8 nights onboard Le Jacques Cartier

Japan, natural archipelago and secular heritage

With this itinerary, PONANT is inviting you aboard Le Jacques-Cartier for a unique expedition cruise between Kagoshima and Osaka. A magical 9-day trip to discover some of the natural gems and ancestral heritage of western Kyushu, as well as picturesque villages in the Seto Inland Sea, the theatre of many battles and historic events that have shaped its myth and grandeur over time and with the ebb and flow of the tides.

After setting sail from Kagoshima, a bustling city nestling between ancient forests and majestic volcanoes, Le Jacques-Cartier will travel westward to reach the fascinating Koshikijima Islands. Aboard one of our Zodiacs, you will be fascinated by the raw and authentic beauty of the monumental cliffs and huge rock formations dating back to the Cretaceous periodnearly 80 million years ago.

Between the Yatsushiro and Ariake seas, off the coast of Nagasaki, succumb to the charms of the island region of Amakusa, once the refuge of Christians fleeing the ban on Catholicism in the 17th century during the Edo period. Christian heritage can also be found further north, in the Goto Islands, on Kamigoto Island. Here, each small town bears traces of this influence that is still very much present, as evidenced by the many religious buildings dotting Kamigoto.

Then you will sail to South Korea, a small peninsula that juts out into the Sea of Japan, and discover Busan, South Korea’s second city. This richly contrasting city will unveil its port and the old district of Chalgachi.

Back in Japan, you will set out to discover Moji, on the northern tip of the island of Kyushu. In the past a strategic site for maritime trade with China, this stunning city of picturesque little streets will enthral you with its preserved architectural heritage evoking the traditional Japan of the Meiji era and the end of the 19th century. From the top of the Mojiko Retro Observation Room, you will be able to enjoy an exceptional panorama, a poetic combination of shinto sanctuaries and captivating maritime landscapes.

After a trip aboard one of our Zodiac dinghies, in the pretty fishing villages of Shimokamagari and Mitarai, you will arrive in Tomonoura, known for its gentle way of life and its craggy landscapes that inspired the director Hayao Miyazaki for the landscapes of Ponyo.

Finally, for a grand finale, your journey will end in Osaka, your disembarkation port.

Leaving from: Kagoshima
Cruise ship: Le Jacques Cartier
Visiting: Kagoshima Takahama/Amakusa Shinkamigoto Busan
Ponant Logo
Ponant

When searching for a luxury yacht expedition cruise, there’s one name above all else that you need to know – Ponant Cruises. Founded in 1988 by former French Merchant Navy officers, Ponant combines succulent luxury with authentic adventures on all seven continents.

From classic Mediterranean itineraries and Caribbean sailings, to bucket-list expeditions around Greenland and Antarctica, Ponant cruises proudly counteract the banality of mainstream voyages with a unique take on the concept of small-ship cruising. It’s the absolute trip of a lifetime.

184
Passengers
110
Crew
2020
Launched
10700t
Tonnage
127m
Length
18m
Width
18kts
Speed
4
Decks
EUR
Currency
Cruise Itinerary
Day 1
Kagoshima, Japan
Day 2
River travel
Day 3
Takahama/Amakusa, Japan
Day 4
Shinkamigoto, Japan
Day 5
Busan, South Korea
Day 6
Moji-ku, Kitakyūshū, Japan
Day 6
River travel
Day 7
Shimokamagari, Japan
Day 7
Mitarai, Japan
Day 8
Tomonoura, Japan
Day 9
Osaka, Japan
Kagoshima, Japan image
Day 1
Kagoshima, Japan
Kagoshima city is the capital of Kagoshima prefecture and also Kyushu’s southernmost major city. This city is often compared to its Italian sister city Naples, due to its’s similarities such as mild climate and active volcano, Sakurajima. Sakurajima is one of the most renowned active volcanos not only in Japan but also in the whole entire world. This smoking Sakurajima is centred in Kinko Bay and is one of the main symbols of this prefecture. We cannot talk about Sakurajima without the history of continuous eruption. Sakurajima used to be an isolated island; however, the land has banded together with Osumi peninsula from the eruption in 1914. You may have a chance to see the smoke coming from the top of Sakurajima depending on the weather condition. Not only does the scenery of Sakurajima represent the beauty of Kagoshima City but Senganen garden is also symbolic to elegance in the Kagoshima region. This Japanese garden was constructed by a feudal lord, Mitsuhisa Shimazu, as a guest house of the Kagoshima castle which attracts many visitors for its splendid view.
River travel image
Day 2
River travel
Takahama/Amakusa, Japan image
Day 3
Takahama/Amakusa, Japan
Shinkamigoto, Japan image
Day 4
Shinkamigoto, Japan
Busan, South Korea image
Day 5
Busan, South Korea
White-sand city beaches and hot-spring resorts may not be everyone's first image of Korea, but these are what Koreans flock to Busan for all year. And there are plenty of opportunities for rest, relaxation, retail therapy, and even a touch of glamour every October with the Busan International Film Festival. Busan's beaches are the big summertime draw but there is plenty to be seen year round. Quintessential experiences include taking some rest and relaxation at a local spa and exploring the Beomeosa temple complex.
Moji-ku, Kitakyūshū, Japan image
Day 6
Moji-ku, Kitakyūshū, Japan
Moji used to be an important international trading port with a number of well-preserved Western buildings. Several of these historic buildings can be seen along the attractive waterfront. Southwest of Moji , and part of the same city, is Kokura, the financial and business capital of the area. Kokura’s landmark is its castle, which has been beautifully restored. The remarkable garden located next to the main castle is not too far from the Manga Museum. South of Moji is the Hiraodai Limestone Plateau, Japan’s most representative karst plateau. The pure white limestone scattered throughout the landscape is often mistaken for sheep grazing in the grass. A “Natural Treasure” the plateau has underground caves as well.
River travel image
Day 6
River travel
Shimokamagari, Japan image
Day 7
Shimokamagari, Japan
Mitarai, Japan image
Day 7
Mitarai, Japan
Tomonoura, Japan image
Day 8
Tomonoura, Japan
Osaka, Japan image
Day 9
Osaka, Japan
Osaka, the kitchen of Japan, beckons food lovers and history buffs alike with its down-to-earth charm and bustling street life. Known historically as a merchant city, Osaka offers a temperate climate that nurtures both its colorful festivals and vibrant nightlife. This city stands apart from its polished counterpart Tokyo by offering a genuine glimpse into the daily lives of ordinary Japanese people, through its thriving local eateries and lively markets. Unique to Osaka is its obsession with comedy, home to the nation's soul of humor, making it a place where laughter and warmth permeate the street corners.
Ship Details
Ponant
Le Jacques Cartier

Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity∘ yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

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