Day 1 Friday 13 March 2020 Departure/Hong Kong
Today we board our flight to Hong Kong. Upon arrival we are transferred to our hotel.
Day 2 Saturday 14 March 2020 Hong Kong, China
This morning we will be met by our guide and will proceed for a half day tour of Hong Kong Island. The tour circles the beautiful Hong Kong Island with stops at Stanley Market where you can stroll through this seaside village bazaar. Next stop is the Aberdeen Fishing Village, home of "Boat People" whose life style has not changed much since the early days, and we will enjoy a trip around the harbour on a traditional junk. Finish the tour with a panoramic ride up to the Victoria Peak where the harbour and the city sprawl in front of you. Early afternoon we are transferred to the port of Hong Kong to board the Holland America Westerdam. This evening be sure to be on deck as the Westerdam slips her moorings and sails out of Hong Kong harbour.
Day 3 Sunday 15 March 2020 At sea
A day at sea is the perfect opportunity to explore the fabulous facilities of this magnificent ship. This afternoon join us for included welcome drinks.
Day 4 Monday 16 March 2020 At sea
Another day at sea to explore the fabulous facilities of this magnificent ship. This afternoon join us for a fun game of Scattergories with prizes for the winners.
Day 5 Tuesday 17 March 2020 Shanghai, China
This morning we arrive in Shanghai and we are met by our local guide. Our sightseeing begins at the historical riverfront area known as the Bund. From here we head to the Old Town (Yuan Bazaar) of Shanghai where cobbled streets are lined with traditional shops selling herbal medicines, handicrafts, Chinese tea and a variety of tantalising snacks. We will visit the National Museum (and see calligraphy, jades, ceramics, bronzes and so much more), and Fuxing Park in the colonial-era French Concession, with its shady sycamore trees and stuccoed villas. We overnight in Shanghai.
Day 6 Wednesday 18 March 2020 Shanghai
Today we escape to the charming old world atmosphere of Wuzhen, a traditional water canal town in Zhejiang Province that provides a distinct contrast to the pace of Shanghai. See the Taoist Temple, the former residence of Mao Dun, a master of contemporary Chinese literature, and browse through little stores selling traditional indigo-dyed printed calico.
Day 7 Thursday 19 March 2020 At sea
A day at sea is the perfect opportunity to explore the fabulous facilities of this magnificent ship. Perhaps visit the Spa for a relaxing massage. This afternoon join us for a fun game of Travelrite Bingo.
Day 8 Friday 20 March 2020 Qingdao, China
Today we arrive in Qingdao located on China's Yellow Sea coast. We will visit the former German Governor's Residence in the heart of Qingdao. This beautifully maintained building provides a glimpse of the benefits Qingdao gained from the German presence here. From there, continue to Qingdao TV Tower – the highest steel tower in mainland China. Your next stop will be at the Protestant Church. Constructed in 1910 and designed in Romanesque and Jugendstil styles of Germany, the Protestant Church stands out as a famous and unusual religious monument in Qingdao – a cultural relic thankfully now protected by the Provincial government.
Day 9 Saurday 21 March 2020 At sea
With so many activities to choose from, why not take in a movie, or have a Line Dancing lesson?
Day 10 Sunday 22 March 2020 Tianjin (Beijing), China
Today we arrive in Tianjin and travel to Beijing. We will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Beijing with a local guide. Our tour takes us to the famous Tiananmen Square, passing Chairman Mao's Mausoleum. We will visit the treasure-filled Forbidden City, the world's largest palace complex and home to the Ming and Qing dynasties for over 500 years. Next, we will visit the unique 15th century Temple of Heaven, one of the most perfect examples of Ming architecture that has four gates, one at each of the four points of the compass.
Day 11 Monday 23 March 2020 Tianjin (Beijing)
It is often quoted in Beijing that “you've not been to China until you have climbed the Great Wall”. Stretching from the Shanhaiguan Pass on the east coast to the Gobi desert in the west, it is more than 5,000km long. We will walk along the wall, admire the panoramic views and reflect on the enormity of the material and labour required for its construction. It is estimated that one million people were used at different stages during the construction period and that thousands of people died building it. Later this afternoon wander through the picturesque Summer Palace, admiring the landscaped beauty. We will also enjoy a rickshaw ride through a Hutong, an ancient alley or lane typical of Beijing that wind through local residences, exposing years of tradition and history. Some are older than 700 years.
Day 12 Tuesday 24 March 2020 Dalian, China
The Dalian you see today, an important Asian trading port on China's northeast coast grew from a small fishing village and was shaped enormously by three powers that ruled the city over the course of the 20th century: Russia from 1898 to 1905, Japan from 1905 until the end of World War II and, after the city was liberated by Soviet troops, China. Today's tour begins with a visit to People's Square, located in the centre of Dalian and dating back to 1899. We will also enjoy a scenic drive to Beida Bridge followed by a visit to Labour Park, the largest public park in Dalian.
Day 13 Wednesday 25 March 2020 At sea
A day to explore the ship and enjoy the on-board facilities. Perhaps enjoy a swim in one of the pools, take dancing lessons or learn to play bridge. This afternoon join the group for a fun Quiz!
Day 14 Thursday 26 March 2020 Nagasaki, Japan
Today we arrive in the city of Nagasaki. Best known as the site of the second nuclear attack on Japan during WWII, we have a sightseeing tour of the city. We see the Peace Memorial Park, located near Ground Zero, the centre of the blast, which is home to a beautiful memorial fountain and the 9 metre-high Statue of Peace. We will also see other parts of the city that was for 200 years Japan's port to the outside world. This afternoon we will walk to the nearby Glover Gardens, where we see early European settlers' houses surrounded by attractive gardens. Group members can explore at their own pace.
Day 15 Friday 27 March 2020 At sea
A day to explore the ship and enjoy the on-board facilities. Explore the library, shops, gym and pools.
Day 16 Saturday 28 March 2020 Tokyo, Japan
Upon arrival in Yokohama we disembark and travel to Tokyo for an orientation tour of the city. We visit the famous Ginza shopping district, renowned as the most expensive real estate in the world. We then visit the Imperial Palace East Gardens, which is part of the Royal residence, and a superb example of traditional Japanese landscape design.
Day 17 Sunday 29 March 2020 Tokyo
There aren't many places on Earth that blend ancient tradition and the ultramodern quite like Tokyo. Centuries-old gardens and cobblestone laneways live in perfect harmony with soaring skyscrapers and dazzling neon lights. We will visit the Asakusa district, well-known as a region of Old Tokyo, the Asakusa Kannon Temple, a Buddhist temple also known as Sensoji, built in 645 A.D with the finest Japanese architecture.
Day 18 Monday 30 March 2020 Tokyo
Cherry blossoms in Tokyo typically starts in late March. It's the most wonderful time of the year when the whole city turns into a pink wonderland. We will visit Shinjuku Gyoen, which is one of largest national gardens and features around 1,000 cherry trees in various kinds in the vast space. We will also visit Shibuya, the most energetic district in Tokyo, offering countless restaurants, shops and entertainments, Harajuku, renowned for its colourful street art and fashion scene, and Meiji Jingu Shrine, the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. This evening we come together for a farewell dinner to celebrate our fantastic Exotic China & Japan cruise.
Day 19 Tuesday 31 March 2020 Departure
The morning is free for shopping and sightseeing. In the afternoon we are transferred to the airport for our flight home to Australia.
Day 20 Wednesday 1 April 2020 Australia
Tour members arrive back in Australia. The tour concludes.