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SKYSCRAPERS & SHOGUNS

V4209

Beijing to Tokyo on Crystal Symphony
DATES : April 16 - May 1, 2014 (15 Days)  CRUISE-ONLY FARES FROM : $7,920 Per Person

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Immerse yourself in the intricate beauty of Japan, with its state-of-the-art museums and haunting memorials, its delicious cuisine, stunning landscapes and welcoming hospitality.

Date Port Arrival Departure
Apr 16, Wednesday
Beijing, China - Welcome to Beijing (overnight land program) » Arrive pm  

Welcome to Beijing, China. Uniformed staff will greet you at Beijing's international airport and escort you to your hotel. On arrival, take time to freshen up before enjoying a delicious buffet dinner and an evening spent at your leisure.

Apr 17, Thursday
Beijing/Forbidden City/Tiananmen Square (overnight land program) »    

Following a buffet breakfast at your hotel, board your air-conditioned motor coach and journey to the Forbidden City, the world of The Last Emperor. Between the 15th and early 20th centuries, this magnificent complex, containing 210 acres of pavilions, gardens and courtyards, was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Considered one of the greatest feats in human history, the city’s construction is presently one of the largest and best-preserved palace complexes in the world. There are more than one million rare and valuable objects in the museum, many of which are on display for you to view.

Next, proceed to Tiananmen Square. Originally designed and built in 1651, it was enlarged to approximately 100 acres and cemented over in 1958. The square derives its name from the imposing stone Gate of Heavenly Peace, which once served as the main gate of the former Imperial Palace. Designed for massive gatherings, the plaza can accommodate more than one million people. Aside from military parades, Tiananmen Square has become a rallying point for student demonstrations, most notably a pro-democracy rally in 1989. It was in this square that Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Mao’s body is entombed in the nearby Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.

Enjoy lunch before commencing a fascinating rickshaw tour of Beijing’s hutongs, or narrow streets and alleys. First appearing in Beijing during the Yuan Dynasty of 1271 to 1368, hutongs are created by courtyard houses, which form a Siheyuan, or quadrangle. Most quadrangles are surrounded by high walls; the passages that join one quadrangle to another are the narrow hutongs you will investigate today aboard your rickshaw. A highlight of this unique experience is your visit with a local family, offering an intimate glimpse into Chinese life.

Tonight you are invited to a spectacular dinner and performance at the Great Hall of the People. This impressive structure is where China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, assembles for deliberations on state affairs. The building houses lavish facilities for official entertaining, including the enormous banquet hall where Richard Nixon dined during his historic visit to China in 1972.

Apr 18, Friday
Beijing: Great Wall (overnight land program) »    

After an early breakfast at your hotel, board your motor coach for the scenic, 47-mile journey through the countryside to one of mankind’s most impressive creations, the Great Wall. En route, stop at the Olympic Park for a view of the ‘Bird’s Nest’ and ‘Water Cube’, Beijing’s intriguing landmark structures erected for the 2008 Olympics.

Built in the 3rd century BC to protect China’s northern border from marauding nomads and “barbarians,” the Great Wall stretches about 4,500 miles east to west. Today, it remains a monument to the painstaking endeavors of nearly one million workers. Please wear comfortable shoes with soft rubber soles, as the walkway’s worn stones are frequently slippery.

Stop briefly at a local restaurant for a lunch of Chinese cuisine before returning to your hotel in the early afternoon.

Have dinner at your hotel, using the voucher you received during check-in at the restaurant of your choice or, if you prefer, enjoy room service.

Apr 19, Saturday
Beijing: Temple of Heaven (land program) »    
Welcome to Tianjin, China! After disembarking your Crystal ship, you will travel to Beijing. Following lunch, your Beijing experience begins with a visit to the Temple of Heaven. Built between 1406 and 1420, the complex of buildings that make up the Temple of Heaven cover 273 hectares and represent the pinnacle of Ming and Qing architecture. This was the place where the Ming & Qing emperors went to worship Heaven and pray for better Harvest. In early morning when the air is filled with the fragrance of old cypresses, the temple grounds are full of people practicing a dozen or more forms of exercise, from qigong of martial arts, from opera singing to disco. It is one of the best places in Beijing to observe ordinary Chinese at play.  In the later afternoon, check into your hotel and enjoy a buffet dinner and evening at your leisure.

  Beijing, China »   6 pm
Apr 20, Sunday
Dalian, China » 8 am 5 pm

The world's powers have been wrestling over the city of Dalian for over a century. In 1895, Japan laid claim to Dalian. A few years later the Russians took over. In 1905, Japan gained it back. After World War II, the Soviet Union occupied the city for ten years before leaving on friendly terms.

Once you visit Dalian, you will understand what all the fuss is about. It is a large, clean, modern city with a perfect location on the Yellow Sea. Scenic beaches beckon from just outside of town, annual festivals celebrate high fashion and the lotus flower, seafood is plentiful and delicious, and the national pastime, soccer, is followed with a passion.

Apr 21, Monday
Cruising the Yellow Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Apr 22, Tuesday
Shanghai, China (overnight) » 8 am*  
Shanghai, located just inside the mouth of the great Yangtze River, marks the point where Asia's longest and most important river completes its 3,400-mile journey to the Pacific. The city's unique location is the source of its existence and has determined what it is today. Until 1842, Shanghai was merely a tiny fishing village. Following the first Opium War, Shanghai became a treaty port, which opened the city to foreign influence and resulted in the development of numerous British, French and American colonial settlements within the city and along the Yangtze River. Today, Shanghai is the center of China's economic resurgence and its skyline attests to this development in the form of towering skyscrapers, brightly lit commercial high-rises and the unsettling Oriental Pearl Tower. A testimony to Shanghai's colonial era, stately European buildings in art deco style line the Bund, the city's spacious waterfront promenade. An endless flotilla of sampans edge the Huangpu River, dividing old and new Shanghai. Beyond the rush of the city, serene ponds and gardens offer a gentle respite. Must-see sights include the Jade Buddha Temple and tranquil Yu Garden, impressive monuments to China's history and style. Inland lies Suzhou, with its majestic Grand Canal and classical gardens, as well as equally significant Hangzhou, terminus of the Grand Canal and the center of China's legendary tea industry.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.
Apr 23, Wednesday
Shanghai, China (overnight) »    
Shanghai, located just inside the mouth of the great Yangtze River, marks the point where Asia's longest and most important river completes its 3,400-mile journey to the Pacific. The city's unique location is the source of its existence and has determined what it is today. Until 1842, Shanghai was merely a tiny fishing village. Following the first Opium War, Shanghai became a treaty port, which opened the city to foreign influence and resulted in the development of numerous British, French and American colonial settlements within the city and along the Yangtze River. Today, Shanghai is the center of China's economic resurgence and its skyline attests to this development in the form of towering skyscrapers, brightly lit commercial high-rises and the unsettling Oriental Pearl Tower. A testimony to Shanghai's colonial era, stately European buildings in art deco style line the Bund, the city's spacious waterfront promenade. An endless flotilla of sampans edge the Huangpu River, dividing old and new Shanghai. Beyond the rush of the city, serene ponds and gardens offer a gentle respite. Must-see sights include the Jade Buddha Temple and tranquil Yu Garden, impressive monuments to China's history and style. Inland lies Suzhou, with its majestic Grand Canal and classical gardens, as well as equally significant Hangzhou, terminus of the Grand Canal and the center of China's legendary tea industry.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.
Apr 24, Thursday
Shanghai, China »   12 m*
Shanghai, located just inside the mouth of the great Yangtze River, marks the point where Asia's longest and most important river completes its 3,400-mile journey to the Pacific. The city's unique location is the source of its existence and has determined what it is today. Until 1842, Shanghai was merely a tiny fishing village. Following the first Opium War, Shanghai became a treaty port, which opened the city to foreign influence and resulted in the development of numerous British, French and American colonial settlements within the city and along the Yangtze River. Today, Shanghai is the center of China's economic resurgence and its skyline attests to this development in the form of towering skyscrapers, brightly lit commercial high-rises and the unsettling Oriental Pearl Tower. A testimony to Shanghai's colonial era, stately European buildings in art deco style line the Bund, the city's spacious waterfront promenade. An endless flotilla of sampans edge the Huangpu River, dividing old and new Shanghai. Beyond the rush of the city, serene ponds and gardens offer a gentle respite. Must-see sights include the Jade Buddha Temple and tranquil Yu Garden, impressive monuments to China's history and style. Inland lies Suzhou, with its majestic Grand Canal and classical gardens, as well as equally significant Hangzhou, terminus of the Grand Canal and the center of China's legendary tea industry.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.
Apr 25, Friday
Cruising the East China Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Apr 26, Saturday
Nagasaki, Japan » 8 am 5 pm
Nagasaki is a thriving city on Kyushu Island's northwestern shores. As Japan's only access to the West, it flourished during a period of national isolation in the 16th century and continues to be influenced by the ideas and technology of other cultures. Must-see attractions include Japan's oldest gothic-style wooden church and the inspirational Peace Park. Also of particular note is the stately Glover Mansion, an impressive hideaway which was the legendary setting of Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly. A harmonious blend of ancient and modern influences will be yours to enjoy during your sojourn in Nagasaki.
Apr 27, Sunday
Osaka, Japan (overnight) » 7 pm  
Osaka, as it was in the 16th century, still remains a city of commerce. Although the nature of the city hasn't changed, it is presently undergoing an architectural revolution, rejuvenating and redefining itself with a dazzling display of gleaming skyscrapers and towers. During the 4th and 5th centuries, Osaka and its surrounding towns and cities were at the core of the developing Japanese society. It was through these centers that Chinese merchants traded their goods with the rest of Japan. Chinese merchants not only brought goods, but new knowledge, technology and culture, all of which filtered into Japan through the port of Osaka. The effects of this cultural trade remain evident to this day in the form of Osaka's superb restaurants, dedicated theater and collection of impressive temples and steadfast castles. Due to Osaka's prime geography and successful seaport, it provides an excellent base from which to venture inland to some of Japan's most stunning and popular cities. The ancient capitals of sacred Kyoto and tranquil Nara beckon travelers with their power and majesty.
Apr 28, Monday
Osaka, Japan »   6 pm
Osaka, as it was in the 16th century, still remains a city of commerce. Although the nature of the city hasn't changed, it is presently undergoing an architectural revolution, rejuvenating and redefining itself with a dazzling display of gleaming skyscrapers and towers. During the 4th and 5th centuries, Osaka and its surrounding towns and cities were at the core of the developing Japanese society. It was through these centers that Chinese merchants traded their goods with the rest of Japan. Chinese merchants not only brought goods, but new knowledge, technology and culture, all of which filtered into Japan through the port of Osaka. The effects of this cultural trade remain evident to this day in the form of Osaka's superb restaurants, dedicated theater and collection of impressive temples and steadfast castles. Due to Osaka's prime geography and successful seaport, it provides an excellent base from which to venture inland to some of Japan's most stunning and popular cities. The ancient capitals of sacred Kyoto and tranquil Nara beckon travelers with their power and majesty.
Apr 29, Tuesday
Shimizu, Japan » 9 am 5 pm
Shizuoka, with its principal seaport, Shimizu, is known as the home of Mount Fuji. This revered mountain is the most recognizable symbol of Japanese scenic beauty. Shizuoka is blessed with a bountiful natural environment, including towering mountain ranges, glimmering lakes and an eternal stretch of coastline. Shizuoka's rich historical past has endowed the town with a special character all its own. During the 16th century, the region was so prosperous it was called the "Kyoto of the East." It was transformed from a small fishing village into a castle town rivaling early Tokyo.Although the city has in many ways industrialized, it has managed to retain its distinctive natural charm. Recognized for its stunning national parks, striking views of Mount Fuji and ever-popular green tea, woodcrafts and traditional bamboo crafts, Shizuoka is a paradise for shoppers and nature lovers alike. Come ashore to experience Shizuoka's not-to-be-missed exploration opportunities.
Apr 30, Wednesday
Tokyo, Japan (overnight) » 8 am*  
Fusing the vitality of a modern metropolis with the stately elegance of yesteryear, Tokyo is truly unique. From the timeless beauty of the Meiji Shrine to the glittering Ginza district and impressive Tokyo Tower, this international giant is a complex blend of East and West. Houses of wood and paper stand beside towering steel skyscrapers, while kimono-clad women stroll beside teenagers who have created a fashion all their own.

The timeless Imperial Palace bears testament to Japan's enduring traditions. Despite encroaching urban development, it continues to exist in a verdant parkland of isolation.

Images of the vibrant metropolis of Tokyo, which is home to more than 11 million people, will create memories of a lifetime.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.
May 1, Thursday
Tokyo, Japan » Disembark am*  
Fusing the vitality of a modern metropolis with the stately elegance of yesteryear, Tokyo is truly unique. From the timeless beauty of the Meiji Shrine to the glittering Ginza district and impressive Tokyo Tower, this international giant is a complex blend of East and West. Houses of wood and paper stand beside towering steel skyscrapers, while kimono-clad women stroll beside teenagers who have created a fashion all their own.

The timeless Imperial Palace bears testament to Japan's enduring traditions. Despite encroaching urban development, it continues to exist in a verdant parkland of isolation.

Images of the vibrant metropolis of Tokyo, which is home to more than 11 million people, will create memories of a lifetime.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.
*  Arrival and departure times will depend on tidal restrictions.
All itineraries and times are subject to change. Click on ports for detailed information.
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