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cedar forests

Through Japan's Ryukyu Islands

Fukuoka to Keelung16 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $14,280.00* PP

Join the first expedition cruise ship to discover Japan’s Ryukyu Islands on a journey rich with insights into the nature, culture and communities of these unexplored outposts.

Set sail from Fukuoka and begin your journey in Nagasaki to learn of the region’s wartime history, study internationally influenced architecture and explore traditional shrines and temples. Venture deep into the remote Okinawan Islands to encounter lifestyles of those who make their living by the sea, including at the fishing village of the Suwanosejima. Learn of ancient mythical legends tied to ­­­­­Okinoerabujima and discover the pristine marine ecosystems of the Kerama Islands. Walk amongst towering cedars in the ancient woodland of Yakujima, kayak through the undeveloped forested scenery of Iriomote Island and look on in awe of the strombolian eruption of passing volcanic landscapes.

Bear witness to traditional island lifestyles as you make your way through a region seldom visited by Western travellers.

  • Be among the few overseas tourists to set foot on the remote Ryukyu Islands and learn about the culture and tradition of these coastal communities
  • Walk through UNESCO listed thousand-year-old cedar forests and view a 25m tall giant cedar tree estimated to be up to 7,200 years old
  • At Naha Island, Okinawa, try your hand at glassmaking in the traditional Ryukyu style and witness the 600-year-old practice of Hanhaui textile weaving
  • Swim, snorkel, kayak and dive to explore Japan’s diverse underwater ecosystems including at the pristine Kerama Island Group
  • Venture into Okinoerabujima’s limestone caves to be surrounded by twinkling stalactites and stalagmites
  • Encounter rare endemic wildlife including the Ludith’s Jay and Amami black rabbit at Amami Oshima
  • Learn of Ryukyu culture and history and hear songs played on the traditional Sanshin instrument
  • Enjoy an after dark stargaze from the Astronomical observation tower on Hateruma Island




Board Coral Adventurer at the harbour city of Fukuoka at 4:00pm. Settle into your cabin before Captain’s welcome drinks where you meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.


Once home to a major imperial Japanese base during the first Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War as well as being the second city after Hiroshima to be hit by an atomic bomb, Nagasaki has a colourful history. Visit the peace memorial for the atomic bomb and the many shrines and temples throughout. Take note of the mix of old and new architecture with international influences from the US, Dutch to Chinese.


Shimokoshikijima is a top geological site with large scenic cliffs along with dinosaur fossils at sites located across the island. Here we have the opportunity to explore the Napoleon Rock that stands an impressive 127m tall. Spend time at the Satsumasendai Fossil Exhibition, see the famous three-tiered waterfall, explore dinosaur fossil sites and hear songs played on the traditional instrument called a Gottan.

Ryukyu Robins, Kagojima

Kagoshima is the easternmost and second largest of the Sumi Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture. Flagged as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International, the island is home to Japanese wood pigeons and Ryukyu robins. Beach hop on the west coast to find pristine white sands and sea turtles, with the opportunity to swim in the clear waters. Explore the network of wide caves at low tide and the fascinating daily operations of the space centre.

Yakushima Cedar Trees

Walk through UNESCO-listed thousand-year-old cedar forests and view a 25-metre-tall giant cedar tree estimated to be up to 7,200 years old at Yakusugi Land. With a number of walking trails on the island, we may visit some of the many waterfalls as well. The Yakusugi Museum displays the ecology, history and industry of the forests on Yakujima Island. Here you can learn about the Yakushima cedar trees, the products that come from them and how they were harvested.


Suwanosejima is one of the Tokara Islands and is home to a population of less than 100 people who make their living from agriculture, fishing and seasonal tourism. The volcano on this island is one of the most active in the world, in a state of near-continuous strombolian-style eruption since 1949. Cruise around the island to view this unique, remote destination.

Amami Oshima

Amami Oshima is home to a rare endemic wildlife including the prefectural Lidth’s Jay bird recognisable by its blue and red plumage and the Amami black rabbit – one of the most primitive species of rabbit alive today. Amami Oshima’s underwater ecosystem is equally as diverse as its shoreside flora and fauna. Enjoy time on the picturesque tropical beaches by swimming, kayaking and diving. Explore the Kuroshio Forest by kayak and learn of the island’s history at Amani Park.

Okinoerabujima Caves

The ‘island of flowers and limestone caves’ is a beautiful and peaceful island. Over 300 limestone caves can be found here, where you can discover the natural beauty and mysteries which have spawned many of the legends surrounding these natural treasures. Venture into Shoryudo Cave and be surrounded by twinkling stalactites and stalagmites. Spot abundant marine life alongside numerous species of coral while swimming, snorkelling and diving in the island’s pristine waters.

Yoronto Island

Also known as Yoronto and Yoron Island, Yoronjima is the northernmost island in Japan where the Southern Cross constellation can be seen. Part of the Amami Gunto National Park, Yoronjima is famed for its pellucid waters and water sports including diving, swimming, snorkelling and kayaking.

Ryukyu Glass

Naha, the capital city of Okinawa, is located on the southwest of Okinawa Island, the largest island of Okinawa Prefecture. Encounter Okinawa’s culture that sets it apart from the other Japanese prefectures, including the local sake: Awamori. Learn of and participate in the rich history here by trying your hand at a traditional Ryukyu Glass workshop, experiencing the 600-year-old practice of Hanhaui textile weaving and visiting one of the oldest distilleries in Okinawa – Zuisen Distillery.

Zamami, Okinawa

The second largest of the Kerama Islands, Zamami is home to the nationally protected species of Kerama deer, recognisable by their large eyes and a white heart-shaped pattern below their tail. The water clarity here is world-class and the colour of the ocean even has its own namesake: ‘Kerama blue’. The underwater scenery is spectacular and lures scuba divers from around the world, though is equally appealing for snorkellers. Visit the observatories on Zamami Island and enjoy magnificent views. Swim, snorkel, scuba dive and kayak from the pristine beaches of largely undeveloped islands that receive few visitors.

Kumejima Rock Formations

Part of the Okinawa Shoto Island group, Kumejima is known for its numerous unique rock formations and quiet unspoilt natural coastline. The island was once used to produce large amounts of rice due to its abundance of freshwater. Here, we will enjoy water activities in the warm waters and cruise the rocky coastline.


Composed of limestone, this triangular island is one of three islands connected by bridges. Known to be home to come of Japan’s best beaches, it is a great spot for water activities with its unique limestone caves, canyons and rock formations. It is possible to swim through tunnels, short passageways and even into a pitch-black dome, where a misty sheet of vapor surrounds you as you pop your head up from the water. Observe the 1600 species of flora on the island on a stroll through the Botanical Garden and walking trails.

Ishigaki, Okinawa

Ishigaki, known as ‘the country of poets, the island of songs and the land of dance,’ an entertainment culture unique to Okinawa. View the majestic manta rays, as Ishigaki is also home to the highest encounters of these ocean giants. Ranked the number one diving destination in Japan for 16 years with high visibility and vibrant coral and marine life, enjoy diving and snorkelling here.

Iriomote Island

On Iriomote Island, the second largest island in Okinawa, kayak through the mangroves and soak in views of the largely undeveloped island covered in dense jungle. Later, admire the star-filled night sky with the benefit of little light pollution from the Astronomical observation tower on Hateruma Island – the southernmost inhabited island of Japan.

Yonaguni Island

Discover the submerged stone structures of what’s thought to be an ancient underwater city sunk by an earthquake approximately 2,000 years ago. Whale and hammerhead sharks are commonly spotted here. Cruise the coastline to view unique rock formations and learn of the island’s history, culture and language. Climb to the Tindabana outlook where you can gaze at panoramic views of Sonai Village or walk to the monument that marks the westernmost point of Japan.


Our voyage ends in the Taiwanese city of Keelung. Disembark Coral Adventurer at 9:30 am and bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions, and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling. 

Fares & Availability

Bridge Deck Suites

Private Balcony - 37.5m2

Fully Booked

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

3 Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

1 Available

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD).  Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program >

Additional Information


  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Snorkelling & SCUBA equipment (SCUBA diving at an additional cost)
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)
  • Wifi Access – Standard speed connectivity enabling email, social image sharing, web browsing and messaging

Not Included:

  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Travel Insurance
  • SCUBA Diving (view Scuba diving rates)
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are traveling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)

Visa and Health & Travel Information

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More Information -JAPAN

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