Asian Island Odyssey: Exploring the Remote Tropical Islands of Japan, Philippines and Indonesia

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Heritage Expeditions, pioneers in authentic small ship expedition cruising, invites you on the ultimate tropical island-hopping cruise from Osaka, Japan, through the Philippines and Indonesia to Darwin, Australia, aboard luxurious expedition ship Heritage Adventurer.

Our adventure begins exploring the Buddhist temples, gardens, castles, history, culture and cuisine of Japan including one of its most famous sites Itsukushima Shrine with its renowned overwater torii gate, Hiroshima Peace Park, the eco-paradise and UNESCO World Heritage status of Yakushima Island, the primeval subtropical Kinsakubaru Virgin Forest and centuries old traditional process of making Oshima Tsumugi silk on Amami Oshima and the beauty and history of the ‘Hawaii of Japan’ Okinawa Island.

We then weave our way through hard-to-reach and rarely visited tropical islands where impossibly blue waters gently lap white sand beaches and pristine coral gardens and walls abound with neon-lit fish, fascinating rare birds and wildlife dwell in primeval jungles, intriguing time-forget cultures and traditions await discovery and World War II relics, wrecks and history can be found both above and below the water.

Highlights include Taiwan’s Yehliu Geopark and 19-kilometre-long canyon Taroko National Park and Marble Gorge with its 300 feet high marble walls, Philippines historic Batan Island, Hundred Islands National Park, the ‘Galapagos of Asia’ Sibuyan Island, visiting the ‘Whale Shark Capital of the World’ and swimming with the gentle giants and discovering the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ on Bohol Island.

We also plan to delve into the fascinating history of the Spice Islands at Banda Neira, visit the famed palace of the Sultan of Ternate, look for the world’s smallest primate the saucer-eyed Tarsier, and snorkel pristine coral reefs including “the mother of all living coral reefs”, sample local delicacies and experience thrilling cultural exchanges at villages where traditional life continues unchanged.

Set sail where few have gone before and join us on an authentic expedition as we expedition cruise the remote, rarely visited tropical island paradises of Japan, Philippines and Indonesia by ship and Zodiac on this incredible voyage.


• Kobe & Takamatsu

• Miyajima & Hiroshima

• Yakushima Island

• Amami Oshima

• Keelung, Taiwan

• Batan Island, Philippines

• Hundred Islands National Park

• Donsol & Ticao Island

• Bitung Indonesia

• Banggai Islands & Taliabu Island


Map for Asian Island Odyssey: Exploring the Remote Tropical Islands of Japan, Philippines and Indonesia

Day 1: Osaka

Day 2: Kobe

Day 3: Takamatsu

Day 4: Miyajima & Hiroshima

Day 5: Uwajima

Day 6: Yakushima Island

Day 7: Amami Oshima

Day 8: Okinawa Island

Day 9: Ishigaki, Yaeyama Islands

Day 10: Keelung, Taiwan

Day 11: Hualien

Day 12: Batan Island, Philippines

Day 13: Vigan

Day 14: Hundred Islands National Park

Day 15: Manila

Day 16: Sibuyan Island

Day 17: Donsol & Ticao Island

Day 18: Bohol Island

Day 19: Bucas Grande Island

Day 20: At Sea

Day 21: Bitung Indonesia

Day 22: Ternate

Day 23: Banggai Islands & Taliabu Island

Day 24: Buru Island

Day 25: Banda Neira

Day 26: Tanimbar Islands

Day 27: At Sea

Day 28: Darwin, Australia

Please Note:

Itineraries are subject to change.

Ship Information 

Heritage Adventurer

Vessel Type: Expedition Ship

Length: 124 metres

Passenger Capacity: 140

Built: 1991

Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the ‘Grande Dame of Polar Exploration’ due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purpose-built for adventure in 1991 at Finland’s Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration.Setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (formerly known as MS Hanseatic) combines the highest passenger ship ice-class rating (1A Super) with an impressive history of Polar exploration. Having held records for the most northern and southern Arctic and Antarctic navigations, and for traversing both the Northwest and Northeast Passages, makes Heritage Adventurer perfect for pioneering New Zealand-based Heritage Expeditions signature experiential expedition travel.Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, Heritage Adventurer now welcomes just 140 expeditioners ensuring spacious, stylish and comfortable voyages, while a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition adventure. Heritage Adventurer proudly continues our traditions of exceptional, personalised expedition experiences as Heritage Expeditions flagship.

Observation Lounge – One of the most celebrated and best-known features of Heritage Adventurer is the awe-inducing Observation Lounge, Library and Bar. Located on Deck 7 and perched directly above the Bridge, enjoy sweeping 270-degree views through floor to ceiling windows, perfect for wildlife spotting and quick access to the outer deck. Bring your binoculars to spot wildlife, observe the ever-changing landscape, write in your journal or relax with a book.

Observation Deck – Enjoy 360-degree views from the highest point on the ship. The Observation Deck sits above the Observation Lounge and provides exceptional outside viewing options. Stretching the full width of the vessel, this is the perfect spot to take in the surrounding land and seascapes. Perfect on a sunny day, recline in the comfortable sun loungers protected from the wind and elements and watch your voyage unfold.

The Bridge – No expedition is complete without visiting Heritage Adventurer’s busy nerve centre. Located on Deck 6, Heritage Expeditions’ Open Bridge Policy means you are welcome to observe the Captain and crew at work while enjoying some of the ship’s best views. It’s a fascinating place to learn about navigation and vessel operations, however please note the Bridge will be closed when departing or arriving at port.

Dining Room  – Indulge in fine international cuisine from our talented chefs in the lavish surrounds of our Dining Room on Deck 4. Sensational 270-degree views provide a stunning backdrop to meals here along with an international wine list featuring many outstanding regional wines. With relaxed seating arrangements, all guests can enjoy dining in a single sitting from hearty breakfasts setting you up for the day’s adventure to sumptuous lunches and multi-course evening dining.

Bistro  – Simple fast and delicious meals and snacks are on offer in our relaxed Bistro on Deck 6. Perfect for early risers to enjoy tea, coffee and light breakfast options the Bistro provides great views and opens directly onto a covered and heated teak-deck outdoor dining area.

The Bar and Lounge  – The social hub of  Heritage Adventurer, the Bar and Lounge on Deck 5 features seating for all guests. Enjoy a beverage at the bar, sink into an armchair, relax on one of the many spacious loungers and watch the world go by through the panoramic windows or make new friends at the communal seating. This multi-tasking space also doubles as the location of daily briefings and evening recaps with the expedition team.

The Gym – Featuring spectacular ocean views, the well-equipped gym is adjacent to the pool, hot tub and sauna in Deck 7’s wellbeing zone. Maintain your routine with an elliptical cross trainer, treadmill, rowing machine, stationary bikes, TRX as well as free weights, yoga mats and fitness balls. Towels are provided with change room and shower amenities nearby.

Sauna and Steam Room – True to her Nordic origins, Heritage Adventurer features a dry-heat Finnish sauna and European steam room on Deck 7. Perfect for warming up post Polar plunge or unwinding after a day’s adventures, the sauna and steam room include change room facilities, showers and towels.

Swimming Pool and Hot Tub – Surrounded by relaxed teak seating including sun loungers, the open-air saltwater pool can be heated or chilled. Encased in glass the hot tub ensures all-weather use, perfect for those who like to relax with a view following a day of exploring.

Lectures and Presentations – Enjoy informative and entertaining lectures on history, biology, wildlife, and ecology in the comfort of the Presentation Theatre. With state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, our world-renowned expedition team will bring your adventure to life through interactive presentations and discussions.

What’s Included 


• Voyage on board in selected cabin cateogy
• Pre/Post cruise transfers
• Experienced expedition leader and team
• All meals while on board
• All expedition shore excusions


• International and Domestic flights, both commercial and charter
• Travel insurance
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Beverages on board
• Gratuities
• Any items of a personal nature including laundry


Images courtesy of Wild Earth Travel