Is it safe to travel in Tokyo during the coronavirus threat?
Most cruise companies, including Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean, have set restrictions on anyone who’s been in mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau within two weeks — the virus’s incubation period — of the scheduled cruise date.
Some itineraries have also been altered or ports of call canceled altogether. Use caution and take steps to safeguard yourself if you choose to travel to areas where the coronavirus is prevalent.
Whether you’re looking for a week-long sightseeing sprint around Japan or a longer route encompassing Korea, Hong Kong, Australia and beyond, these cruises from Tokyo will stay with you long after the last anchor has dropped.
Best cruises from Tokyo
These lines offer spectacular journeys that depart from Japan’s capital city.
Best for cruises around Japan: Cunard
The land of the rising sun is enchanting and intoxicating, oozing with rich cultural history yet bursting with new age energy. See ancient shrines, holy temples and towering skylines aboard Cunard's luxury liner. You'll circle the island nation, stopping at key ports like Akita, Sakaiminato, Nagasaki and Kobe in a grand Nipponese tour. Though exact ports vary, depending on the trip you book.
From Tokyo, sail to Singapore, Korea, Tapei, China or all of the above. Enthusiasts of Asian culture can check multiple countries off their bucket list in one go — a few itineraries even reach Russia.
Princess Cruises is also known for curating fabulous themed trips to see spring flowers or fall foliage. Expect glorious cherry blossoms in the spring, and scarlet maple leaves come fall.
Room service included
No free alcohol
No price matching
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Best for ultimate luxury: Silversea
Silversea's ships are small, intimate and ultra-luxe — plus, all accommodations come with an ocean view and butler service. The fare is all-inclusive, so you can eat and drink gourmet while hitting up Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore or cities along Nippon's coastline. Consider it paradise on earth, at sea — with views of Hiroshima to boot.
Best for Tokyo to Canada and Alaska: Holland America
These cruises technically depart from Yokohama, about 45 minutes south of Tokyo by car, but the unique itineraries and budget-friendly price are unmatched by other lines. Cross the International Dateline — the closest we've come to time travel — and see Alaska's Glacier Bay before setting foot in Vancouver. Or sail through the Kanmon Strait to anchor in Vladivostok, Russia.
Norwegian Cruise Line's trips are friendly on the budget — interior rooms for 15-night cruises start at $1,200, and are packed with diverse ports and points of interest. From Mount Fuji to Nagasaki's Peace Park and Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and beyond, you can see it all without arranging complicated transport from each leg to the next. Social studies class will pale in comparison to the enlightening journey your kiddos won't forget.
Room service included
No free alcohol
No price matching
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
When choosing cruises for this list, we looked at the quality of routes available from each cruise line, prioritizing well-paced itineraries with port stops at key destinations around the region.
We also considered dining onboard, weighing the number, variety and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews. Finally, we weighed cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.
Additionally, we sought out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.
When is the best time to cruise from Tokyo?
The best times to cruise from Tokyo is in the spring and fall, when the weather is temperate and nature is in transition. You can choose from the biggest variety of itineraries in April, May, September and October. Late March and early November offer a few trips here and there, but between December to February it’s rare to find a cruise ship leaving from Tokyo due to the cold weather and blistering sea.
Budget travelers opt to cruise during late June, July and August, Japan’s off season. It’s humid and expect rain — but flights, hotels and cruise fare are lower overall to help attract off-season travelers.
Setting sail from Tokyo is an efficient and spellbinding way to see cities around Japan, Asia and elsewhere in the Pacific. Before purchasing your tickets, check for cruise deals that could save you money upfront, so you’ll have more to spend aboard.
Most cruise lines require US dollars to be used on board. But be sure to double check beforehand to ensure you’re prepared.
However, on shore excursions within Japan, a cash culture reigns supreme. That means you’ll want to be prepared with yen (JPY) if you want to make a purchase on land. In major urban areas, ATMs are common and accept western debit cards — as are 7-Elevens and Citibank ATMs.
Consider withdrawing yen for your journey in Tokyo before setting sail, so you don’t have to worry about it along the way.
The following cruise lines offer routes from Tokyo to Vancouver:
Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for a range of travel publications including Thomas Cook Magazine and Showpo. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and has visited over 50 countries (and counting). She has a passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge of travel and helping consumers stretch their travel cash while on holiday.
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