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Why we like it
- Intimate size allows insider access to Japan's smaller, private ports
- All cabins and suites offer private balconies
- Sister ship to the incomparable A&K charter, Le Boreal
- Hosted by award-winning A&K guides, lecturers and expedition team
- Wealth of excursions to choose from, from hiking to art history
Take in our Wonders of Japan tour aboard Le Soleal and enjoy an exclusive private performance by the world-renowned Kodo taiko drummers, followed by a rare opportunity to meet the famous troupe.
Thank you to you (Debbie Rawnsley) and all your marvellous colleagues in Japan who ‘blew us away’ with their attention to detail, their friendliness and dazzling courtesy.
- ST, Surrey
Launched in 2013, Le Soleal is a welcome addition to A&K's privately chartered expedition boat complement, and is the sister vessel to the renowned Le Boreal, our polar cruising ship. Marrying the important cruise elements of luxury, adventure and above all, safety, the signature design of Le Soleal has been matched with fluid lines, elegant interiors and an intimate size. Le Soleal is one of the most rare and innovative yachts on the market.
The elegant grey tonal colour scheme combines natural wood and shades of grey and white, referencing a quintessentially nautical theme. Decorated by French interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, the flexible capacity of the ship allows for adjoining staterooms and suites where possible in the maximum configuration, making the vessel ideal for families. All cabins and suites offer private balconies. For the ultimate indulgence we like the Owner's Suites, with a separate living area and 100 square foot private balcony.
On board you'll find the utmost in amenities, with stylish lounge areas including a piano bar. Meals are served in one of two restaurants: Marina, a gastronomic restaurant specialising in French and international cuisine where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, and the Grill, which offers a less formal venue for breakfast, buffet lunch and themed dinners. The lecture theatre is the prime venue for the expert talks on offer, from everything from gardening to ancient history. There's also a fitness and beauty corner with a Hammam, and a pool deck bar.
Best time to be there
Spring (late March to April) for cherry blossom, early summer (May to early June) for warm sunshine, autumn (October to November) for sunny weather and spectacular colours.
Osaka/ Tokyo Narita and Haneda (Japan Airlines, British Airways)
12 hours 30 minutes from London
GMT +9 hours
Not required for UK passport holders
No vaccinations required
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Suggested itineraries in Japan
Japan, Hong Kong and the Ryukyu Islands Cruise
Nights: 15 | from £15,431pp
Explore the rarely visited Ryukyu Islands, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong, accompanied by an award-winning expedition team on L’Austral.
Nights: 12 | from £4,877pp
Journey through the heart of Japan, mixing its pulsating cit-ies with its ancient temples, age-old traditions, sacred is-lands, sake breweries, 20th-century tragedies and natural splendour.
Sushi and Sashimi
Nights: 11 | from £5,365pp
Food, culture and history are intertwined in this unique destination: not for nothing has Washoku – traditional Japanese cuisine – been inscribed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Immerse yourself in Japan’s flavours while exploring its ancient cities and temples for a fascinating insight into the national psyche.
Okinawa Beach Break
Nights: 4 | from £2,270pp
For an extraordinary beach getaway, journey to the powdery white sands and azure waters of Okinawa, home to some of the world’s most beautiful marine life.
Luxury Small Group Journeys - Classic Japan 2017
Nights: 8 | from £7,535pp
Experience the juxtaposition of fast-paced, neon-lit Tokyo and Osaka with the serene and culture-rich surroundings of ancient Kyoto
Highlights of Japan
Nights: 8 | from £4,825pp
Japan has a wealth of treasures, but if are short on time and want to cram as much as possible into your time in this intriguing country, this whittle-stop tour of cultural gems is the solution.
Colours of Japan
Nights: 10 | from £5,110pp
This 11 day itinerary highlights the beautiful colours of Japan, from ancient temples framed by the confetti like blossom of cherry trees to the fiery Autumn leaves (koyo) of gingko and maples.
Wonders of Japan 2017
Nights: 12 | from £13,123pp
Experience scenic, compelling Japan, visiting unique ports and rarely seen wilderness areas in luxury on board exclusively chartered L'Austral.
Sushi meets Surf – A Japanese and Hawaii experience
Nights: 16 | from £7,895pp
Japan has a wealth of treasures, but if are short on time and want to cram as much as possible into your time in this intriguing country, this whittle-stop tour of cultural gems is the solution. Following on from a week of Sushi filled fun head over to the exotic and mysterious Hawaiian islands to immerse yourself in a unique culture and totally awesome surf.
Onsens & Snow Monkeys
Nights: 2 | from £840pp
Visit the Snow Monkey Park where red-faced Japanese macaques or snow monkeys can be seen bathing and relaxing in volcanic hot springs.