Departing May 19, 2018
This 14-night, round-trip Tokyo Zegrahm adventure offers a brand new itinerary though one of Japan’s least-developed islands. Perfect for the repeat visitor to Japan—escape the larger cities and visit remote villages, markets, temples, and pagodas. Rebun Island is this cruise’s muse. A small island near the northern tip of Hokkaido that’s part of the Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park, it’s been coined the “Floating Island of Flowers.”

– Mark Brazil, an ornithologist who lives in Hokkaido with his Japanese wife (he’s originally from the UK), customized the itinerary. He bridges the cultural gap for North American travelers and has designed the itinerary to showcase the best of his backyard.
–  While circumnavigating Hokkaido, a small ship is a must. The excursion fuses Russia and parts of mainland Japan in an easy and effective way (versus flying).
–  A highlight is Shikotsu-Toya National Park—a UNESCO Geopark with caldera lakes, hot springs, and hiking trails.
– Combine birding with the rugged, natural side of Japan, and its remote villages—a natural and cultural history homerun.

The all-suite, 100-guest Caledonian Sky is a spacious yet intimate expedition vessel. Refurbished in 2012, sleek public spaces include a single-seating dining room, a large lounge with piano, an elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, sun deck, library, and small gym. All suites have an ocean view and feature sitting rooms, en suite bathrooms, flat screen televisions, spacious wardrobes, and dressing tables. The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs and is equipped to offer scuba diving.

Learn about the indigenous Ainu culture at the Museum of Northern Peoples and experience a traditional Cossack performance in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Michelle Gordon to customize your itinerary, accessed here.

JET SET EXPERIENCES: Chasing Powder in Japan

Photo credit: Zach Doleac

For powder skiing fanatics, nothing beats falling asleep to a sustained snowfall certain to produce an epic powder day by morning. In Hokkaido, such an experience occurs more often than not from December through March, setting this destination apart in the predictability of its excellent conditions.

Skiing in Japan provides both an amazing mountain experience and an opportunity to understand and appreciate the quiet, kind Japanese culture.  Nestled in the mountains of the northern island of Hokkaido lie numerous resorts filled with like-minded adventurers seeking the famed fluffy flurries of snow. The gentle slopes and vast terrain provide memorable powder days for skiers of all abilities.

Following an exhilarating day on the slopes, a warm bowl of spicy ramen and a soak of one’s weary legs in any of the many onsens (natural spring pools) in the area provide a satisfying dose of local Japanese culture.  A stopover in Tokyo on the way there, back, or both will round out an exceptional vacation.

To book your own Hokkaido ski experience contact Lindsey Woodcock.

Photo credit: Zach Doleac