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Japan cruises: Why Holland America Line is best for a 2022 Japanese getaway

Author: Sophie Chichester

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Japan is a place many UK holidaymakers are desperate to travel to but picking where exactly to go in this beautiful country can be tricky.

A cruise is therefore the perfect way to explore multiple destinations - and Holland America Line is offering up the ideal opportunity for 2022 and even 2023 holidays.

Holland America cruises offer diverse views of Japan, whether it's experiencing the stoic silence of a Shinto shrine, streaking past the countryside on board a bullet train or enjoying historic tea or ramen rituals.

The cruise line's perfectly sized Noordam carries 1,964 guests in classic style with near 70 percent of staterooms boasting private balconies and sumptuous suites, so there's no denying you'll be cruising Japan in comfort and style.

What's more, there's nearly one staff member for every two guests so there will always be someone on hand to tend to your needs.

You can expect fine dining with casual to formal options, regional cuisine, destination experiences, indulgent spa treatments and overnight stays in iconic cities. to name just a few perks of a Holland America Line (HAL) cruise.

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So, what can cruise guests expect from a Japan cruise with HAL?

The 14-night Japan Explorer Highlights, departing March 14, 2022, is just one example of the amazing cruises the line offers.

Guests board the Noordam in Yokohama, one of Japan’s liveliest, and most international cities, home to bustling Chinatown, microbreweries and global restaurants.

Next call is Shimizu, widely regarded as one of Japan’s most beautiful ports, with incredible views of Mount Fuji on a clear day and the scenic Miho-no-Matsubara pine forest as a backdrop (both UNESCO World Heritage sites).

After a day at sea and a visit to Takamatsu, home to the Ritsurin Garden, which comes to life with cherry blossoms in the spring, there's a two day stay in the city of Kobe.

Shimizu, widely regarded as one of Japan’s most beautiful ports, offers incredible views of Mount Fuji. Credit: Alamy

Here you can visit one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines, tour to the ancient capital of Kyoto with its Geisha traditions or take a ride on the famous Bullet Train to Osaka.

Sake lovers will appreciate Kochi, home to the Japanese spirit, while Ryugado Cave on the slopes of Mt Sampo bristles with limestone caverns featuring 20 waterfalls and stalactites.

Following a visit to Sakaiminato site of the famous “Black Castle,” it's on to South Korea.

In this stunning country, you can visit everything from atmospheric markets and a temple built into the side of a cliff to beach resorts and active volcanos.

Other Japan cruises include the 14-night Japan & Russia sailing from Yokohama.

Holland America Line: Tour the ancient capital of Kyoto with its Geisha traditions. Credit: Adobe

On this voyage, guests will be whisked away to Shimizu, the vibrant and modern city of Osaka as well as Kochi, Fukuoka and historic Kanazawa before sailing to Russia.

Here, holidaymakers visit Vladivostok, perhaps best known as one end of the Trans -Siberian railway, before heading back to Japan and further stops there.

There's also HAL's 14-night Southern Japan Explorer which travels from Yokohama to Osaka and Kochi before onto Naha with Shuri Castle, the royal residence, and its extraordinary gardens — both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Also on the itinerary are two stops to Taiwan and the gorgeous scenery of Hualien followed by the multi-cultural port of Keelung (gateway to the city of Taipei) before returning to Japan.

Just one of the reasons why travelling with Holland America line is the best way to enjoy Japan with the experts is the line's exciting and exclusive Explorations Central destination programme.

Thanks to this, guests will gain a deeper understanding of the places they visit with local cultural insights, insider travel tips, cooking demonstrations, unique shore excursions and more.

Foodies will love the culinary shore excursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE. They can explore Kagoshima’s fascinating food scene or visit the Yoichi Whiskey factory and learn how this distinctive spirit undergoes an unusual heating distillation.

Holland America Line: The Pinnacle Grill is just one of the fantastic restaurants onboard Noordam. Credit: HAL

Of course, back at your hotel at sea there's lots to enjoy.

HAL boasts a dedicated Culinary Council of eight world-renowned chefs — plus experts in wine and spirits — who guide our onboard dining experiences, from the exceptional Dining Room to a range of speciality restaurants.

What's more, guests will enjoy cuisine inspired by the flavours of the region onboard - and all delicious meals are included.

Music fans will also be well and truly entertained. Days and nights are filled with lively, soul-stirring music by an all-star cast of musicians. There’s music for every taste at Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club, Billboard Onboard and more.

Comfort and elegance are the name of the game with HAL’s ships.

HAL's spacious perfectly sized ships are known for their sophisticated style, spacious public areas and wraparound decks - ideal for cruising the world’s stunning waters and coastlines.

Another string to HAL's bow is the gracious, friendly service from a crew whose goal is to always be available but never in the way.

Their genuine warmth and personalised attention earn rave reviews that turn first-time guests into loyal Mariners.

Holland America Line guests on Noordam can relax in the hydro pool after a day exploring. Credit: HAL

HAL Japan cruises

14-night Japan Explorer

14 March 2022 | Roundtrip Yokohama

Cruise from £2,189pp: Fly/cruise from £3,099pp


  • Two shore excursions
  • All drinks
  • Speciality dining experience
  • Free WIFI

14-night Southern Japan

28 March 2022 | Roundtrip Yokohama

Cruise from £2,249pp: Fly/cruise from £3,149pp


  • Two shore excursions
  • All drinks
  • Speciality dining experience
  • Free WIFI

14-night Japan & Russia

11 April 2022 | Roundtrip Yokohama

Cruise from £2,419pp: Fly/cruise from £4,269pp


  • Two shore excursions
  • All drinks
  • Speciality dining experience
  • Free WIFI

For more incredible worldwide discoveries visit; call 0344 338 8605 or contact your travel professional.

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