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16n Ultimate Japan, Vietnam & Singapore/Serenade of the Seas
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Serenade of the Seas

16n Ultimate Japan, Vietnam & Singapore - 16 night cruise



Cruise only from €1,440

Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.


Description

Gratuities

Dates and Prices

Cabins

Dive into new discoveries as you sail onboard Serenade of the Seas®.

Wherever in the world you're sailing, Serenade of the Seas® keeps you close to all the natural splendour. Once onboard, panoramic views and acres of glass ensure that you'll never miss a moment of the surrounding scenery. In between adventures onshore, you can soak up the sun poolside, tee off on the mini golf green and dig into world-class flavours that will take you from Tuscany to Tokyo.

Cruise ID: 12480

The automatic service gratuity is $14.50 USD per person, per day for guests in Junior Suites and below, or $17.50 USD per person, per day for guests in Grand Suites and above, applied to each guest's SeaPass account on a daily basis. The gratuity applies to individual guests of all ages and stateroom categories. As a way to reward our crew members for their outstanding service, gratuities are shared among dining, bar & culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience.

In the unlikely event that a guest onboard being charged the daily automatic gratuity does not receive satisfactory service, the guest may request to modify the daily amount at their discretion by visiting Guest Services onboard and will be able to do so until the morning of their departure. Guests who have pre-paid their gratuity will not see a daily charge during their cruise.

The automatic daily gratuity is based on customary industry standards. Applying this charge automatically helps streamline the recognition process for the crew members that work to enhance your cruise. We hope you find the gratuity to be an accurate reflection of your satisfaction and thank you for your generous recognition of our staff.

A 18% gratuity is automatically added to all beverages, mini bar items, and spa & salon purchases.

Guests can pre-pay gratuities by calling (UK) 0344 493 4005 / (Ireland) 1800 555 604 or logging into www.royalcaribbean.co.uk before* their sailing. For guests booked through travel advisors, their advisor may add pre-paid gratuities to the guests' booking prior to sailing*. If gratuities are not prepaid prior to sailing, they will be automatically added to the guests' folios once onboard.

*Pre-paid gratuities can be added to an individual reservation at any time outside of 48 hours of the sail date.

Date Time Price * Booking
08 April 2024 16:00 €1,440 Call us to book

* Price based on lowest available cruise only fare for double occupancy. Subject to change at any time.

Cabins on Serenade of the Seas

Ocean View
1-4

Gaze at the beautiful views from your cosy room.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One single sofa bed or one Pullman bed in staterooms with up to three guests
  • One double sofa bed and two Pullman beds in staterooms with up to three guests
  • Up to 4 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Pullman Bed
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Ocean View Balcony
1-4

Experience a spectacular view for a memorable holiday.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King
  • One single sofa bed in staterooms with up to 3 and 4 guests
  • One Pullman bed in staterooms with up to 3 or 4 guests
  • Up to 4 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Some staterooms have an obstructed view
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • Private balcony
  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Pullman Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Interior
1-4

Enjoy your holiday in the perfect space.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One single sofa bed or one Pullman bed in staterooms with up to three guests
  • One double sofa bed and two Pullman beds in staterooms with up to four guests
  • Up to 4 guests
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Pullman Bed
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Junior Suite
1-4

An incredible intimate suite with a great view.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed
  • Up to 4 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Some staterooms have an obstructed view
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • One bathroom with tub

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk

Royal Suite - 1 Bedroom
1-4

Relish an extraordinary holiday in this luxurious suite.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed
  • Up to 4 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Bedroom
  • Private balcony
  • One bathroom with tub, double sink and bidet

Exclusive for Suites

  • Priority check-in and departure lounge
  • Concierge Services
  • Priority tender tickets
  • Complimentary luggage valet service
  • Luxury spa bathrobes to use onboard

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Desk
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Telephone

Spacious Ocean View Balcony
1-5

Immerse yourself in a gorgeous view for a memorable holiday.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed in staterooms with up to 4 guests
  • One double sofa bed or one single sofa bed and one Pullman bed in staterooms with up to 5 guests
  • Up to 5 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Some staterooms have an obstructed view
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk
  • Sofa Bed
  • Pullman Bed
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Telephone

Interior Stateroom Guarantee
2-4

This standard stateroom offers two twin beds, a private bathroom and all the facilities of our standard staterooms.

  • 2 twin beds (can convert to a Royal King, measuring 184 cm (72.5 in) wide by 208 cm (82 in) long)
  • Pullman beds
  • 2-4 guests
  • Size: Varies by ship

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Pullman Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Connecting Ocean View
1-2

Experience a spectacular view for a memorable holiday.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • Up to 2 guests
  • Ocean View
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Spacious Ocean View
1-2

Have a spectacular view for a memorable holiday.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • Up to 2 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Desk
  • Lounge Area
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Telephone

Owner's Suite - 2 Bedroom
1-8

Enjoy the ultimate suite for a perfect holiday with family and friends.

  • Two bedrooms with two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed.
  • One double sofa bed
  • Two Pullman beds
  • Up to 8 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Two bedrooms
  • Private balcony
  • Two bathrooms (master bathroom with tub)

Exclusive for Suites

  • Priority check-in and departure lounge
  • Concierge Services
  • Priority tender tickets
  • Complimentary luggage valet service
  • Luxury spa bathrobes to use onboard

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Second Bedroom
  • Sofa Bed
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • Butler Service
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Desk
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Telephone

Owner's Suite - 1 Bedroom
1-4

Enjoy the ultimate suite for a perfect holiday.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed
  • Up to 4 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Room with bed and dresser
  • Living area with double sofa bed
  • Private balcony
  • One bathroom with whirlpool tub, double sink and bidet

Exclusive for Suites

  • Priority check-in and departure lounge
  • Concierge Services
  • Priority tender tickets
  • Complimentary luggage valet service
  • Luxury spa bathrobes to use onboard

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk
  • Whirlpool Bath
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Telephone

Connecting Balcony
1-2

Experience a spectacular view for a memorable holiday.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • Up to 2 guests
  • Ocean View
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • Private balcony
  • One bathroom

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Telephone

Grand Suite - 1 Bedroom
1-4

Enjoy a comfortable suite and the extra perks.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed
  • Up to 4 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Some staterooms have an obstructed view
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • One bathroom with a tub and double sink

Exclusive for Suites

  • Priority check-in and departure lounge
  • Concierge Services
  • Priority tender tickets
  • Complimentary luggage valet service
  • Luxury spa bathrobes to use onboard

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • Butler Service
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Telephone

Ocean View Suite - 2 Bedroom (No Balcony)
2-8

Enjoy this incredibly spacious room with your family.

  • Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King bed
  • One double sofa bed
  • Four Pullman beds
  • Up to 8 guests
  • Ocean view
  • Room with bed, dresser and sitting area with sofa
  • Separate area with bunk beds
  • One bathroom

Suite Facilities:

  • Dedicated check-in queues
  • Reserved VIP seating
  • Priority Departure
  • Dedicated Suite Attendant
  • Luxury spa bathrobes to use onboard

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • Suite Benefits
  • TV
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk

Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony Guarantee
2-4

Vast views of the landscapes, seascapes and skies are yours to enjoy from your private balcony.

  • 2 twin beds (can convert to a Royal King, measuring 184 cm (72.5 in) wide by 208 cm (82 in) long)
  • 2-4 guests
  • Size: Varies by ship

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Sofa Bed
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Desk
  • Pullman Bed
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Telephone

Ocean View Stateroom Guarantee
3-4

Our Ocean View staterooms offer a gorgeous view, two twin beds and a private bathroom.

  • 2 twin beds (can convert to a Royal King, measuring 184 cm (72.5 in) wide by 208 cm (82 in) long)
  • Select rooms include Pullman beds
  • 3-4 guests
  • Size: Varies by ship

Facilities

  • King or Twin Configuration
  • Pullman Bed x2
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Toiletries Provided
  • Room Service Available
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi (Additional Cost)
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

View Itinerary By Date



Day 1 Tianjin, China

Beijing is a vibrant jumble of neighborhoods and districts. It's a city that was transformed almost overnight in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, often leveling lively old hutongs (alleyway neighborhoods) to make way for the glittering towers that are fast dwarfing their surroundings. Still, day-to-day life seems to pulse the lifeblood of a Beijing that once was. Hidden behind Beijing's pressing search for modernity is an intriguing historic core. Many of the city's ancient sites were built under the Mongols during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). A number of the capital's imperial palaces, halls of power, mansions, and temples were rebuilt and refurbished during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Despite the ravages of time and the Cultural Revolution, most sites are in good shape, from the Niujie Mosque, with Koranic verse curled around its arches, to Tiananmen Square, the bold brainchild of Mao Zedong.

Day 2  Cruising

Day 3 Nagasaki, Japan

Nagasaki city has developed into one of the most important port cities in Japan. During Japan's period of isolation in the 17th century, Nagasaki played a prominent role in foreign trade relation and only a very few ports were open to restricted numbers of foreign traders. Even though Holland was a major country who conducted trading during this period, Dutch people were only allowed to stay in Dejima Island and were not allowed to have contact with the Japanese people. Today, you will still find the strong influence of Dutch and Chinese culture in the city which is very different from all other cities in Japan. In the more recent history, Nagasaki became the second city after Hiroshima to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the end of World War II. From the visit to Atomic bomb museum and peace memorial park, people could understand how chaotic the situation was and the agony that the people in the days have experienced from the damage inflicted by the atomic bomb. It continues to appeal to the world with their wish for world peace.

Day 4 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.

Day 5  Cruising

Day 6 Yokohama, Japan

In 1853, a fleet of four American warships under Commodore Matthew Perry sailed into the bay of Tokyo (then Edo) and presented the reluctant Japanese with the demands of the U.S. government for the opening of diplomatic and commercial relations. The following year Perry returned and first set foot on Japanese soil at Yokohama—then a small fishing village on the mudflats of Tokyo bay. Two years later New York businessman Townsend Harris became America's first diplomatic representative to Japan. In 1858 he was finally able to negotiate a commercial treaty between the two countries; part of the deal designated four locations—one of them Yokohama—as treaty ports. In 1859 the shogunate created a special settlement in Yokohama for the growing community of merchants, traders, missionaries, and other assorted adventurers drawn to this exotic new land of opportunity. The foreigners (predominantly Chinese and British, plus a few French, Americans, and Dutch) were confined here to a guarded compound about 5 square km (2 square miles)—placed, in effect, in isolation—but not for long. Within a few short years the shogunal government collapsed, and Japan began to modernize. Western ideas were welcomed, as were Western goods, and the little treaty port became Japan's principal gateway to the outside world. In 1872 Japan's first railway was built, linking Yokohama and Tokyo. In 1889 Yokohama became a city; by then the population had grown to some 120,000. As the city prospered, so did the international community and by the early 1900s Yokohama was the busiest and most modern center of international trade in all of East Asia. Then Yokohama came tumbling down. On September 1, 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake devastated the city. The ensuing fires destroyed some 60,000 homes and took more than 40,000 lives. During the six years it took to rebuild the city, many foreign businesses took up quarters elsewhere, primarily in Kobe and Osaka, and did not return. Over the next 20 years Yokohama continued to grow as an industrial center—until May 29, 1945, when in a span of four hours, some 500 American B-29 bombers leveled nearly half the city and left more than half a million people homeless. When the war ended, what remained became—in effect—the center of the Allied occupation. General Douglas MacArthur set up headquarters here, briefly, before moving to Tokyo; the entire port facility and about a quarter of the city remained in the hands of the U.S. military throughout the 1950s. By the 1970s Yokohama was once more rising from the debris; in 1978 it surpassed Osaka as the nation's second-largest city, and the population is now inching up to the 3.5 million mark. Boosted by Japan's postwar economic miracle, Yokohama has extended its urban sprawl north to Tokyo and south to Kamakura—in the process creating a whole new subcenter around the Shinkansen Station at Shin-Yokohama. The development of air travel and the competition from other ports have changed the city's role in Japan's economy. The great liners that once docked at Yokohama's piers are now but a memory, kept alive by a museum ship and the occasional visit of a luxury vessel on a Pacific cruise. Modern Large as Yokohama is, the central area is very negotiable. As with any other port city, much of what it has to offer centers on the waterfront—in this case, on the west side of Tokyo Bay. The downtown area is called Kannai (literally, "within the checkpoint"); this is where the international community was originally confined by the shogunate. Though the center of interest has expanded to include the waterfront and Ishikawa-cho, to the south, Kannai remains the heart of town. Think of that heart as two adjacent areas. One is the old district of Kannai, bounded by Basha-michi on the northwest and Nippon-odori on the southeast, the Keihin Tohoku Line tracks on the southwest, and the waterfront on the northeast. This area contains the business offices of modern Yokohama. The other area extends southeast from Nippon-odori to the Moto-machi shopping street and the International Cemetery, bordered by Yamashita Koen and the waterfront to the northeast; in the center is Chinatown, with Ishikawa-cho Station to the southwest. This is the most interesting part of town for tourists. Whether you're coming from Tokyo, Nagoya, or Kamakura, make Ishikawa-cho Station your starting point. Take the South Exit from the station and head in the direction of the waterfront.

Day 7 Yokohama, Japan

In 1853, a fleet of four American warships under Commodore Matthew Perry sailed into the bay of Tokyo (then Edo) and presented the reluctant Japanese with the demands of the U.S. government for the opening of diplomatic and commercial relations. The following year Perry returned and first set foot on Japanese soil at Yokohama—then a small fishing village on the mudflats of Tokyo bay. Two years later New York businessman Townsend Harris became America's first diplomatic representative to Japan. In 1858 he was finally able to negotiate a commercial treaty between the two countries; part of the deal designated four locations—one of them Yokohama—as treaty ports. In 1859 the shogunate created a special settlement in Yokohama for the growing community of merchants, traders, missionaries, and other assorted adventurers drawn to this exotic new land of opportunity. The foreigners (predominantly Chinese and British, plus a few French, Americans, and Dutch) were confined here to a guarded compound about 5 square km (2 square miles)—placed, in effect, in isolation—but not for long. Within a few short years the shogunal government collapsed, and Japan began to modernize. Western ideas were welcomed, as were Western goods, and the little treaty port became Japan's principal gateway to the outside world. In 1872 Japan's first railway was built, linking Yokohama and Tokyo. In 1889 Yokohama became a city; by then the population had grown to some 120,000. As the city prospered, so did the international community and by the early 1900s Yokohama was the busiest and most modern center of international trade in all of East Asia. Then Yokohama came tumbling down. On September 1, 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake devastated the city. The ensuing fires destroyed some 60,000 homes and took more than 40,000 lives. During the six years it took to rebuild the city, many foreign businesses took up quarters elsewhere, primarily in Kobe and Osaka, and did not return. Over the next 20 years Yokohama continued to grow as an industrial center—until May 29, 1945, when in a span of four hours, some 500 American B-29 bombers leveled nearly half the city and left more than half a million people homeless. When the war ended, what remained became—in effect—the center of the Allied occupation. General Douglas MacArthur set up headquarters here, briefly, before moving to Tokyo; the entire port facility and about a quarter of the city remained in the hands of the U.S. military throughout the 1950s. By the 1970s Yokohama was once more rising from the debris; in 1978 it surpassed Osaka as the nation's second-largest city, and the population is now inching up to the 3.5 million mark. Boosted by Japan's postwar economic miracle, Yokohama has extended its urban sprawl north to Tokyo and south to Kamakura—in the process creating a whole new subcenter around the Shinkansen Station at Shin-Yokohama. The development of air travel and the competition from other ports have changed the city's role in Japan's economy. The great liners that once docked at Yokohama's piers are now but a memory, kept alive by a museum ship and the occasional visit of a luxury vessel on a Pacific cruise. Modern Large as Yokohama is, the central area is very negotiable. As with any other port city, much of what it has to offer centers on the waterfront—in this case, on the west side of Tokyo Bay. The downtown area is called Kannai (literally, "within the checkpoint"); this is where the international community was originally confined by the shogunate. Though the center of interest has expanded to include the waterfront and Ishikawa-cho, to the south, Kannai remains the heart of town. Think of that heart as two adjacent areas. One is the old district of Kannai, bounded by Basha-michi on the northwest and Nippon-odori on the southeast, the Keihin Tohoku Line tracks on the southwest, and the waterfront on the northeast. This area contains the business offices of modern Yokohama. The other area extends southeast from Nippon-odori to the Moto-machi shopping street and the International Cemetery, bordered by Yamashita Koen and the waterfront to the northeast; in the center is Chinatown, with Ishikawa-cho Station to the southwest. This is the most interesting part of town for tourists. Whether you're coming from Tokyo, Nagoya, or Kamakura, make Ishikawa-cho Station your starting point. Take the South Exit from the station and head in the direction of the waterfront.

Day 8 Shimizu, Japan

The salt and pepper cone of Japan's most famous natural landmark won't fail to take your breath away, as it soars into the sky in a vision of spectacular symmetry. Make sure your camera is fully prepared before you dock in Shimizu's port, where unparalleled views of the extraordinary Mount Fuji's dramatic peak await. Take your time to soak up one of Japan's most iconic views, before dipping your toes into the rest of what this destination of tranquil temples has to offer. While there's a bustling fish market, and a charming amusement park waiting close to the port, most new arrivals immediately set off in pursuit of the best views of Mount Fuji, or to see the stunning panorama on offer from the heights of the Kunozan Toshogu Shrine. Take the cable car up to the top, to experience the tranquillity around the forested shrine, and to enjoy its stunning architecture of deep scarlets and gleaming golds. You can also enjoy heart-stopping views out over the Bay of Suruga, and the tea plantations below.

Day 9 Osaka, Japan

From Minami's neon-lighted Dotombori and historic Tenno-ji to the high-rise class and underground shopping labyrinths of Kita, Osaka is a city that pulses with its own unique rhythm. Though Osaka has no shortage of tourist sites, it is the city itself that is the greatest attraction. Home to some of Japan's best food, most unique fashions, and warmest locals, Osaka does not beg to be explored—it demands it. More than anywhere else in Japan, it rewards the impulsive turn down an interesting side street or the chat with a random stranger. People do not come here to see the city, they come to experience it.Excluded from the formal circles of power and aristocratic culture in 16th-century Edo (Tokyo), Osaka took advantage of its position as Japan's trading center, developing its own art forms such as Bunraku puppet theater and Rakugo comic storytelling. It was in Osaka that feudal Japan's famed Floating World—the dining, theater, and pleasure district—was at its strongest and most inventive. Wealthy merchants and common laborers alike squandered fortunes on culinary delights, turning Osaka into "Japan's Kitchen," a moniker the city still has today. Though the city suffered a blow when the Meiji government canceled all of the samurai class's outstanding debts to the merchants, it was quick to recover. At the turn of the 20th century, it had become Japan's largest and most prosperous city, a center of commerce and manufacturing.Today Osaka remains Japan's iconoclastic metropolis, refusing to fit Tokyo's norms and expectations. Unlike the hordes of Tokyo, Osakans are fiercely independent. As a contrast to the neon and concrete surroundings, the people of Osaka are known as Japan's friendliest and most outgoing. Ask someone on the street for directions in Tokyo and you are lucky to get so much as a glance. Ask someone in Osaka and you get a conversation.The main areas of the city, Kita (north) and Minami (south), are divided by two rivers: the Dojima-gawa and the Tosabori-gawa. Between Kita and Minami is Naka-no-shima, an island and the municipal center of Osaka. Kita (north of Chuo Dori) is Osaka's economic hub and contains Osaka's largest stations: JR Osaka and Hankyu Umeda. The area is crammed with shops, department stores, and restaurants. Nearby are a nightlife district, Kita-shinchi; Naka-no-shima and the Museum of Oriental Ceramics; Osaka-jo (Osaka Castle); and Osaka Koen (Osaka Park). Restaurants, bars, department stores, and boutiques attract Osaka's youth to Minami (south Chuo Dori); theatergoers head to the National Bunraku Theatre and electronics-lovers to Den Den Town. For a glimpse of old Osaka, visit Tenno-ji Temple and Shin Sekai. The main stations are Namba, Shin-sai-bashi, Namba Nankai, and Tenno-ji. There's easy access to the Municipal Museum of Fine Art and Sumiyoshi Taisha (Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine).The bay area, to the west of the city center, is home to the Osaka Aquarium and Universal Studios Japan. The Shinkansen stops at Shin-Osaka, three stops (about five minutes) north of Osaka Station on the Mido-suji subway line. To the north of Shin-Osaka is Senri Expo Park.

Days 10-13  Cruising

Day 14 Nha Trang, Vietnam

Day 15 Phu My, Vietnam

Day 16  Cruising

Day 17 Singapore, Singapore

The main island of Singapore is shaped like a flattened diamond, 42 km (26 miles) east to west and 23 km (14 miles) north to south. Near the northern peak is the causeway leading to West Malaysia—Kuala Lumpur is less than four hours away by car. It is at the southern foot where you will find most of the city-state's action, with its gleaming office towers, working docks, and futuristic "supertrees," which are solar-powered and serve as vertical gardens. Offshore are Sentosa and over 60 smaller islands, most uninhabited, that serve as bases for oil refining or as playgrounds and beach escapes from the city. To the east is Changi International Airport, connected to the city by metro, bus, and a tree-lined parkway. Of the island's total land area, more than half is built up, with the balance made up of parkland, farmland, plantations, swamp areas, and rain forest. Well-paved roads connect all parts of the island, and Singapore city has an excellent, and constantly expanding, public transportation system. The heart of Singapore's history and its modern wealth are in and around the Central Business District. The area includes the skyscrapers in the Central Business District, the 19th-century Raffles Hotel, the convention centers of Marina Square, on up to the top of Ft. Canning. Although most of old Singapore has been knocked down to make way for the modern city, most colonial landmarks have been preserved in the CBD, including early-19th-century buildings designed by the Irish architect George Coleman.

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