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Asia

From ancient traditions to contemporary culture, Asia is a region with a history and beauty unlike any other in the world. Ancient wooden castles where shoguns once ruled. Gardens designed to guide the spirit. Each of the places you'll explore presents new insights into a realm that has fascinated travelers for millennia.

Asia Small Ship Cruises

AdventureSmith Explorations takes you to some of the most coveted hot spots in the ancient world with ease and grace. From the coastlines and islands of Borneo, to the fertile banks of the Mekong River, to the temples of Angkor, the landscapes and cultures of these spiritual regions are sure to astound.

True Adventure Experience

Be exposed to a range of experiences that can only be accessed by small ships. Daily excursions ashore provide access to some of Asia's most remote regions. Take a hike through the jungles of Borneo and snorkel in the emerald waters of Indonesia's Natuna Islands. Our trips are lifetime memory makers, from the authentic cuisine to your luxury accommodations. 


Sailing Indonesia: Bali, Komodo & Flores Cruise
From $2380
7 days
Travel Season
AprMayJunJulAugSep

Cruise

Sailing Indonesia: Bali, Komodo & Flores Cruise

Explore Indonesia from Bali east to Flores on this small ship cruise aboard the 28-guest Ombak Putih sailing vessels. Encounter the famous Komodo dragon, snorkel in pristine coral reef and explore beautiful deserted beaches.
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Bali and Beyond
From $3599
9 days
Travel Season
MarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Cruise

Bali and Beyond

Explore the exotic islands of Indonesia on this small ship cruise aboard the 14-guest Katharina sailing vessel. Embark from Bali to experience some of Indonesia’s most beautiful deserted beaches and be immersed in the cultural diversity that is unique to these islands.
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Aqua Mekong River Cruise
Special Offer Available
From $3315
4 days
Travel Season
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Cruise

Aqua Mekong River Cruise

Travel aboard the newly launched, 40-guest luxury Aqua Mekong. This Mekong River cruise travels between Siem Reap, Cambodia, and My Tho/Saigon, Vietnam, over 8-, 5- and 4-day itineraries.
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Japan is a treasure chest for the visitor. A rich history thousands of years old has influenced all aspects of culture, creating a country that embraces modern technology in one hand, and balances this with time-honored customs in the other. Japan is rich in tradition and arts, full of historical buildings, unique arts, colorful festivals and people who are warm and welcoming. Japan is also a nature-lover's paradise, offering everything from spectacular mountain ranges, coastal scenery and soothing hot springs. Join us and open your own treasure chest to the real Japan.

Japan Geography

Japan consists of four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, as well as thousands of adjacent smaller ones. This archipelago stretches 1,500 miles. Mountains claim 71% of Japan's land area. A chain of mountains extends along the middle of the archipelago. The Pacific Ocean lies to the east while the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea lie west. Japan's varied coastline includes long sandy beaches, peninsulas, bays and offshore islands.  Japan is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Japan abounds in volcanoes, including one tenth of the world's active ones. Mt. Aso is the most active volcano in the world. Japan is also one of the most seismically active places in the world. Earthquakes occur daily, although most barely even register on the scales.

Japan Nature

Japan's natural scenery is truly diverse. The country is blessed with both mountains and seashores, and the climate varies richly from place to place and with each passing season. Living amidst such natural beauty, the Japanese have since ancient times had a great reverence for forces that transcend human power. The beauty of nature and the wonder it inspires are expressed in Japanese writing and painting. Japan's rich culture can be said to have its roots in the country's abundant natural scenery. Although Japan has sacrificed some of its natural environment to modernization, the country is making every effort to preserve what remains for future generations.

Japan Flora & Fauna

Plant life is greatly diversified thanks to widely differing climatic conditions from north to south. Almost 70% of Japan is covered by forest. There are about 4,500 native plant species. Gardens offer the best place to see native species. Pine (Matsu) and cedar (sugi) trees are common. Small pines are used for bonsai. Pines are also considered holy trees - symbols of devine spirits. The plant that best symbolizes Japan is the sakura (cherry tree). The springtime cherry tree blossoming brings about many parties and ceremonies. In Autumn, the maple trees burst with color.

Animals are found in Japan's contrasting climates. Southern Japan's tropical zone has: tropical fish, turtles, crested serpent eagle, flying fox and lizards. The temperate-zone has Korean and Chinese animals: tanuki (racoon dogs/badger), shika (deer) and mandarin ducks.  In the Siberian subarctic zone: brown bear, hazel grouse, sea lions, fur seals, beaked whales and even walrus. The crane is a national symbol. Some species endemic to Japan are: dormouse, copper pheasant, giant salamander (which can grow up to 5-feet long), the primitive dragonfly and the macaque (snow monkey). Animals such as the racoon dog and fox figure importantly in the culture and folklore of Japan.  The ancient Chinese calendar is symbolized by: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and boar. Even in today's Japan, everyone associates his or her birth year with a particular animal - and it is assumed that one's character and fortune in life are influenced by the animal representative of their birth year.

Japan Historic Sights

Japan has a rich history that stretches back thousands of years, and the country's ancestors have left their imprint everywhere. Japan has a variety of historical sites where visitors can get a glimpse of the culture, daily life, and thinking of people in bygone days. In recent years, a succession of prehistoric ruins have been excavated and surveyed, giving us an understanding of how life was in times for which we lack written records.

Japan History

Once linked by land bridges to both Siberia and Korea, early influences brought Shinto beliefs, Buddhist organization and the rule of the emperors. Buddhism was brought to Japan in the middle of the 6th century.  For many centuries, Japan was influenced by China.  During the Heian period (8th - 12th c.) the Japanese court began developing its own system of writing, values and concepts. At the end of the 12th century, the shogunate or samurai class took control. Shogun dynasties ruled Japan for the next seven centuries. In the mid-16th century, traders from Spain and Portugal introduced Christianty.  During the early 17th c., Japan was closed to almost all outside contact for over 250 years.  In 1868, Japan re-opened its doors. Colonial expansion, modernization and industrialization transformed the country.

Japan Religion

Japan's two religions Shinto and Buddhism mingle harmoniously. Shinto, which is indigenous to Japan, is the more ancient of the two. It is based on the worship of spirit and nature. There are hundreds of thousands of spirits; most often depicted are the Seven Lucky Gods.  Shinto Shrines  are easily identified by the tor  gates at their entrance. Shinto rites and festivals are important components of Japanese life. Originally from India and China, Buddhism, centers on philosophy. Buddhist Temples are seen in Japan. Zen Buddhism is just one of the many different sects.

Japan Cuisine

Japanese cuisine is more than just sushi.  Japanese dishes are legendary for the beauty and aesthetics. Ingredients are artistically cut and arranged not merely to please the senses but to conform to elaborate systems of cultural symbolism. The roots of Japanese cuisine are largely sixth-to-eighth century Chinese. Rice, usually boiled and served at the end of a meal, is the main starch staple. Cooking varies from region to region.; Japan has four principal cooking methods:  Agemono (fried): Tempura, Kagiage vegetables/shrimp patty, Tonkatsu (breaded, fried pork cutlet). Mushimono (steamed): Chawan Mushi, an egg custard. Nimono (boiled): soba noodles in broth. Yakimono (broiled): Yakitori (marinated skewer broiled chicken), Teriyaki (broiled meat), Shioyaki (skewer-broiled fish). Beer is the favourite beverage of the Japanese and it's dispensed everywhere from vending machines to temple lodgings. Sake (rice wine) is served warm or cold. Japanese green tea is very healthy and refreshing.

Japan Culture

Japan has a fascinating culture, with stark contrasts between old and new. Japan's artistic traditions originated from China and Korea. Crafts, performing arts, and food vary from region to region. The two most famous Japanese performing arts are kabuki (melodramatic, spectacular theatre) and (formal, masked theatre). Modern pop music is extremely popular in Japan.

Japan Crafts

The works produced by Japan's artisans are at once serene and gorgeous. Japanese perceptions of beauty are strongly manifested in the country's pottery, silk dying and woven textiles. Each region has developed and refined its own distinctive crafts, reflecting geographic and historic conditions and people's needs. Traditional crafts have been passed down to the artisans of today, who incorporate modern ideas and production methods into their work.

Japan has four distinct seasons and complex weather. Different regions present varying conditions. Spring and autumn are ideal seasons to visit. Spring (March - May) brings clear skies and cherry blossoms, with mild temperatures ranging from the 40s to 70s (degrees Fahrenheit). Autumn (October - November) is also a good time to visit with brilliant fall colors and temperature low/high averages ranging from 42-70 degrees in Tokyo and 55 to 80 degrees in Kobe.

Japan Average Temperature & Rainfall

Tokyo

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High/Low Temp. (F) 31/48 32/49 37/54 47/64 56/71 74/77 71/84 73/87 67/79 55/70 45/61 35/52
Rainfall (Inches) 2.0 2.8 4.2 5.1 6.9 5.3 5.8 8.5 7.6 1.7 3.8 2.1
Aqua Mekong

Aqua Mekong

Launching in 2014, the Aqua Mekong is a custom, architecturally designed luxury cruise ship sailing unique itineraries in along the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia.
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Jahan

Jahan

The 48-guest riverboat Jahan offers by far the finest accommodations on the Mekong River. Nothing else can begin to compare with her outstanding staterooms, decor, service and food.
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Katharina

Katharina

Katharina is a 14-guest sailing vessel whose adventures explore the Ring of Fire, the string of volcanic islands that stretch out from Bali east to the Philippines.
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National Geographic Orion

National Geographic Orion

102-guest National Geographic Orion is arguably the most sophisticated vessel in its class. Small ship cruises aboard the Orion offer a luxurious exploration of Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Antarctica.
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Ombak Putih

Ombak Putih

The 28-guest sailing vessel Ombak Putih combines traditional and modern design to bring authenticity and comfort to her itineraries in the Ring of Fire region stretching from Bali to the Philippines.
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