On board MS BREMEN from Kanazawa to Fiji

Expedition to the Marshall Islands and Caroline Islands - Forgotten worlds in the heart of the Pacific

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Only the BREMEN makes it possible: a truly special expedition premiere in the spirit of the legendary explorers of our world. Driven by curiosity and a pioneering spirit, this cruise will reward a small group of like-minded passengers with unexpected experiences. Unknown lands await you in the middle of the endless vastness of the Pacific. A kaleidoscope of thousands of scattered islands and atolls which come together like never before to form an expedition experience. Even for the well-travelled BREMEN and its experienced crew, almost every destination is a premiere. The Caroline Islands, the Marshall Islands and the Gilbert Islands will unveil the legendary myths of the South Seas from their unknown and still authentic perspectives. Even the first time you lay eyes on them, you will find an almost unreal natural spectacle with white beaches, turquoise lagoons and intensely colourful underwater worlds. Additionally, our experts will give you deep insights into the history of exploration, the colonial past and the climate-related challenges of the future. You simply cannot miss this diversity – we cannot be certain for how long they will remain this pristine.


from Kanazawa to Fiji

Cruise dates:from 28.09.2015 to 26.10.2015 (28 days)
Your ship: MS BREMEN
Cruise number: BRE1518

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This cruise is operated in German. For individual programmes kindly ask our travel concierge.

Itinerary

Mon, 28.09.2015

Scheduled flight Frankfurt – Tokyo

Tue, 29.09.2015

Overnight stay with breakfast

Wed, 30.09.2015

Scheduled flight to Komatsu,
Journey to Kanazawa/Japan, departure 18.00 hrs

Thu, 01.10.2015

Relaxation at sea

Paradise under foreign influence
Since being discovered by the great seafaring nations in the 16th century, these remote Pacific Island have gotten into conflicts of interest time and again. In the 19th century, German traders recognised the value of the Marshall Island in terms of exports and dominated the shipping of copra. Prior to gaining independence in 1990, the Caroline Islands also fell under the influence of colonial powers of Spain, Germany, Japan and the USA.  Once a strategic location in the Pacific theatre of the Second World War, today the battle rages against rising sea levels in the wake of climate change: this poses a threat to the islands and atolls that are only 3 to 4 m above sea level. Even the coral reefs – natural breakwaters – are in danger. Is it only a question of time until these incredible creations of nature disappear?

Fri, 02.10.2015

Hiroshima, from 7.00 – 16.00 hrs

Deep insights into history and geology
Your conquest of the Pacific begins in Japan. Tradition and modernity live in close harmony on this island state: ancient royal cities and gigantic metropolises, ritualistic tea ceremonies and bustling city life. Hiroshima is a city absolutely worthy of a visit and a poignant memorial at the same time. Relive its history on a city tour* which will also show you the jovial, modern aspects of contemporary Japanese life. The holy island of Miyajima* and the famous Itsukushima Shrine will introduce you to the major religions of Japan, Shintoism and Zen Buddhism.

Sat, 03.10.2015
- Tue, 06.10.2015

Relaxation at sea

Wed, 07.10.2015

Mariana Trench (Vitiaz depth 1)

The contrast between fascinating vistas and history in motion will continue to determine the course of your expedition. Set a course for the far reaches of the Pacific and embark on great adventures. The pioneers of past ages must surely have felt the same way. Your excitement will grow with each new day at sea as the experts on board guide you through the history and cultures of far-flung worlds. The incredible dimensions of the Pacific will prove a particularly rich experience when the BREMEN stops over the Mariana Trench (subject to weather conditions). With a little luck, you will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim across the Vityaz depth 1. At a depth of over 11,000 metres, it is the deepest region in the world’s oceans – even Mount Everest would be fully submerged there. And the excitement certainly won’t end there: the first outlines of a seemingly endless chain of beautiful islands will appear on the horizon. Where will we land? What wonders await you ashore and underwater? From now on, every day will be a great adventure.

Thu, 08.10.2015
- Wed, 14.10.2015

Caroline Islands/Fed. States of Micronesia (Lamotrek , Namonuito Atoll , Pohnpei , Pingelap , Kosrae )

The Caroline Islands: treasures under a colonial flag
Discovered by Spanish seafarers in the 16th century and named after King Carlos II, the Caroline Islands were primarily used by the Spanish as an intermediate stop on their trade routes. After becoming a colony of the German Empire and surviving the commotion of two world wars, this part of the Pacific has almost been forgotten by the world. This is no surprise as many of the remote islands cannot even be located on a map. Lamotrek is one of the most beautiful islands, with white beaches lined with palm trees. The friendly inhabitants will welcome you to a different world with traditional dances and colourful costumes. Namonuito Atoll, one of many atolls on this expedition, will help you develop an appreciation for the typical landscapes of the Pacific. Many small coral islands form a ring around a lagoon. Charles Darwin’s theory on the formation of atolls is based on volcanoes which disappear through erosion and rising sea levels until only ring-shaped reefs are visible. Marine biologist Hans Hass believes they originate from cone-shaped reefs: corals in the centre die off and only those on the edge continue to grow and thus form the atoll. Make up your own mind about these blue treasures by snorkelling in the underwater gardens or dreaming under coconut palms. The second largest of the Caroline Islands, Pohnpei, will definitely exceed your expectations of nature. The landscape is characterised by jagged mountains covered in rainforests and over 40 rivers running down from the highlands. A visit to the ancient ruined city of Nan Madol*, a ritual site featuring megalithic architecture and a testament to a centuries-old, highly developed culture, will lead you into the heart of lush, tropical vegetation. Pingelap, the “island of the colour-blind”, is one of the many premier destinations of the BREMEN. Due to the isolation of the island, achromatopsia, or total colour blindness, was passed down to its few inhabitants. Instead of colours, these people can only see shadows and contrasts; however, they see these clearer than other people, which has proved to be an advantage when fishing. Kosrae, an agricultural gem, is another new port of call. It is characterised by rainforests and the rich ecosystem of the mangroves on the coasts, and is dominated by volcanoes that stand over 600 m high in the centre. Uncover the secrets of a culture that ruled over Micronesia when you explore the ruins of Lelu*. Unforgettable insights await you – and you can round these off with views from a hike up Mount Finakol*.

Thu, 15.10.2015
- Sun, 18.10.2015

Marshall Islands (Ujae Atoll , Likiep Atoll , Majuro Atoll , Jaluit Atoll )

Forgotten worlds: the Marshall Islands
To this day, the Marshall Islands attract even fewer tourists than the Caroline Islands. An expeditionary territory with widely strewn atolls and more than 1,000 islands. Linked by their unspoilt culture, fascinating history and uncertain future. All of them picture-book South Sea idylls in the heart of the Pacific – original and pure. The blue sky and the turquoise water seem to flow into one another. With their white sandy beaches and green palms, the many tiny islands add splashes of colour to this natural canvas. Even the captain and crew of the BREMEN will be visiting the islands for the first time. The underwater world is a real insider tip, too. Dive into the soul of the South Seas at Ujae Atoll and go swimming and snorkelling to discover the colourful riches of the coral reefs in the “rainforest of the ocean”. Ashore at Likiep Atoll, you will gain a feel for colonial times. Copra has been produced here for export for more than 100 years, and some buildings reflect the influential age of the Europeans. On Majuro Atoll, learn about the lives of the current inhabitants on a city tour* of the capital, Majuro. Almost half of the population of the Marshall Islands live here in astonishingly confined conditions. Things are just as vibrant underwater, where colourful shoals of fish and majestic sea turtles reside in reefs and sunken shipwrecks: a highlight for divers and snorkellers. On the surface, frigate birds and tropical birds loop and soar. Jaluit Atoll also gives a sense of total isolation – while it has only around 11 km2 of land, its lagoon spans almost 700 km2. This is where we find Jabor Island, home of the former German capital of the Marshall Islands. As well as reminders of past links with Germany, ruins of Japanese fortifications recall the battles for the Marshall and Gilbert Islands, after which Japan’s dominance of the Pacific faltered in 1945.

Mon, 19.10.2015
- Tue, 20.10.2015

Gilbert Islands/Kiribati (Butaritari (Gilbert Islands) , Onotoa Atoll )

Sensitive paradise of the South Seas
The fascinating contrasts of moving history and exotic natural surroundings also shape the features of the Gilbert Islands. On Butaritari (Gilbert Islands), relics of the Pacific War serve as a reminder of the atoll’s key position in the early 20th century. The welcoming ceremony and villagers’ dances will take you back to much earlier Micronesian traditions. This charming originality also permeates Onotoa Atoll, which has a reef simply made for swimmers and snorkellers. The many tiny islands are just metres above sea level and are placed at risk as it rises.

Wed, 21.10.2015

Relaxation at sea

Thu, 22.10.2015

Funafuti/Tuvalu

This is an issue that will make you see Funafuti, capital of the island state of Tuvalu, from a new perspective. Enriched by these impressions, you will close the treasure chest of the Pacific and take home precious memories from the far reaches of this world ocean.

Fri, 23.10.2015

Relaxation at sea

Sat, 24.10.2015

Lautoka/Fiji, arrival 8.00 hrs
Tour, scheduled flight to Sydney
Overnight stay with breakfast

Sun, 25.10.2015

City tour
Scheduled flight from Sydney – Singapore – Frankfurt

Mon, 26.10.2015

Arrival in Frankfurt

A change in itinerary may become necessary on this expedition to the Marshall and Caroline Islands. The captain will decide on the best possible alternative depending on local conditions

* The shore activities are not included in the cruise price and are in the planning stage. Subject to changes. A change in itinerary may become necessary on this expedition to the Marshall and Caroline Islands. The captain will decide on the best possible alternative depending on local conditions.

= at anchor

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: IMPERIAL CITIES OF JAPAN: KYOTO, NARA AND TOKYO


POST-CRUISE PROGRAMME A: EXCLUSIVE AUSTRALIA: SYDNEY AND AYERS ROCK


POST-CRUISE PROGRAMME B: LOMANI ISLAND RESORT – YOUR SOUTH SEAS HIDEAWAY