Clipper itineraries feature calls at smaller ports

ST. LOUIS -- Clipper Cruise Line is marketing two cruises to Asia aboard its newest ship, the 128-passenger Clipper Odyssey.

The 128-passenger Clipper Odyssey will sail on two new itineraries in Asia this year. The ship's relatively small dimensions enable it to call at smaller Asian ports and explore remote coastal islands that are off limits to larger cruise ships, the company said.

"Traveling with a limited number of passengers allows one to encounter these out-of-the-way places in a more personal fashion," said Ian Coghlan, Clipper's chief executive officer.

"More cosmopolitan cities on the itinerary, like Hong Kong, Pusan and Shanghai, add a different perspective, giving our passengers an appreciation of 20th century lifestyles in the region as well as its history and natural beauty," Coghlan said.

Trade Routes of the Orient, a 15-day trip starting April 17, begins in Hong Kong. Passengers will board the Clipper Odyssey and cruise the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan to relatively unknown areas, such as Putuo Shan Island, China, one of Buddhism's most sacred sites, and Hagi, Japan, where centuries-old samurai residences are still in use.

In addition to smaller communities, there will be ample time to explore the cities of Shanghai and Hiroshima.

Shore excursions have been planned throughout the cruise to allow for an in-depth look at the local cultures.

Visits will be made to the 1,000-year-old Nanputuo Temple in Xiamen; the Shanghai Museum, located behind the walls of the old city; the Pulguksa Temple in Kyongju, Korea, and the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, among other places.

After disembarking in Kobe, clients will set out on a day trip to Osaka before departing for their home cities.

Rates begin at $6,640 per person, double, including roundtrip air fare from Los Angeles and all planned shore excursions and activities.

Another itinerary, Temples and Gardens of Ancient Japan and Korea, is a 15-day trip that begins April 28 and includes a two-night stay at the Nikko Princess Hotel in Kyoto, a city that is home to exotic temples and gardens.

After embarking in Kobe, passengers will cruise through Japan's Inland Sea and along its northern coast, visiting Okayama, Hiroshima, Miyajima Island and Nagasaki, Japan; they will stop in Pusan, South Korea, and then return to Japan to visit Hagi, Matsue, Kanazawa, Sado Island, Aomori and Hakodate.

Sightseeing excursions include the Korakuen Garden in Okayama; the Glover House

in Nagasaki, inspiration for the settings in Puccini's "Madama Butterfly"; the Matsue Castle, with its collection of ancient armor and weapons, and the Yuzen Silk Factory in Kana-zawa.

Rates begin at $6,780 per person, double, including roundtrip air fare from Los Angeles, the two-night hotel stay in Kyoto and all scheduled shore excursions and sightseeing.

During the voyages, Clipper's chefs will design menu options that combine the flavors and spices of Asia with American specialties.

The 64-cabin Clipper Odyssey has what the line describes as an "intimate feel with all the amenities of a larger ship."

The ship features all outside cabins, teak-covered decks, single-seating dining, a library, several lounges, an outdoor pool with a Jacuzzi, a fully equipped gym and a jogging track.

Clipper Cruise Line
Phone: (800) 325-0010 or (314) 727-2929
Web: www.clippercruise.com

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