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 Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. We will start in Hong Kong – a city that combines the traditional with the modern. On the one hand, it’s a modern financial and trade hub, while on the other hand it retains ancient Chinese traditions. We will visit Japan, also known as the “Land of the Rising Sun”. The country offers stunning views, modern cities of the world and a special culture. We will also enjoy a taste of Taiwan, a beautiful island that combines technology and accelerated modernization, and deep roots embedded in the traditions of the past. We will take some in-depth land excursions during our visit to the Philippines, one of the most beautiful and special countries in the world. The Philippines lies off the coast of Southeast Asia, east of Vietnam, and consists of 7,100 magnificent islands, of which about 2,000 are inhabited. Traditional villages in the north of the country, huge rice terraces, volcanoes, jungles, and a lot of nature that mixes local traditionalism and the Western modernity.
Day 1, Sunday, 9.12.18: Hong Kong
Arrival to Hong Kong airport till 12:00PM. We will meet the tour guide at the hotel.
At 2:00PM, we will begin our discovery of the city. Hong Kong is famous for its many markets. We’ll visit two of them: the floating market, and the more famous Stanley market in the town of that name. This is a must-see for market lovers: hundreds of shops selling clothes and artwork, handicrafts, furniture, toys, and a multitude of decorative items.
Day 2, Monday, 10.12.18: Hong Kong – boarding the Holland America luxury cruise liner “Ms Westerdam”
After breakfast we will take the tram that has been active for more than 100 years to Victoria Peak, one of Hong Kong’s most visited destinations, for a spectacular view of Hong Kong island as well as the territories that lie on the Chinese mainland. We’ll sail across Repulse Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, and walk among the reconstructed colonial buildings. From there, we’ll continue to the beautiful fishing village of Aberdeen, and we will discover a community that preserves an ancient tradition and lives in boat houses – a fascinating contrast to the modern pace of life and the nearby skyscrapers. At the end of the tour we will board the luxury cruise liner MS Westerdam which will serve as a luxurious floating hotel for the days to come. We set sail at 23:00. All Aboard!
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.
Days 3-4, Tuesday-Wednesday, 11-12.12.18: At Sea
Over the next two days we’ll have time 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 5, Thursday, 13.12.18: Naha, Okinawa (Japan)
Today we will anchor in Japan in Okinawa Prefecture, one of the 47 provinces of Japan. The Okinawa Prefecture consists of a series of islands and is located in the southwestern part of Japan. We will dock in the port of Naha, the capital of Okinawa and take a tour of the island and enjoy the views of white beaches and turquoise sea. Okinawa is well known from World War II for the intense battles fought there for control of the island, and for the famous picture of US soldiers raising the American flag after its conquest.
Day 6, Fri, 14.12.18: Ishigaki Island (Japan)
Today we will anchor on the remote and picturesque Ishigaki Island, surrounded by clear azure waters, which here too have been a stage for cruel battles, in the Okinawa and Ayogima regions. Upon disembarkation, we’ll explore the island, see the big port, the local villages – we will get a glimpse of the village life of Japan’s island communities, which is so very different to those on Japan’s mainland. At the end of the tour we will return to the ship to prepare for Shabbat.
Day 7, Saturday, 15.12.18: Keelung (Taiwan), lectures, and pampering
Today we will stay on board as the ship docks in Keelung. After Shabbat services and Shabbat meals, we’ll enjoy lectures and shiurim, and be able to enjoy the ship’s wonderful, pampering facilities.
Day 8, Sunday, 16.12.18: Kaohsiung (Taiwan)
Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan. After docking at the port we’ll be able to go ashore. We’ll make our way to the Ai He River (“Love River” in Chinese). We’ll visit Lotus Lake which is the symbol of the city, and see the pagodas overlooking it and the temples around it. We will visit the reconstructed Pier-2 Art Center before returning to the ship.
Day 9, Monday, 17.12.18: 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 10, Tuesday, 18.12.18: Manila (Philippines)
Our cruise terminates in Manila, capital city of the Philippines. We’ll disembark at the port and head out for a short tour inside the Old City walls, “Interramuros.” This is something of a time travel experience because the small ancient city – the cultural and historical heart of Manila – has remained in its original form since the Spanish colonized the Philippines in 1565.
Day 11, Wednesday, 19.12.18: Manila, Volcano and Lake Taal
On a clear day, Lake Taal is a breathtaking sight. Lake Taal and the volcano island are located in a huge prehistoric volcano, about 75 km in diameter. The ancient crater produced the Tagaytay mountain ridge, where the city of Tagaytay is located 60 kilometers south of Manila. Much of the volcanic island rose from the lake during a huge eruption in 1911 that claimed the lives of hundreds of people. Since then, a number of small eruptions have sculpted and shaped the island. With more than 47 mounds and 35 volcanic peaks, the Taal volcano has been and remains one of the world’s deadliest volcanoes. After breakfast at the hotel, we will travel about two hours to Tagaytay on a road that climbs up to the city. Then we will continue down to Lake Taal. From there we will continue on a small boat called “Banaka” towards the central island. We’ll ride a horse up to the volcano. After viewing the enormous volcano crater, we will return on horseback to the boat and then sail back to our vehicles. We will return to Manila via the city of Tagaytay.
Day 12, Thursday, 20.12.18: Manila, Pagsanjan Falls
Today we will drive to Pagsanjan Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines. Located in Laguna province, the waterfall is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the area. The river is an attraction from the time of the Spanish rule, and the city of Pagsanjan is located at a meeting point of 2 rivers, the Balanac River and the Bombugan River, from where we will sail to the big and central waterfall. Please do not forget to bring appropriate clothes and covers for your camera, purse and phones.
Day 13, Fri, 21.12.18: Manila
After breakfast we will visit the huge Rizal Park, which covers an area of no less than 60 hectares. We will continue to the American cemetery on the outskirts of the city of Makati, where most of the embassies and modern shopping centers are located, alongside the current home of Imelda Marcos, the former president’s wife. We will return to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat.
Day 14, Shabbat, 22.12.18: Manila
After Shabbat services, Kiddush and lunch, we will take a walking tour around the hotel. On Saturday night, we will go out of a folklore show.
Days 15, Sunday, 23.12.18: Manila – Back home
Our fascinating excursion is over. We will pack our belongings and store our memories and fly back home.
|Tour Code||Departure date||Air + Land *||Land only *||Single Room**|
|EPFE18/01||12/09/2018||6490 $||3350 $|
* 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.
- Air-conditioned tourist coach
- 4* hotel base on half Board throughout plus supplies to make sandwiches for lunch
- Accommodation during the cruise
- Kosher full board during the cruise
- Professional experienced English-speaking guide
- Entrance to all sites mentioned in the itinerary
- Tips for local service providers
- International flights
- Taxes and surcharges
- Personal expenses and services
- Tips during the cruise (to be paid on the ship)
- Tip for guide (Recommended: $5 per person per day)
Important to Know:
There may be changes to the order of places visited. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary.
The tour organizers have no control over airline services such as seating, special meal requests, changes in departure times or delays. These remain the sole responsibility of the airline company.
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.
Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:
A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. Payment in full is due 60 days before departure. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.
• 90 days before departure bookings are refundable less a $100 administration fee
• 60-89 days prior to departure: $500 + $100 per passenger
• 30-59 days prior to departure: $1500 + $100 per passenger
• Less than 30 working days prior to departure: 100% of total – no refund
Working days: Monday till Thurasday Non working days: Friday till Sunday, Jewish holidays.
We strongly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance.
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