PONANT Announces “An Immersion in Japanese Culture,” an In-Depth Look at Japan’s History, Culture and Traditions in the New Quintessential Collection Series


PONANT, the world leader in luxury expeditions and exciting itineraries to ports of call where only small ships can venture, has announced “An Immersion in Japanese Culture.” The new sailing is part of the Quintessential Collection, a series of themed cruises featuring notable onboard speakers and excursions ashore that embrace the local culture. The nine-day/eight-night cruise, scheduled for May 30 to June 7, 2020 aboard Le Soléal, departs from Osaka and ends in Maizuru with stops in Hiroshima, Okayama, among other fascinating ports including a visit to Busan in South Korea. Fares start at $5,920 per person.

“An Immersion in Japanese Culture” juxtaposes the fast-forward modernity of the country with its cherished traditions such as exquisite gardens, tea ceremonies,  rice paddies, holy shrines, traditional dance performances and fine art. Highlights of the total immersion itinerary include a private audience with the Abbot of Kofukuji Temple in the heart of Nagasaki and the elegance of a private tea-making ceremony available to all passengers. Optional activities include a special performance of Kagura dances at Itsukushima Shrine, a Shinto holy place; a private visit to the beautiful Yuushien Garden in Sakaiminato; a cooking class demonstrating how to cut and plate deadly puffer fish; and a guided walk through the Busan fish market in South Korea with lunch included. In addition, an optional two-night pre-cruise visit to Kyoto is also available.

Three noted experts will join the cruise to add depth and insight to the exploration in port and on-board ship: Timon Screech, Author and Professor of the History of Art at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London; Holly H. Shimizu, Former Executive Director of the US Botanic Garden and former Host of Victory Garden on PBS; and Osama Shimizu, an expert in contemporary Japanese gardens.


The deluxe, five-star Le Soléal is one of the most beautifully conceived and technologically sophisticated small ships afloat. Designed in France and built in Italy, Le Soléal combines an elegant, understated aesthetic with fine European craftsmanship. Guests enjoy attentive service, gourmet French-inspired cuisine under the direction of Ducasse Conseil, and a relaxed, congenial ambiance. They are certified as “Clean Ships” and meet the highest environmental standards for energy conservation and resource management.

Photo courtesy of PONANT

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