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15 nights
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Island Life in the China Seas

A journey around Taiwan and across the East China Sea to the little known Japanese Ryukyu Islands aboard the MS Caledonian Sky

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  • History and Culture
  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Chiang Kai Shek Memorial

Often viewed as the last outpost of China, the island of Taiwan is perhaps a reflection of what the People’s Republic of China may have become if it hadn’t turned to Communism. Sitting between China and Japan it is a surprisingly beautiful island about half the size of Scotland. Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese nationalist leader and Mao’s great adversary crossed the sea from China with a million and more of his followers in 1949 together with many great treasures from the Forbidden City which are today housed in the magnificent National palace Museum in the nation’s capital of Taipei.

Taiwan is just our sort of place. Well off the usual tourist radar and offering a unique experience. Beijing still considers this island to be part of its territory, whereas Taiwan views itself as autonomous. Only a few nations officially recognise it as a country in its own right, but that has not held back this industrious and highly successful island. We have nine days to explore the Taiwan and its outlaying islands. Stunning mountain, lake and coastal scenery vie with futuristic cityscapes, hot springs and remote islands. For ardent travellers of the Orient, Taiwan offers another intriguing chapter and something completely different. Leaving Taiwan we make our way to Japan via the Vaeyama, Ryuku and Amami Islands, a wonderful epilogue to a thought provoking trip.

Useful Links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Caledonian Sky

Caledonian Sky

The MS Caledonian Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Taipei, Taiwan.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight.

Day 2 - Taipei.

Arrive today and transfer to our centrally located hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 3 - Taipei.

After breakfast in the hotel we will embark on a tour of Taiwan’s lively and attractive capital city. We will visit the National Palace Museum which has a repository of over 600,000 priceless Chinese artefacts including pottery, porcelain and bronze with pieces dating back over 5,000 years. Also, on our must do list is the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, with its beautiful garden, and the Lungshan Temple, the city’s most atmospheric Taoist temple. We will enjoy lunch and a visit to Taipei 101, the tallest building in Asia and the pride of Taipei’s skyline before transferring to the MS Caledonian Sky, moored in Keelung in the late afternoon.

Day 4 - Chiufen, Jinguashi & Pingxi.

From our berth in Keelung we will drive the short distance to the towns Chiufen and Jinguashi located in a stunning hillside location with wonderful views and the former centre of the gold mining industry in Taiwan. In Jinguashi we will visit the Gold Ecological Park, located in the old village which is a fascinating mix of museums and old mining buildings. Enjoy lunch before continuing our journey to Pingxi where it is claimed the “sky lantern” was invented in the Three Kingdoms period (A.D. 220- 265). At first it was used to transmit military information but in the early 19th century the Lantern Festival was brought to Taiwan where every year, at the beginning of the spring planting season, people would release “sky lanterns” into the air as a prayer for the coming year. We will write our own hopes for the coming year and release a lantern before returning to the MS Caledonian Sky.

Day 5 - Taichung.

From our berth in Taichung we have a choice of tours. Choose from a full day tour inland to the Sun Moon Lake, the largest lake in Taiwan and so named as the eastern part of the lake is round like the sun and the western side is shaped like a crescent moon. Its crystalline, emerald green waters reflect the hills and mountains which rise on all sides and provide one of Taiwan’s most mesmerising landscapes. We will spend time on the lake and also visit one of the temples on the banks before enjoying lunch. We return to the ship via the Chung Tai Chun Monastery, a lavish monument to Chan Buddhism which has fused ancient traditions with modern architecture. Alternatively, join a half day tour to Lugang, one of Taiwan’s oldest port towns which was used as a major harbour by Dutch traders in the 17th century. We will see the 17th century Lungshan Temple, one of the best preserved in Taiwan, whilst in Old Street we can see the historic buildings or purchase some of the rare handicrafts produced here. Return to the ship for lunch and a free afternoon in Taichung.

Day 6 - Kinmen Islands.

Situated only two kilometres off the Chinese coast, the 15 islands of the Kinmen archipelago were once the frontline between Mao Zedong’s Communists and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists and were one of the most heavily fortified places on earth. In 1997 much of the island became a National Park dedicated to the preservation of historical sites and battlefield memorials. We have requested permission to land on the island where we plan to have the day to view these monuments including the Zhaishan Tunnels, completed in 1966 and used to conceal small naval vessels, and the Guningtou Battlefield History Museum, the scene of the most significant victory, in 1949, for the Nationalist forces in the civil war against the Chinese after a 56-hour battle. If time permits, we may also see the fauna and flora at the Shuangli Wetlands Nature Centre which is home to more than 250 species of migratory birds.

Day 7 - Penghu Islands.

Staying in the Taiwan Straits we visit the Penghu archipelago made up of 64 islands of which only 20 are inhabited. We will base ourselves in the historic capital of Magong where we find an array of historical buildings and temples. See the 16th century Queen of Heaven Temple (Mazu Temple) which is Taiwan’s oldest and finest temple and is classified as the first grade relic. Whilst on Zhongyang Street, one of the oldest in the islands, we will hear about the “Four-eyed well”. Return to the MS Caledonian Sky for lunch and this afternoon we hope to receive permission to explore one of the other islands in the chain.

Day 8 - Anping & Tainan.

Returning to the mainland we arrive at the southern city of Anping which is our base for a morning excursion to nearby Tainan, the former capital of Taiwan. The Dutch built the town of Fort Zeelandia here in 1624 before surrendering to the forces of General Ming Chenggong in 1662. Fort Zeelandia was renamed Anping and the nearby town of Tainan prospered and many of its finest temples were constructed. On a morning tour of Tainan we will see the Chikan Tower, built by the Dutch in 1653 as an administrative centre, and the Koxinga Shrine dedicated to General Chenggong. Our tour will end at the Confucius Temple, Taiwan’s oldest and most revered Confucius shrine, established in 1665. Return to the MS Caledonian Sky for lunch and enjoy an afternoon to explore Anping independently. Alternatively, join us as we drive to the Foguangshan Monastery which is the centre of Buddhism in Southern Taiwan.

Day 9 - Taitung & Ludao Island.

Arrive this morning in Taitung in the South East of Taiwan, our base for a day on the mainland and also the surrounding islands. Spend the morning at the National Museum of Prehistory which charts Taiwan’s geological birth, pans through prehistory with a fascinating display of exhibits including stone coffins and jade ornaments and ends with an exhibition charting the development of the aboriginal tribes. Over lunch we hope to sail the short distance to Ludao (Green) Island. It is hard to believe that this beautiful island was once renowned as a prison island during the “white terror” period, from 1949 to 1987. Today the island is a popular holiday destination for Taiwanese looking for snorkelling or diving on the outer reef. On an island drive we will see the highlights including the prominent lighthouse, Niutou Hill and the three infamous prisons.

Day 10 - Hualien.

From our berth in Hualien we will enjoy a full day tour to the Taroko Gorge National Park. Taroko means “magnificent and beautiful” in the local Truku language and it is clear to see why the name was used. The gorge itself stretches for 20 kilometres with marble cliffs rising hundreds of metres above the Liwu River. We will see the Swallow Grotto and the Tunnel of Nine Turns, a 1.9 kilometre path cut into the cliffs following the route of the original tracks along the gorge and the Changuang Temple, a Buddhist monastery with commanding views of the river.

Day 11 - Yaeyama Islands, Japan.

Our first call in Japan will be at the Yaeyama Islands, a cluster of coral reefs and forested mountains. This morning, from our base in Ishigaki we take the short journey to neighbouring Taketomi. This tiny island, just 1500 metres at its widest point and home to 300 people still offers a traditional Ryuku way of life. We will be transported by buffalo drawn carts to view the traditional bungalow style houses with low slung terracotta roofs and rocky walls covered in hibiscus and bougainvillea. We return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon relax on board or join a glass bottomed boat trip.

Day 12 - Ryuku Islands.

Arrive during lunch in the largest island of the Ryuku archipelago, Okinawa. It is probably best known for the long and bloody battle of World War II which lasted 82 days and saw losses of over 100,000 Japanese troops and many thousands of US troops. There will be a choice of excursion this afternoon, either choose to learn more about this significant encounter when we visit the former Japanese Navy Underground Head Quarters, the Peace Memorial Park and Himeyuri Tower, which commemorates the fate of female high school students who worked in army field hospitals in caves under horrendous conditions. Alternatively, stretch your legs as we walk through the Gangala Valley, a working excavation site with human pre-historic remains dating back some 18,000 years. We will walk past the “walking Banyan tree” and see the caves, the history of which our guides will explain. Before returning to the vessel we will see the Shuri Castle, perched on a hill overlooking Naha which used to be a centre of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Day 13 - Amami Islands.

We continue sailing north and arrive this afternoon in Amami Oshima, a natural paradise situated in the Amami Islands and surrounded by transparent waters, brightly coloured coral reefs and tropical fish. The island is almost entirely covered in forest and mangrove and offers fantastic bird watching and wildlife sightings. We have the afternoon to explore and will visit the Nature Observation Park where we can walk through the forest and hope to see the Amami Jay, Ruddy Kingfisher, Ryukyu Akashobin, butterflies and possibly the rare black hare. We will also see local industry and watch the process of making tsumugi and kasuri silk-cotton fabrics at the Oshima Tsumugi Village, a craft complex in a beautiful hillside setting.

Day 14 - Yakushima.

Spend the morning on the island of Yakushima which became Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Its natural wonders will astound you as Yakushima has a particularly diverse flora. We will spend our time here on nature walks including Yakusugi Land, a nature park populated by a number of the island’s ancient cedar trees.

Day 15 - Matsuyama.

After a morning at sea we arrive over lunch on the island of Shikoku and its main town of Matsayama. The town is renowned as the centre of Haiku poetry in Japan, these traditional poems are three lines long containing, respectively, five, seven and nine syllables. Throughout the city we can find the wooden “Haiku postboxes” where anyone is able to drop off their efforts. We will visit Matsuyama Castle, a rare three-wing, threestorey castle, constructed by famous samurai Yoshiaki Kato in 1603 which sits atop Mount Katsuyama in the centre of the city. We also visit the Dogo Hot Springs, the oldest hot springs in Japan, which are famous for its clear

Day 16 - Kobe to London.

Disembark this morning and transfer to Osaka airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £400 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
14 to 29 March 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Castle Deck Standard Suite £7195 £6795
Caledonian Deck Superior Suite £7495 £7095
Promenade Deck Premium Suite £7895 £7495
Bridge Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite £9195 £8795
Promenade Deck Premium Balcony Suite £9395 £8995
Promenade Deck Owner's Corner Suite £9595 £9195
Castle Deck Standard for sole use £8995 £8595
Caledonian Deck Superior for sole use £9495 £9095

Tour Reference Code: SCCSK14318

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, overnight accommodation in Taipei on a bed and breakfast basis, 13 nights aboard the MS Caledonian Sky on a full board basis, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, shore excursions, gratuities, onboard team including Guest Speaker, transfers, port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, visas.

NB. Please note that whilst we expect to be alongside on most days, we will on occasion use the vessel’s Zodiacs.

  • Deckplan

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Caledonian Sky

The MS Caledonian Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

 
  • MS Caledonian Sky
  • MS Caledonian Sky
    MS Caledonian Sky
  • Castle Deck - Standard Suite
  • Caledonian Deck - Superior Suite
  • Promenade Deck - Premium Suite
  • Bridge Deck - Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Promenade Deck - Premium Balcony Suites
  • Promenade Deck - Owner's Corner Balcony Suite
  • Bar
  • Dining Room
    Dining Room
  • Bar Lounge
  • Panorama Lounge
    Panorama Lounge
  • Gym
  • Sun Deck
  • Canapes
  • Drinks on deck
  • Zodiacs
  • Your Suite

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    Your Suite

    On board there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites, 23 of which have private balconies located on the Promenade or Bridge Decks. Each cabin exudes great character and grandeur with wood panelling and brass features found throughout. The large suites are arranged over four decks and all have outside facing views. All suites feature a sitting area complete with coffee table, armchairs and flat screen televisions (DVD players and DVDs can be borrowed from reception for use in your suite). The beds in each cabin offer exceptionally comfortable mattresses and pillows and can be configured as large double beds or twins. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, a heated towel rail, shaver outlet and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or corner bath tub. Dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.

    Further facilities in the suites include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, cabin to cabin telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, bottled water replenished daily, as well as extra blankets and pillows. Ship announcements made from the Bridge and Reception area are also broadcasted in your suite. A laundry service is also available on board.

  • Your Space

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    Your Space

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Caledonian Sky include a large lounge featuring comfortable seating. Daily briefings given by the onboard team and talks from Guest Speakers take place in the main lounge which is fitted with multiple screens. For your convenience it is also possible to follow the onboard lectures from the comfort of your suite. Also featured in the Lounge is a a 24-hour tea and coffee station along with an elegant bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day.

    In addition to the main Lounge on the Caledonian Deck, there is the Lounge on the Panorama Deck which has a bar, library and internet area and further spacious seating arrangements, ideal for watching the world go by as you cruise to your next destination. The travel library is the perfect place to relax with a good book. Well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads, you will not find yourself short of literature on board. A selection of games and two computers complete with complimentary internet access can also be found in the library along with newspapers and magazines which are placed there depending on local availability. The main dining room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Castle Deck. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck which is complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade and often occasions such as sail away parties and barbeques are held here.

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board the MS Caledonian Sky whilst cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such a vessel. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapes take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice.

    In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose.

    The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.

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     Click on image above to view a sample menu.

  • Life Onboard

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    Life on Board

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels.

    When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.

    The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

  • For your comfort

    For your comfort

    MS Caledonian Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. As is the joy of small ship cruising, during your voyage, we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey (subject to weather or security conditions). There is a navigation channel on the television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck. 

  • Inclusions

    Our All Inclusive Policy

    Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included this in your holiday price. In addition we tip all our guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you. We also include excursions and drinks with meals onboard.

  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    We are delighted you have chosen the MS Caledonian Sky for your upcoming voyage. The 114-passenger, all-suite vessel is one of the finest small ships in the world and benefits from unusually spacious accommodation, public areas and outside decks.

    You will find the atmosphere onboard akin to a private yacht or country hotel with a little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, talks from our onboard team and informative port briefings from your Cruise Director or Expedition Leader. After a day of exploration ashore, you will return to the comfort and peace of a well-run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

    Along with the Captain and officers and the Noble Caledonia team, our crew of 70 are dedicated to offering you the best possible experience during your time onboard. We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    ADAPTORS

    Adaptors for hairdryers, mobile phones etc. can be obtained from the Reception Desk, located on Deck 3 midships. These should be returned to Reception at the end of the cruise and are the property of the MS Caledonian Sky.

    AIR-CONDITIONING

    The entire ship is air-conditioned. All cabins feature individual temperature controls. In order to keep the air-conditioning system working efficiently, please keep doors closed when in use.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

    Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed cabins. All feature a sitting area, en suite bathroom with marble topped vanity unit and walk-in shower, spacious wardrobe, dressing table. Cabins on Bridge Deck (Deck 5) and selected cabins on Promenade Deck (Deck 4) have private balconies.
    All cabins have the following facilities:

    • Dressing gowns and slippers
    • TV
    • Electrical outlet
    • Hair dryer
    • Heating and air-conditioning (individually controlled)
    • Mini bar & Fridge – upon request it can be filled with soft drinks and beer for purchase. The mini bar is stocked on arrival and replenished daily. Price list can be found in the cabin. 
    • Safe
    • Molton Brown toiletries: hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion
    • Telephone

    Each cabin has two twin beds that can be reconfigured to form a double bed upon request. Please advise the Reservation Department or the Reception if you want a double bed. Cabins are serviced each morning by your cabin attendant and again in the evening when the beds are turned down.

    Standard Forward Suites – Castle Deck (Deck 2): The two Standard Forward Suites on the Castle Deck (Deck 2) measure 22.7 square metres, and feature two portholes, spacious wardrobes, and an en-suite bathroom with shower. Suites 250 – 252.

    Standard Suites – Castle Deck (Deck 2) Standard Suites on the Castle Deck (Deck 2) measure 22.7 square metres, and feature portholes, spacious wardrobes, and an en-suite bathroom with shower. Suites 254 – 262. Suites 254, 255, 256 and 262 have four portholes. Suites 257, 260 ,261 have 3 portholes. Suites 258 and 259 have 2 portholes. Superior Suites – Caledonian Deck (Deck 3)

    Superior Suites on the Caledonian Deck (Deck 3) measure 21.6 square metres, and feature a large window, spacious wardrobe, and an en-suite bathroom with bath tub and shower (except for suites 329, 330 and 331 which feature only a shower). Suites 329 – 348.

    Corner Suites – Promenade Deck (Deck 4) The two Corner Suites on the Promenade Deck (Deck 4) measure 22.6 square metres, and feature a private balcony measuring 11.6 square metres and two forward-facing portholes, a walk-in wardrobe, and an en-suite bathroom with shower. Suites 414 – 415. Premium Suites – Promenade Deck (Deck 4)

    Premium Suites on the Promenade Deck (Deck 4) measure 20.2 square metres, and feature a large window, spacious wardrobes, and an en-suite bathroom with shower (except cabins 431 and 432 which have a jacuzzi bath tub and shower). Suites 431 – 434. Premium Balcony Suites – Promenade Deck (Deck 4)

    Premium Balcony Suites on the Promenade Deck (Deck 4) measure 20.2 square metres and feature a private balcony measuring 5.6 square metres, a walk-in wardrobe, and an en-suite bathroom with shower. Suites 416 – 428. Deluxe Balcony Suites – Bridge Deck (Deck 5)

    Deluxe Balcony Suites on the Bridge Deck (Deck 5) measure 20 square metres, and feature a private balcony measuring 4.2 square metres, a walk-in wardrobe, and an en-suite bathroom with bathtub and shower. Suites 505 – 512.

    COMMUNICATIONS

    If you wish to contact the ship please call 00 1 954 672 6835. This is a US number so calls to this number are charged at an international rate. There is a phone in your cabin, which has access to an outside line. Outgoing call costs will be advised onboard. You can make cabin-to-cabin calls free of charge (see section on Telephone Calls). You can contact the ship by email at rec@cs.salenship.com please indicate passenger name and cabin number as the subject.

    There are two computers with complimentary internet access in The Library. In addition Wi-Fi is available in The Library, public areas and in passenger cabins. In order to access the Wi-Fi you will need to bring your own laptop, tablet etc and purchase an internet card which are available to buy at reception. Depending on the ship's location, please note that there may be times when the connection is very slow or is disrupted and the same level of connectivity that you enjoy at home cannot be expected onboard. Please also follow the instructions about logging off carefully in order not to waste any minutes.

    DAILY PROGRAMME

    A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin daily.

    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

    If you have any dietary requirements such as vegetarian, low salt, gluten free and low cholesterol, please notify the Reservations Department. We regret that these, and any other special dietary needs, cannot be guaranteed. If you have any specific or special foods that you require we recommend that you take some with you although we will endeavour to accommodate your needs. Once onboard, please speak to the Chef or the Maitre D’ at dinner on your first night onboard to reconfirm your needs.

    DINING AND DRINKING

    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are served in the Restaurant. During good weather, early riser’s coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner may also be served on The Lido Deck. Afternoon tea is served in The Caledonian Lounge. Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits are available self-service 24 hours a day in The Caledonian Lounge. House wine, beer and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner.

    MS Caledonian Sky operates an open seating policy which greatly enhances the convivial atmosphere onboard. The Restaurant has +44 (0)20 7752 0000 7 table configurations of 8, 6, 4 and some 2’s. Room service is not available onboard. As we operate an open seating policy, we regret that reservations cannot be made. Please note that passengers are not permitted to consume their own supplies of alcohol onboard. Water is safe to drink onboard and is treated with chlorine. A complimentary bottle of water is provided in your cabin upon embarkation and can be replenished upon request.

    Special dietary requests such as vegetarian, low salt and low cholesterol should be made with Noble Caledonia in advance. However, we recommend that you contact the Maitre D’ once onboard to reconfirm such requests. We regret that these, and any other special dietary needs, cannot be guaranteed. If you have any specific or special foods that you require we recommend that you take some with you.

    DISABLED FACILITIES

    There is an elevator/lift, but the ship does not have facilities for disabled or wheelchair dependent passengers. Additionally, most shore excursions involve some walking and some excursions are walking tours only. There is no chair lift onboard and access to the ship is by gangway.

    DISEMBARKATION

    Your Cruise Director / Expedition Leader will provide you with detailed disembarkation information prior to the end of your cruise. This will include transfer information (where applicable). If you should have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Cruise Director / Expedition Leader as soon as possible after embarkation.

    DRESS CODE ONBOARD

    The dress code onboard is defined as casual. During the day casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual. Jackets and ties are not required. However, we kindly ask you to refrain from wearing shorts during evening meals in the Restaurant. You may wish to wear something a little dressier for the Welcome and Farewell Dinners, for example, a jacket and tie for gentlemen and a dress for ladies. No “black tie” is necessary. It is recommended to wear footwear at all times whilst onboard.

    ELECTRICITY

    Voltage is 110V/60Hz (American standard) and a 220V razor socket. This is only suitable for low voltage electrical appliances, e.g. mobile phone or camera charger. We recommend that you bring a two pin American adaptor for the 110v plug. Please note that the use of personal hairdryers, clothing irons, coffee makers, curling tongs, etc. in the cabins is strictly forbidden as they may damage the ship’s electrical system. Hairdryers are provided for your convenience in the top right hand drawer of your dresser. If you require electrical medical equipment, please notify the Reservation Department as soon as possible.

    GOING ASHORE

    Wait in public areas or in your suite until an announcement is made with instructions to disembark. Sailing times for each port are listed in the Daily Programme. Please note sailing times and ensure that you return back to the vessel at least 30 minutes prior to departure. In some ports a passport or port landing card must be carried when going ashore. This will be announced over the PA System if required. If the ship is in a remote area and you hear a continuous blast of the ship’s horn then please return immediately to the landing site. When leaving the ship at any time while in port always ensure you have checked IN/OUT at the gangway.

    HAIR & BEAUTY SALON

    MS Caledonian Sky has a hairdresser providing haircuts and hairstyling. Some beauty treatments and massage are also available. Appointments for hair styling can be made onboard only by dialling 300 from your cabin or at the Reception Desk. Fees for all treatments are available at Reception and will be charged to your onboard account. Each cabin is equipped with a hairdryer, this can be found in the right hand top drawer of the dresser.

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    In order to maintain health standards you will find hand sanitizers at key positions around the ship particularly at the entrance to restaurants and near the gangway. We kindly ask you to use these regularly.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    Laundry service is available onboard. Laundry bags and a price list can be found in the wardrobe in your cabin. Please complete the laundry list and leave it together with the bag of dirty laundry on your bed. Your laundered items will be returned within 24 hours. There are no public launderette or ironing facilities onboard. In the interest of safety we ask that you do not use an electric iron in your suite. An ironing service is available at reasonable cost. Dry cleaning facilities are not available onboard. In the interest of the environment, towels will not be automatically changed every day. We ask that you put used towels on the bathroom floor if you wish them to be changed for fresh towels. Towels left hanging on the towel rack will not be changed.

    LIFT

    All passenger decks can be reached by lift/elevator. Please do not use the elevator in the case of a fire or an emergency.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. Onboard the ship, any liquids, cosmetics, paper(s) and perishable items left behind will be disposed of immediately. Any books left onboard the ship will be incorporated into the ship’s library or donated to charity. Other items left behind on the ship will be kept onboard for 1 month or 2 cruises (whichever is the longer period), and after this period, any unclaimed items will be given to a local charity at the next main port the ship visits. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within 21 days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MAIL

    Although reception staff are happy to post letters on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or at the port of call at which you make such a request. Some postal services are unreliable and many letters or postcards that you ask to be delivered on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. Under no circumstances can we be held liable for such occurrences.

    MEDICAL FACILITIES

    Medical services are available 24 hours a day. There is a doctor onboard, and crew members are trained in first aid. Cabin visits by the ship’s doctor are available. Please note that all consultations and services are charged for. To arrange an appointment with the ship’s doctor please contact Reception by dialing 300. It takes some people longer to find their sea legs. Sea sickness tablets are available from Reception, and should be taken at least one hour prior to departure.

    MINI BAR

    For your convenience a Mini Bar facility has been set up in your suite on a chargeable basis. Items consumed during the cruise will be charged to your onboard account. Your Stewardess will restock your mini bar on a daily basis and replenish consumed items. The mini bar price list is placed in the cabinet of your mini bar. The final statement will be delivered to your cabin in the early morning of your disembarkation.

    NEWS

    News channels are available on your cabin TV and in addition daily news bulletins can be found at Reception and in The Library.

    NOBLE CALEDONIA TEAM

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests you may have.

    ONBOARD ACCOUNT

    All passengers will have their own “ship account” which allows you to sign a receipt for any expenses and then settle your bill at the Reception Desk at the end of the cruise. You will need to register your card at Reception shortly after sailing. If you are sharing a suite with a friend and would like separate bills, please inform Reception. Prices onboard are shown in British Pounds. All final accounts will be presented in British Pounds. Your ship’s account can be paid by:

    • Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express). A 2% charge will be applied to all payments made by credit card. By their bank.

    • Cash (British Pounds, Australian Dollars or US Dollars).

    • Travellers’ Cheques (British Pounds, US Dollars or Euros).

    Debit cards and prepaid credit cards are not normally accepted.

    PASSPORTS

    All Passports are collected by the Purser upon embarkation. Passports are necessary to facilitate immigration formalities at each port of call and are returned at the end of the cruise.

    PUBLIC AREAS

    The Panorama Lounge – Located on Deck 6. Here you can find a comfortable area to relax in with as well as the Library and the Panorama Honesty Bar. Outside you can enjoy the forward facing observation platform and comfortable sun loungers.

    The Library – Located on Panorama Deck (Deck 6 aft). In The Library you can find a well stocked selection of reference books pertaining to the destinations. Fiction books, games and playing cards are also available for your pleasure. Novels brought onboard may be exchanged with other books in the paperback library. Should you wish to donate any books which you may have brought with you, we will be happy to add these for the pleasure of future guests. Reference books may not be removed from the ship. Please return all borrowed materials as soon as you have finished using them. Complimentary internet facilities are also located in The Library.

    The Lido Deck – Located on Bridge Deck (Deck 5 aft). Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are served here outside (weather permitting). Sample the delicious barbeques and eye catching displays prepared by your chefs.

    The Gym – Located on Promenade Deck (Deck 4 aft). A small gym features a treadmill, bicycle cross trainer, weights and yoga mats.

    The Caledonian Lounge – Located on Deck 3 aft. Daily Briefings by the Cruise Director or Expedition Leader are given in The Caledonian Lounge which is fitted with multiple screens and presentation equipment. Informative talks from the Guest Speaker or Expedition Team are also given here. The Caledonian Lounge features the main bar and a 24 hour tea and coffee station. In the evening our onboard resident pianist plays before and after dinner.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday experience and appreciate the time you take to complete the questionnaire. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in at Reception.

    SAFE

    There is a safe in every suite located in the closet. The safe can be programmed with your own code, instructions can be found inside the closet door. We recommend that you leave money and other valuables in the safe. Kindly remember to remove all items from the safe before disembarking the ship at the end of your cruise.

    SAFETY DRILL & SAFETY

    International Maritime Law requires a lifeboat safety drill to take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill, all ships services will be suspended. Your assigned lifeboat station, location of your life jacket and the signal for lifeboat and fire drills are clearly explained on the emergency card posted on the back of your suite’s door. Life jackets are located in your suite. During the safety drill you will be shown how to wear the life jacket. It is essential that you take certain safety precautions while onboard: • Walk, never run and be especially careful on wet and slippery decks. • Ladies are advised to wear low heeled shoes especially on deck. • Footwear should be worn at all times. • Hold on to the handrails in passageways and stairways.

    SHIP’S ID CARD

    These personal ID cards with essential information are issued to each guest during embarkation. Please ensure you remember to check in and out at the gangway with the crew member on duty in order to ensure that you are onboard prior to sailing.

    SMOKING POLICY

    The MS Caledonian Sky offers a smoke-free cruise environment. Smoking is not permitted inside the ship, including the balcony areas. Smoking is only permitted in the designated area outside on Deck 4 aft. Please never throw any cigarette ends overboard – the breeze could carry the smouldering end back onboard and start a fire. We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

    TELEPHONE CALLS

    Calls to other cabins can be made free of charge by dialing the cabin number. Lift the handset and dial the cabin number. If you wish to make an outside call, please check at Reception to purchase a prepaid telephone card and instructions. Costs are available from Reception and charges are automatically billed to your onboard account.

    TELEPHONE DIRECTORY

    THE CALEDONIAN LOUNGE Ext: 301
    RECEPTION Ext: 300
    RECEPTION AFTER HOURS Ext: 500/501
    THE RESTAURANT Ext: 201
    SUITE STEWARDESS Ext: 300
    IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY Ext: 500/501
    HOSPITAL Ext: 202

    TOILETRIES

    Molton Brown shampoo, hand soap and shower gel are provided in your bathroom. If you have forgotten anything ie. toothpaste, please ask Reception, who have a selection of items available for purchase.

    VISITORS

    For the safety and security of all passengers no visitors are allowed onboard the ship.

    VISITING THE BRIDGE

    At times Bridge visits may be possible. If visiting the Bridge, please note this is a working area and access may sometimes be restricted.

    WAKE UP CALL

    Wake up calls can be requested through the Reception Desk by dialling 300 before 11pm.

    WATER

    Currently the MS Caledonian Sky uses 54,000 bottles of water a year. In order to reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we are replacing plastic bottled water where possible with reusable water bottles. The water bottles are for your use during the cruise and we kindly ask you leave them in your cabin at the end of the cruise. The bottles can be filled from the tap – the tap water is safe to drink – or from the water station in The Caledonian Lounge. Some bottled water will be available in your cabin on arrival and can be replenished upon request.

    ZODIAC OR LOCAL BOATS TO TENDER ASHORE

    Some destinations may require the use of the ship’s Zodiacs or local tender boats to go ashore. Guests will be advised where and when to meet the Zodiac or local tender boat to go ashore. Please ensure that your hands are free at all times and accept the assistance given by the crew onboard the MS Caledonian Sky when boarding tenders / Zodiacs. A Zodiac safety briefing will be given.

    Please Note:

    The above information is accurate and correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Noble Caledonia accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and none of the facilities or features of the vessel described herein which are not specifically described in our advertisements and on your holiday invoice as being included in your holiday price will be deemed to be included in your holiday package. If you would like further information about the vessel or about any of your holiday arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Onboard Team

  • David Coates

    David Coates

    David Coates first experienced Taiwan in 1972-3 studying Chinese at the Stanford Centre at Taiwan National University, after three years at the University of Hawaii. He lived with a Chinese family, taught English at a local cram school and walked across the central mountain chain from Puli to Hualien. After joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1974, he specialised in East Asia serving twice at the British Embassy in Peking and once as head of the Far Eastern Department in London. He returned to Taiwan in 1999 as Director General of the British Trade and Cultural Office in Taiwan after a short secondment to Unilever in Shanghai. His final posting was as Ambassador to the Côte d’Ivoire which ended early after a period of civil strife and the military-assisted evacuation of British residents, followed by the closure of the embassy. 

    On retirement from the FCO in 2006 he worked for the former British Bankers’ Association as a director for financial crime, focusing on anti-money laundering, sanctions, countering terrorist financing and bribery and corruption. More recently he has written articles on financial crime for “The Money Laundering Bulletin” and a “City Diary” piece on Taipei for “The Spectator”. He has also taught a graduate course at Tamkang University, Taiwan on British and European History.

    David Coates will be on the following tour dates: 14 to 29 March 2018

Tour Extensions

    • 29th March to 3rd April 2018

       

      Day 1 Kobe & Nara. Disembark this morning in Kobe and drive to Nara. During the 8th century Nara was Japan’s capital for 74 years and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. We will visit Todaiji temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha and Nara’s most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 A.D. It was famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshipers. After our visit take a wander through Nara Park, called Deer park by locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer living there before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon we depart for Kyoto with a stop en-route to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, which was used in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”. It is home to over 10,000 red tori gates, which form a path up the mountain behind the temple. Arrive in Kyoto this evening and meet for dinner.

      Day 2 Kyoto. Today we explore the former Imperial capital and visit some of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites. Visit the Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. Nijo Castle is an ornamental castle built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning gardens. After lunch, we head to the Higashiyama/Gion district and see the Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple. From the 13metre high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall you can enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto, whilst pondering the fact that both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners. After Kiyomizu, you will have free time in Gion, the main Geisha area of the city. Return to the hotel for some free time before meeting for dinner tonight.

      Day 3 Arashiyama. Arashiyama is a pleasant district in the western outskirts of Kyoto where we can take a walk through the famous bamboo groves, which are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo stalks sway gently back and forth. The bamboo has been used to manufacture various products, such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local workshops for centuries. After our visit we will make our way to the Tenryuji temple. Ranked among Kyoto's five great Zen temples, Tenryuji is the largest and most impressive temple in Arashiyama. Founded in 1339 at the beginning of the Muromachi Period (1338-1573), the temple is one of Kyoto's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We enjoy lunch here before exploring the temple buildings and attractive gardens.

      Day 4 Kanazawa. Today we will embark on a full day excursion by train to the famous garden city of Kanazawa, a thriving centre of the arts, long known for its lacquer ware, outstanding collectible pottery of the Kutani style, gold-leaf workmanship, and delicate hand painting of silk for kimonos. The narrow and winding cobblestone streets have a quaint photogenic charm. Around each bend is a traditional house, museum, art gallery, crafts shop, historic samurai residence and even a geisha house to explore. We will tour the city including the famous Kenrokuen gardens which is ranked among the country’s top gardens. Bukeyashiki samurai houses and Kanazawa Castle. Dinner this evening will be a Japanese ‘bento’ box meal eaten on the train as we return to Kyoto.

      Day 5 Kyoto. Enjoy a free day to explore at your own pace and perhaps return to some of the sights of Kyoto or simply relax in the hotel. This evening we will meet for a sumptuous Japanese dinner in the private room of a traditional restaurant. Enjoy dinner and drinks with an hour of private geisha entertainment consisting of conversation and dancing accompanied by local music.

      Day 6 Osaka to London. After breakfast we will transfer to Osaka for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £2495
      Single £3095

      Price Includes: Five nights accommodation in Kyoto on a bed and breakfast basis, lunch and dinner on days 1 to 5, all excursions with guides, Noble Caledonian Tour Manager, gratuities, transfers, taxes.

      Not Included: Travel insurance.

      NB. This extension requires minimum numbers to operate.

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A 14 day overland escorted tour

Cherry Blossom in Imperial Japan
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Cherry Blossom in Imperial Japan
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Next Departure 21 March 2018
More Info

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