Sea of Japan aboard Le Soleal

Explore Japan and South Korea during a 7-night cruise along the Inland Sea of Japan, plus three nights in Kyoto. Visit five UNESCO World Heritage sites. Explore Kyoto’s Nijō Castle; Hiroshima’s Memorial Peace Park; Miyajima’s inspiring Itsukushima Shrine; and the Buddhist wonders of Gyeongju, South Korea. Optional extensions to Tokyo and Osaka.

Dates
May 19 - May 30, 2020  (12 Days)
Cost

from $6,195, per person, double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Tuesday, May 19 and Wednesday, May 20
U.S. / Osaka, Japan / Kyoto

Depart the U.S. and cross the International Date Line. After arriving in Osaka, transfer to impeccably preserved Kyoto and check into the ideally located, deluxe Kyoto Hotel Okura. The remainder of the day is at leisure.  
Kyoto Hotel Okura

Thursday, May 21
Kyoto

Japan’s imperial capital from 794 to 1868, Kyoto remains the nation’s spiritual and cultural heart. Grand imperial castles, tranquil Zen gardens and graceful Shinto and Buddhist shrines form the highest and purest expression of Japanese culture. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kinkaku‑ji Temple, the vaunted “Golden Pavilion.” Its two upper floors are entirely adorned with gold leaf, and their reflection in Mirror Pond, framed by luxuriant gardens, is one of Japan’s most enduring images. Continue to peaceful Ryoan‑ji Temple, another UNESCO-designated monument of Kyoto, originally constructed as an aristocrat’s villa during the Heian Period (794 to 1185). Ryoan‑ji Temple’s legendary karesansui forms a mesmerizing expression of the harmony and purity of Zen Buddhism—it is said that only 14 of the 15 rocks contained within the rectangular garden can be seen at once, and only when one reaches peak enlightenment does the final stone reveal itself. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure and a Welcome Reception this evening.
Kyoto Hotel Okura (B,R)  

Friday, May 22
Kyoto

Visit one of Kyoto’s most emblematic symbols, the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated historic monument of Kiyomizu-dera (“Pure Water Temple”), built without a single nail on a wooded hillside above the Otowa Falls. Founded in 778 by the Hosso sect, the temple is celebrated for its spectacular overhanging veranda, supported by 139 pillars, which provided the stage for sacred dances and is now celebrated for its spectacular views of surrounding Kyoto. Experience the serenity of the temple’s monumental hondo (main hall) and visit Otowa Falls, where a sip of the “pure waters” is reputed to bestow health, success or beauty.  This afternoon, learn more about shogun history firsthand at the opulent, UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Nijo Castle, built for shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Constructed in the 17th century with double moats, colossal walls and protective watchtowers, the formidable castle was intended to convey the fortitude of the shogun’s new military government based in Edo (present‑day Tokyo). The castle is built almost entirely of Japanese cypress and adorned with exquisite transom woodcarvings and shohekiga (room partition murals).
Kyoto Hotel Okura (B)

Saturday, May 23
Kyoto / Himeji

Admire Japan’s most stunning and best‑preserved feudal castle, UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Himeji-jo, an exemplary 17th-century defense system centered on a complex of donjon, keeps, ramparts and moats. A harmonious masterwork of form and function, the castle’s traditional wood construction is married with an elegant white plaster facade. This evening, embark the
Le Soléal. (B,L,D)

Sunday, May 24
Hiroshima / Miyajima

On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb used as an act of war left only structural remnants of Hiroshima’s Genbaku Dome; today, this dome is the compelling Hiroshima Peace Memorial and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The solemn Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the museum chronicling the history of Hiroshima and the poignant Children’s Peace Monument all invite visitors to contemplate the ever-modern need for nuclear disarmament amid stark reminders of war. Go ashore to the bewitching island of Miyajima, “Shrine Island,” to tour the vermilion sixth‑century Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site set against a backdrop of forested hills where docile deer roam free. The shrine’s impressive Great Torii Gate— one of the largest in Japan, at 54 feet tall— appears to float on water during high tide. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening.
Le Soléal (B,L,R,D)

Monday, May 25
Hagi

Tour Hagi’s 17th‑century Toko‑ji Temple and see its 500 moss‑covered stone lanterns. Walk past dwellings that once housed samurai in the city’s old castle town—part of the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution UNESCO World Heritage site—lined with 19th‑century earthen walls, and visit the Kikuya House, one of the best‑preserved examples of merchant‑style architecture from the Edo Period (1603 to 1868). Explore the Hagi Uragami Museum, with over 5000 Edo‑period ukiyo-e woodblock prints and porcelain pieces.
Le Soléal (B,L,D)

Tuesday, May 26
Sakaiminato for Matsue

Tour the highly acclaimed Adachi Museum of Art, where 20th‑century and modern Japanese art coalesce with six perfectly landscaped gardens, regarded as “living paintings” when viewed through the museum’s vast windows. See Japan’s tallest feudal structure and one of its original castles, 17th‑century Matsue Castle, known as “Black Castle” for its dark roof. Enjoy onboard lectures this afternoon while cruising.
Le Soléal (B,L,D)

Wednesday, May 27
Ulsan, South Korea, for Gyeongju

Take in rural Korea’s captivating scenery as you travel from Ulsan to the cradle of the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. to A.D. 935) in historic Gyeongju. Visit the eighth‑century Bulguksa Temple, a material expression of Buddhist utopia on Earth and a UNESCO World Heritage site for its remarkable craftsmanship. Learn about the Silla Kingdom’s history in the Gyeongju National Museum, which houses over 30,000 artifacts. Enjoy a traditional dance performance during a specially arranged Korean lunch. Visit the striking, grass-covered Royal Burial Mounds at Tumuli Park, where, in 1974, the fifth‑century, 43‑foot‑high Cheonmachong (Heavenly Horse Tomb) was excavated.
Le Soléal (B,L,D)

Thursday, May 28
Moji, Japan, for Shimonoseki

Visit the striking 12th-century Akama Shrine, dedicated to the child emperor Antoku. Then, stroll through the Karato Fish Market, which specializes in the local delicacy of fugu (pufferfish) and serves sushi bento daily. Enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board this evening.
Le Soléal (B,L,R,D)

Friday, May 29
Uno for Kurashiki and Okayama

From the port of Uno, enjoy a scenic drive to the Kurashiki Bikan District, where distinctive black‑and-white latticed houses remain preserved from the Edo Period. Walk through one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, beautiful Koraku‑en in Okayama. This strolling garden is unique for its large, open grassy areas and distinctive, wooden Ryuten, a pavilion with a stream running through it.
Le Soléal  (B,L,D)

Saturday, May 30
Osaka / U.S.

Disembark and continue on the Osaka and Nara Post‑Program Option, or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

Map
Iconic Tokyo: May 17-19

Beneath Tokyo’s layers of thriving innovation and enthralling pop culture, you will find traditional wooden houses and secluded alleyway shrines— the cultural core of this vibrant capital city. Begin with a panoramic tour followed by a visit to the Tokyo National Museum, one of the largest art museums in the world with over 110,000 objects and 87 of Japan’s treasures. Enjoy a full‑day excursion to Hakone, home to iconic Mt. Fuji, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit vibrant Asakusa, the center of Tokyo’s historic shitamachi district, and tour the seventh‑century Senso‑ji Temple. Travel aboard the high‑speed shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. Includes three nights in the Five‑Star ANA InterContinental Hotel Tokyo.

Osaka and Nara: May 30-31

Visit the Osaka History Museum to learn about the city’s merchant past. Enjoy sprawling aerial views of the city from the Floating Garden Observatory. Spend a day among UNESCO World Heritage‑designated monuments in serene Nara, Japan’s oldest capital, where sika deer roam Nara Park’s rolling landscape. Visit the historically significant “Great Eastern Temple” of Todai-ji, rebuilt in the 12th century, and the Horyu‑ji Temple, where a seventh‑century, five‑storied pagoda—considered one of the world’s oldest wooden structures—stands as a proud testament to Japan’s history. Experience the ancient tradition of creating gripped sumi, or calligraphy ink sticks, at the Kinko-en Workshop. Includes two nights at the InterContinental Hotel Osaka.

Cabin Categories (Prices are per person, double occupancy)

8 – $6,195  Ocean-view, one large window. Deck 3, Andromède, forward. (limited availability)
7 – $7,695  Ocean-view, small window and single door onto private, partial wall balcony. Deck 3, Andromède, aft. (limited availability)
6 – $8,595  Ocean-view, small window and single door onto private, partial wall balcony. Deck 3, Andromède, midship.
5 – $8,995  Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private, partial wall balcony. Deck 4, Pégase, forward.
4 – $9,695  Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony. Deck 4, Pégase, midship.
3 – $9,995  Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony. Deck 5, Equinoxe, forward.
2 – $10,695  Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower or tub/shower. Deck 5, Equinoxe, midship.
1 – $11,295  Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony, shower or tub/shower. Deck 6, Solstice.
Deluxe Suite – $11,995   Ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto private balcony and sitting area with sofa. Deck 6, Solstice. (limited availability)
Prestige Suite II – $12,595  Two rooms, ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto large private balcony, two bathrooms, large sitting area with sofa, two closets, writing desk and dressing table. Deck 5, Equinoxee. (limited availability) 
Prestige Suite I – $12,995   Two rooms, ocean-view, expansive floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door onto large private balcony, two bathrooms, large sitting area with sofa, two closets, writing desk and dressing table. Deck 6, Solstice. (limited availability) 
Owner’s Suite – $14,995  Two rooms, expansive sliding glass door, large private balcony, one and a half bathrooms, separate tub and shower, sitting room with sofa, table and four chairs, Deck 6, Solstice (limited availability)

Singles are available in category 6 at $14,595 and in category 4 at $16,495 on or before December 11, 2019.  (Assistance with providing a roommate can be provided.)  

Prices above reflect the Early Booking Discount.  Add $1000 for reservations made after December 11, 2019. Taxes are an additional $455 per person and are subject to change.

Included
Three nights in the deluxe Kyoto Hotel Okura; Welcome Receptions in Kyoto and aboard ship; Seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, Five‑Star Le Soléal; Cruise from Himeji, Japan, with port calls at Hiroshima, Miyajima, Hagi, Sakaiminato for Matsue, Moji for Shimonoseki, Uno for Kurashiki and Okayama, and Osaka, Japan; and Ulsan for Gyeongju, South Korea; Meals as specified in the itinerary; Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages available throughout the cruise; Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions; Complimentary Wi-Fi aboard ship (conditions permitting); All entrance fees and tours as described in the itinerary; Transfers and luggage handling abroad for participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s); Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers; Hospitality desk in the hotel and aboard ship; Complimentary bottled water in your accommodations and on excursions; Complimentary use of an audio headset during guided excursions; Experienced Gohagan & Company Travel Directors throughout the program; Pre‑departure materials, including a reading list; Automatic $250,000 flight insurance policy for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company

Not Included
International airfare; Taxes of $455 per person (subject to change); Gratuities to ship personnel (recommended $105 per person); Hotel staff gratuities (recommended $2 per person per day) and gratuities for activities on your own; Passport and visa fees; Meals and alcoholic beverages not listed as included; Transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/ hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); Any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access unless otherwise specified; Accident/sickness, trip cancellation and baggage insurance; Baggage charges on aircraft; airfare and associated local taxes not listed as included; Airport facility taxes and federal inspection fees not listed as included; All other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included” section

Pre‑Tour Extension
Iconic Tokyo: May 17-19, 2020
$1,695 Double Occupancy
$2,545 Single Occupancy

Post-Tour Extension
Osaka and Nara: May 30-31, 2020
$1,095 Double Occupancy
$1,595 Single Occupancy

 

What to Expect

All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Travelers must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from your traveling companion and climb stairs and step over raised thresholds without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

Hear from guest lecturers aboard the ship throughout the voyage.

Cancellations
Cancellations for all or any part of the trip including Pre/Post Program(s) reservation(s) will not be effective until received in writing in the offices of The Commonwealth Club. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply:

  • From the time of booking through 120 days prior to departure: $200 ($50 Pre/Post Program(s)) 
  • From 95 to 119 days prior to departure: $800 ($200 Pre/Post Program(s)) per person
  • From 60 to 94 days prior to departure: 70% of the published full regular tariffs
  • 59 days or less prior to departure: No refund

A “no-show” or early return from the trip will result in forfeiture of 100% of the published full regular tariffs.

In addition, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply. 

Discounted Reservations
Discounts apply only to those reservations received in the offices of The Commonwealth Club in writing, accompanied by the required deposit, by October 18, 2019. In the event a “discounted” reservation must be cancelled, no “replacement” reservation can be substituted at the discounted rate. A “replacement” reservation is a new reservation and can be substituted only at the full-fare tariff. Cancellation penalties may apply.  

Trip Insurance
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.

Eligibility
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

Airfare
Airfare is subject to change and availability and, depending on the fare basis, likely is nonrefundable. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between you and the airline, even if purchased through Gohagan.

Luggage
Luggage allowance policies are set by the airlines and may change without notice.

Physical Accessibility
All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Travelers must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from your traveling companion and climb stairs and step over raised thresholds without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

Rates
Prices quoted are based on fares in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change at any time. On land and/or cruise programs, even after full payment, Gohagan reserves the right to increase the tour price in the event of cost increases due to changes in supplier costs, currency fluctuations or fuel or energy surcharges and all such increases are to be paid to Gohagan upon notice to the tour participant of such increases. On programs which include Gohagan purchased interstate or international air (which originates or returns to the United States), no increased costs will be passed on after final payment except for subsequently imposed governmental tax increases.

Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Binding Arbitration Agreement Responsibility  
The Commonwealth Club and Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and its and their employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors, and assigns (collectively “Gohagan”), do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Gohagan is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party.

In addition and without limitation, Gohagan is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to person or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God or force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely.

If due to weather, flight schedules or other uncontrollable factors, you are required to spend an additional night(s), you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers and meal costs. Baggage is entirely at owner’s risk. The right is reserved to decline to accept as a trip participant, or remove from a trip, without refund, any person Gohagan judges to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the activities, or who is abusive to other trip participants, leaders or third parties, or who Gohagan determines to detract from the enjoyment of the trip by others. Specific room/cabin assignments are within the sole discretion of the hotel or cruise line.

Gohagan reserves the right to change the itinerary or trip features at any time and for any reason, with or without notice, and Gohagan shall not be liable for any loss of any kind as a result of any such changes. Ship schedules, port calls, hours of arrival and departure, sightseeing events, special programs and guest lecture series (if applicable), are subject to change or cancellation. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical or other conditions beyond the control of Gohagan. Gohagan is not responsible therefor and is not required to compensate passengers under these circumstances. Gohagan may cancel a trip (or an option) for any reason whatsoever; if so, its sole responsibility is to refund monies paid by the participant to it. Gohagan, however, is not required under these circumstances to refund the cost of any purchased travel insurance. Gohagan is not required to cancel any trip for any reason including without limitation, United States Department of State, World Health Organization or other Warnings or Advisories of any kind. Gohagan is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers resulting from operational and/or itinerary changes, even if Gohagan makes the flight arrangements or cancels the trip. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute vessels, hotels or attractions of a similar category for those listed in this brochure.

Binding Arbitration
Any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this Agreement, the brochure or any other literature concerning the trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. Please understand that by agreeing to these terms and conditions, the participant and Gohagan are waiving the right to a trial by jury.

Acceptance of Contract
By forwarding of deposit, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants and accepts the terms contained in this Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement.

Registration 
Commonwealth Club CST#: 2096889-40; Gohagan CST#: 2031868-40, WST#: 601 767 666, OST#: TA 0905.