Whether you are in the Forbidden City, at the foot of the mighty Great Wall or in the midst of exotic countryside, China will provide you with some unforgettable impressions. Wander through the bustling streets of South Korea’s metropolis, Seoul, before seeking the resplendence of Far Eastern sanctuaries in Japan. The history of this island country will be revealed in the beautiful temples and shrines of Fukuoka and Himeji Castle.
from Shanghai to Kobe
|Cruise dates:||from 28.03.2017 to 12.04.2017 (15 days)|
| Your ship:|| MS EUROPA|
| Cruise number:|| EUR1706|
This cruise is operated in German. For individual programmes kindly ask our travel concierge.
Highlights of this cruise
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeokgung Palace*, the Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju*, Himeji Castle* and the Itsukushima Shrine*
- Imperial city of Beijing*
- Visit to the Great Wall of China*
- The temples and shrines of Japan – Shintoism and Zen Buddhism
- Cherry blossom season in Japan (subject to weather conditions)
- New ports: Tianjin (Beijing)/China, Fukuoka/Japan, Kobe/Japan
On our pre-cruise programme*, experience Shanghai – the allure of opposites.
Explore the German side of this megacity: from the Xiao Yu Shan hill*, you can enjoy a wonderful view over the red-tiled roofs of the historic city centre, before a traditional German-Chinese beer tasting at a brewery* – of course, the beer is brewed according to German purity laws. The rock formations of the holy Laoshan* mountain are known as the “home of the immortals”. Walk along the enchanting mountainside and throw a coin into the fountain of the Taoist Taiqing Palace for luck.
The EUROPA will stay in Tianjin, the port of Beijing, for two nights. The former garrison town itself has plenty to offer, including concert halls, little shops in the style of the Ming dynasty* and the Porcelain House*, decorated with millions of tiny porcelain fragments. You will get to see the historic and modern sides of China on an excursion to Beijing*. Stroll through the vast Tiananmen Square, in the centre of which the marble statue of Mao Zedong rises high above everything else. At the northern end of the square, called the Gate of Heavenly Peace, is the Forbidden City with its precisely 9,999½ rooms, since only heaven may have a palace with 10,000 rooms. On your way back, marvel at Beijing’s futuristic skyscrapers rising high up into the sky. Yet probably the most amazing construction in China is still the Great Wall of China* – see it for yourself!
Incheon (Seoul)/South Korea
Discover the capital of South Korea, past and present: back in the 14th century, the Joseon Dynasty ruled vast parts of the country from here. You can see its legacy today in five preserved palaces: Changdeokgung Palace* is particularly worth visiting with its secret Biwon garden. The smallest palace, Deoksugung Palace*, is surrounded by skyscrapers, which along with the World Cup stadium* shape the modern cityscape. From Namsan Mountain*, which rises up in the heart of Seoul, you will have a panoramic view over the city. In Mary’s Alley, little antiques shops and galleries offer a colourful array of porcelain, handmade paper and traditional statues – a great place to visit.
The second largest city in the country is nestled on the slopes of the surrounding mountain range and is enchanting in many different ways: climb the 120 m high tower in Yongdusan Park* for a panoramic view over the surrounding bays or stay in the harbour to see what the largest fish market* South Korea has to offer. Alternatively, visit Gyeongju*, where you can witness the history of the lost Silla Kingdom: the Seokguram Grotto and temple complex is an impressive combination of Buddhist religion and Far Eastern architecture.
The history of this “cradle of Japanese civilisation” goes back as far as 300 BCE and its location meant that it became an early centre of trade with China. You can learn more about the city’s history at the ruins of Fukuoka Castle, and the nearby Ohori Park* is an oasis of peace. From the idyllic water features and landscape gardens, admire the city’s skyline and the highest coastal tower in Japan – the 234 m high Fukuoka Tower*.
Six rivers flow through modern Hiroshima, making a trip on one of the many tour boats a great way of making your own discoveries. Stop off at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, where memorials are a reminder of the city’s past. A magical sight welcomes you to the holy island of Miyajima*: Japan’s most famous landmark, the red Torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine appears to float over the water.
The white walls of Himeji Castle* can be seen high up above the city and invite you to discover one of the greatest cultural treasures of Japan. The tea houses, lakes and waterfalls of the Koko-en gardens are enchanting and not just during the cherry blossom season – a true gem of Japanese landscape design.
Following a last night on board, start your journey home – or stay on for a post-cruise programme* in Tokyo.
* The shore activities are not included in the cruise price and are in the planning stage. Subject to changes.
** Subject to tides.
Please note that our pre- and post-cruise programmes are conducted in German.
For individual programmes kindly consult your travel agent.
Following programmes we offer in German:
PRE-CRUISE PROGRAMME A: SHANGHAI – THE ALLURE OF OPPOSITES
PRE-CRUISE PROGRAMME B: HIGHLIGHTS OF CHINA: XIAN, BEIJING AND SHANGHAI
POST-CRUISE PROGRAMME A: TOKYO – TRADITION AND MODERNITY
POST-CRUISE PROGRAMME B: IMPERIAL CITIES OF JAPAN: KYOTO, NARA AND TOKYO
MS EUROPA Concert Series
In partnership with some of the most famous opera houses and partners, we will present magnificent voices, expert instrumentalists and exhilarating ensembles as part of the MS EUROPA Concert Series on almost every cruise. Some surprises are often thrown in, too, because it is not uncommon for international artists to spontaneously join up - providing you with what can only be described as truly unique concert experiences on board and ashore.
Stars in this cruise: Calmus Ensemble