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  • Writer's picturePinnacle Global Travel

12 Days Island Hopping Through the Seto Inland Sea and East China Sea: Tokyo to Hong Kong

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

Cruise Ship

Asia | Windstar Cruises - Star Breeze

Departure Dates:

2020: October 21 | 2021: March 28

Ports of Call:

Tokyo; Kobe; Scenic Cruising Seto Inland Sea; Tomonoura; Hashima Island; Nagasaki; Yakushima; Amami Island; Okinawa (Naha); Keelung (Taipei); Hong Kong

General Info:

Discover firsthand the allure of Japan's small ports and historic landmarks during this 12-day cruise featuring scenic explorations of the Seto Inland Sea and additional stops in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Spend a day exploring Japan's iconic temples and an entire evening sampling Japanese cuisine and succulent Kobe beef during an overnight port stay in Kyoto. Lose yourself among old fishing relics and weathered Funaya, vintage fisherman buildings, in the small, picturesque port of Tomonoura, a rustic backdrop for international films and blockbuster movies. Learn about the protected, thousand-year-old cedars of Yakushima and their contributions to famous temples and formidable Japanese sailing ships. Stroll picturesque pebbled beaches or canoe nearby mangroves among the natural splendors of the Amami Islands. Slurp hot noodles while bathed in the neon glow of a Taipei night food market, surrounded by the rich aromas of spices and grilled meats and the din of clattering cooking pans and boisterous vendors.


With only 212 guests, you begin to feel like it's your own private yacht almost as soon as you step aboard. The sitting area of your spacious suite gives you an expansive ocean view, making it a welcome retreat. When you're ready to make an appearance, the lounges, club, casino and library are waiting to be explored. Take some "you" time in the tranquil WindSpa, enjoy a dip in the pool, work off that decadent dessert in the Fitness Center and, of course, you are always welcome to visit the Bridge to examine navigation charts with the Captain. Star Breeze is large enough to pamper and entertain you, yet small enough to tuck into delightful tiny harbors and hidden coves that others can't reach.


Day 1 | Tokyo, Japan:There are so many interesting things about Tokyo it is not possible to list them here and you will want to plan to extend your stay. This is the place for excellent and unlimited shopping choices and from where new fashion trends seem to spring. It offers excellent cuisine and has earned mention on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Even though Tokyo's neon-lit streets make it seem modernistic, it also prides itself on retaining its shogun past, carrying on sumo tournaments and kabuki productions. Tokyo is also committed to providing green spaces in the city or on the outskirts, quickly reached by train. Day 3 | Kobe, Japan: Kobe is the 6th largest city in Japan and famous for its signature marbled beef. The Ikuta Shrine there is among Japan's oldest shrines, dating back to the 3rd century. Kobe is also the gateway to Mount Rokko, accessible by antique cable cars, and the outdoor hot springs of Arima Onsen. Other sites include the Sake Breweries, the Earthquake Museum, and Sorakuen Garden. Day 4 | Scenic Cruising Seto Inland Sea, Japan : The sparsely traveled Inland Sea separates three of the four main islands of Japan and is considered one of the most fascinating and little known parts of Japan. Its sheltered coasts include more than 700 islands and islets and is full of picturesque water towns, beautiful bicycling routes and many old-fashioned bathhouses. It is a unique blend of old and new Japan experienced by few people. Day 4 | Tomonoura, Japan: This picturesque port city is one of Windstar's iconic hidden harbors. Tomonoura is part of the Setonanikai National Park and features an endearing old-fashioned townscape. One of its thriving industries is the production of "homeishu," a medicinal liquor with 16 different herbs in it, said to promote longevity. Day 6 | Scenic Cruising: Hashima Island: Cruise around the island of Hashima, abandoned over 50 years ago when the coal mining that flourished there suddenly ran out. The mining company shut the mine down and the island has been a ghost town ever since. (Visibility depends on weather conditions.) Day 6 | Nagasaki, Japan: Notable for the nuclear attack it suffered during World War II, Nagasaki has memorialized the event at the city's Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Memorial Park. The museum tells the story of the events leading up to the bombing and the park, located at the center of the bomb blast, houses a beautiful 30-foot tall fountain symbolizing peace. Other highlights to see are the Glover Gardens and Dejima Museum, which was originally an artificial island. Day 7 | Yakushima, Japan: Another delightful small port, Yakushima has been a UNESCO site since 1993. This sub-tropical island is covered with an extensive cedar forest with trees that are 7,000 years old. Wildlife here includes the Yakushima deer and snow monkeys. A special Japanese liquor of rice, barley, sweet potatoes and buckwheat is made here. Day 8 | Amami Island, Japan: The tropical small port of Amami Island is well-known in Japan for the top-quality silk and dyes produce the highest-end kimonos. The white-sand beaches and warm, crystal-clear waters of Amami are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Amami is also known for Keihan, its unique chicken rice dish. Day 9 | Okinawa (Naha), Japan: Renowned for its scenic beauty, rich history and unique Chinese, Japanese and Korean culture, Okinawa is famous for its ceramic wares. Tsuboya Potter Museum is the place to visit to learn about this beautiful artform. You'll also want to see Shuri Castle and Shureimon Gate, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Kokusai Street, the main shopping area. Day 10 | Keelung (Taipei), China (Taiwan) : The modern metropolis and capital city of Taiwan is an interesting mix of Japanese, Chinese and Southeast Asian cultures. The skyline is dominated by the 1,671-foot, 101-storied, bamboo-shaped skyscraper, Taipei 101. Other highlights of Taipei include the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park, Martyrs' Shrine which is an excellent example of classical Ming Dynasty architecture, and the Confucius Temple. Day 11 | Keelung (Taipei), China (Taiwan): The modern metropolis and capital city of Taiwan is an interesting mix of Japanese, Chinese and Southeast Asian cultures. The skyline is dominated by the 1,671-foot, 101-storied, bamboo-shaped skyscraper, Taipei 101. Other highlights of Taipei include the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park, Martyrs' Shrine which is an excellent example of classical Ming Dynasty architecture, and the Confucius Temple. Day 13 | Hong Kong, China: The ship docks right in the heart of Hong Kong's harbor, putting you at the center of all manner of attractions. Watch sampans and junks glide through the waters of Aberdeen. Soak in the towering skyscrapers, peaceful green hillsides and world-famous Harbour from the top of Victoria Peak. Pursue bargains at Stanley Market. Have your fortune told at the Temple Street Night Market. Visit Lantau Island where a giant bronze Buddha holds court.


All meals in all venues at all times, including room service menu available 24-hours. All non-alcoholic beverages, including cappuccino, espresso, and other specialty non-alcoholic drinks are offered to guests. There is also a welcome cocktails reception as well. Options include Amphora Restaurant, Candles, Compass Rose, Veranda, Yacht Club Cafe, Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso, Star Grill by Steven Raichlen, The Lounge and Star Bar.


Guests are allowed unlimited access to use all water sports equipment and there is also on-board entertainment. A casino, library/computer center, lounge, pool, whirlpool, and screening room are also available for guests at their leisure.


Explore beautiful landmarks throughout your journey with many highlighted excursions. Below are just a few of the many that you can experience on your voyage. Himeji Highlights Kobe Beef Dinner Kobe Local Beef and Sake Brewery Osaka Highlights Traditional Kyoto Fukuyamacastle and Myooin Temple Onomichi - The Town of Panorama and Temples Zen Meditation at Shinshoji Temple Best of Nagasaki Panoramic Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park and Museum The Pottery Town Arita and Nagasaki Concierge Collection: Yakusugi Chopsticks Making Experience Kiegensugi Ceder and Yakusugi Museum Yakusughi Hike Yakusugi Land Walking and Museum Amami Island Highlights Amami Island Local Experience Mangrove Forest Canoeing Oshima Full Day Dyed Coral Experience and Shuri Castle Naha Highlight Okinawa War Heritage Essential Taipei Northern Coast Taipei Lifestyle Taipei Old and New Hong Kong Highlight


Guests can enjoy amenities including a queen size bed with luxurious linens, a waffle weave robe and slippers, a flat-screen television with DVD player, a full stocked mini-bar and refrigerator, safety deposit box, direct dial phone, luxury bath amenities, Wi-Fi access, fresh flowers and fruit, granite vanity with makeup mirror, walk-in closet with ample drawer space, bathroom with granite countertop, full-size tub and a shower, and hairdryers. Gracious Balcony and Oceanview Suites | Where stylish comfort and oceanviews welcome you in 277-square-feet. Your queen bed, which can be separated as twins if you prefer, features luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Enjoy a luxurious soak in your full-size tub or an invigorating shower, then wrap up in your waffle-weave robe and slippers, savor a treat from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and enjoy the fresh flowers. Classic Suites | Relax in 400 to 530 spacious square-feet. Your living area offers beautiful views from the forward-facing window and French doors onto your private veranda. Two spacious closets give you plenty of room to unpack. Owner's Suites Forward |With 575-square-feet, your Owner's Suite offers separate living room and dining areas. A veranda, two flat-screen televisions and DVD players, and a full master bath and separate powder room indulge you in spacious comfort. Star Category Suites | As soon as you walk through the door, you're greeted with an open living area for a more welcoming entrance. Drift off to sleep by the window in your queen bed as you watch the same stars that sailors used to navigate the seas hundreds of years ago. Star Porthole Suites | These suites represent a nod to the sailing tradition of porthole windows. And while sailors might have had cramped quarters, your 277-square-foot stateroom is wonderfully spacious and furnished with all the modern amenities and comforts of home. Owner's Suites Midship | A stunning brand new owner's suites with 820-square-feet of space featuring two-bedrooms and two-bathrooms, a verandah, and plenty of space in the sitting area for entertaining. This is the most sought after suite on the entire ship and once you stay here, you'll never stay anywhere else. Grand Owner's Suites Midship | The Owner's Suite Midship combines with the adjoining suite for a three-bedroom and three-bath suite totaling 1,374-square-feet. Bring your friends and share the suite like a villa, or luxuriate with just the two of you for accommodations as unique as your travels. There's no other suite like this at sea.


WindSpa | Available to guests who wish to take time and relax after an adventurous day out exploring.


There is a fitness center on board for guests who want to continue their workout while sailing.


Starting 02/20/2020, this all-suite ship will undergo a complete renovation to provide more of what guests love. New public areas, including a two new dining venues, a new spa, infinity pool, and fitness area. The ship also boasts all new bathrooms in every suite and a new category of Star suites, featuring a new layout that would expand itself to carry 312 guests. With oceanviews and over 277-square-feet of comfort, Star Breeze is the perfect ship to watch glaciers and fjords drift by from the serenity of your suite.


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