Western Pacific Odyssey / Japan update 2

07-04-2011
Our Western Pacific Odyssey from New Zealand to Tokyo is scheduled to go ahead as planned, but we have prepared a series of contingency plans for Japan to ensure the safety of our travellers without diverting from the spirit of this journey. 


Heritage Expeditions is based in Christchurch New Zealand, and we're directly aware of how natural disasters on the scale of the Japanese earthquake impact the safety of travellers. We've survived our own earthquakes recently and feel a deep sense of responsibility to support the people of Japan as best we can. We are currently scheduled to dock at the Japanese port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, and we want to make every effort to keep that appointment.

Ultimately the safety of our passengers and crew must come first, and in the event of an extension to travel warnings in certain parts of Japan we will have to make adjustments to the final destination of the tour. The decision on which port will be our destination will be confirmed before we depart from New Zealand on the 19th of April.

Travel advisories issued by New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom have all cited two main concerns for travellers. First is to reduce the impact on essential services around Tokyo, and the second is the threat of radiation from the damaged nuclear plant at Fukushima. Presently the shipping traffic in and out of our destination port, Yokohama, are operating as usual and without restrictions. The high speed rail services between Yokohoma and Tokyo are also operating at full capacity, so travellers can presently make flights out of Narita without any trouble.

In the event that the situation worsens at Fukushima and we have to drop Yokohama from our schedule we have identified two alternative ports. The first is also on Honshu Island at Osaka, but further south-west of Tokyo. Good access to airports and rail are assured. If for any reason the safety of our passengers and crew requires us to avoid Honshu entirely we have an additional option in the southern islands of Japan.
 Heritage Expeditions wants all of our passengers to understand that your safety is our primary concern, and your enjoyment of the cruise is a close second. We appreciate the concern that the Japanese earthquake has raised for many of you, and hope that you will look forward to minimal disruption to your journey in the knowledge that we are working behind the scenes on your behalf.

At this time we are anticipating a succesful journey through to Yokohama and Tokyo, and we hope that our arrival in port will offer a positive message to the people of Japan.

 Quick Facts:

  • Yokohama is 250kms from Fukushima and 220kms from Tokyo
  • The train from Yokohama to Tokyo's Narita Airport takes 90 minutes
  • Osaka is 560kms from Fukushima with its own international airport, plus high-speed train access to Nagoya and Narita airports.
Category: Western Pacific
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