Pax Global Media
For the first time in two-and-a-half-years, cruising will return to Japan, and Holland America Line's Westerdam is preparing for a series of itineraries in early 2023.
The government of Japan reported on Nov. 15 it is ready to start receiving international cruise ships again to allow tourists to enjoy the wonders of cruising to the country's many ports.
"We're grateful for the work that the Japanese authorities have done to allow for a return to cruising," said Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line. "Holland America Line's guests love longer voyages to unique parts of the world, and we'll be sailing to some incredible locations as our season in Japan and the rest of Asia begins."
Westerdam, which is currently sailing in Australia and New Zealand, starts the Asia season following a January drydock in Singapore.
Beginning Feb. 3, the ship sails a series of Far East voyages showcasing the diversity of countries visited while celebrating histories that have been thousands of years in the making.
Sailing roundtrip from Yokohama, Japan, or Singapore, or between Yokohama and Singapore, cruises are 11 to 14 days and can be combined to form nonrepeating Collectors' Voyages.
Countries explored include Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. Five different itineraries are offered including "Indonesian Discovery," "Japan, Taiwan & The Philippines," "Japan Explorer," "Japan Discovery" and "Southern Japan."
Overnight calls include Singapore; Kobe and Osaka, Japan; and Phuket, Thailand. The season concludes April 24 with a 14-day "North Pacific Crossing" from Yokohama to Seattle, Washington where Westerdam will homeport for its Alaska season.
As protocols for cruising in Asia are finalized, each departure will be added to HAL's Voyage Lookup tool, which allows guests to see any specific health protocols for their cruise.