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Princess adds six new ports in 2019 Japan program

Princess Cruises continues its strong presence in Japan, returning in 2019 for a sixth season with round-trips from Yokohama and Kobe.

The March to November season features 60 departures of 40 itineraries, visiting 41 destinations in seven countries and more ports than ever before. Offerings include access to 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and nine late night port stays.

Highlights include maiden calls for Diamond Princess at Gamagori, Himeji, Matsuyama, Niigata, Miyako and Takamatsu.

Nine cruises take place during the popular spring flowers season, visiting many top cherry blossom and spring flowers sites throughout all of Japan.

Seven departures provide access to some of the country's most popular summer festivals including the Aomori Nebuta Festival, Kochi Yosakoi Dance Festival and Akita Kanto Festival.

Three voyages include viewing of the Kumano Grand Fireworks Festival, a display of more than 10,000 fireworks that's visible from the decks of Diamond Princess.

Five cruises have late night stays in Aomori during the Aomori Nebuta Festival, which features Nebuta float figures, traditional music and many vibrant dancers. The festival is easily accessible on foot from the port.

Three voyages give access to many popular August festivals including Akita Kanto Festival, Kochi Yosakoi Dance Festival and Tokushima Awa Dance Festival, again, with late night stays in each city to allow for more exploration.

The Akita Kanto Festival features a procession of 200 bamboo poles with lanterns weighing over 100 pounds that celebrants balance on their palms, foreheads, shoulders or backs. Kochi Yosakoi Dance festival is one of Japan’s 10 largest festivals, attracting fans from all across the country.

And Tokushima Awa Dance Festival is one of the best known summer dance festivals, dating back to the 1500s. Dancers perform throughout the city, well into the night. Especially famous is the Fool’s Dance.

Two voyages visit Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido during the fall foliage season in October, while a variety of southern islands cruises allow passengers to experience a different climate and culture, with calls at Okinawa and Ishigaki or Miyakojima, and Keelung (for Taipei), Taiwan.

Multiple 'Circle Hokkaido' cruises include late night stays in Hakodate, home to the Mount Hakodate cable car with breathtaking views of the city at night.

Nine-day 'Circle Japan' or 'Sea of Japan' voyages circumnavigating the country visit top-rated cultural ports with International stops in Taiwan, South Korea, Russia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and China.

Two Japan cruise-tours are available. 'Highlights of Japan' includes the main sights in Kyoto, the center of Japanese culture for more than a thousand years, and Tokyo. The tour also visits Togendai and Lake Ashi for stunning views of Mount Fuji.

'Temples & Traditions,' an extended version of 'Highlights of Japan,' gives two additional nights in the UNESCO Creative City of Kanazawa, an area rich with culture and tradition. One activity is an introduction to the art of sushi-making, where participants make their own sushi lunch.