Grand Pacific Explorer

enquire now 93 Days From NZD $59,990 pp twinshare
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Embark on an epic Pacific itinerary

This 93-day cruise combines Australia & New Zealand; Komodo & the Australian Coast; Bangkok, Bali & Beyond; Southeast Asia & Hong Kong; Far Eastern Horizons and North Pacific Passage. Bridge oceans and continents on our most epic Pacific itinerary yet. Overnight stays in 13 ports help you immerse yourself in a fascinating array of cultures and let you embrace endless opportunities to get to know locals. It is an enriching journey unlike any other.


Auckland to Vancouver OR Vancouver to Auckland 

93 Days | 45 Guided Tours | 12 Countries 

Map of the Grand Pacific Explorer itinerary

Day 1 — Auckland, New Zealand


Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. Cultural capital of New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is known as the “City of Sails” for its residents’ love of boating. This seafaring city has hosted three America’s Cup challenges, and its marinas are brimming with world-class yachts. In tree-lined Albert Park, flower beds and towering palms point the way to a cast-iron central fountain. The neoclassical Auckland War Memorial Museum chronicles the nation’s history within its edifice-like walls. The observation deck of the Sky Tower offers breathtaking bird’s-eye views of Auckland’s cityscape.


Day 2 — Auckland, New Zealand


Straddling a narrow isthmus on New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland enjoys a picturesque setting between two harbors: Waitematā and Manukau. This cosmopolitan city of outdoor enthusiasts is a vibrant marine hub. One of the great pleasures of exploring the city by foot is witnessing countless masts bobbing with the tide at the city’s marinas and jet-setting yacht clubs, and marveling at the many full-blown sails as they traverse glittering waters in the distance.


Day 3 — Rotorua, New Zealand


Tauranga, nestled on the Bay of Plenty, is watched over by the dramatic Mt. Maunganui, an extinct volcano that helped shape this spectacular region of white-sand beaches and azure waters. The Māori arrived here in the 13th century, followed by the British 600 years later. Today, the city is home to a thriving cultural scene and stunning vistas of mountains rising from the surrounding waters. Tauranga is best known as the gateway to the bubbling mud pools and thermal fields of Rotorua. The local Māori believe this cauldron-like region to be a gift of fire from the gods.


Day 4 — Napier, New Zealand


Napier is an impressive cityscape of art deco architecture often compared to Miami Beach for its splendor. Built after much of the city was destroyed during a 1931 earthquake, the stunning “main street” design and art deco flair combine to create a city unlike any other in the world. The National Aquarium, one of the finest in New Zealand, can be found in Napier. Nearby, Hawke’s Bay boasts more than 70 vineyards. The first ones were introduced by French missionaries during the mid-19th century. The city also holds claim as the largest wool center in the Southern Hemisphere.


Day 5 — Wellington, New Zealand


Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, enjoys a splendid setting and is hailed by many as the “coolest little capital in the world.” Its history is embodied in a rich collection of architecture, from classic weatherboard wooden cottages and the clean lines of art deco to Edwardian and postmodern wonders. The city’s neoclassical Parliament House stands out and is listed as a Heritage New Zealand building for its history and cultural significance. The city hosts an array of arts and cultural institutions, including museums, symphonies, ballet and film.


Day 6 — Christchurch, New Zealand


Christchurch is the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island. Named after Christ Church College in Oxford by English pilgrims from Canterbury, it retains much of its original British flavor, from the Gothic Revival cathedral to the punting excursion boats on the tranquil Avon River. The city embraces another English tradition: it is home to so many green parks that it has been nicknamed the “Garden City.” Its lush Botanic Gardens ranks among the most important in the world, hosting plants from six continents, a rock garden and a water garden of lilies and irises.


Day 7 — Dunedin, New Zealand


Dunedin and Port Chalmers lie on the 12-mile-long Otago Harbour. At the heart of the city, Dunedin is home to New Zealand’s first university, built in 1871. This lively college town is one of the South Island’s cultural capitals. Neighboring Port Chalmers has a thriving arts scene, inspired by its setting. Across the water, the distinctive Harbour Cone summit rises on the Otago Peninsula. Together, this unspoiled region is a breathtaking vista of mountains and sea, and home to seals, penguins and seabirds, including the only mainland colony of albatross in the world.


Day 8 — Scenic Sailing: Foveaux Strait


The narrow Foveaux Strait separates New Zealand’s South Island from Stewart Island, also known as Rakiura (or “the Land of Growing Skies”) after its Māori name. The small town of Bluff is the South Island’s southernmost settlement and is dominated by Bluff Hill to its west. With a permanent population of less than 400 people, Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third-largest island, ringed with bays and blanketed with lush forests.


Day 9 — Sail the Tasman Sea


“Cross the ditch” as you sail today, a term coined to refer to a voyage on the Tasman Sea, just as many Americans and Europeans refer to a trans-Atlantic journey as “hopping the pond.” Admire the views as you sail today and enjoy an al fresco dining experience. The Aquavit Terrace serves a range of International fare and casual dining favorites, as well as a range of superb cocktails inspired by our destinations.


Day 10 — Tasmania, Australia


Tasmania, Australia’s smallest state, was named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. Its capital, Hobart, was founded as a penal colony for some 300 inmates. Today, the charming city boasts the world’s second-deepest natural harbor, a mild climate and a picturesque setting on the banks of the Derwent River. Its remarkably preserved architecture dates to Georgian and Victorian times, and traditional pubs transport visitors back to Old England. Nearby, Port Arthur is an open air museum chronicling the relocation of convicts here by the British during the 18th and 19th centuries.


Day 11 — Scenic Sailing: Bass Strait


Separating mainland Australia from the island of Tasmania, the Bass Strait was discovered by British explorers George Bass and Matthew Flinders in 1799. This discovery allowed merchants and explorers to cut 700 miles off their journeys from Europe or India. The largest archipelago in the waterway’s eastern reaches, the Furneaux Islands, once formed a land bridge between Tasmania and Australia. In the strait’s western region, King Island hosts several settlements and is on the migration route of several bird species.


Day 12 — Melbourne, Australia


Melbourne has been called the world’s most livable city. It enjoys a scenic setting on the large bay of Port Phillip. Soon after Queen Victoria declared it a city of the Crown in 1847, the rush to find gold in its rivers made it one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities. Today, it is celebrated as the country’s cultural capital of the arts and exudes a rich and lively British flair, from its narrow shopping lanes to the fanciful Victorian buildings along Collins Street. A literal slice of England can be found within 64 acres of beautiful blooms at Fitzroy Gardens.


Day 13 — Sail the Gippsland Coast


Trace one of Australia’s most scenic regions along the southeastern shore of the continent on the Bass Strait. As you sail today, savor a range of international cuisine on board. Choose from a variety of international flavors at the World Café, enjoy al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace, or regional specialties in The Restaurant.


Day 14 — Sydney, Australia


Sydney was founded as a penal colony in 1788 and is celebrated for its magnificent natural harbor. It has grown into the major cultural center of Australia, beloved for its all-embracing, free-spirited nature. The cultural jewel in its crown is the iconic Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled harborside like a gleaming white bird taking wing. Adjacent, the Royal Botanic Garden displays one of the world’s most important horticultural collections across its 70 acres of flora-lined pathways.


Day 15 — Sydney, Australia


In the heart of Sydney, The Rocks is the city’s district of restaurants, galleries and shops. But its streets were not always so welcoming; during the 19th century, they were the haunt of ex-convicts and sailors who wandered among buildings made of clay and wood, thatched roofs or locally quarried sandstone—the district was named for the latter—looking for trouble. Many original structures have been razed and replaced, however one of the few to have survived in this is the Lord Nelson, Sydney’s oldest pub brewery that has been serving pints and other libations since 1841.


Day 16 — Newcastle, Australia


Newcastle boasts some of the most picturesque coastal vistas in Australia. The city was built on coal export and remains a major exporter. But locals care more about soaking up the spectacular outdoors. High cliffs, well-kept green parks and long stretches of beach grace these shores. And the people of Newcastle know how to keep connected to their breathtaking surroundings: They have built ocean baths along the shore that collect sea water during high tide. Nearby, in one of the country’s first wine regions, the vintners of Hunter Valley bottle some of the coast’s favorites.


Day 17 — Sail the Australian Coast


Trace the scenic Australian coastline, indigenous people inhabited the continent for 60,000 years prior to European discovery. Renew your body, mind and spirit in our Scandinavian-inspired spa, a Nordic sanctuary of holistic wellness, today while at sea. Whether you unwind in the Sauna, refresh in the Snow Grotto or take a dip in the Thermal Pool, you will feel recharged and revitalized.


Day 18 — Brisbane, Australia


The capital of Queensland, Brisbane is situated on its namesake river and spreads over picturesque hills rising from Moreton Bay. One of the oldest cities in Australia, its first European settlers were the secondary offenders from the Sydney penal colony. In addition to its riverside skyscrapers, the city is host to some decidedly less dramatic architecture: the quaint Queenslander homes characterized by their terraces and raised living spaces. Art galleries, museums and beloved musical venues also make the city one of Australia’s most vibrant and active cultural centers.


Day 19 — Sail the Australian Coast


Follow the route of English explorer James Cook, who famously laid eyes on Australia’s “Sunshine Coast” from the deck of the HMS Endeavour. As you sail, explore our well-curated library, tucked in a private alcove of The Living Room, and select from a broad range of titles. Read a book by the Main Pool, a calming oasis in any weather with its retractable roof, allowing for year-round swimming.


Day 20 — Whitsunday Islands (Airlie Beach), Australia


The Whitsunday archipelago emerges from the Coral Sea amid the Great Barrier Reef. The seafaring Ngaro people called this paradise home until 1870 and hunted these waters in bark canoes. Nature’s brushstrokes are astonishing here: pure-white sands meet cerulean waters, swirling together at sandbars to merge into a palette of turquoise, cream and emerald-green hills. Glassy, invigorating and impossibly blue, the waters provide the ideal oasis for relaxing and idling away a few hours on the beach.


Day 21 — Townsville, Australia


Townsville is the unofficial capital of North Queensland and a favorite cultural center. The city’s location on the banks of the Ross River and along the shores of Cleveland Bay hints at the local love of outdoor life. Riverway, a path-lined green park that traces the Ross, leads walkers and joggers past scenic views and the city’s original wharves and ports. Nearby, The Strand, a tranquil walkway, follows the long tropical beach. And no matter which corner of Townsville you are exploring, the red sandstone monolith of Castle Hill is always in view.


Day 22 — Cairns, Australia


Queensland’s seaside resort town, Cairns is the gateway to a rich array of natural beauty onshore and off. Catamarans take marine lovers to the Great Barrier Reef; stretching for 1,400 miles, it is the largest continuous coral reef system on Earth. Inland, the wet tropics have given rise to Daintree and Kuranda National Parks, vast rainforest systems of extraordinary biodiversity and a profusion of birdlife. For all its appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, Cairns’ thriving culture is a pleasure to absorb from the outdoor cafés or along the scenic waterfront promenade.


Day 23 — Sail the Coral Sea


Traverse the mineral-rich waters of the Coral Sea, where the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef welcomes divers to explore its spectacular marine life. As you sail today, savor a range of international cuisine on board. Choose from a variety of international flavors at the World Café, enjoy al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace, or regional specialties in The Restaurant.


Day 24 — Thursday Island, Australia


Thursday Island was once home to a thriving pearl fishing industry. From the late 19th century, divers came from Japan, Malaysia and India to harvest these precious stones. The diving has declined, but traces of Asia’s diverse influences remain. The island’s Green Hill Fort was built during the 1890s with growing concerns of a potential Russian invasion. The fort was shut down just 30 years later and reactivated during World War II as a wireless station. Many islanders, still to this day, abide by a no-footwear policy out of respect for the spirits of their ancestors.


Day 25 — Sail the Arafura Sea


Trace the route of early civilizations as you sail the Arafura Sea. During the Ice Age, entire populations were once able to walk between continents, exchanging languages and customs. Meet fellow guests and listen to the soothing sounds of classical music in The Living Room, an ideal setting for relaxation. Enjoy a cup of coffee or sip on a refreshing cocktail.


Day 26 — Darwin, Australia


Darwin is the cultural hub of the continent’s northernmost region. The laid-back city got its name after the HMS Beagle sailed into the harbor during a surveying expedition in 1839. The famed naturalist Charles Darwin was so esteemed that its captain named this newest discovery for him. Today, it is the largest city in the thinly populated Northern Territory state. It boasts a rich and lively arts and culture scene, much of it centered on the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Its collection of art and artifacts reflects the region and its indigenous people.


Day 27 — Darwin, Australia


Darwin may be far removed from Australia’s other provincial capitals, but it is proudly cosmopolitan. Its varied museums highlight the rich history and abundant marine life. The Royal Flying Doctor Service museum chronicles the organization’s part in World War II and illuminates its current role in the bush. On the waterfront, the Indo-Pacific Marine Exhibition recreates various underwater ecosystems, each one self-sustaining with no feeding or filtration, providing unique insight into fascinating aquatic worlds.


Day 28 — Sail the Timor Sea


Follow in the footsteps of Indonesia’s indigenous people and sail the Timor Sea. This stretch of water shares its name with the independent state of East Timor, which lies to its north. As you sail today, attend an informative lecture or watch a film in our state-of-the-art theater. A range of insightful TED Talks and destination-inspired seminars are offered daily.


Day 29 — Komodo, Indonesia


Komodo is one of the world’s most unique and prehistoric-feeling national parks with a magnificent menagerie of wildlife. Its most famous denizen is the legendary Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world. These breathtaking creatures can grow up to ten feet long and typically weigh about 150 pounds. Gentler-looking animals also roam, including the island’s graceful Timor deer, beautiful wild horses and stout little boars. Resident giant fruit bats, also known as flying foxes, are a sight to behold with their jet-black capes.


Day 30 — Lombok, Indonesia


Lombok exudes a relaxed atmosphere in a tropical setting. Wood carvers, potters and other artisans keep artistic traditions alive, finding endless inspiration in the lush forests, the soothing sands and the soaring peak of Mt. Rinjani, the nation’s second-tallest volcano. The crafts of the island are steeped in the artistry of the indigenous Sasak people. The island is also home to pearl divers who pluck these treasures from the sea and offer them for sale. On the western shore, Senggigi is home to the island’s best beach, stretching several miles along a lush, green coast.


Day 31 — Bali (Benoa), Indonesia


With a thriving arts scene, lush beauty and magnificent seaside vistas, Bali has long beckoned travelers in search of ultimate beauty. The island’s rich Hindu culture has forever held that gods live in all things natural—from mountains to streams to pebbles on the beach—lending the island a peaceful air. Denpasar is the island’s thriving capital. Founded as a market town, it still bustles with colorful stalls and vast emporiums selling bright sarongs and intricately patterned batik.


Day 32 — Bali (Benoa), Indonesia


With its distinct flavors and traditions, Bali’s food culture stands apart from that of the rest of Indonesia. Indigenous ingredients, recipes and techniques blend with influences from the island’s Chinese and Indian heritages to create dishes found nowhere else. For many, a daily ritual may involve shopping for ginger, turmeric and kaffir lime in spice markets or for fruits, vegetables and meats in a pasar pagi. Traditional warungs, tiny family-owned food stands, often specialize in a particular dish, such as babi guling (suckling pig) or bebek betutu (crispy duck).


Day 33 — Surabaya, Java, Indonesia


Surabaya played a central role in the Indonesian War of Independence. The memorials to that struggle stand as soaring testaments to the will and courage of the Javanese. Today, Surabaya is a diverse patchwork of vibrant cultures. Mosques stand proudly in the Arab district and elegant churches adorn the European quarter. But perhaps the most authentic way to fully experience Java’s varied cultural influences is by tasting them. A stroll through the Pasar Pabean traditional market reveals fresh fish, vegetables, spices, incense and countless other specialties.


Day 34 — Semarang, Indonesia


Java is Indonesia’s repository of history and island culture. The bustling port of Semarang was founded by the Dutch and hints of the island’s colonial past dot the cityscape. Outside the city, Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world, strikes a dramatic pose against a backdrop of four volcanoes. A popular place of pilgrimage and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the massive pyramidal temple towers to a great height. The devout walk up a clockwise path to the pinnacle, passing 2,672 reliefs and 504 Buddha statues along the way.


Day 35 — Jakarta, Java, Indonesia


Jakarta is a melting pot of cultures and a bustling capital. The city has been important to trade since the 4th century; it was founded as Sunda Kelapa, a significant trading port for the Sunda Kingdom, the Hindu realm that once occupied this area. The Dutch arrived in 1619 to establish the Dutch East Indies, renaming the city Batavia and proclaiming it their capital. Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and more were exported from here. During the Japanese occupation of World War II, the Dutch were expelled and the city took its current name, which it retained after independence.


Day 36 — Jakarta, Java, Indonesia


Jakarta is an enormous mélange of cultures imported from Indonesia’s 6,000 inhabited islands. Whether strolling the capital’s outdoor markets or dining at a high-end restaurant, the city’s menus reveal a cornucopia of cuisines that reflect the varied traditions of today’s Jakartans. The local Betawi food is the culmination of centuries of Malay, Chinese, Javanese and other influences. Gado-gado, salad in peanut sauce, is one popular dish. Countless variations of skewered meats, fried rice and dumplings are also on offer.


Day 37 — Sail the Java Sea


Sail the Java Sea and navigate a vast archipelago of lush beauty. Today’s nation of Indonesia encompasses more than 13,000 islands. As you sail, explore our well-curated library, tucked in a private alcove of The Living Room, and select from a broad range of titles. Read a book by the Main Pool, a calming oasis in any weather with its retractable roof, allowing for year-round swimming.


Day 38 — Singapore, Singapore


Singapore is the world’s only island city-state. Established in 1819 for the East India Company by Sir Stamford Raffles, after whom the famed hotel is named, it grew from a secluded backwater into a shabby port city before transforming itself into a sophisticated metropolis. The technology and economy are highly advanced here, yet the islands host plentiful green parks with tree-lined footpaths and the stunning National Orchid Garden. For a panoramic view of it all, the observation deck of the Marina Bay Sands towers offers the perfect solution.


Day 39 — Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur was built by Chinese tin prospectors in the mid-1800s. Since then, the city of KL, as the locals call it, has grown into a stunning mix of colonial, Moorish, Tudor, neo-Gothic and Grecian-Spanish architecture. The two-story shophouses of Old Market Square, with storefronts below and residences above, reveal the lives of merchants. The magnificent Petronas Towers are the centerpiece of this fascinating city; the side-by-side twin spires resemble a pair of rockets, connected by a two-story sky bridge that spans the 41st and 42nd floors.


Day 40 — Scenic Sailing: Strait of Malacca


This narrow passage between Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra was a major route for early traders shipping glassware, precious stones, camphor, ivory and sandalwood. Today, it is one of the busiest shipping channels in the world, linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Along this historic waterway, the lush shores of Sumatra grace the horizon to the south, stretching out to lowlands, mangroves and swamps. The more urban skylines of Malaysia—George Town and Kuala Lumpur among them—shimmer in the distance to the north.


Day 41 — Scenic Sailing: Gulf of Thailand


The Gulf of Thailand, the massive sea basin bordered by Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, is still known as the Gulf of Siam to the Malay and Khmer people. Long stretches of sandy beach, low-lying emerald hills and soaring mountains surround this oval-shaped gulf. The lush hills of Botum Sakor National Park unfold north of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Along Thailand’s shores, several beach-ringed islands point the way to Laem Chabang port.


Day 42 — Bangkok, Thailand


Often called the “City of Angels,” Bangkok is Thailand’s largest and most populous city. A sprawling and heady mix of modern skyscrapers, floating markets and longtail boats skimming the Chao Phraya River, the scintillating capital of old Siam engages all the senses. Yet it all seems devoutly grounded by the presence of its revered gilded wats, or temples. Wat Arun, in particular, can be seen from all corners of the city. This majestic riverside “Temple of Dawn” catches the first light of each day like a pearl, casting a soft glow on one of Asia’s most remarkable cities.


Day 43 — Bangkok, Thailand


Historic Siam of old, Bangkok is beautifully set on the Chao Phraya River. Thai culture is rich and engaging in this bustling center, and its origins are reflected through centuries-old Buddhist wats, or temples. The towering Wat Arun, named for the god of the rising sun, stands dramatically on the river’s banks. The revered temples and elegant buildings within the walls of the renowned Grand Palace date to the late 1700s. A gilded array of golden pagodas and stupas (shrines), it has been the royal family’s residence for more than 150 years.


Day 44 — Bangkok, Thailand


Amid the bustle of cosmopolitan Bangkok, numerous temples pay tribute to the Buddha and his role in Thailand’s spiritual life. The most prominent is Wat Arun, its soaring spire represents Mount Meru, mythology’s home of the Hindu gods. At the 17th-century Wat Pho, Thailand’s oldest and largest temple, a gold-leafed Buddha lies in repose. While the most venerated Buddha in the nation resides on the Grand Palace grounds in Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The 26-inch-tall figure carved from semiprecious jade draws pilgrims from all over the world.


Day 45 — Sihanoukville, Cambodia


Sihanoukville is perched on the end of a scenic elevated peninsula. Its almost uninterrupted stretch of sandy shores and turquoise waters lend it one of the nation’s most picturesque settings. This sleepy city was developed after the French departed, so its streets are lined with less fanciful examples of New Khmer architecture and traveled by modern-day tuk-tuks, carriages pulled by motorcycle. The city’s many beaches and offshore islands draw locals and visitors alike, making this one of Cambodia’s prime seaside resorts.


Day 46 — Sihanoukville, Cambodia


Sihanoukville has an abundance of beautiful beaches and a lively culture along its shores, drawing backpackers, young adventurers and other beach lovers to its long stretches of sand. One of its most famous beaches, the tree-shaded Independence Beach, was visited by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1967 during her tour of Cambodia. The clean, white sands of Otres Beach, lined with casuarina trees and coconut palms, are also a firm favorite. At Serendipity Beach, locals and visitors take in the seaside vistas from one of the many beachside outdoor cafés.


Day 47 — Scenic Sailing: Gulf of Thailand


The Gulf of Thailand, the massive sea basin bordered by Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, is still known as the Gulf of Siam to the Malay and Khmer people. Long stretches of sandy beach, low-lying emerald hills and soaring mountains surround this oval-shaped gulf. The lush hills of Botum Sakor National Park unfold north of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Along Thailand’s shores, several beach-ringed islands point the way to Laem Chabang port.


Day 48 — Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Founded as a small fishing village, Ho Chi Minh City is now Vietnam’s largest city. Though it is still commonly called Saigon, locals are as likely to simplify the name of their hometown to HCMC. No matter what you call it, it is a seamless blend of history and modern youthful energy, where pagodas and French colonial grandeur mingle with bustling old-world marketplaces and modern skyscrapers, all against a constant buzz of motor scooters and trill of bicycle bells. From enduring, narrow alleyways to wide, Parisian-style boulevards, Ho Chi Minh City has an identity all its own.


Day 49 — Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a heady mix of French and Vietnamese cultures, where baguettes and croissants are sold alongside pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and motor scooters buzz past colonial-era architecture. The city’s wide boulevards are reminiscent of Paris, lined with jewels such as the Opera House, fashioned after the Petit Palais, and the grand Central Post Office, designed by Gustave Eiffel. Aromatic food stalls and colorful shops purvey local specialties and all manner of Vietnamese wares, from conical hats to ao dai, the traditional silk tunic worn by women.


Day 50 — Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Despite Ho Chi Minh City’s densely packed urban districts, there are several green spaces that can be enjoyed. In Tao Dan Park, locals can be spotted engaging in their daily morning exercise with a round of badminton, tai chi or the outdoor gym equipment. Afternoons welcome a number of classes, from aerobics to dance, attracting good-sized crowds. In addition to the wide open spaces, there are a variety of walking trails shaded by towering trees as well as water features and ponds to be admired.


Day 51 — Sail the South China Sea


Sail the South China Sea; after the five oceans of the world, it is the world’s largest body of water covering more than one million square miles. Renew your body, mind and spirit in our Scandinavian-inspired spa, a Nordic sanctuary of holistic wellness, today while at sea. Whether you unwind in the Sauna, refresh in the Snow Grotto or take a dip in the Thermal Pool, you will feel recharged and revitalized.


Day 52 — Hue (Chan May), Vietnam


Chan May serves as a gateway to the fascinating and historic city of Hue, scenically set along the Perfume River. From 1802 to 1945, this was the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors. Numerous historic monuments from that period remain, including the massive walled Imperial City, built in the 19th century, that once housed the country’s most extravagant temples and royal residences and was hailed as the center of politics, religion and culture. Among the Imperial City’s treasures are palaces, shrines and the Forbidden Purple City.


Day 53 — Ha Long Bay, Vietnam


More than 1,600 islands of towering limestone dot the seascape of Ha Long Bay. Among them, Vietnam emerges at its most authentic. Fishermen cast their nets into the bay, villages hug the shores and children play in the waters as traditional junks drift by. As local lore has it, dragons created this magnificent place when the gods sent them to the coast to protect locals from marauders. The protective beasts breathed countless jewels into the bay, sinking the approaching ships—and creating a spellbinding canvas of mystical-looking monoliths.


Day 54 — Ha Long Bay, Vietnam


Evidence of a human presence in Ha Long Bay dates back to prehistoric times, with the discovery of stone tools attributed to the Hoabinhian culture that flourished in the region 10,000 years ago. As late as the 19th century, the bay was used as a base by Chinese and Vietnamese pirates. During the 20th century, the bay remained sparsely populated; today, a community of approximately 1,600 people live on Hạ Long Bay spread across four fishing villages, living in distinctive floating houses with fishing and marine aquaculture being the primary occupations.


Day 55 — Sail the South China Sea


Sail the South China Sea; after the five oceans of the world, it is the world’s largest body of water covering more than one million square miles. As you sail today, attend an informative lecture or watch a film in our state-of-the-art theater. A range of insightful TED Talks and destination-inspired seminars are offered daily.


Day 56 — Hong Kong, China


A British Overseas Territory until 1997, Hong Kong is home to long-cherished Eastern traditions amid modern Western sensibilities. This forest of glittering skyscrapers stands between soaring mountains and bustling Victoria Harbor. The entire sweeping vista is best taken in from atop Victoria Peak, lush with landscaped gardens and footpaths. Back down at sea level, Aberdeen provides a fascinating glimpse of China old and new as a skyward-reaching cluster of residential towers watches over a bustling bay where floating villages bob in the waters beside stylish pleasure boats.


Day 57 — Hong Kong, China


Victoria Harbor keeps the heart of Hong Kong beating and it does so with grace and beauty. The natural harbor divides Hong Kong Island from Kowloon. Today, much of the harbor’s beauty lies in its location amid a dense urban area. Junks, tugs, sampans, yachts and the distinctive Star Ferry commuter boats share these teeming waters surrounded by a stunning setting. The city is famed for its nightly light show that plays off the skyline, providing an impressive view of Hong Kong’s forest of skyscrapers and Victoria Peak.


Day 58 — Hong Kong, China


Amid the bustle and bright neon of Hong Kong, temples and shrines to Buddhism offer tranquility and provide insight into the spiritual life of locals. The Chi Lin Nunnery in the city’s heart, a Buddhist complex of gardens, comprises 16 timber-built Tang Dynasty structures recreated here without a single nail. Another pocket of serenity is the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. The entry path, which includes 400 steps, is flanked by some of the statues for which the complex is named. A peaceful monastery and a chance to try sweet do fu fa, a tofu custard, await at the top.


Day 59 — Sail the East China Sea


Chinese and Japanese traders traversed the East China Sea for centuries, before the British, French and Americans crossed these waters in the mid-1800s to establish territories outside the walled city of Shanghai. As you sail, take advantage of the array of delicious cuisine offered on board. You may visit Mamsen’s, our casual gourmet deli, any time from early morning to late at night for a taste of traditional Norwegian fare. Or, dine at Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant for authentic fare with options ranging from Milanese risotto to Tuscan-inspired classics.


Day 60 — Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China


Taipei stands proudly as one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities. Yet, the city cherishes centuries-old traditions, which have been shaped by Chinese, Japanese and Western influences. The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall looks over Liberty Square; the ornate landmark honors the leader who led nationalists from mainland China during the 1949 Communist takeover. However, the most prominent symbol of the city’s robust development is the famed Taipei 101, the world’s tallest skyscraper from 2004 to 2009.


Day 61 — Sail the East China Sea


Chinese and Japanese traders traversed the East China Sea for centuries, before the British, French and Americans crossed these waters in the mid-1800s to establish territories outside the walled city of Shanghai. Enjoy the amenities of your ship as you sail. Perhaps take a breath of fresh air on a brisk walk around the Promenade Deck or begin your day with a workout in the well-equipped Fitness Center.


Day 62 — Nagasaki, Japan


Nagasaki is one of the rare Japanese cities where East and West intermingle. The Dejima district provides a fascinating and unique glimpse of European colonialism in the heart of Japan. Portuguese traders had a strong presence here and later Dutch traders lived here for two centuries. Nagasaki changed forever on August 9, 1945, destroyed by an atomic bomb. The city’s vast Peace Park contains sculptures donated by countries and artists around the world, each dedicated to world harmony and to an unwavering optimism for a peaceful future.


Day 63 — Kagoshima, Japan


Historic Kagoshima is often compared to the Italian city of Naples for its mild climate, palm-lined streets and the Sakurajima volcano that reminds so many visitors of Italy’s Mt. Vesuvius. Kagoshima experienced great power and prosperity throughout the Edo period. It has been said that the city brought the industrial revolution to Japan’s doorstep after 17 young men ignored a ban on foreign travel and set off to explore England and the United States. They returned with ideas that transformed society, using Western science and technology.


Day 64 — Beppu, Japan


Nestled on the island of Kyushu, between Beppu Bay and a range of picturesque mountains, Beppu is renowned for its hot springs. These onsen, as they are known in Japanese, emerge from eight geothermal hot spots that together boast the second-largest volume of hot water in the world. Since Japan’s Edo period, the waters have been harnessed for curative and health benefits in soothing public baths. Outside the city, landscapes of steaming fissures and mineral-rich bubbling mud pools attract locals and visitors alike.


Day 65 — Hiroshima, Japan


Hiroshima was founded in 1589 and grew to become one of Japan’s most important educational and industrial centers. Military supplies were later exported from here, an industry that would seal the city’s fate at the end of World War II, when an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. It is hard to imagine the destruction today, so modern and forward-looking are its streets and its people. In Peace Memorial Park, the hollowed dome of the former Industrial Promotion Hall symbolizes the city’s hope that nuclear weapons will never be used again.


Day 66 — Hiroshima, Japan


Hiroshima’s delta is dived into a number of islets. It was upon one of these islets that Mōri Terumoto (1553–1625), a feudal lord who ruled over much of the Chūgoku region, constructed Hiroshima Castle. This solidified the city as a jōkamachi (castle town). Although the castle had successfully survived into the 20th century, it was unable to withstand the atomic bombing of the city during World War II. In 1958, Hiroshima Castle was restored to its original splendor, complete with a main keep and moat. Today, it houses a museum providing insight into the city’s rich history.


Day 67 — Osaka, Japan


Osaka is located at the mouth of the Yodo River and is second only to Tokyo in size and cultural landmarks. For centuries, it prospered on its mercantile economy. During the Edo period, it introduced agriculture, particularly rice, to its exports and was soon known as “the nation’s kitchen.” The city is home to some of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines. Its Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine is the flagship of 2,000 others spread throughout Japan. Each honors the guardian deity of sailors and the deity of prosperity, but the one here is the most majestic.


Day 68 — Shimizu, Japan


Historic Shimizu and its port increased in importance after Tokugawa Ieyasu chose Sumpu Castle as his place of retirement in 1605. By the early 20th century, tea exports were the mainstay activity, while today, the port handles a wide variety of cargo. Along the waterfront, a modern shopping mall houses eateries, movie theaters and a Ferris wheel. While a little further afield, the Kashi-no-Ichi Market sells the day’s catch.


Day 69 — Shimizu, Japan


Shimizu is a scenic city set on Suruga Bay, watched over by Mt. Fuji. It has long been a thriving harbor town and prospered during the Edo period. Today, its economy stands upon a vast fishing industry and on the export of green tea, whose leaves are cultivated in nearby hills. Beyond the city limits, wide plains reach to coastal hills, and to the original burial place of the nation’s first shogun. This Shinto shrine, Kunōzan Tōshō-gū, is Japan’s oldest. With its flamboyant design, it is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the leader who unified Japan after years of civil war.


Day 70 — Tokyo, Japan


Tokyo is a spellbinding blend of neon splendor and tranquil Shinto shrines, towering skyscrapers and meditative Zen gardens. Founded as the tiny fishing village of Edo, Tokyo’s history was shaped by emperors and shoguns. As the Edo period progressed, it grew into one of the world’s largest cities, as it remains today. Tokyoites embrace the traditional and the cosmopolitan here, both worshipping at the city’s Asakusa Kannon Temple and frequenting the high-end retail stores of the Ginza district, all while the distant symmetrical cone of Mt. Fuji watches over the city.


Day 71 — Tokyo, Japan


Tokyo as a city was officially dissolved in 1943 and 23 independent municipalities were formed, known as ku. Each neighborhood is representative of a small city yet collectively, they are still recognized as Tokyo. Exploring this vast city is easy, thanks to Tokyo’s excellent transport system. Look to the skies and admire its ever-changing skyline with towering buildings in every corner of the city. Observation platforms feature in many, including Mori Tower or the Metropolitan Government Building.


Day 72 — Tokyo, Japan


Located for centuries on the site of modern-day Tokyo, the small fishing village of Edo grew into a city during the Tokugawa period, when it became the capital of the Tokugawa shogunate. It became the capital of Japan during the Meiji Restoration of the mid-19th century and was renamed Tokyo, meaning “eastern capital.” Japan’s largest city since the 17th century, Tokyo’s population exceeded one million during the late 19th century, and as the country’s political, economic, and cultural center, it has become one of the world’s most populous cities.


Day 73 — Scenic Sailing: Tsugaro Strait


The Tsugaru Strait links the Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean, flowing between Japan’s two major islands—Honshū to the south and Hokkaidō to the north. At its narrowest point, just 12 miles wide, green slopes rise on the Tsugaru Peninsula to the south and the coastal Matsumae to the north. Halfway through, a broad channel flows into Honshū to form Mutsu Bay. At the strait’s other narrow point, the small town of Ōma rests on the northernmost tip of Honshū; opposite, Hokkaidō’s Hakodate, with its namesake mountain watching over, is one of Japan’s most modern cities.


Day 74 — Sapporo (Otaru), Japan


Sapporo is renowned for its traditional cuisine, green spaces, revered shrines and market culture. The city was developed with the help of President Ulysses S. Grant’s commissioner of agriculture, who became an oyatoi gaikokujin, a foreign adviser, at Grant’s request. Since then, Sapporo has been recognized for its ability to transform the natural world into the highest art. It is, however, perhaps better known as the city where miso ramen was invented; restaurants line the historic Original Sapporo Ramen Alley to celebrate the noodle’s many forms.


Day 75 — Sapporo (Otaru), Japan


Sapporo is located along the Ishikari Bay, an inlet of the Sea of Japan. It is not only the capital but also the largest city of Hokkaidō island, often referred to as the “Kingdom of Food.” As such, savvy travelers can be certain a visit to Sapporo will not leave them in want of tasty delights—particularly fresh seafood, for which the city has become nearly synonymous. From crab to salmon roe to sea urchin, some of the finest selection of seafood can be found in downtown Sapporo at the historic Nijo Fish Market, where visitors can indulge in sushi or a kaisendon.


Day 76-77 — Sail the Okhotsk Sea


The Okhotsk Sea, one of the world’s most biologically productive seas, is considered the “heart” of the vast Pacific Ocean, supplying the larger body of water with life-enriching oxygen, cold seawater and nutrients.


Day 78-80 — Sail the North Pacific Ocean


The Mighty Pacific Leg is one of the most anticipated crossings of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The crossing of the North Pacific Ocean, one of the last great wildernesses on the planet, is one of the race’s highlights. Enjoy the amenities of your ship as you sail. Perhaps take a breath of fresh air on a brisk walk around the Promenade Deck or begin your day with a workout in the well-equipped Fitness Center.


Day 81 — Cross the International Date Line


Cross the International Date Line today, a time-honored travel milestone long marked by ceremony. Heading east across this imaginary line between the poles sets the clock back 24 hours, effectively gaining a day. While traversing this meridian, it is tradition to celebrate the occasion by raising a glass to the event.


Day 82 — Sail the Bering Sea


Set sail into one of the world’s most productive eco-systems. The Bering Sea boasts deep marine canyons that feature varied temperatures, creating upwellings of nutrients that attract countless hungry fish and predators. Meet fellow guests and listen to the soothing sounds of classical music in The Living Room, an ideal setting for relaxation. Enjoy a cup of coffee or sip on a refreshing cocktail.


Day 83 — Dutch Harbor, Alaska, United States


Known simply as “Dutch” to locals, the charming town of Dutch Harbor is nestled on Unalaska, one of the Aleutian Islands. The Aleut people called this picturesque place home for nearly 10,000 years, yet they met the arrival of the Russians and their Orthodox Church, as they offered education and other support. The Russian-American Company operated here, mainly trading in fur, until the United States purchased Alaska. Today, the town’s fishermen harvest the Bering Sea’s pollack and cod, which thrive along one of the world’s largest continental shelves.


Day 84 — Scenic Sailing: Gulf of Alaska


The Gulf of Alaska stretches from the Aleutian Islands to the Inside Passage. Teeming with marine life, it meets dramatic shores lined with the pristine wilderness for which Alaska is celebrated. The state’s famed soaring mountains dominate the landscape, their ravines and peaks draped with snow. Lush green forests spill down steep slopes and gleaming tidewater glaciers stand like white monoliths at the water’s edge. The tiny outpost towns and villages that dot the shoreline still rely on the sea for their livelihood, offering a glimpse into life in this unspoiled region.


Day 85 — Kodiak, United States


Kodiak plays an outsize role on its namesake island home, known as Alaska’s “Emerald Isle” for its green hillsides. It is the only link to the outside world, so all goods enter and leave through its port. Inhabited by Alutiiq natives for more than 7,000 years, it became the capital of Russian Alaska in the 18th century. Sea otter pelts were the major commodity of export until the animal was almost hunted to extinction. For 150 years, the native people fought for the beloved creature, sacrificing their lives to protect them. Today, the sea otter thrives here once again.


Day 86 — Seward, United States


Seward enjoys a magnificent setting between snowcapped peaks and Resurrection Bay, a pristine harbor ringed by mountains. The Alaskan city was named after Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state who defied public opinion to pursue the purchase of Alaska from Russia. Seward is steeped in marine culture, from its busy fishing port to the excellent exhibits and preservation efforts of the Alaska SeaLife Center. It is also the famed starting point of the Iditarod Trail, the dogsled race route originally laid to link Seward to inland Alaska.


Day 87 — Valdez, United States


Valdez enjoys a breathtaking setting at the tip of a deep-cut fjord in Prince William Sound. The glacial Chugach Mountains rise up all around the city, adding to its scenic allure. In its early days, the promise of gold attracted explorers and seekers of wealth, but the land proved barren. The town finally experienced its economic boom as North America’s northernmost ice-free port. Today, it is the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline that carries oil south from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic coast.


Day 88 — Scenic Sailing: Yakutat Bay


Surrounded by glacier-carved mountains and fed by the enormous Hubbard Glacier, Yakutat Bay spreads some 18 miles across at its widest point. On calm days, snow-covered slopes are reflected in the mirror-like bay, casting the entire scene in a soft, icy azure glow. Disenchantment Bay extends farther inland like a finger; at its farthest point, Hubbard Glacier creeps seaward from its source five miles away. The ice at the water’s edge began its journey from near Mt. Walsh more than 400 years ago in the early 1600s.


Day 89 — Scenic Sailing: Glacier Bay


Glacier Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a breathtaking alpine paradise at the northernmost reaches of the Inside Passage. The Sitakaday Narrows lead into its waters, passing the pristine Beardslee Islands to the east. The bay feeds several inlets that wind their way deeper into the mountains, all surrounded by soaring ice-capped peaks and forested shorelines. Glacier Bay is part of a national park, a haven for wildlife including sea lions and otters, brown bears, moose, bald eagles and, in summer, humpback whales.


Day 90 — Sitka, United States


Sitka has long been inhabited by the indigenous Tlingit people. Fur trading brought Russian settlers here in 1799 as part of a colonial merchant company. The town grew to become the capital of Russian Alaska, and remains of those days can be found in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the Russian Bishop’s House, the latter built by the Tlingit with guidance from Finnish carpenters in the 1840s. Today’s Sitka is a delight to explore by foot, its streets dotted with inviting art galleries displaying artwork inspired by the region’s natural beauty and rich heritage.


Day 91 — Ketchikan, United States


Ketchikan is set among the soaring coastal mountains and sloping woodlands of the Tongass National Forest. The gateway into America’s 49th state, it is known to travelers journeying north by ship as Alaska’s “First City” and the “Salmon Capital of the World” for its thriving fishing industry. Ketchikan also embraces its rich and enduring Tlingit heritage; it is home to the most standing totem poles anywhere in the world. The artful icons are sprinkled throughout the town as well as its parks and cultural centers.


Day 92 — Scenic Sailing: The Inside Passage


Stretching some 500 miles along the Alaska Panhandle, the Inside Passage is a pristine wilderness of fjord-like channels. It winds its way through a vast maze of islands laden with emerald-green forests and strewn with glistening glaciers. Nature is at her most magnificent here, tranquil and hushed. Unspoiled waterways weave their way past tiny coastal villages and a breathtaking array of snowcapped mountains and pine-covered hills. Sea lions and otters reside in these waters, and moose and brown bears are often spotted as they wade along the coast.


Day 93 — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Vancouver is one of Canada’s most diverse cities and the influence of its multi-ethnic society is reflected in the city’s multitude of restaurants and public settings, such as the tranquil Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden at the heart of Chinatown. The city’s cultural treasures reflect its indigenous community and embody the influence of European and Asian settlers. Its vibrant institutions run the gamut, from bustling markets to museums that chronicle the region’s anthropology and rich art heritage. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.


* One shore excursion included per port as indicated (included); all others available at an extra charge. Depending on your stateroom category, shore excursions may be reserved beginning 90 days before your cruise sails. Not all excursions will be available for all sailings. Full details of the excursions available on your specific departure date can be viewed at My Viking Journey once your cruise booking has been made.
Itinerary and shore excursions are subject to change and may vary by departure.
Images courtesy of Viking Ocean Cruises