October 1 – October 15, 2024

Michael & Terri Klauber of Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club invite you to experience some of Japan’s most intriguing destinations aboard this round trip sailing from Tokyo aboard the brand new Silver Nova.

Start with a day at sea to relax, before a day in the bright lights of Osaka beckons you. Enjoy the quiet peace of Hiroshima, before being seduced by the heady cocktail of hot springs, gourmet food, abundant nature and spiritual history in Kyushu Island. South Korea is next, followed by an overnight in Kanazawa. Aomori, Hakodate and a day at sea complete your cruise.

Hello Fellow Travelers,

As the founders of The Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club, Terri and I are thrilled to extend a warm invitation to you to join us for an unforgettable adventure for 2024 – The Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club Trip to Japan!

We have curated an exceptional journey that will take us through Japan’s most intriguing destinations (and even a stop in South Korea!) aboard the just-launched 725 passenger Silver Nova ship from renowned SilverSea Cruises. We have enjoyed our past cruises with SilverSea, but this is a new style of ship with its innovative design, cutting-edge features, fabulous restaurants, and enhanced onboard facilities, providing guests with a fresh and elevated cruising experience that sets it apart from all other ships of it’s size.

We are very excited about experiencing Japan with its rich culture, diverse landscapes, exquisite cuisine, and technological advancements. Visitors are drawn to its unique blend of ancient traditions and modern innovations, stunning natural beauty, and the warm hospitality of its people. From historical temples and serene gardens to bustling cities and mouthwatering food, Japan offers an unforgettable travel experience that captivates and continues to delight travelers from all over the world. We will make sure you have the opportunity to see the best-of-the-best in style and comfort.

As past travelers continue to remind us, our Connoisseur Club journeys are unique due to the special and exclusive excursions we create for our lucky travelers! We love being able to surprise you along the way and work hard to keep you “in the moment”.

We look forward to welcoming you on this special journey,

Best regards!

宜しくお願い致します。

Michael & Terri

Click the Button Below for a Pre-Trip Option that immerses you in the flavors of Tokyo, pampering you and preparing you for the trip to come. 

Tokyo, Japan

October 1, 2024 – Tokyo, Japan

Dense and delightful, there’s nowhere else like Japan’s kinetic capital – a city where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with a relentless pursuit for the future’s sharpest edge. See the city from above, as elevators rocket you up to towering viewing platforms, from which you can survey a vast urban ocean, interspersed with sky-scraping needles. Look out as far as the distant loom of Mount Fuji’s cone on clear days. Futuristic – second-accurate – transport seamlessly links Tokyo’s 14 districts, while the glow of flashing advertisement boards, clanks of arcade machines, and waves of humanity flowing along its streets, adds to the sense of mesmerizing, dizzying and glorious sensory overload.

One of Tokyo’s most iconic sights, don’t miss the flood of people scrambling to cross Shibuya’s famous intersection. Join the choreographed dance, as crowds of briefcase-carrying commuters are given the green light to cross at the same time – bathed in the light of massive neon advertisements. The culture is immensely rich and deep, with 7th-century, lantern-decorated temples, stunning palaces and tranquil scarlet shrines waiting below cloaks of incense and nestling between soaring skyscrapers. Restaurants serve up precisely prepared sushi, and wafer-thin seafood slivers, offering a unique taste of the country’s refined cuisine. Settle into traditional teahouses, to witness intricate ceremonies, or join the locals as they fill out karaoke bars to sing the night away. In the spring, cherry blossom paints a delicate pink sheen over the city’s innumerable parks and gardens.

Tokyo, Japan

Day at Sea Aboard Silver Nova

October 2, 2024 — The brand new Silver Nova, Silversea’s newest vessel joining the seas in summer 2023, will be a home away from home for up to 728 guests.

Silver Nova’s innovative asymmetrical design introduces the world like never before, offering an immersive destination experience to our guests.

Eight restaurants and an unprecedented choice of bars complete the experience, offering delicious drinking and dining at any time of the day.

October 3, 2024 – Osaka

Japan’s third-biggest city has thrown off its shackles and stepped out of the shadows to light up the sky with glaring neon signs and a larger than life outlook. Giant octopuses cling to buildings and bustling restaurants pack in the crowds in this great and garish place, which is Japan at its most friendly, extroverted and flavourful. So dive in headfirst to experience an all-out sensory assault of delicious food, shopping cathedrals and glittering temples.

Dotombori Bridge bathes in the multicoloured, jewel-like lights of signage-plastered buildings, and the neon lights dance on the canal’s waters below.

Osaka is known as the nation’s kitchen, and the Kuromon Ichiba Market has served as the city’s spot to tuck in for almost 200 years. Full of street food stalls – try pufferfish, savoury Okonomiyaki pancakes, or ginger and onion flavoured octopus, among the endless feast of exotic flavours.

Osaka Castle is another of the city’s landmarks, built in the 16th century by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. A modern museum now waits inside, where you can learn about the country’s history, and why this castle is a symbol of Japanese unity. Be sure to take the elevator up to the observation deck for a panoramic view of Osaka’s spread. A colourful park encloses the castle and blooms with an ocean of pale pink cherry blossom during the season – the elegant black tiers rising from the pink haze below is one of Osaka’s most alluring visions.

Kyoto’s peaceful cultural treasures and temples are also just a short jaunt away on Japan’s sleek trains, should you wish to explore further afield.

GCCC Exclusive Shore Event

Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Japan with this exclusive excursion. Start your day by docking in Osaka and being greeted by your private chauffeur. Transfer to Kyoto in your luxurious private vehicle, taking in the stunning views of the Japanese countryside along the way. Meet your private guide in Kyoto and set off to explore the city’s many treasures. Choose to visit Fushimi Inari, a Shinto shrine with thousands of vermillion torii gates, or Arashiyama Bamboo Forest & Higashiyama Area, a beautiful bamboo grove with stunning views of Kyoto. Enjoy a chef’s dinner at a private temple, savoring traditional Japanese cuisine in a truly unique setting. Transfer back to Osaka at 7:00pm and depart at 11:00pm.

October 4, 2024 – Day at Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Hiroshima, Japan

October 5, 2024 – Hiroshima, Japan

History buffs will want to write home Hiroshima. Despite being devastated in 1945, this Japanese city is known to all for its commitment peace – its ruin on the 6th August 1945 led to the end of the war and today, the Peace Memorial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), is a constant reminder of the destruction that war brings.

A walk in the leafy boulevards of Peace Memorial Park brings quiet contemplation. The Flames of Peace – set in the park’s central feature pond – burn brightly and will continue to do so until all the nuclear bombs I the world have been destroyed. There are many other inspiring messages of hope around the city too; the Children’s’ Peace Monument just north of the park is a homage to little Sadako Sasaki, who was just two in 1945. When she developed leukemia in 1956, she believed that if she folded 1,000 paper cranes – a symbol of longevity and happiness in Japan – she would recover. Sadly she died before she finished her task but her classmates finished the rest.

October 6, 2024 – Exploring Fukuoka (Kyushu Island)

Boasting Japan’s heady cocktail of hot springs, gourmet food, abundant nature and spiritual history, Kyushu Island has all the advantages of the mainland, while enjoying its own identity. The island is the third largest of Japan’s five island provinces and prides itself on having everything you could expect from the Land of the Rising Sun.

The capital of the island, Fukuoka, is Japan in a bite sized morsel. As one of the country’s most strategic ports – it is closer to Seoul than Tokyo – the city has enjoyed a somewhat prestigious status over the years, including two unsuccessful Mongol invasion attempts in the 13th century. Some scholars suggest that the city is also the first place the Imperial Family set foot, although actual proof of this is scarce. What is certain however is that it was once the home of the samurai, with many samurai related spots found all over the city.

A trip to the Kyushu National Museum will allow budding actors to try on traditional costumes and channel their inner feudal lord, while local shrines, tranquil Zen gardens and castle ruins all offer a chance to relive the city’s glory days.

The city itself is made up of two smaller towns (Fukuoka and Hakata), and despite unification in 1889, Hakata is still considered the centre. A 2018 survey ranked the city number 22 on “the world’s most liveable cities” list, due to its excellent shopping, outstanding food, excellent transport links, good museums, “feeling of openeness”, green spaces and friendly, safe, environment.

GCCC Exclusive Shore Event

Indulge your senses in Fukuoka’s culinary delights on this exclusive excursion. Start your day by docking in Fukuoka and being greeted by your private guide and vehicle. Enjoy a full-day of sightseeing, visiting the city’s many temples, shrines, and markets. In the evening, savor a private dinner experience at a traditional yatai, or food stall. Sample the city’s best street food and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Depart from Fukuoka at 7:00pm.

Busan, South Korea

October 7, 2024 – Busan, South Korea

A tapestry of kaleidoscopic colours, intense seafood flavors, and urban beach bliss, Busan rolls across a glorious natural setting on the Korean Peninsula’s south-east. One of the largest and busiest ports in the world, 3.5 million people call South Korea’s second city home, and the amiable locals help to lend the city its quirky, offbeat outlook. A spacious, playful and cosmopolitan place, Busan is a lively, liveable city, cradled by lush mountains and endless ocean scenery.

Haedong Yonggung Temple nestles on a dramatic cliffside, just above the crumbling rocks and crashing waves of the East Sea. Dating back to 1376, the temple’s multi-story pagoda is adorned with lions – each representing a different emotion. Elsewhere, lanterns glitter in the night sky around Mount Geumjeongsan, freshly released from the beautiful Beomeosa Temple, which was established in AD 678.

The hillside shantytown of Gamcheon Culture Village has completed an improbable transformation, blossoming from a sea of makeshift homes for Korean war refugees, into a colourful explosion of creativity and curiosity. Local artists have been let loose to create interactive installations, and the entire area is now an expansive canvas for expression. Lose yourself among vibrant alleyways of flamingo-pink, lemon-yellow and baby-blue painted facades in this unique area. Sample bibimbap, fiery-hot beef and rice, from street food vendors, before relaxing on one of South Korea’s best beaches – Haeundae’s banana bend of sand.

Metallic skyscrapers offer an unusual backdrop to this pristine expanse of golden powder and are mirrored by elaborate sandcastles and sculptures during the annual sand festival – when spontaneous water fights and firework displays also take place. Gwangalli beach is another urban option, laying out spectacular views of the reaching Gwangan Bridge – the country’s second largest bridge. At night, 16,000 bulbs bathe this engineering marvel in color.

Day at Sea Aboard Silver Nova

October 8, 2024 — Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Kanazawa, Japan

October 9-10, 2024 – Exploring Kanazawa

The capital of the Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa once rivaled Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) as a town rich in cultural achievements. Kanazawa escaped destruction during World War II and accordingly has been able to preserve many of the old districts in good shape.

The city is famous because of Kenrokuen. Located next to Kanazawa Castle, Kenrokuen is classified as “One of the Three Gardens of Japan”. The garden has an artificial pond, and hills and houses are dotted within the 11.4 hectares. It has Japan’s oldest fountain using natural water pressure and a tea-house dating back to 1774.

Close by is the Higashi Chaya Gai Geisha District, designated a National Cultural Asset and the biggest of the Geisha districts of Kanazawa. Some of the houses not only retain the original structure, but still are used as Geisha houses. Some of the streets have traditional shops creating a nostalgic atmosphere.

Kanazawa is also known for its lacquer ware, Kutani-style pottery, gold-leaf workmanship and delicately painted silk kimonos.

GCCC Exclusive Shore Event

Your private two-day trip through Kanazawa begins with a morning arrival at the city’s port. After being greeted by your private guide and driver, you’ll set off on a journey through the city’s rich history and culture. You will explore the Nagamachi Samurai District, a well-preserved neighborhood that once housed the city’s samurai elite. Here, you can wander through the narrow streets, admire the traditional architecture, and learn about the history of Kanazawa’s samurai culture. You will also visit the Higashichayagai Tea District, a charming neighborhood known for its traditional teahouses and shops. Here, you can enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and sample some of Kanazawa’s finest teas. In the evening, you’ll savor a private Geisha dinner. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the unique culture of Kanazawa’s geisha.
Rejoin your guide on land after a nights rest aboard the Silver Nova. Enjoy private transportation, an Artisan Craft Experience, and a Sake Tasting at a Renowned Sake Institute on your second day in Kanazawa. You will rejoin your shipmates on board in the evening for a ship departure of 11PM.


October 11, 2024 – Day at Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Aomori, Japan

October 12, 2024 – Aomori, Japan

From fiery festivals to spectacular mountain scenery, soaring temples to castles surrounded by cherry blossom blooms, Aomori is one of Japan’s most enchanting destinations. Framed by dark peaks clad with dense forestry, the city enjoys a picturesque location on Japan’s main island Honshu.

While there are gorgeous pink tinted parks, tiered castles and towering Buddha statues to explore, the Aomori Prefecture’s capital is perhaps best known for the summer festival of fire that lights it up each year. Lavish illuminated floats fill the streets during Nebuta Matsuri festival, as dancing locals wave flickering lanterns through the night sky – and drummers pound out pulsating rhythms. Nebuta Matsuri has a euphoric and energetic atmosphere which makes it stand out as an unmissable experience compared with some of Japan’s more restrained festivals.

At other times of the year, places like the stunning Hirosaki Castle bloom with rose-pink cherry blossom, as spring’s sunshine clears away winter’s plentiful snowfall. The castle’s moat, glowing with the pale hue of fallen blossom, is a truly mesmerising sight to behold. Don’t worry if you’re too late though, you might be able to catch the pink-flush of the apple blossom – which comes slightly later.

Extraordinary prehistoric Jomon period history is waiting to be unearthed at the living archaeological site, Sannai-Maruyama Ruins. Or, the untouched wilderness of UNESCO World Heritage Site Shirakami Sanchi is within reach. This sprawling mass of beech trees covers a third of the Shirakami mountain range, and the dense forestry once blanketed the majority of northern Japan’s land. Visit to scratch the surface of this untamed landscape’s beauty and see sprawling waterfalls cascading down mountainsides, in a beautiful off-bounds landscape, where black bears roam freely.

October 13, 2024 – Hakodate (Hokkaido)

Gaze down over Hakodate, from the heights of its namesake peak – Mount Hakodate – to see the city stretching out spectacularly, with back-to-back twin bays splitting the ocean. Hakodate port was one of the first to open Japan up to the world, and to international trade in 1859 – a fact reflected in the architecture, with its influences from the West and beyond. The port area is a redbrick wash of warehouses turned shopping malls, all observed by the onion domes of the city’s Russian Orthodox church.

Elsewhere, the star-shaped Goryokaku fortress glows with natural colors and a beautiful haze of cherry blossom during the season. Goryokaku Tower, which rises up beside it, offers a sweeping bird’s eye view of the green fortress and mountain backdrop. Buses trundle up the 335-metre incline to the top of Mount Hakodate, but the best way to reach the views is to jump on the ropeway, which swings high above downtown’s buildings, over a carpet of pine trees. Head up to the mountain’s heights as sunset approaches.

With darkness sweeping in, and the lights flickering to life, the panorama is one of Japan’s most spectacular. Soak it all in, and look out to the horizon, dotted with the shimmering lights of ships hauling in harvests of the city’s renowned squid. The plankton-rich waters attract a delicious variety of feasting sea life to Hakodate’s coast, which is then plated up in the city’s numerous, skilled restaurants. For an eye-opening, whirring morning, see the freshest produce being doled out at Hakodate Morning Market – amid a cacophony of noise and activity.

Day at Sea Aboard Silver Nova

October 14, 2024 — Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

October 15, 2024 – Arrive back to the dense and delightful capital of Japan.

Call Lori Ann Marinaccio at 941-951-1801 at extension 104 now to reserve your space on this unique journey today! You may e-mail at loriann@admiraltravel.com.

For current pricing and availability, please inquire.

Inclusions

  • Butler Service in every suite category
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Onboard gratuities
  • Sustainable caviar on demand 24 hours per day
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines, premium spirits, soft drinks, and more
  • Multiple restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining

Exclusions

  • GCCC Exclusive Shore Events including the days in Osaka, Fukuoka, and Kanazawa
    • Pricing Coming Soon
  • Any travel or hotels not stated in the above itinerary