Japan on Celebrity Millennium, September 2018. Private tours from cruise port?

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#1
1,973 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
This we be our first time visiting Japan. Instead of taking large bus Celebrity sponsored shore excursions are there private tour companies set up at the cruise ports? Looking for small group (6-10 people) bus/walking tours.Any recommendations for reliable tour operators?
Thank you.
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#2
Germany/Sunny Isles, FL
1,792 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by Kingofcool1947
This we be our first time visiting Japan. Instead of taking large bus Celebrity sponsored shore excursions are there private tour companies set up at the cruise ports? Looking for small group (6-10 people) bus/walking tours.Any recommendations for reliable tour operators?
Thank you.
Great cruise and great idea to do private excursions.
However, you might want to try the RollCall of your cruise to find people to join you.

If you need any ideas for excursions, here´s a link to our travelogue...
https://www.travelandcruise.net/trav...ium-japan.html

Enjoy!
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#3
Diamond Bar, California
811 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Heather Hopkins Clement, who some of you know as the Port Lecturer on the Diamond from the opening of the Japan market to mid-2015. She has WiFi booths at Osanbashi in Yokohama and at the Shimizu Port. Heather will be opening up more booths in other ports later in the season. Her new venture is adding tour guides. The guides can meet you at the port with or without a vehicle. Contact her for details. Heather will be at Osanbashi in Yokohama. Stop and say hi, get WiFi as a sim card or by pocket router. She has a great app for Japanese travel: Cruise Port Navigator. Website: cruise port navigation dot com Wifi: cruise port navigation dot com/wifi Facebook: Japaneseports, and Private Guides: cruise port navigation dot com/privateguide Give her a spin!

* no space between cruise, port and navigation. dot is a period.
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#4
1,973 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by alan310
Heather Hopkins Clement, who some of you know as the Port Lecturer on the Diamond from the opening of the Japan market to mid-2015. She has WiFi booths at Osanbashi in Yokohama and at the Shimizu Port. Heather will be opening up more booths in other ports later in the season. Her new venture is adding tour guides. The guides can meet you at the port with or without a vehicle. Contact her for details. Heather will be at Osanbashi in Yokohama. Stop and say hi, get WiFi as a sim card or by pocket router. She has a great app for Japanese travel: Cruise Port Navigator. Website: cruise port navigation dot com Wifi: cruise port navigation dot com/wifi Facebook: Japaneseports, and Private Guides: cruise port navigation dot com/privateguide Give her a spin!

* no space between cruise, port and navigation. dot is a period.

Thanks.
I’ll contact Heather for details of her guide/services.
Have you personally used her tour guide/services?
I’m looking at small group sightseeing/walking tours for our stops in Tokyo, Kobe/Osaka., and Hiroshima. Maybe the other stops as well. Historical and cultural focus.
Another poster above suggested posting on the Celebrity Roll Call for the cruise, and see if other PAXs are interested in joining up for a small group private tour. That’s what I’ll do.
King
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#5
Melbourne Australia
1,776 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I can highly recommend using a goodwill guide. They are volunteer guides, often uni students, but also business people, retired or not. home makers etc etc all giving up a day or 2 or more a month to be a guide. They speak english from good to excellent. The only cost to you is their travelling and entry costs and meal costs if you are with them at meal time. We also take a small gift from Australia, keyring, pen, purse etc as their homes are so very small that they don't have room for lots of "stuff". The advantage of using a guide is they know the streets, the transport, the shortcuts and spending a day with a true local is enlightening.
The only disadvantage is that they are so proud of their city that they want to show you everything and physically they are streets ahead of me in walking pace and abililty to do steps. We have used them in many cities, Two years ago I took a group of 8 to Japan and I arranged goodwill guides for Kyoto and Tokyo as the logistics of getting 8 people around these big cities was more than I was prepared to do. If you want a goodwill guide you need to book very early as there are thousands arriving on cruise ships and only a limited number of guides available particularly during week days when students are at uni.
#6
1,973 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by Tara Jane
I can highly recommend using a goodwill guide. They are volunteer guides, often uni students, but also business people, retired or not. home makers etc etc all giving up a day or 2 or more a month to be a guide. They speak english from good to excellent. The only cost to you is their travelling and entry costs and meal costs if you are with them at meal time. We also take a small gift from Australia, keyring, pen, purse etc as their homes are so very small that they don't have room for lots of "stuff". The advantage of using a guide is they know the streets, the transport, the shortcuts and spending a day with a true local is enlightening.
The only disadvantage is that they are so proud of their city that they want to show you everything and physically they are streets ahead of me in walking pace and abililty to do steps. We have used them in many cities, Two years ago I took a group of 8 to Japan and I arranged goodwill guides for Kyoto and Tokyo as the logistics of getting 8 people around these big cities was more than I was prepared to do. If you want a goodwill guide you need to book very early as there are thousands arriving on cruise ships and only a limited number of guides available particularly during week days when students are at uni.
Thank you. What a great resource.
How do I connect with Goodwill Guides? Do they have a website? Threre will be four of us traveling together and definitely this sounds like something we would love to do.
King
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#7
St Louis
1,097 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Kingofcool1947
Thank you. What a great resource.

How do I connect with Goodwill Guides? Do they have a website? Threre will be four of us traveling together and definitely this sounds like something we would love to do.

King


We are also on the Sep 30 Millennium sailing and are looking to join some private tours in several ports.
Please keep us in the loop if you get something going, esp in Shimizu, Kochi, Busan, Aomori and Hakodate. Also Oct 2 in Kyoto. There are two of us.
Thanks,
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#8
Melbourne Australia
1,776 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by Kingofcool1947
Thank you. What a great resource.
How do I connect with Goodwill Guides? Do they have a website? Threre will be four of us traveling together and definitely this sounds like something we would love to do.
King
I posted the link yesterday for someone but cant find it now. It's 1 30 am here in Australia so i will find it another way tomorrow oops today and post for you.
#9
1,973 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by Poconolady
We are also on the Sep 30 Millennium sailing and are looking to join some private tours in several ports.
Please keep us in the loop if you get something going, esp in Shimizu, Kochi, Busan, Aomori and Hakodate. Also Oct 2 in Kyoto. There are two of us.
Thanks,
[email protected]




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Great!
I will keep you in the loop. I will be traveling with my DW, SIL, and BIL. SIL, and BIL may or not be interested in doing private tours since they like to wander on their own.
I’m thinking of something like a small group 4-8 van+walking (moderate walking) tours with an emphasis on historical, and cultural Japan. Gardens, castles, temples, and samurai lore. We’re not foodies, but I definitely would like to try Kōbe beef, expensive though . Ramen, tempura, and teppanyaki is more our style, . Not much for high end shopping either.
FWIW, DW and I think of ourselves as regular ordinary folks. Easy going.
Regards, and will definitely stay in touch.
King
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#10
St Louis
1,097 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Kingofcool1947
Great!
I will keep you in the loop. I will be traveling with my DW, SIL, and BIL. SIL, and BIL may or not be interested in doing private tours since they like to wander on their own.
I’m thinking of something like a small group 4-8 van+walking (moderate walking) tours with an emphasis on historical, and cultural Japan. Gardens, castles, temples, and samurai lore. We’re not foodies, but I definitely would like to try Kōbe beef, expensive though . Ramen, tempura, and teppanyaki is more our style, . Not much for high end shopping either.
FWIW, DW and I think of ourselves as regular ordinary folks. Easy going.
Regards, and will definitely stay in touch.
King


You sound like our kind of people! We aren’t foodies either, but do want to try some of the local specialties, fish (especially raw) is just not our thing. We want to see some temples, castles, gardens etc, but don’t need to see every single one of them! We tend to be like your inlaws, and probably will just wander in several ports, but think that having a guide who knows the transportation and logistics of an area would be a great help.
Btw, have you signed up on the roll call?
Jane




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RCCL Song of Norway-- E. Carib.
NCL Starward-- W. Carib.
NCL S.S. Norway-- E. Carib
NCL S.S. Norway-- W. Carib.
Big Red Boat-- Bahamas
Seawind Crown-- S. Carib.
CCL Paradise-- E. Carib.
NCL Majesty-- Bermuda
NCL Sky-- E. Coast/Canada
NCL Jewel --W Carib.
NCL Pride of Aloha-- Hawaii
RCCL Spendor-- Med.
PCL Golden Princess-- Alaska
HAL Westerdam-- Alaska
NCL Jade-- Med. & Egypt
NCL Star-- Pacific Coast
RCCL Vision--W. Europe Repositioning
Celebrity Equinox--Med. & Transatlantic
HAL Zuiderdam--So. Carib & Panama Canal
Celebrity Equinox--Greek Islands and Turkey
Celebrity Infinity-- British Isles
AMA Prima--Danube Christmas Markets cruise
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Celebrity Constelation--- Exotic Med.
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#14
Germany/Sunny Isles, FL
1,792 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by moodynight
we are going on milenium in November to japan, just wondering what you did about the chinese visa for the Shanghai stop? thanks
We did not get a visa for the Japan cruise because of the visa exemption/144 hour transit rule.

We arrived to Shanghai from South Korea, stayed in Shanghai less than 144 hours and left straight to Germany on a direct flight. So no visa was required. We just filled in the paperwork provided on board, had copies of our return airline tickets etc. and that was it.

On the cruise after the Japan cruise we had multiple stops in China so we had to apply for a visa.
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#15
7 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
our cruise goes from Japan to Shanghai China then back to Japan, so do not think we can use the free 144 visa thing. No one will give us a straight answer! But thanks for replying anyway
#16
Germany/Sunny Isles, FL
1,792 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by moodynight
our cruise goes from Japan to Shanghai China then back to Japan, so do not think we can use the free 144 visa thing. No one will give us a straight answer! But thanks for replying anyway
In order for the rule to apply it needs to be three countries... arriving from country A to country B (Shanghai) and leave to a third country C within the time.

If your last port before Shanghai is Japan and the next after is also in Japan, you will need a visa. Only the last and next port count...

When are your dates?

PS: if your cruise is the one on 11/10 you will need a visa! It is pretty clear... and the answer as straight as can be
Unfortunately...
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