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P&O Cruises returns to Japan

P&O Cruises returns to Japan

P&O Cruises has announced an exotic new itinerary for Pacific Star – a six-week round trip voyage from Sydney to Japan and China. The cruise takes in many of the highlights of Asia, from the imperial capital of Kyoto to the dynamic metropolis of Shanghai and the golden palaces of Brunei.

Departing Sydney on March 8, 2008, the six-week cruise visits 15 magical ports in Japan, China, South Korea, Borneo and the Pacific, and is timed to coincide with Japan’s spectacular cherry blossom season.

Passengers will enjoy an eclectic mix of destinations, including Tokyo and Hong Kong, and historic WWII locations like Hiroshima and the island of Saipan.

The voyage is P&O Cruises’ first visit to Japan in more than a decade, and includes return visits to many popular ports from past itineraries such as Rabaul in Papua New Guinea.

The cruise is available now for sale, with fares priced from NZ$6,085 per person quad-share or $10,495 per person twin-share. Fares include all main meals and activities on board.

P&O Cruises New Zealand Manager Shannon Currie says he expects the voyage to be extremely popular with New Zealanders keen to experience the diverse cultures and sights of Asia and the Pacific, while enjoying the comforts and ease of a cruising holiday.

Mr Currie describes the cruise as a classic voyage, reminiscent of an era when cruise ships were the only way to visit far-off lands. The first round trip voyage to Japan from Australia was in 1957 by the famous P&O Cruises liner, Orcades.

“We’ve put together a fantastic itinerary for Pacific Star, featuring some of our region’s most exciting destinations, to create a truly memorable holiday,” Mr Currie said.

After departing Sydney for the Whitsundays and Darwin, Pacific Star calls at Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, famed for its golden, gem-encrusted buildings and magnificent mosques.

From there the 1,350-passenger ship sails to Sabah, and its capital Kota Kinabulu, gateway to one of the world’s biggest rainforests, before heading to the bustling Chinese cities of Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Following a call at Pusan in South Korea, Pacific Star cruises to Hiroshima, the first of three ports of call in Japan, which coincides with the blooming of Japan’s national flower, the beautiful cherry blossom, known as sakura. The viewing of the cherry blossoms has been a Japanese custom for hundreds of years, with the stunning show of flowers prompting festivals and celebrations nationwide.

During its time in Japanese waters, Pacific Star sails to Osaka to enable passengers to visit the historical city of Kyoto, as well as Yokohama, gateway to Japan’s enthralling capital, Tokyo.

Heading south through the Pacific, the voyage cruises by Iwo Jima, the site of an infamous World War II battle where thousands lost their lives. From there, Pacific Star sails to the Mariana Island destinations of Saipan and Guam, both known for their beautiful beaches, before cruising to the pristine islands and vast atoll of Chuuk in Micronesia.

The journey draws to a close as Pacific Star visits the Papua New Guinea town of Rabaul, occupied by the Japanese during WWII and home to an active volcano, then calls at Brisbane before returning to Sydney.

To book this P&O Cruises’ holiday, see a travel agent, call P&O Cruises on 0800 95 12 00 or visit


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