The Far East is unparalleled in exotic beauty and mysticism. Its customs and traditions are thousands of years old, and its flavors and sounds, amaze the senses. Combine all that with an unforgettable cruise in one of the luxury vessels of Holland America Company to Japan and China. While appearing similar, these countries are completely different from each other. And each one has its own expression of the East-West contrast, in which an ancient Buddha statue sits before lofty steel & glass skyscrapers, and next to them are simple bamboo huts. The old and the new, tradition and modernity, the rush to the future while preserving the hallowed past. This trip is a new and unique adventure.
Day 1: Thursday: Tokyo, Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, Shibuya
Arrival Tokyo airport (NRT) till 12:00PM. We will meet the tour leader at the hotel.
At 2:00pm, We will visit the capital of Japan since 1868. We’ll visit Meiji Shrine, dedicated to the memory of Emperor Meiji who brought an end to the corrupt Shogunate. We’ll visit the neighborhoods of Harajuku and Shibuya, Tokyo’s hyper-modern areas frequented mainly by Tokyo’s younger generation.
Day 2: Friday: Tokyo: Tsukiji Fish Market, Edo Tokyo Museum, Ginza, Asakusa, Akihabara Electronics District
The day begins with a visit to Tokyo’s fish market, where over 2,000 tons (!) of different species from the sea are sold every day. We will continue to visit the fascinating Edo Tokyo Museum, which describes the history of the city and reconstructs the houses and lifestyle of Tokyo in the 16th century. From there, it’s on to the bustling business district of Ginza and the Buddhist temple of Asakusa Kannon – the most important in Tokyo. Nakamise Street, which leads to the complex, if filled with little stalls selling all kinds of goods. The entire area used to be the entertainment district of Tokyo, and there’s even a shrine dedicated to the clowns that used to work here. Our day will end with a visit to Tokyo’s famous electronics district – Akihabara where every imaginable gadget can be found. At the end of the tour we will return to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat.
Day 3: Shabbat: Tokyo
Aftre Shabbat services, Kiddush and lunch, we’ll take a walking tour of the area and see some of the local sights.
Day 4: Sunday: Tokyo: Nikko National Park
After breakfast we will drive to Nikko National Park, which is located in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture in Canto, Japan. We will see Lake Tsuzenji, situated in a volcanic crater with the eruption of Mount Nantai as well as the impressive Kegon Falls, the highest waterfall in Japan. We will visit the Toshogu Temples which were declared by UNESCO in 1999 as a world heritage site worthy of preservation. This is a large complex several spectacular temples dedicated to the memory of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, whose dynasty ruled Japan for over 200 years. The Toshogu shrines, which were built by his grandson Tokugawa Iemitsu, preserve ancient Japan’s unique wooden construction methods, intricate gilded carvings and heavy roofs. After our day in the National Park, we’ll return to Tokyo.
Day 5: Monday: Tokyo: All Aboard!
IN the morning we’ll complete our visit to Tokyo and head for the harbor to board our luxury cruise liner, the Holland America MS Westerdam, that will be our plush home for the duration of our cruise.
Features of the MS Westerdam
- 11 guest decks
- Restaurants and lounges with panoramic views.
- Elegant Boutique
- A new bar complex at the Atrium
- An newly renovated theater with performances every evening
- All staterooms feature Holland Holland’s unique charm
- Spacious and elegant staterooms with window (some with a private balcony at an additional cost)
- Mariner’s Dream luxury beds with quality linens
- Luxuriously soft terrycloth towels
- TV with DVD
- Expansive storage space
- Fresh fruit at no extra charge
- Free Drinks – order as you wish: fruit juices and other drinks
- Free shoe shine service.
- Top quality, tasteful Kosher meals
- In addition: a magnificent hall for performances, music and singers, casino, bars, luxury restaurants, a spa, gym, swimming pool and Jacuzzi, and of course an active entertainment team every day.
Day 6: Tuesday: Shimizu, Nihondaira Park (Japan)
Today we’ll be anchoring in Shimizu. We will disembark and make our way to Nihondaira Park, which was declared a natural prefecture. We’ll take the cable car for a spectacular view of Sauruga Bay and Japan’s famous Mount Fuji. We will see the Toshugu temple of Konozan, also dedicated to the Shogun Tokugawa Eiyasu (1543-1616) who brought peace and unity to Japan after a long civil war. At the end of the visit, we will return to the ship.
Day 7: Wednesday: Osaka, Kyoto (Japan)
Today we’ll be docking in Osaka. We will travel to Kyoto, the cultural center of Japan, and the city that was the capital of the Japanese Empire for more than 1100 years. The city is home to a large selection of temples and sites such as the Emperor’s Palace where the emperors of Japan were crowned. We will tour the city, visiting the famous Nijo Castle, an original 400-year-old Shogun Castle. We will continue to the famous Ryoanji Temple with its dry stone and rock Zen Garden. If time permits, we will visit the ancient Kiyomizu complex, which was included in the list of UNESCO conservation sites.
Day 8: Thursday: Beppu, Takachiho Mall (Japan)
Today we will be anchoring in the city of Beppu, which is located on the east coast of Kyushu Island, Japan’s third largest island. We will visit the Takachiho Gorge, a narrow basalt canyon where the Gox River flows. Both a natural wonder and an important religious site, Takachiho draws over a million Japanese tourists yearly, but few foreigners make it this far. Takachiho Gorge is an impressive ravine with countless waterfalls cascading into it. The site was created as a result of ancient volcanic activity. We’ll sail in boats between the cliffs and crevices.
Day 9: Friday: Fukuoka (Japan)
This morning we will dock in Fukuoka city, the largest city on Kyushu Island and the fifth largest city in Japan. We will visit the temple of Shufokuji, the first Zen temple in Japan, founded in 1195. We will see the 500 year-old remains of Fukuoka Castle. At the end of the tour we will return to the ship and to prepare for Shabbat.
Day 10: Shabbat: At Sea: Lectures and Luxury
After Shabbat services and Shabbat meals, we’ll enjoy lectures and shiurim, and be able to enjoy the ship’s wonderful, pampering facilities.
Day 11: Sunday: Sasebo, Nagasaki (Japan)
Today we’ll arrive to Sasebo, a city in Nagasaki Prefecture Japan. We’ll disembark from the ship and visit Nagasaki, renowned for the atomic bomb dropped by the USA that brought about the surrender of the Japanese Empire and the end of World War II. We will see the spectacles bridge, the Chinese temple and more.
Day 12: Monday: At Sea
Today’s a day to relax and enjoy all of the ship’s magnificent facilities. Take a dip in the pool or play some tennis, sit at the bay window while reading in the library, marvel at the art works in the gallery, share a cappuccino with friends in the coffee shop, enjoy a massage in the spa, score a few wins in the casino, go to the movies or take in a show. There’s so much to do…
Day 13: Tuesday: Dalian (China)
Today we will dock in Dalian, located in Liaoning Province, east of Beijing. The city is built in neo-classical style, with wide squares and many fountains. The city is best known for its 19th century European architectural style. We will reach Zhongshan Square which is surrounded by some of these magnificent buildings, and walk along the mile-long wooden promenade.
Day 14: Wednesday: Tianjin, Beijing (China)
Our wonderful cruise has come to an end. We will disembark from the ship in the port of Tianjin and travel to the Great Wall of Chinese northwest of Beijing. At a length of about 6,000 kilometers, this is the site most identified with China, and walking on it is one of the most memorable experiences of any traveler’s life.
Days 15: Thursday: Beijing – Back home
Today we will visit Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. At it’s center is the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, founder of Communist China. From here we’ll walk into the heart of Imperial China – the Forbidden City. The complex was built in the 16th century as a magnificent palace for the emperors of China. We will transit the entire length of the city and see the Imperial halls, and expansive squares. The Forbidden City, which was built by the Ming dynasties, was the site of the film “The Last Emperor”. Commoners were banned from entering its portals from the 16th century until the revolution began at the beginning of the 20th century.
Laden with the memories of our spectacular Far East tour & cruise, we’ll head for the airport we will travel to Beijing’s enormous Capital Airport and fly back home.
|Tour Code||Departure date||Air + Land *||Land only *||Single Room**|
|EPPT18/01||10/11/2019||7990 $||3650 $|
* Price per person in USD Iin double or twin room.
** Supplement for single room.
* Price of tour is subject to due to change in Air Fare.
- 10 day cruise on the MS Westerdam on the Holland America Line
- Air conditioned coach for land excursions
- Tours, visits, entrance fees according to the itinerary
- First Class Hotels
- Tips for local service providers
- Half Board while touring with an opportunity to prepare sandwiches for lunch
- Professional guide from the staff of Shai Bar Ilan
- Logistics and kashrut supervisor
- International return flights
- Tips for shipboard service providers – $140 (to be paid directly on the ship)
- Visa to China
- Evening entertainment not mentioned in the itinerary
- Tip for the tour escort (guide) – $5 per person per day
Kashrut on Tours
Only strictly kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. On some of our tours we are able to provide glatt meals. Kashrut is of utmost importance to us and we take special measures to ensure that everything served is kosher.
Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.
We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.
On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.
It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.
Terms of cancellation
- Cancellation for any reason from the moment of registration and up to 90 working days (inclusive) * prior to departure of the trip – the passenger will be charged $ 97 registration fee only
- Cancellation for any reason from 89 work days to 30 working days (inclusive) * prior to departure of the trip – the passenger will be charged $ 1500 + $ 47
- Cancellation for any reason from 29 working days to 11 working days (inclusive) * prior to departure of the trip – the traveler will be charged $ 2500 + $ 47
- Cancellation for any reason from 10 working days * prior to departure of the trip – the traveler will be charged the full price of the trip including all the accompanying costs.
* If flight tickets and/or visas have been issued, the price of these will be added to the specified cancellation fees
- Fridays and Saturdays, holidays and holidays in Israel, Sundays and holidays abroad are not counted as a working day.
- If any air tickets have been issued or additional services have been purchased,(eg: visas etc.), their prices will be added to the cancellation fees specified above.
- Adding a logistics and kashrut person is dependent upon more than 20 participants.
- In case of change, cancellation or malfunction related to flights, cruise or transportation, the responsibility for these rests with the service provider.
- Airline or transportation changes in the route may be due to changes in internal flight times and other objective reasons.
- The performance of the trip is subject to the conditions and responsibilities as they appear on the website.
- Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of return from the trip.
Currency Exchange Rates
Due to the significant changes that occur daily in foreign exchange rates against the US dollar, which cause an increase in the prices of the services in dollars, an accurate calculation of the trip will take place before the date of departure and the price of the trip will be updated accordingly.
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