The itinerary looked interesting as it offered an opportunity to visit parts of Japan that is not often visited espeically the Shiretoko Peninsular and National Park in the northern island of Hokkaido.
Overall the cruise was enjoyable with the usual Princess hospitality except for a couple of exceptions.
The pros of the cruise :
1. Shiretoko Peninsular is spectacular both from the scenic cruising and the visit to the national park.
2. Korsakov, Russia was a pleasant surprise. A good opportunity to see a real Russian town.
3. Otaru - an interesting port that can be explored on a free and easy basis. Easy to get to from Sapporo airport by JR.
4. Hokkaido is famous for the fresh seafood - available at all ports of call. Not to be missed.
5. Entertainment was excellent - the Sun Princess dancers was great and dynamic. There is also a Japanese folk group that was very entertaining.
6. If you like Japanese cuisine, the Japanese meals options are healthy and tasty!
1. About half of the passengers are Japanese, so most of the tour excursions will be in Japanese. Also as a consequent there are not many shore excursions options per port. Hopefully Princess will get around by organizing smaller group tours or private tours to provide more options.
2. Be prepared for every announcement to be made in 2 languages.
3. Kushiro is the misty town and depending on weather, you may or may not be able to visit the port. We missed ours after fog closed the port on our arrival. We waited for 3 hours before sailing away.
4. The visit to Shiretoko National part was too short - takes 2 hours to get there and another 2 hours back to spend 1 hour at the park!