurants offering uninterrupted views out over the waters of Pioneer Bay, towards the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays. These heavenly waters don't just attract humans. Humpback and pilot whales also migrate here to indulge in the warm waters and sheltered location. Spot the majestic creatures breaching and gulping in huge gasps of oxygen as you explore. Feeling adventurous? Rainforest walks to secluded pebble beaches await at Conway National Park, where difficulty-graded walking trails are available. Dive among swirls of jewel-coloured marine life, or experience the thrill of skimming into the sky on a seaplane. Take off to admire the scattered island paradises below from a stunning new aerial perspective, before landing and enjoying a picnic amid Whitehaven Beach’s bliss.

01 Mar 2024

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49

Cairns, Australia

Warmly welcoming you to the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a treasure trove of rich tropical beauty and incredible sea life. Swathes of rainforest spread out to the north, where you can soar over the canopy in a cable car, before looking down over narrow channels of water plummeting down gorges and crocodile-filled waterways. The diverse lands of the Atherton Tableland lie to the west, but it's the crystal-clear waters - and life-filled reefs - of Cairns' remarkable underwater world that draws universal adulation. Priding itself as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, explore Cairns' constellation of colour, as you dive into the world's largest and most spectacular underwater universe. Head out on a glass-bottomed boat tour to explore the 3,000 coral reef systems, and let hours drift by appreciating the waving corals and life-imbued reefs during exceptional scuba diving and snorkelling sessions. Cairns is huddled in amongst abundant swathes of rainforests, which give way to glorious crescents of golden beach. Kuranda - with its scenic railway and heritage market stalls - waits to be discovered, cloaked within the depths of the rainforest. Learn of the indigenous people of North Queensland during cultural performances, and hear the throaty reverberations of digeridoos, as you hear eternal stories handed down through time, from generation to generation. Back in Cairns, there's always time for a coffee or a beer, or a feast on fresh oysters with glasses of Cairns' white wines – boldly flavoured with mango and banana notes.

02 Mar 2024 - 03 Mar 2024

50

At Sea

04 Mar 2024

51

Thursday Island, Australia

Thursday Island is Queensland's most northerly administration center, off the tip of Cape York Peninsula in the Torres Strait. It is 1,320 miles by air north of Brisbane. A colorful outpost, Thursday Island retains its majority of native islanders with a mix of Malays, Polynesians, Chinese and Japanese. The township of Thursday Island nestles in the protective embrace of the Prince of Wales group of islands in the Torres Strait. T.I., as the island is affectionately known, was settled in 1877 and was chosen for its close proximity to the main shipping channel and its well-sheltered port. With a population today of some 3,500, the island has an interesting history and was once the base for a fleet of 150 pearling luggers as well as a busy trading port.

05 Mar 2024

52
53

At Sea

06 Mar 2024 - 07 Mar 2024

54
55

Darwin, Australia

08 Mar 2024 - 09 Mar 2024

56

At Sea

10 Mar 2024

57
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Broome, Australia

Gateway to the oldest and most elusive of all Australia’s nine regions, Broome is where your Kimberley adventure begins. The ancient landscape has long held travellers spellbound: The Kimberley is three time larger than England but has a population of just 35,000, is over 65,000 years old and is home to 2,000 km of coastline. Almost impenetrable, incredibly remote, the red baked earth, prolific wildlife, majestic canyons and swimming holes are the stuff of Australian wilderness dreams. English explorer William Dampier was the first explorer to set foot in Broome in 1668. However, the land had long been used as a trading route between east and west Kimberley for Aboriginal families. These semi-nomadic tribes respected strict unwritten rules regarding ownership of the land. The Yawuru people remain the Native Title holders for the township of Broome to this day. Broome itself has over 84 Aboriginal communities affiliated to it, 78 of which are considered remote. The city grew from its nascent pearling industry of the late 19th century. Pearl diving was dangerous in the waters surrounding Broome and for many years divers were limited to Aboriginal slaves, skin divers who faced cyclones, sharks, crocodiles, ear and chest infections in order to bring up as many pearl shells as possible for their masters. Natural pearls were rare and extremely valuable, and when found, were placed in a locked box. At the peak of its industry, around 1914, Broome was responsible for 80% of the world’s pearl trade.

11 Mar 2024 - 12 Mar 2024

59

At Sea

13 Mar 2024

60

Komodo Island

Komodo, the volcanic island of giant lizards, lies 320 miles (515 kilometres) east of Bali. Komodo is 25 miles (40 kilometres) long and 12 miles (19 kilometres) wide; its parched hills ascend to a height of 2,410 feet (734 metres). Komodo is home to a community of some 2000 people who make their living primarily from fishing. The island is the centrepiece of the Komodo National Park, where you will find the most tangible legacy left behind from the Jurassic Era. View less Komodo Island was little-known and the Komodo dragons were only a myth until the giant lizards were scientifically described in 1912 . Extinct almost everywhere else, the island attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who come to see the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. Komodo National Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. The Komodo dragon’s great bulk and weight are its most unique characteristics; even hatchlings average 20 inches (51 centimetres) in length. The adult male can reach 10 feet (3 metres) and weigh up to 330 pounds (150 kilos). Females attain only two-thirds of this size, and lay up to 30 eggs at a time. With their saw-like teeth, these fierce creatures are able to rip apart a deer, goat or wild pig. The animals have an uncanny sense of smell, and are considered among the world's most intelligent reptiles. They are quite agile over short distances, and can move swiftly to capture their prey. The Indonesian Directorate of Nature Conservation (PPA) administers Komodo National Park. Park Rangers must escort all visitors; independent exploration of the park is not permitted.

14 Mar 2024

61

Lembar (Lombok)

An island of startling contradictions and contrasts, Lombok exudes an aura of the staid and the rural, a genteel way of life in a quiet backwater. Located to the east and across a deep strait from its illustrious neighbor Bali, the island of Lombok offers unique culture, beautiful landscapes and a far less frenetic, pressured atmosphere than Bali. However, savvy travelers agree that Lombok’s calm existence may soon come to an end, as it is fast becoming the new "in place" after Bali. View less The island was once ruled by a series of Sasak princes who spent their time fending off successive invasions from Sumbawanese and Makassarese attackers. In 1740, the Balinese established a stronghold here and imposed their culture on the Sasaks. Later, Lombok came under Dutch rule until the country achieved independence. The western part of the almost circular island is well irrigated by mountain streams and artesian springs. Here Balinese and Sasaks have sculpted handsome rice terraces; Hindu temples vie for attention with glistening white mosques rising from picturesque rural villages. More dramatic is the southern coast with beautiful sandy bays set between rocky outcrops. Most of Lombok’s attractions are concentrated in the western district of the island, within a nine-mile radius of the capital, Mataram. Members of Lombok's polyglot population - Sasak, Balinese, Chinese and Arab - continue their laid-back, traditional ways.

15 Mar 2024

62
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Benoa(Bali)Indonesia

Thanks to its spectacular natural beauty and rich culture, Bali has long been Indonesia’s most popular destination. Stone inscriptions dating from around the 9th century A.D. are the earliest records found on Bali; by that time, the island was already developing irrigation systems and a lifestyle that drew many comparisons to what visitors find here today.

16 Mar 2024 - 17 Mar 2024

64

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18 Mar 2024

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Semarang, Indonesia

Semarang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, situated on Java's north coast between the shore of the Java Sea and a small ridge of mountains. Ceded to the Dutch West India Company in 1677 by King Amangkurat I in payment of his debts, it became their headquarters and the seat of the Dutch governor of the northeast provinces. Semarang's usefulness as a port waned due to the gradual silting up of the harbor. By the 19th century, Surabaya had eclipsed Semarang as Java's premier port.

19 Mar 2024 - 20 Mar 2024

67

At Sea

21 Mar 2024

68
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Singapore

Advanced, airy and elevated, Singapore is a spectacular, futuristic vision of utopian city life. A healthy population of almost six million call it home, but this is a city designed with space to breathe, and gorgeous outdoor parks, massive indoor greenhouses and beautiful recreational spaces spread between the City of Gardens' skyscrapers and soaring structures. Once a quiet fishing village, now a glistening island city-state and an international beacon of science, education and technology. View less Singapore is almost intimidatingly clean - and the hyper-efficient public transport system whips residents and visitors across the city's neighbourhoods in a heartbeat. Glorious fountains and audacious skyscrapers loom up - nodding to traditional feng shui beliefs - and putting on dazzling illuminated displays after dark. The lush green botanical gardens are a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering 52 hectares and decorated with impressive colourful orchids. Or breathe in more of the freshest air by heading up to wander the canopy strung bridges of MacRitchie Reservoir Park. Head for the iconic Marina Bay - a landmark of the city crowned by three interconnected towers, which watch out over island sprinkled waters. Jaunt between Little India and the atmospheric Chinatown in minutes, where beautiful temples - like the Chinese Thian Hock Keng Temple and Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple add rich cultural intrigue. Singapore's cuisine is a mouthwatering fusion of its Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, and Malay influences, taking and enhancing the best of each. Enjoy dishes in towering restaurants, or toast the glowing skyline with the city's eponymous gin-soaked cocktail - a Singapore Sling.

22 Mar 2024 - 23 Mar 2024

70

At Sea

24 Mar 2024

71

Kuching, Malaysia

The port of Kuching lies in the western part of Sarawak, known as the land of the hornbill. Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia, covering an area of 48,737 square miles in northwest Borneo. The history of Sarawak as a state began in the 1840s when the English adventurer James Brooke helped to crush disturbances during the Brunei rule over what is now Kuching. Brooke was installed as the Rajah to reign over the territory from Tanjung Datu to the Samarahan River, followed by his nephew, Charles Brooke, in 1868. Charles Brooke ruled until 1917 and was succeeded by his son, Charles Vyner Brooke. As the third White Rajah, he enacted a new constitution in 1941, establishing self-government for Sarawak. This initial effort for political independence was nullified by the 1942 Japanese invasion of Borneo. In 1946, after the Japanese surrender, the Rajah and his council voted to cede the country to the British Crown. In 1963, Sarawak, together with Sabah, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya, joined the Federation of Malaysia. Kuching escaped bombing in World War II and has retained much of its old charm. It is by far the largest city in the state of Sarawak. Kuching is divided by the Sarawak River; the south is a commercial and residential area dominated by Chinese while the north shore is predominantly Malay, characterized by old kampong houses lining the river. The recently renovated riverfront area provides a pleasant area for strolling, dining and taking boat rides. The ship will be docked at the Port of Senari, a distance of 11 miles from Kuching city.

25 Mar 2024

72

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26 Mar 2024

73

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah, is a relatively new town; the original one was destroyed during World War II. Strung out along the coast with jungle-clad hills as a backdrop, Kota Kinabalu, or KK for short, is home to a population of about 300,000. It was known as Jesselton before the war. The state of Sabah occupies the northern part of Borneo and is about the size of Ireland. After World War II, the British declared Sabah a Crown Colony. In 1963, Sabah gained her independence and joined the Federation of Malaysia. The old seafarer's name for Sabah was “Land Below the Wind,” referring to the state's location just below the typhoon belt. Kota Kinabalu's deep-water harbor gave the town strategic significance, evoking a Japanese invasion in 1942 and heavy bombing by the Allies. Following the war, the capital was moved from Sandakan to Jesselton and renamed Kota Kinabalu after the mountain. The pride of Sabah is Mount Kinabalu. With 13,431 feet, this is the highest mountain in Malaysia and a spectacular sight. For centuries, the Dusuns, Sabah's largest ethnic group, regarded the mountain as the final resting place of their departed. High priests still perform annual rites to appease the spirits.

27 Mar 2024

74

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28 Mar 2024

75
76

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

A chaotic, enchanting swirl of sensory stimulation - Ho Chi Minh City is a place of incense-infused temples, colonial architecture, warm people and delicious street food. Formerly known as Saigon, the city was affectionately-labelled the Pearl of the Orient by the French. Afternoons here drift by lazily on the gentle chaos of the River Saigon, as taxi boats and motor canoes flit up and down, and parks fill out with locals playing jianzi, kicking shuttlecocks back and forth. View less The French colonial imprint is evidenced in the Saigon Notre Dame Basilica, which stands out with its grand double bell towers and red brick hue. Just across the road, you'll also find the celebrated Ho Chi Minh Post office, which was erroneously credited as a Gustav Eifel creation. In reality, the architect was another Frenchman, Alfred Foulhoux. The French also caffeinated this city with coffee culture, and a refreshing iced coffee, from the innumerable coffee shops, will perk you up instantly. Taste the street food to get under Ho Chi Minh City's skin, with humble restaurants serving up rich flavours - from the Vietnamese take on the baguette, a banh mi sandwich - to the local staple of pho, a delicious noodle soup. The Tortoise pagoda is a tranquil escape and a serene place of worship for Vietnamese who practice Buddhism and Taoism, while the Vietnamese medical museum has a fascinating collection of remedies and potions - some dating back to Stone Age. Journey out to learn more of the Vietnam War at the Remnants Museum and Cu Chi tunnels. Offering a vivid glimpse of conditions, and the ingenuity and resilience of the soldiers, you'll learn of the guerrilla war campaign raged from within this claustrophobic, 70-mile network of war tunnels.

29 Mar 2024 - 30 Mar 2024

77

At Sea

31 Mar 2024

78

Chan May

Experience the rich imperial past, stoic resilience, and blissful beaches of central Vietnam, as you delve deep into this fascinating country’s past and present. The sheer beauty and vitality of the scenery will amaze you, as you explore the stories this now tranquil land has to tell - all the while surrounded by rolling rice paddies, freely grazing water buffalo and soaring limestone scenery. Cut in half by the evocatively named Perfume River, and home to a spectacular sprawling citadel, Hue is a true experience for the senses. Vietnam's timeless beauty outshines the shadows of its past, but Hue still bears the heavy scars of war - whether it's from American bombs, or harrowing events like those of Hue Jungle Crevice - where the Viet Cong pushed 3,000 civilians to their deaths. Hue’s Old City was once the jewel of Vietnam, standing proudly as its Imperial Capital. Lotus flowers now twirl peacefully in the grand moat around its mighty walls, which encase a spectacular array of charred palaces, temples and regal residences. Danang’s Marble Mountains rise dramatically close by, and they are scattered with Buddhist shrines and plunging caves. While there is an endless treasure trove of rich cultural experiences waiting here, it’s hard to resist the call of Danang's idyllic beaches, where white sand gives way to a fringe of palm trees. The undulating humps of the city's Dragon Bridge soar across the wide River Han, and this ambitious structure comes alive at night, when strobing light shows illuminate its flowing form, and the bridge’s dragon head rasps fire into the dusk.

01 Apr 2024

79

At Sea

02 Apr 2024

80
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Hong Kong, China

A spectacular, serrated skyline of soaring towers and neon lights, Hong Kong is a vibrant, immersive metropolis and cultural hub. Dramatic harbour-front light shows transform the waterfront’s gleaming buildings into a colourful canvas – best seen from the Star Ferry, when the Symphony of Lights blares into life each evening. A city where future and tradition collides - perhaps best illustrated by the skyscrapers that feature gaping holes, designed to allow spirit dragons to soar from the hills to the waterfront unimpeded. View less Wander flowing shopping streets, wade through sprawling markets and soak up the neon glory of this one-of-a-kind city - which continues to reach for the sky. Hong Kong's dense jumble of activity is one of its main appeals, but once you've felt the thrill of rising to towering observation decks, to see the soaring city from above, it's surprisingly easy to find peace among Hong Kong's intense urban wonders. Victoria Peak is the highest point and it offers staggering views down over the city and harbour. The Peak Tram funicular can ferry you to the top, to the vantage point which was historically adored by the rich for the cooler air found here, away from the busy bustle of the city streets. Many elaborate temples add a tranquil element to Hong Kong’s whirr, and Tin Hau temple has a surprisingly urban location, considering its dedication to the Goddess of the Sea. It did once occupy the shorefront, but the city's growth saw land reclaimed from the sea around it, leaving the temple marooned inland. Having been leased to the British for 99 years, milky tea is a revered tradition here - enjoy your cup with a serving of local dim sum.While it's easy to think all the bright lights are the sum of today's Hong Kong, you need only walk or board a tram for the short jaunt west into Western to discover a side of Hong Kong that is more traditionally Chinese but no less high-energy. You'll discover the real Hong Kong to the east of Central, too, in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and beyond. Amid the residential towers are restaurants, shopping malls, bars, convention centers, a nice smattering of museums, and—depending on fate and the horse you wager on—one of Hong Kong's luckiest or unluckiest spots, the Happy Valley Racecourse. Kowloon sprawls across a generous swath of the Chinese mainland across Victoria Harbour from Central. Tsim Sha Tsui, at the tip of Kowloon peninsula, is packed with glitzy shops, first-rate museums, and eye-popping views of the skyline across the water. Just to the north are the teeming market streets of Mong Kok and in the dense residential neighborhoods beyond, two of Hong Kong's most enchanting spiritual sights, Wong Tai Sin Temple and Chi Lin Nunnery. As you navigate this huge metropolis (easy to do on the excellent transportation network), keep in mind that streets are usually numbered odd on one side, even on the other. There's no baseline for street numbers and no block-based numbering system, but street signs indicate building numbers for any given block.

03 Apr 2024 - 05 Apr 2024

83
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At Sea

06 Apr 2024 - 07 Apr 2024

85
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Shanghai, China

Strategically located where the Yangtze River, Grand Canal and Pacific Ocean meet, Shanghai has served as a major commercial port since the Song Dynasty (10th century). From here, the region's substantial cotton crop was shipped to Beijing and more remote regions in China and Japan. By the Qing Dynasty, vast mercantile guilds, organized by trade, had established economic and a considerable amount of political control of the city. In the 1840s Shanghai was described by a representative of the British East India Company as “the principal emporium of Eastern Asia.” Not surprisingly, after the Opium Wars the British moved in under the Treaty of Nanking, followed by the French, and set up the first foreign concessions in the city.

08 Apr 2024 - 10 Apr 2024

88
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At Sea

11 Apr 2024 - 12 Apr 2024

90
91

Tianjin (Beijing)

Set on the north-east coast of the Bohai Sea, Tianjin’s port opens up the city and serves as a gateway to Beijing - which lies approximately three-hours drive inland. Tianjin is a vast and impressive city in its own right, with oodles of character and charm – especially since it received a comprehensive facelift for China’s Olympic Games in 2008. There is deep international history here, as the area was conceded to foreign powers during the Opium Wars. View less As a result, it’s peppered with historical buildings, temples and palaces, and you'll encounter a dizzying swirl of cultures. There is a distinctive European flavour in places - notably the architecture of the Five Avenues, which features a blend of historical buildings from Europe's past empires. The skyscrapers of modern China’s booming economy have also sprung up, along with ambitious structures like the flowing curves of the library. Unique creations like the Tianjin Eye span the river – a fusion between a ferris wheel and a bridge, it glows brightly over the river's water at night. The Ancient Culture Street is a traditional Qing Dynasty style stretch of bustling, living history. For most, however, the allure of one of China and the world’s mega-cities, Beijing, will be too strong a draw. Visit immense cultural treasures like the extraordinary Forbidden City, an incredible central labyrinth of 800 palaces. The vast and iconic Tiananmen Square stretches out close by - watched over by a ginormous Chairman Mao portrait - where you can see the Chinese flag ceremonially hoisted high into the sky each day, and a venue where dramatic and iconic events of Chinese history have played out. You’re also within reach of one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks - the undulating expanse of the Great Wall of China, which snakes across the area's mountains.

13 Apr 2024 - 14 Apr 2024

92
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At Sea

15 Apr 2024 - 16 Apr 2024

94

Hiroshima, Japan

History buffs will want to write home Hiroshima. Despite being devastated in 1945, this Japanese city is known to all for its commitment peace – its ruin on the 6th August 1945 led to the end of the war and today, the Peace Memorial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) , is a constant reminder of the destruction that war brings. A walk in the leafy boulevards of Peace Memorial Park brings quiet contemplation. View less The Flames of Peace – set in the park’s central feature pond – burn brightly and will continue to do so until all the nuclear bombs I the world have been destroyed. There are many other inspiring messages of hope around the city too; the Children’s’ Peace Monument just north of the park is a homage to little Sadako Sasaki, who was just two in 1945. When she developed leukemia in 1956, she believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes – a symbol of longevity and happiness in Japan – she would recover. Sadly she died before she finished her task but her classmates finished the rest. If you are lucky enough to visit during the unpredictable and short-lived Sakura (cherry blossom) season, then the extraordinary sight of the delicate pink blossom floating across the water to the red gate, means you can consider yourself one of the luckiest people on the planet.

17 Apr 2024

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Osaka, Japan

Japan’s third-biggest city has thrown off its shackles and stepped out of the shadows to light up the sky with glaring neon signs and a larger than life outlook. Giant octopuses cling to buildings and bustling restaurants pack in the crowds in this great and garish place, which is Japan at its most friendly, extroverted and flavourful. So dive in headfirst to experience an all-out sensory assault of delicious food, shopping cathedrals and glittering temples. View less Dotombori Bridge bathes in the multicoloured, jewel-like lights of signage-plastered buildings, and the neon lights dance on the canal's waters below. Osaka is known as the nation's kitchen, and the Kuromon Ichiba Market has served as the city's spot to tuck in for almost 200 years. Full of street food stalls - try pufferfish, savoury Okonomiyaki pancakes, or ginger and onion flavoured octopus, among the endless feast of exotic flavours. Osaka Castle is another of the city’s landmarks, built in the 16th century by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. A modern museum now waits inside, where you can learn about the country's history, and why this castle is a symbol of Japanese unity. Be sure to take the elevator up to the observation deck for a panoramic view of Osaka's spread. A colourful park encloses the castle and blooms with an ocean of pale pink cherry blossom during the season - the elegant black tiers rising from the pink haze below is one of Osaka's most alluring visions. Kyoto’s peaceful cultural treasures and temples are also just a short jaunt away on Japan’s sleek trains, should you wish to explore further afield.

18 Apr 2024 - 19 Apr 2024

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Tokyo, Japan

Dense and delightful, there’s nowhere else like Japan’s kinetic capital - a city where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with a relentless pursuit for the future’s sharpest edge. See the city from above, as elevators rocket you up to towering viewing platforms, from which you can survey a vast urban ocean, interspersed with sky-scraping needles. Look out as far as the distant loom of Mount Fuji’s cone on clear days. View less Futuristic – second-accurate - transport seamlessly links Tokyo’s 14 districts, while the glow of flashing advertisement boards, clanks of arcade machines, and waves of humanity flowing along its streets, adds to the sense of mesmerising, dizzying and glorious sensory overload. One of Tokyo’s most iconic sights, don’t miss the flood of people scrambling to cross Shibuya’s famous intersection. Join the choreographed dance, as crowds of briefcase-carrying commuters are given the green light to cross at the same time – bathed in the light of massive neon advertisements. The culture is immensely rich and deep, with 7th-century, lantern-decorated temples, stunning palaces and tranquil scarlet shrines waiting below cloaks of incense and nestling between soaring skyscrapers. Restaurants serve up precisely prepared sushi, and wafer-thin seafood slivers, offering a unique taste of the country’s refined cuisine. Settle into traditional teahouses, to witness intricate ceremonies, or join the locals as they fill out karaoke bars to sing the night away. In the spring, cherry blossom paints a delicate pink sheen over the city’s innumerable parks and gardens.

20 Apr 2024 - 21 Apr 2024

99

At Sea

22 Apr 2024

100

Aomori

From fiery festivals to spectacular mountain scenery, soaring temples to castles surrounded by cherry blossom blooms, Aomori is one of Japan’s most enchanting destinations. Framed by dark peaks clad with dense forestry, the city enjoys a picturesque location on Japan’s main island Honshu. While there are gorgeous pink tinted parks, tiered castles and towering Buddha statues to explore, the Aomori Prefecture’s capital is perhaps best known for the summer festival of fire that lights it up each year. Lavish illuminated floats fill the streets during Nebuta Matsuri festival, as dancing locals wave flickering lanterns through the night sky - and drummers pound out pulsating rhythms. Nebuta Matsuri has a euphoric and energetic atmosphere which makes it stand out as an unmissable experience compared with some of Japan’s more restrained festivals. At other times of the year, places like the stunning Hirosaki Castle bloom with rose-pink cherry blossom, as spring’s sunshine clears away winter’s plentiful snowfall. The castle’s moat, glowing with the pale hue of fallen blossom, is a truly mesmerising sight to behold. Don’t worry if you’re too late though, you might be able to catch the pink-flush of the apple blossom - which comes slightly later. Extraordinary prehistoric Jomon period history is waiting to be unearthed at the living archaeological site, Sannai-Maruyama Ruins. Or, the untouched wilderness of UNESCO World Heritage Site Shirakami Sanchi is within reach. This sprawling mass of beech trees covers a third of the Shirakami mountain range, and the dense forestry once blanketed the majority of northern Japan’s land. Visit to scratch the surface of this untamed landscape’s beauty and see sprawling waterfalls cascading down mountainsides, in a beautiful off-bounds landscape, where black bears roam freely.

23 Apr 2024

101

Otaru (Hokkaido) Japan

Otaru is a small harbor city west of Sapporo. Famous for its many hills and a nearby ski resort the town has been an important trade and herring fishing center. A wide canal that led from the port to the old town’s warehouses has been maintained for touristic purposes and the old stone or brick-built warehouses have been beautifully converted to restaurants and boutiques.

24 Apr 2024

102

Akita

Say the word Akita and you would be forgiven for thinking immediately of the lovable dog of the same name. But in fact, visitors to Akita will be treated not to a friendly furry face, rather to a beautiful city located on the northern tip of the island, around 500 km north of Tokyo. Lucky visitors will arrive in time for the superb sakura (cherry blossom), and surely there can be no sight more lovely than the elegant dip of the cherry trees alongside ancient Samurai residences. Akita is also home to a 2km tunnel of blossoming trees that run along the banks of the Hinokinai River, which is said to “bring a grown man to his knees and weep at its beauty”. If to you, Japan is synonymous with peace and serenity, then a trip to one of the onsens is a superb bucket list experience. Buses and taxis are easily available in the centre of town that will take you to Mizusawa, Oyu and Oyasukyo hot springs, some of the loveliest onsens in the country. Some of the superb sights in Akita are: Senshu Park, on the former site of Kubota Castle, the elegant red-brick folk Museum (housing works by block printer Katsuhira Tokushi (1907-1971) and metalwork by Sekiya Shiro (1907-1994) and the Old Kaneko Family Home. The Akita Museum of Art opened in 2012 and is home to the largest canvas painting in the world, Events of Atika, by Foujita (1886-1968). The painting measures a staggering 3.65 x 20.5 m (12 x 67 ft). The Museum also has many works by European masters such as Goya, Rubens, Rembrandt and Picasso.

25 Apr 2024

103

At Sea

26 Apr 2024

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Vladivostok

Vladivostok is a major Pacific port city in Russia overlooking Golden Horn Bay, near the borders with China and North Korea. It's known as a terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which links the city to Moscow in a 7-day journey. In the city center is Central Square, where a towering memorial pays tribute to local soldiers who fought Japanese forces in the early 20th century.

27 Apr 2024 - 28 Apr 2024

106

At Sea

29 Apr 2024

107

Korsakov

Port of Korsakov is a Russian seaport on Sakhalin Island on the shores of Aniva Bay. Settlement - the city of Korsakov, Sakhalin Oblast

30 Apr 2024

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At Sea

01 May 2024 - 02 May 2024

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Petropavlosk (Kamchatka), Russia

Majestic volcanoes and stacked mountains layer Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky with one of the world’s most epic backdrops. A business-like city of everyday life, set amid this utterly extraordinary scenery, Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky is a staggering visit to a land where volcanoes churn, geysers spurt, and geothermic pools simmer. Glaciers slowly carve out magnificent valleys, while the meltwater fuels roaring rivers, rapids and waterfalls. A far easterly outpost, cut off from the rest of the world’s road network, the only way in and out is via sea or air. View less Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, there is no shortage of natural spectacles and amazing scenery to enjoy - with lively geothermal displays, and colossal forces plotting below the earth’s surface. No fewer than 29 active volcanoes brood in this stunning wilderness, while dozens more extinct ones punctuate its skies. It’s hard to prepare for the beauty of Avacha Bay - as you’re welcomed by the three claw-like rocks of the Tri Brata formations, and spot sea lions yawning on the bay. Admire the Koryaksky volcano – a perfectly formed cone of snow, and a mighty volcano that last erupted in 2008. You may still see wisps of smoke emanating from its towering peak. Look out for the bright yellow beak of the Steller's sea eagles, the biggest and heaviest eagles in the world. The waters, teeming with Pacific salmon, draw keen anglers here, in the hopes of landing the big one. Elsewhere, the wondrous Kamchatka Valley of Geysers is a choreographed natural demonstration of power, with plumes of mist firing up into the sky along its expanse.

03 May 2024 - 04 May 2024

112

International Date Line

05 May 2024

113

At Sea

06 May 2024

114

Dutch Harbor, Alaska

With Bald Eagles soaring overhead, emerald-green volcanic peaks chafing the clouds, and raw ocean scenery as far as the eye can see, this far-flung destination is the definition of remote and wild. Part of the outlying Aleutian Islands archipelago, which spirals out across the Bering Sea into the wilds of the Pacific, Dutch Harbor offers a dramatic backdrop and rich military history - as one of the few pieces of US soil to be directly attacked by the Japanese during World War II. The town settles into the embrace of a vast deepwater harbour, which helps to protect from the unpredictable churn of the Bering Sea. Enjoy hikes along coastal trails to birdwatch among more than 100 different species – and look on as huge clouds of cawing seabirds float on gusts of wind, filling the air with their raucous calls. Dutch Harbor is famous for its crab fishing industry – a dangerous, challenging pursuit - and the town is well known to many Americans as the setting of the television show Deadliest Catch. The Aleutian WWII Visitor Center and the Museum of the Aleutians provide extensive information on WWII in the Aleutians, prehistory, the Russian period, Unangan (Aleut) culture and recent history. A visible reminder of the Russian past is the Holy Ascension Cathedral, the oldest cruciform-style Russian Orthodox church in North America and a National Historic Landmark.

07 May 2024

115

At Sea

08 May 2024

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Kodiak, Alaska

The domain of grizzlies, brown and black bears, Kodiak Island is a raw, wild, and utterly authentic Alaskan wilderness. The Emerald Isle is the USA's second-largest island, and with a wilderness stretching out over 3,670 square miles, it's a thrilling voyage into the Alaskan unknown. The weather may get a little cloudy at times, but the locals actively welcome a covering of cloud – perhaps partly because the clouds and fog are said to have deterred Japanese attacks during World War II's hostilities. View less Be sure to bring your camera with you; it's nigh on impossible to take a bad photo of these irresistible vistas - and you'll quickly see why Kodiak Island is the destination of choice for wildlife documentary producers. Cinematic setpieces regularly play out, as eagles soar over expansive sweeps of fir-tree forested mountains and still lakes, releasing occasional piercing calls. Some of the animal kingdom's most feared and revered creatures call Kodiak Island home, and your first sight of a bear reaching a massive paw into the water, or treading through a gently burbling stream, will live with you forever. Soar in a seaplane to track the bears with an expert guide. Masters of disguise, it often takes a trained eye to spot the bears in their natural habitats. Brush up on the skills you'll need in advance, with a read of our bear watching blog. [Insert blog: 7 tips for bear watching in Alaska]. The waters of Kodiak Island are also home to some of the world's most productive fishing. Try out your own skills, or accompany a seafaring fishing vessel, to witness life on the waves first-hand, as they plunder the depths of the ocean.

09 May 2024

117

Seward (Anchorage, Alaska) United States

Monumental scenery surrounds you in this remote corner of the world, where glaciers calve and whales cruise through inky waters, before an immense mountain backdrop. Almost totally submerged by the colossal landscapes around it, Seward - and the wonders of Kenai Fjords National Park - offer some of astonishing Alaska's most thrilling scenery. Located in a deep gash in the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is a place to immerse yourself in nature's majesty. View less Fjords carve into the landscape, while the Harding Icefield - which caps Kenai Fjords National Park - reaches out its icy fingers, with glaciers spilling down between mountain peaks. Head to Holgate Glacier, to come face to face with a breathtaking stack of intense blue and white ice. Get up close in a kayak or boat ride, to slalom through the discarded confetti of ice chunks, and perhaps even witness the powerful spectacle of an ice ledge creaking and groaning, before plunging to the waters below. The city of Anchorage is easily within reach from here, offering an incongruous contrast to the wild wonders of Alaska. A place where deep-sea fishermen bump shoulders with businesspeople on the 9-5, it's a fascinating, remote city. Home to almost half of the Alaskan population, Anchorage and its humble skyline is dwarfed by the snowy peaks of the wilderness beyond. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique culture, traditions and heritage of the First Nation people of these lands too.

10 May 2024

118

Whittier, Alaska

11 May 2024

119

Hubbard Glacier

Hubbard Glacier, off the coast of Yakutat, Alaska, is the largest glacier in North America, with a calving front that is more than six miles wide. One of the main sources for Hubbard Glacier originates 76 mi inland. It has been a very active glacier, experiencing two major surges in the past 30 years. This glacier was named after Gardiner Greene Hubbard, a U.S. lawyer, financier, and philanthropist. He was the first president of the National Geographic Society.

12 May 2024

120

Icy Strait Point, Alaska

If there is one word that sums up Alaska it is nature. Mile and miles of it. And Icy Strait Point – one of Alaska’s most unspoilt destinations has – nature in spades. To begin with, Icy Straight Point is stunningly beautiful. It is the Alaska of your imagination: eagles soaring overhead, whales breeching before your eyes. Moody, low-hanging clouds set the scene while velvety green mountains provide the backdrop. Sparklingly clear waters lap at pebbly shores. View less These are beaches of the adventure kind, you won’t find sun loungers and sombreros here, more like kayaks and canoes, ready for those who want to take their discovery off shore. The village prides itself on being home to “more brown bears than humans”, so expect immersive wilderness experiences, from ATV adventures to zip lining through a canopy of trees! Located on Chichagoff Island, 35 miles west of Juneau and right in the centre of Glacier Bay, Icy Strait Point began life as a salmon cannery business, providing employment for the residents of nearby Hoonah. The cannery has served the community in many ways, including proving housing for employees after a fire in 1944 destroyed many resident’s homes. It ceased to function entirely in 1999 and in 2001, the landing was repurposed as America’s only private cruise ship terminal. The Alaskan owned and operated terminal funnels all its profits back into the local environment and provides employment for around 85% of local residents, many of whom live in Alaska’s largest Native Tlingit village.

13 May 2024

121

Sitka, Alaska, United States

Sitka began as a major Tlingit Indian village and was called “Shee Atika,” which translates roughly as “settlement on the outside of Shee.” “Shee” is the Tlingit name of Baranof Island. In 1799, Alexander Baranof, the general manager of the Russian American Company, decided to move his base of operations from Kodiak and set up camp at what is now called Old Sitka, 7.5 miles north of the present-day town. He called the settlement St. Archangel Michael. The Tlingit Indians of the area resisted the occupation and, in 1802, with Baranof away, burned the fort and massacred the Russian settlers. Two years later, Baranof returned and besieged the Indian fort. The Tlingits withdrew and the area was once again in Russian hands. This time, the Russians built the new city on a different site and called it New Archangel. For over six decades, New Archangel was the capital of the Russian empire in Alaska. By 1867, the Alaska colony had become too much of a financial burden to Russia. William Seward, U.S. Secretary of State, negotiated with the Russian Czar to purchase the Territory of Alaska for $7.2 million. The American press scoffed at Seward and the U.S. government for purchasing what they called “Seward's Folly,” “Seward's Icebox,” and “Walrussia.” On October 18, 1867, the Russian flag was lowered at New Archangel and the Stars and Stripes were raised over newly renamed Sitka. The name comes from the Tlingit word “Sheetkah,” which means “in this place.” All Russian citizens living in the former colony were given the opportunity to become American citizens. Many went home, although a few stayed or migrated to California. Sitka remained the capital of the Territory of Alaska from 1867 to 1906, when it was moved to Juneau. The move was a direct result of the gold rush. In plain terms, Sitka did not have any and Juneau did. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Sitka became a full-scale naval base. At one time during the war, Sitka had a total population of 37,000. With the end of World War II, however, the city settled into a quieter existence. The biggest boom in modern days for Sitka came in 1959 when the Alaska Lumber and Pulp Company built a pulp mill at Silver Bay, near the city. Today, picturesque Sitka is known for its fishing and of course its many historic attractions.

14 May 2024

122

Tracy Arm (Alaska)

15 May 2024

123

Juneau, Alaska

Extraordinary adventures amid nature's wildest staging await at Juneau. The majestic Mendenhall Glacier sprawls down from Juneau Icefield, which provides an icy cap to the area's rip-roaring scenery. State capitals simply don't get more dramatic than this isolated, remote city lost amid the Alaskan wilds. Even the roads eventually peter out, absorbed by forests and viewpoints, firmly underlining the isolated location, hidden behind an impenetrable wall of rigid mountains. Rise up to Mount Roberts Tramway's viewpoint, to see the city swallowed by this most colossal backdrop. View less This is glacier country, and no fewer than 38 ice flows branch off from the main Juneau Icefield, slowly carving out valleys in their wakes. Taku Glacier cuts deep into the mountain, forming a colossal sculpture that is one of the world's thickest - almost a mile deep. Mendenhall Glacier cascades down, just 12 miles away from downtown, terminating in its own lake and visitor centre. With 1,500 square miles of ice field to explore, one of the best ways to take in the magnitude and majesty of this epic ice sculpture is to hold on tight on as the propeller whirs, and you soar into the skies on an exhilarating sightseeing flight. Cruising up above the icy world that fills in these serrated mountain peaks is a once in a lifetime experience. The animals that inhabit the Southeast Alaskan wilds are just as inspiring as the landscapes – families of bears patrol the riverbanks, bald eagles survey the surroundings watchfully, and Pacific humpbacks migrate from Hawaii's waters to feast on the krill rich, icy waters. Fish for huge catches, power across the ice in a snow-sledge, or kayak just below glaciers. However you choose to immerse yourself in it, Juneau's incredible outdoor adventures never disappoint.

16 May 2024

124

Wrangell, Alaska, United States

Watch salmon leaping and bears pouncing, as Alaska's majestic natural spectacles play out before you in Wrangell. Seeing the bears pawing meaty salmon from the pure, gushing water is one of Alaska's most prized shows, and there are few better places to witness it than Wrangell - a town set amid the fractured lands of the legendary Inside Passage. Having experienced three gold rushes in its history, the immense scenery and thrilling wildlife is an enduring treasure for visitors. View less The mighty Stikine River has been the lifeblood to this region for centuries, cutting through pine-cloaked valleys for 400 miles before unloading into the frigid ocean. Explore via jet-boat and head out to the abundant waters of Anan Creek, an ancient fishing site of the Tlingit people. Visit waters thick with lithe salmon - a bounty that tempts black and brown bears from the confines of their forest shelters. The Anan Wildlife Observatory provides the ultimate viewing point to watch the salmon leaping from the cascading water. Look out from the cover for bears, salmon and bald eagles. Try your own luck fishing in Wrangell's waters, which are teeming with a rich bounty. Clomp through rich forests - beside waterfalls and waterways - on hair-raising hikes, which open out to glorious waterfront vistas. The aptly named Petroglyph Beach is the place to see amazing petroglyph artworks carved into the rocks. Or tour Shakes Island's Tribal House, where you can see a replica of a Tinglit community house. The house is surrounded by fascinating, original totem poles, and a wooden footbridge conveniently links the island with Wrangell's harbour.

17 May 2024

125

Ketchikan, Alaska

The Salmon Capital of the World is a thrilling introduction to wild and wonderful Alaska, sitting at the southern gateway to the Inside Passage's famed route of larger than life scenery. Cruise through the waters, or soar just above in a sightseeing plane, to take in the full majesty of the magnificent Misty Fjords National Monument. Home to grizzly and black bears - as well as cruising whales and swimming seals - the wildlife spotting opportunities in this majestic corner of the world are nothing short of spectacular. View less Towered over by steep banks and valley walls, Ketchikan's ocean inlet is peppered with granite stacks, looming from the waters. Surrounded by glorious landscapes, head to the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, which is alive with bald eagles, black bears and remarkable, thick, yellow banana slugs - the squeamish are advised to keep well clear. Visit Ketchikan's Heritage Centre, where a collection of intricately carved totem poles rise up, preserving the heritage of the indigenous Tlingit and Haida people of these lands. Ketchikan has the world's largest collection, and some of the oldest and most precious totems in existence. This frontier city hasn’t always been so wholesome, however. See the colourful historic street that is built on crooked stilts over Ketchikan Creek, which has a crude history as the main red-light district in the city. The brothels closed in the 1950s, but you can explore this legendarily seedy past at Dolly’s House - a brothel turned museum. See the Married Man trail, a historical route used to enter Creek Street away from prying eyes.

18 May 2024

126

Prince Rupert, British Colombia, Canada

Prince Rupert is picturesquely located on Kaien Island at the mouth of the Skeena River in British Columbia. Also known as the “City of Rainbows” and gateway to Northern BC, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the famed Inside Passage (both BC's and Alaska's). Prince Rupert is circled by forests and mountains and overlooks the beautiful fjord studded coast. Like many of the major towns in the northwest, Prince Rupert is linked to the growth of the railroad. Businessman Charles Hay had big plans for this town, but they were largely unfulfilled, as he was a guest on the Titanic's last voyage in 1912. Tsimshian First Nations were the first residents of this area and as recently as 150 years ago their large cedar houses and carved totem poles lined the harbor. Today the harbor is busy with ships, ferries and fishing boats and is one of the main access points for Alaska.

19 May 2024

127

Seymour Narrows, Canada

20 May 2024

128

Victoria, British Columbia

Set on the southern tip of Vancouver Island (although nowhere near Vancouver the city), Victoria (the city) is nowhere near Victoria Island. Confused? Victoria may be Vancouver’s smaller sister in size but what it lacks in bright light big city bustle, is more than made up for by its fantastic foodie scene, historical background and its glorious natural surroundings. What’s more, stop any local and you’ll find a charming population, full of friendliness and pride for their city. View less Easily walkable, Victoria is full of blooming gardens, coastal paths, engaging museums, and beautifully restored 19th-century architecture. Pods of friendly whales have been known to visit the harbour, attracted by the fertile waters. Three resident pods of Orcas live in the nearby Puget Sound, Gulf and San Juan Islands. Nothing beats the feeling of standing on the viewing deck, binoculars in hand, listening to the eerie communication of the beautiful black and white beasts. Discovered by Captain James Cook in the 18th century, Victoria – and Vancouver Island – had long been home to many indigenous families. The city retains its roots to its First Nation culture, thousands of examples of which can be found in the spectacular collection housed at The Royal BC Museum. People flocked to the area after gold was discovered in 1858, bringing adventurers from as far afield as Australia. This diversity of population was further cemented in the 19th century when thousands of migrant workers were brought in to build the railway.

21 May 2024

129
130

Vancouver, Canada

Boasting mountains, sea, culture, art and so much more, many cities claim to have it all, but few can back it up like Vancouver. Famously livable, just visiting this highrise city - surrounded by staggering natural beauty - is a thrill. Offering all of the creature comforts of an ultra-modern, worldly metropolis - even downtown has a hint of mountain-freshness to its air - and part of Vancouver's appeal is how easily you can swap the skyscrapers for whale-filled oceans and mountain-punctured skies. View less Head up to the Vancouver Lookout Tower for the ultimate 360-degree views of the city glistening, amid the beautiful embrace of the beckoning wilderness beyond. But what to see first? Art lovers might choose the Vancouver Art Gallery or the Contemporary Art Gallery. Nature lovers might rush for the ferry to visit Vancouver Island - where they can encounter grizzly bears, whales and orcas. Culture vultures, on the other hand, will probably head for the sights and sounds of Canada's biggest Chinatown. From steaming dim sum for lunch to Chinese apothecaries offering herbs to soothe any illness, it’s all here thanks to the migrant workers of the 19th century. The one-of-a-kind treasure of Stanley Park brings wild wonder and natural beauty to this cosmopolitan city's doorstep, and the pine-tree clad park offers isolated trails and amazing views. Wander the Seawall that encircles it - a 20-mile coastal path, full of joggers, whizzing skaters and wandering couples. Grab a bike and cycle between Coal Harbour and Kitsilano Beach. You can top up your tan on the shore, as you soak in the glorious views of the mountains and cityscape from the sands.

22 May 2024 - 23 May 2024

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At Sea

24 May 2024 - 25 May 2024

133

San Francisco, California

San Francisco's bounty overflows. Everywhere you look, every place you go, there's something to see or something interesting to do. The "City by the Bay" combines a splendid setting with cultural and historical elements, making San Francisco one of the finest and most beloved cities in the world. Visitors to San Francisco find themselves faced with very difficult decisions - what to see and do first. There are so many possibilities that its virtually impossible to see and do everything in one visit. The city itself is relatively small; many of the areas of interest are in close proximity of each other. From downtown to Chinatown and from North Beach to Fisherman's Wharf, there are numerous historical monuments, modern buildings, Victorian masterpieces, museums, parks, gardens and ethnic neighborhoods. Its no wonder that San Francisco captures the heart of all who visit.

26 May 2024

(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).

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