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Asian Odyssey: Beijing to Kobe

Program Number: 20805RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/29/2013 - 4/12/2013;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: China/South Korea/Japan
Price starting at: $6,650.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 38; 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The port cities of Asia blend millennia-old traditions with the influences of the outside world. In China, Korea and Japan discover grand temples, ultramodern skylines, tranquil gardens, buzzing markets and much more.




Activity Particulars

Must be able to handle your own luggage, get on and off a motorcoach, walk a few blocks and climb a few stairs.



Programs with Crystal Cruises are designed for the independent traveler. These programs offer a lower activity level and the ability to choose your own shore excursion based on your preferences and physical ability. Road Scholar will provide one exclusive shore excursion and private onboard lectures with our own Group Leader and lecturer.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Beijing (China), 3 nights; aboard Crystal Symphony, 10 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-4: Arrival Beijing (China):

Set foot in the Forbidden City, ride a rickshaw through narrow alleys, walk on the Great Wall, visit the Temple of Heaven and more during three days in Beijing. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Days 5: Coach to Tianjin / embark Crystal Symphony


Day 6: Dalian:

This advantageously located city has at times been controlled by the British, Russians and Japanese. It is known for its lovely lotus flowers.



Days 7-9: At Sea / Shanghai:

Sail through the Yellow Sea to Shanghai. During your two days here you may wish to visit the ultramodern Pudong district, the stately Bund waterfront or tranquil Yu Garden.



Days 10-11: At Sea / Pusan (South Korea):

Cross the sea to Pusan, one of the world’s busiest ports. Its university district features bustling cafés and stores catering to students.



Day 12: Nagasaki (Japan):

Centuries before the rest of Japan was open to the West, Nagasaki was a favorite port for European traders. Absorb the intriguing culture that resulted.



Crystal Symphony

This sleek 781-foot ocean liner is one of the most spacious at sea. It accommodates 940 passengers for whom it provides a spa, fitness facility, two pools, Jacuzzis and inspired dining options, including a restaurant, café and outdoor grill. Complimentary fine wines and premium spirits are available to you throughout the voyage.


Meals and Lodgings
   Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
  Beijing, China 3 nights
   Crystal Symphony
  Crystal Symphony, At Sea 5 nights
   Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
  Crystal Symphony, At Sea 1 night
   Crystal Symphony
  Crystal Symphony, At Sea 4 nights
 Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: With its unique style of architecture, the hotel was listed in the Conservation List of Excellent Modern Architectures in Beijing in 2007. Enjoy the combination of centuries old Chinese culture and European style architecture. The hotel is about a 10 minute walk to Tiananmen Square.
  Contact info: 175, Yong an Road Xuan Wu District
Beijing,   China
phone: +86 10 630 166 88
web: www.qianmenhotel.com/en/index.html
  Room amenities: Phone, WiFi, TV, refrigerator, safe, A/C, 220 volt power socket
  Facility amenities: Business center, restaurants, bar, sauna, massage
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.

 Crystal Symphony
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: With her sleek silhouette and shimmering elegance, the legendary Crystal Symphony finds a natural home in the world's most glamorous harbors and idyllic ports of call. Generous per-passenger space ratios have become a Crystal trademark, along with forward-facing observation decks, a Palm Court lounge, and a wide teak promenade encircling the ship. A makeover in 2006 refreshed the Bistro Café and shops, reconstructed the casino and Starlite Lounge, and added a new nightclub called Luxe. An even more extensive refurbishment in 2009 transformed the Crystal Penthouses, Lido Café, and Prego Italian restaurant. Accented by a lovely waterfall, the focal point of the central two-deck atrium is a sculpture of two ballet dancers created especially for the space. Crystal Cove, the lobby lounge, is the spot to meet for cocktails as you make your way to the nearby dining room. Throughout the ship, public rooms shine with low-key contemporary style and flow easily from one to the next.
  Ship Information: Ship's Registry: The Bahamas 781 feet long x 99 feet wide 51,044 gross registered tons 20 knots cruising speed 21 knots maximum speed 922 passengers capacity An international crew of 545 with 40 countries represented European-trained hotel and dining staff
  Contact info: 2049 Century Park East, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 1400 USA
phone: 310-785-9300
web: www.crystalcruises.com
  Room amenities: Cabins: There are no inside cabins on Crystal Symphony. Still, relatively small stateroom sizes are cozy and chic with boutique-hotel-style decor. All cabins have ample closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves. Many have private balconies furnished with chairs and tables. Most suites and penthouses have a walk-in closet. Crystal Penthouse suites have guest powder rooms. Amenities: Rich wood cabinetry, 100% Eygyptian cotton sheets, feather beds and plush duvets, wood and padded hangers, a small refrigerator filled with complimentary bottled water and soft drinks, a personal safe, two hair dryers, a flat-screen TV with a DVD player, and a sitting area with sofa, chair, and table are typical standard features in all cabins. Suite and penthouse extras vary, but all have a DVD/CD player, butler service, personalized stationery, and stocked minibars with wine, beer, and choice of liquor. Bathrooms: Every bathroom has oval glass sinks, granite counters, a full-size tub, Aveda toiletries, plush towels, and bathrobes for use during the cruise. Many suites and penthouses have a whirlpool tub and separate shower.
  Facility amenities: Public spaces have a sophisticated and contemporary feel with fine Italian and French fabrics, Axminster wool carpets, oriental rugs, teak deck furniture and English mohair lap blankets. 8 passenger decks, 2 specialty restaurants, dining room, buffet, ice cream parlor, Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator, minibar (some), DVD, 1 pool, Fitness classes, gym, hair salon, 1 hot tub, sauna, spa, steam room, 5 bars, casino, cinema, dance club, library, dry-cleaning, laundry facilities, laundry service, Internet terminal, library
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program starts on Day 2 at the program hotel in Beijing with a welcome orientation. You will be staying at Qianmen Jianguo Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends on Day 15 after breakfast on board the ship in Kobe. NOTE: Transfer from Kobe Port to Osaka Airport (KIX) is approximately 1.5 hours. Please keep this in mind when booking your flights. You will be staying at Crystal Symphony the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. This unique Road Scholar program will enable you to tailor field trips and excursions to your own interests and physical abilities. In order to sign up for excursions and receive your cruise documents, you must first complete the online registration process on the Crystal website. Once you are registered online, you will have access to Crystal Cruises’ online Priority Check-in and Planning Center (PCPC), where you can view the detailed itinerary of the cruise, sign up for shore excursions, arrange a dinner at one of the specialty restaurants aboard the ship, schedule a spa/salon appointment, or sign up for a creative learning class. Enclosed with this booklet you will find a letter with your booking number and instructions for registering online. The enclosed brochure will give you an outline of your daily excursion choices. Please register online as soon as possible.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: There is a train to from Kobe city to Osaka airport but you will probably have to take a taxi in order to get to the train station.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Beijing
  Nearest airport:  Capital Airport
  Transportation to site: Taxis are available from airport to the hotel for independent transfers. There is also a group transfer available for independent travelers at no additional cost. This transfer is generally scheduled for xxx time for flights arriving before xxx. The exact time will be confirmed in the final program mailing, which participants receive approximately 4-5 weeks prior to departure.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Crystal Symphony
  Transportation from site: The transfer from the port to the Osaka Airport is approximately 1.5 hours long. There will be one group transfer from port in Kobe to Osaka airport.This transfer will be available for program only participants at no additional cost. This transfer is generally scheduled for mid morning. The exact time will be confirmed in the final program mailing, which participants receive approximately 4 weeks prior to departure. Program only participants can make arrangments with the RS Travel Services prior to their departure for their program.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart North America
(Friday, March 29)
   
 Depart From: Depart on overnight flight to Beijing.

Day 2: Arrival to Beijing / Program Orientation
(Saturday, March 30)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive at Beijing International Airport where your Group Leader will meet you. After check-in and a short rest, get together for a Welcome Meeting at your hotel. For those making your own international travel arrangements, meet your Program Leader at 6 pm – the program starting time – in the lobby of your hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the program hotel.
   
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Beijing / Forbidden City
(Sunday, March 31)

Note: The Forbidden City will require some walking and uneven walkways.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Take a pedicab ride though Beijing hutongs, "old Beijing" neighborhoods. Though these "hutongs" are rapidly disappearing, this neighborhood near Beihai Park still retains traditional courtyard homes and customs.
 Lunch: Lunch is hosted by a courtyard family in a neighborhood of hutongs (residential lanes and alleys).
 Afternoon: Explore the Forbidden City. This 250-acre imperial compound once was the residence and seat of the Qing Emperors and forbidden to all others.
 Dinner: Enjoy a Beijing specialty at a welcome banquet in a Peking Duck restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Great Wall of China
(Monday, April 1)

Note: Walking up to 1 mile at the Great Wall.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel outside of Beijing city to a green mountain range where you can walk the Great Wall and experience spectacular views of the Wall winding its way up and down the distant mountains.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer back to Beijing with a photo stop at Tiananmen Square.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Join your national guide for a discussion of contemporary Chinese issues.
   
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Temple of Heaven / Embark the Crystal Symphony
(Tuesday, April 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: At the Temple of Heaven, a 15th century architectural masterpiece, walk its encircling park and enjoy the activities of local people practicing calligraphy, tai chi, musical instruments, dancing, or flying kites. Then experience the majesty of the Temple itself, built as a symbol of the relationship between heaven and earth.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to Tianjin Pier to board the Crystal Symphony.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Independent Exploration of Dalian
(Wednesday, April 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Independent Exploration: Choose from a variety of Crystal shore excursion and independently explore Dalian on your own. The world's powers have been wrestling over the city of Dalian for over a century. In 1895, Japan laid claim to Dalian. A few years later the Russians took over. In 1905, Japan gained it back. After World War II, the Soviet Union occupied the city for ten years before leaving on friendly terms. Once you visit Dalian, you will understand what all the fuss is about. It is a large, clean, modern city with a perfect location on the Yellow Sea. Scenic beaches beckon from just outside of town, annual festivals celebrate high fashion and the lotus flower, seafood is plentiful and delicious, and the national pastime, soccer, is followed with a passion.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue your independent exploration of Dalian.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Cruising the Yellow Sea / Presentations
(Thursday, April 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Join your lecturer for a presentation. Topic TBA. Afterward, enjoy a relaxing afternoon aboard the Crystal Symphony. Pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at the fitness center or Walk-on-Water along the 360 degree Promenade Deck; teach yourself something new with complimentary language lessons by Berlitz or piano instruction with Yamaha; enhance your computer skills at the Computer University@Sea or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with Crystal's engaging lecture series.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Join your lecturer for a presentation. Topic TBA.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Shanghai, China / Independent Exploration
(Friday, April 5)

Note: Ship overnights in Shanghai



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Independent exploration: Choose from a variety of Crystal's shore excursion and explore Shanghai on your own. Shanghai, located just inside the mouth of the great Yangtze River, marks the point where Asia's longest and most important river completes its 3,400-mile journey to the Pacific. The city's unique location is the source of its existence and has determined what it is today. Until 1842, Shanghai was merely a tiny fishing village. Following the first Opium War, Shanghai became a treaty port, which opened the city to foreign influence and resulted in the development of numerous British, French and American colonial settlements within the city and along the Yangtze River.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue your independent exploration of Shanghai.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Independent Exploration of Shanghai
(Saturday, April 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Independent Exploration: Choose from one of Crystal's shore excursion and explore Shanghai on your own. Today, Shanghai is the center of China's economic resurgence and its skyline attests to this development in the form of towering skyscrapers, brightly lit commercial high-rises and the unsettling Oriental Pearl Tower. A testimony to Shanghai's colonial era, stately European buildings in art deco style line the Bund, the city's spacious waterfront promenade. An endless flotilla of sampans edge the Huangpu River, dividing old and new Shanghai. Beyond the rush of the city, serene ponds and gardens offer a gentle respite. Must-see sights include the Jade Buddha Temple and tranquil Yu Garden, impressive monuments to China's history and style. Inland lies Suzhou, with its majestic Grand Canal and classical gardens, as well as equally significant Hangzhou, terminus of the Grand Canal and the center of China's legendary tea industry.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue your independent exploration of Shanghai.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Cruising the Yellow Sea / Presentations
(Sunday, April 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Join your lecturer for a presentation. Topic TBA. Afterward, enjoy a relaxing afternoon aboard the Crystal Symphony. Pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at the fitness center or Walk-on-Water along the 360 degree Promenade Deck; teach yourself something new with complimentary language lessons by Berlitz or piano instruction with Yamaha; enhance your computer skills at the Computer University@Sea or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with Crystal's engaging lecture series.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Join your lecturer for a presentation. Topic TBA.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Pusan, South Korea / Independent Exploration
(Monday, April 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Independent Exploration: Choose from a varieity of Crystal Shore excursion and explore Pusan on your own. Pusan, South Korea's largest port city, is the country's second largest city after Seoul and the world/s fifth largest port. Even shopping is a huge draw thanks to the world's largest department store, Shinsegae Centrum City, located in Busan. But this thriving metropolis is a place of smaller pleasures too. Six inviting beaches are ready to accommodate vacationers and day trippers; a trendy university area is alive with cafes, bars and restaurants; and an old central business district features eateries made famous by recipes handed down through the generations.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Pusan.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Nagasaki, Japan / Independent Exploration
(Tuesday, April 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Independent Exploration: Choose from a variety of Crystal's shore excursion and explore Nagasaki on your own. Nagasaki is a thriving city on Kyushu Island's northwestern shores. As Japan's only access to the West, it flourished during a period of national isolation in the 16th century and continues to be influenced by the ideas and technology of other cultures. Must-see attractions include Japan's oldest gothic-style wooden church and the inspirational Peace Park. Also of particular note is the stately Glover Mansion, an impressive hideaway which was the legendary setting of Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly. A harmonious blend of ancient and modern influences will be yours to enjoy during your sojourn in Nagasaki.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Continue your independent exploration of Nagasaki.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Cruising the Inland Sea / Presentations
(Wednesday, April 10)

Note: Arrival evening Kobe (overnight)



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Join your lecturer for a presentation. Topic TBA. Afterward, enjoy a relaxing afternoon aboard the Crystal Symphony. Pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at the fitness center or Walk-on-Water along the 360 degree Promenade Deck; teach yourself something new with complimentary language lessons by Berlitz or piano instruction with Yamaha; enhance your computer skills at the Computer University@Sea or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with Crystal's engaging lecture series.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Join your lecturer for a presentation. Topic TBA.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Kobe / RS Exclusive Shore Discovery to Kyoto
(Thursday, April 11)

Note: Drive to Kyoto is approximately 1.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Transfer to Kyoto by coach. Upon arrival commence your visits to some of the cultural icons of Kyoto, starting with the Golden Pavilion. Probably the most recognisable structure in Japan, this was built by 3rd Ashikaga Shogun Yoshimitsu as a lavish retirement villa. Continue delving into Kyoto’s history and culture by transferring to Heian Jingu, a vast Shinto shrine complex that was modelled on an ancient imperial palace. This is followed by a visit to the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Arts for an introduction to the myriad and splendid crafts of the city.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Admire the great gate and grounds at Nanzen-ji Temple before proceeding to a lecture / demonstration of Noh theatre from one of its leading Western students. Following the lecture, return to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Kobe / Disembark ship / Transfer to airport
(Friday, April 12)

Note: NOTE: this transfer is approximately 1.5 hours to the Osaka Airport (KIX)



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Please note the group flight is currently at 5pm. Transfer time will still be in the morning after disembarking the ship.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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