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Princess expands number of cruises, length of season in Japan

Cherry blossoms in Japan

Cherry blossoms and yellow rapeseed bloom in Miura, Japan, on Feb. 22.

(Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press)

Japan doesn’t usually come to mind when you think of cruise destinations. New sailings next year that will take passengers to fall colors in October and cherry blossoms in April could change all that.

Princess Cruises on Thursday announced an expanded lineup of sailings in Japan next year. It will operate 39 cruises between April and November 2017 aboard the Diamond Princess, which was built in Japan.

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Cruises include a nine-night Circle Japan cruise to see autumn colors, and eight- to 17-night sailings to coincide with big flower festivals such as the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival and the Tonami Tulip Festival.

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Some are as short as five days round-trip from Tokyo, with stops in Busan in South Korea, and Nagasaki, Kagoshima or Shimzu.

The Diamond Princess, which holds 2,700 guests, features amenities including traditional Japanese baths, noodle stations, Japanese entertainment and a made-to-order sushi and sake restaurant.

Princess isn’t the only line that offers cruise tours of Japan. Cunard, Holland America, Royal Caribbean International, MSC, Silversea and Oceania sail itineraries as well.

Info: Princess Cruises, (800) 774-6237

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