Once we left Tokyo, our "home away from home" for the duration of our travels was the Clipper Odyssey, originally constructed in Japan for the Japanese but a couple of years ago sold to American interests looking for a way to break into the "small ship luxury cruise" market.
Sleek and comfortable, the ship accomodates only about 120 passengers and can therefore sail into ports off the beaten track that other cruises would have to skip because of their larger size. The food -- especially the pasteries -- was quite wonderful; the crew and staff, courteous and efficient; the captain, congenial and accomodating.
After a heavy day ashore sightseeing, our return to the ship always prompted a warm welcome, complete with "Clipper Chipper" chocolate chip cookies to munch and a cooling drink served as we reboarded. Especially nice day after day was the realization that we could relax, mingle with other passengers, attend lectures, have a restful dinner and then fall asleep, knowing the next morning we would awaken in yet another port of call.
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