PONANT invites your clients to discover the Land of the Rising Sun, where the history of the honourable samurai and the elegance of the geisha exist side by side. Let PONANT be their guide to Japan’s culture, cuisine and daily life. Your clients will sip sake, savour ramen, stroll through temples and gardens, stand in awe of Mount Fuji, sample tea during a traditional ceremony, and soak in other surprises that await them in Japan.
New for 2022, a Luxury Expedition, exploring the remote islands of Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park. Here wild beaches mix with traditional villages and lush, protected and intact, tropical forest: jungle, mangroves, rivers, waterfalls. This unique biodiversity is made up of many endemic species. Save up to 30% PONANT bonus on these two new Expeditions!
We meet Expedition Leader Ryo Ijichi who curated these new Luxury Expeditions for 2022.
Why did you create these new expeditions in Japan?
After guiding many years in the Polar regions of Antarctica and The Arctic, I started to gain my ambition to design an expedition close to my own heart. The first place that came to my mind was to run an expedition in the beautiful and remote islands of Okinawa.
What is the appeal of discovering these remote islands?
Pre Covid, Okinawa marked over 10 million tourists in 2019. However, the vast majority of these tourists would visit the 3 main islands of Okinawa which are Okinawa, Ishigaki, and Miyako. There are numerous islands besides these three that are remote, hard to get to, and many of them have a well-preserved nature and rich cultural heritage. Of course, PONANT guests will discover these rare and untouched islands on this Expedition.
The Okinawa Expedition connects such remote islands in one trip where normally each of these islands is not interconnected and require a big load of transportation to get to one another.
In your opinion, what do you think will be the highlight of these expeditions?
Each island has its significance besides the fact that all islands are surrounded by pristine crystal-clear water. But I think the highlight is that you get to visit these spectacular islands without any stress of moving around. Each day, you wake up to visit a new island as the ship will navigate while you’re in bed. No other way can you visit all these islands in 7 nights!
Will guests have cultural experiences whilst on this expedition?
Yes, we plan community exchanges and local islanders will share their culture with traditional drums, dance, and much more. Guests will also have the opportunity to browse and purchase local embroidery and weavings, this is a great way to support their cultural sustainability.
Do you personally have a favourite location and why is that?
Actually, I have visited more than a dozen more islands before selecting this itinerary. I must say there is no island I like less as they are all marvellous islands to visit!
I see these expeditions have scuba diving available, what about snorkelling?
Absolutely, Scuba and Snorkelling is available. We will have a team of Expedition Guides to assist our guests with both. I can assure you the underwater world is truly beautiful in these remote islands.
Where can we obtain more information?
Travel Agents can share the PONANT website pages with their clients. Contact Julie Rogers (National Business Development Manager) for additional information, and specific destination training.