Asia from Yokohama


Departs Duration Sail From Ship
8th May 2025 5 Nights Yokohama, Japan MSC Bellissima


Yokohama, Japan

On its southern borders Tokyo merges with Yokohama, Japan’s second most populous city and a major international port. When you step aground from your MSC cruise you will find that Yokohama feels far more spacious and airy than the capital, thanks to its open harbour frontage and generally low-rise skyline.

When Commodore Perry sailed his “Black Ships” into Tokyo Bay in 1853, Yokohama was a mere fishing village of some eighty houses on the distant shore. But it was this harbour, well out of harm’s way as far as the Japanese were concerned, that the shogun designated one of the five treaty ports open to foreign trade in 1858. From the early 1860s until the first decades of the twentieth century, Yokohama flourished on the back of raw silk exports, a trade dominated by British merchants.

During this period the city provided the main conduit for new ideas and inventions into Japan: the first bakery, photographers’, ice-cream shop, brewery and – perhaps most importantly – the first railway line, which linked today’s Sakuragichō with Shimbashi in central Tokyo in 1872. The Great Earthquake levelled the city in 1923, and it was devastated again in air raids at the end of World War II; the rebuilt city is, however, among the world’s largest ports.

Locals are proud of their city’s international heritage, and there’s definitely a cosmopolitan flavour to the place, with its scattering of Western-style buildings, Chinese temples and world cuisines, and its sizeable foreign community. The upmarket suburb of Yamate (also known as “the Bluff”) is one of the city’s highlights and boasts a splendid museum; the area forms a pleasant contrast with the vibrant alleys, colourful trinket shops and bustling restaurants of nearby Chinatown. Near the seafront, Kannai boasts a few grand old Western edifices, in complete contrast to the Minato Mirai 21 development’s hi-tech skyscrapers in the distance.

At Sea
Busan, South Korea

Second to Seoul, Busan is the most populated city in South Korea. On an MSC cruise you will discover the most interesting attractions of this city of three and a half million inhabitants overlooking the Strait of Korea; an economic, cultural and educational reference point for the whole country.

The city offers many leisure opportunities. An authentic dining experience is a must, you can taste kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage dish. Shopping lovers can’t miss the Shinsegae Centum City Department Store, the largest shopping complex in the world and the Gukje market, one of the largest in Korea: every road is crowded with stalls, where it’s easy to find local handicrafts.

On an excursion you can visit Gamcheon, a quiet and peaceful village of narrow lanes and colourful houses, the place of residence for many Korean artists.

There are over 35,000 specimens of fish, reptiles, amphibians and algae at the Busan Aquarium, which you can visit on an excursion. Located in Haeundae Beach, the complex is a state of the art marine life centre where you can interact with cute seals or walk
through an underground tunnel where dreaded sharks swim.

An emotional plunge into Buddhist spirituality can be experienced at the temple of Beomeosa, acknowledged for being one of Republic of Korea’s national treasures. Built in the 14th century, the place of worship is immersed in the Mt. Geumjeongsan forest, north of Busan.


Sasebo is a city on Japan’s Kyushu Island. It’s known for Huis Ten Bosch, an amusement park modeled after a Dutch town, with canals, replica buildings, windmills and flower gardens. Kujukushima Aquarium has dolphins, coral reefs and many jellyfish. Off the coast, boats cruise among the forested Kujukushima Islands, part of Saikai National Park. To the south, Saikai Bridge is a popular spot to view cherry blossoms.

At Sea
Tokyo, Japan

Your MSC cruise will take you to Tokyo, symbol of Japanese modernity and traditions. Located on the island of Honshū, this metropolis has almost 14 million inhabitants and is the capital of Japan.
It is a multifaceted city, with futuristic buildings and skyscrapers, historical and religious monuments, ancient districts and lush parks. Not to mention art, music, design, shopping and theatre. This city has everything, so much so, that it is impossible to see it all. MSC offers a few excursions to give you the possibility to focus your visit on the places that you should really see. Like the historic district of Asakusa, named after a guard of the city of Tokyo, famous for the Sensō-ji Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon.

You can also take an excursion to marvel at modern Tokyo, starting from the famous district of Shibuya and the Shibuya crossing, the busiest intersection in the world, where six major roads converge. Moving on, you can lose yourself in the city’s many state-of-the-art buildings, like the Sumida Hokusai Museum, the experimental architecture in Ginza or the almost 300-feet high Ao Building. Strolling along the Sumida River, which flows through the city, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the wonders of Tokyo.

There is an excursion that will take you to the most important of the many museums in this metropolis, like the Tokyo National Museum, which houses artistic and archaeological finds, the MairaKan, a permanent exhibition of emerging science and innovation, or the Edo Tokyo Open Air Museum, which preserves the city’s architectural heritage. The National Art Center in Roppongi ‒ part of the Roppongi Art Triangle together with the Mori Art Museum and the Suntory Museum of Art ‒ is an absolute must. The district of Roppongi itself is also well worth a visit: with its Tokyo Tower, it is a city within a city, full of restaurants, clubs, bars and shops for a shopping spree.


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