Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Orion Expeditions - Samurai and Snorkelling


Join the Orion Expedition team onboard the newly re-fitted Orion II for her maiden Ryukyu Islands voyage exploring from Japan through the rarely visited sub-tropical Ryukyu Islands to the Philippines and Sabah.

This 14-night voyage on July 28 features diverse elements for adventurous spirits seeking cultural experiences far removed from the predictable tourist hotspots of Asia, including two destinations unique to this voyage, Shimonoseki and Kagoshima, plus a visit to Coron Palawan in the Philippines, the first by a foreign ship.

Guests can try their hand at the fine art of preparing Fugu – poisonous puffer fish - warm their feet in a volcanic-heated foot bath, explore an impressive cave and underground river system and remove their clothes and inhibitions in a very elegant private hot spring onsen (public bath).

Active volcanoes and traditional samurai castles contrast with beautiful bays and islands perfect for snorkelling and diving, while a buffalo cart ride across tidal flats, cultural performances, art galleries and exploring a little township with bars and cafes offer other dimensions to this voyage.

Reminders of World War II abound, including visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as a fascinating Kamikaze museum and, in Okinawa, a former Japanese Imperial Navy HQ underground tunnel command centre.

The significant red Shuri Castle has many ancient links to the unique system of paying tribute to both Japanese and Chinese emperors and an archaeological dig site guests may visit contains some of the oldest human remains found in Asia.

Orion II’s visit to Coron Palawan will be celebrated with welcoming cultural displays, performances and interaction. Guests will have time for snorkelling, relaxing in hot springs, a village visit and scenic Zodiac cruising to capture the dramatic sunset.

Lecturers in the expedition team include:

Amy Loewen - Japan expert, many years of experience leading groups in Japan

Grace Winer - expert geologist to provide interpretation on the regions stunning and active geology

Justin Friend - to lecture on Filipino and Ryukyu cultures

Expedition Leader Alastair Newton - with many years experience in the region.

The 14-night cruise also visits San Fernando (for Baguio), Puerto Galera and Coron before finishing in Kota Kinabalu. Prices start from £6,680 per person including all meals, entertainment and educational programmes, use of the ship’s sporting equipment and facilities, Zodiac excursions, port and handling charges, tender transfers and government fees and taxes.

For more info, visit www.orionexpeditions.com or contact the UK's leading adventure cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.