Reservations 877·97·CRAFT  (877·972·7238)

14-Day ~ Japan and Russia Knitting Cruise (Apr 2023)

Holland America

Start Date:


April 10, 2023


End Date:


April 24, 2023

Japan and Russia Knitting Cruise (Apr 2023) ~ Knitting Cruises Description

14-Day Japan and Russia Knitting Cruise with Beth Brown-Reinsel
April 10-24, 2023



We invite you to pack up your needles and join us on this amazing adventure adventure visiting the most culturally rich ports in Japan such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, Kochi, Hakata, Kanazawa, Otaru, Aomori and Hakodate with a stop in Vladivostok, Russia. For those looking for a longer adventure, treat yourself to the full twenty-eight day adventure including a North Pacific crossing to Alaska before ending in Seattle. No matter which option you choose, we've curated the entire experience with knitters in mind. Cruise onboard the Westerdam from Yokohama where you will enjoy being pampered, learning new knitting skills and making new friends. Join us on this adventure and see for yourself why traveling with Craft Cruises makes travel easy, rewarding and fun.



Visit Japan's iconic temples, most popular cities and cultural centers while being pampered by the attentive staff of Holland America Line. For those who have cruised with Holland America you'll agree there's nothing better than unpacking once and exploring the world from the comfort of your floating home away from home. Explore exotic places by day and come back to familiar comforts where you'll have time to rejuvenate before your next day's adventure.



Japan is an island nation that is unique in many ways with an interesting blend of culture, art, tradition and nature. Those who like celebrating other cultures through food will not be disappointed. In Japan, food preparation is exquisite and ceremonious. From tea to a range of dishes, the process of preparation is taken very seriously, to the point of perfection. The secret to Japanese food is specializing in one thing and doing it perfectly. Forever. Japanese people are very private and share a strong sense of community in their tight knit circles but are also known to be welcoming, fun-loving and wacky in ways that are truly unique to Japan.



Onboard classes will be taught that focus on Japanese knitting techniques as well as some of Beth's other classes focusing on traditional knitting techniques. Japanese knitters are impeccable and Japanese patterns are presented in a graphic format that can be understood once certain rules and symbols are explained. The use of charts, symbols and motifs are critical in Japanese knitting and your onboard knitting expert, Beth Brown-Reinsel, will offer classes to help you gain a better understanding of the Japanese style of knitting. Classes will include Japanese Motifs and Charts, Knitting with Silk Hankies (Mawata) and some other perennial favorites such as Unique Latvian Cuffs and Latvian Mittens. Beth is looking forward to sharing her abundant knowledge of traditional knitting techniques with everyone on this cruise.



14-Day Japan and Russia Knitting Cruise Highlights



Craft Cruises works hard to select only the best itineraries, tour companies, and craft-related places of interest, curating memorable experiences for our participants. These highlights bring each destination to life by opening doors that would otherwise remain shut. These enriching encounters help our participants go home with memories that last a lifetime.


  • Delight in the blooming of the cherry blossoms. Springtime is the best time to visit Japan. With its many climatic zones blooming starts as early as January in subtropical areas on the southern island but on the northern island and in the larger cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kobe, the cherry trees bloom in April.

  • In Tokyo, visit the Nihon Vogue knitting school and meet a local Japanese knitwear designer.

  • Visit the Nihon Vogue yarn store, Keito Shop.

  • Shop at Japan's largest handcraft store, Yuzawaya.

  • Learn about the production and history of silk at the Yokohama Silk Museum.

  • While in Omaezaki sample matcha, or green tea. Here visitors can learn about tea farming, harvesting, and methods of preparation.

  • While in Kobe, visit Kyoto, Japan's spiritual center and ancient Nara, with its marvelous temples.

  • In Kyoto, visit the Kinkaku-Ji Temple or Golden Pavilion. This Zen Buddhist temple was originally built in 1397 as a retirement dwelling for Shogun Yoshimitsu, becoming the most famous building in Japan.

  • In Kyoto, visit the Nishijin Textile Center for a weaving demonstration and a Kimono fashion show. After lunch, head to the Kyo-Yuzen Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts. There will be demonstrations highlighting Japan's best-known dyeing technique used for making beautiful kimonos and obi sashes.

  • Also, in Kyoto, learn about Avril and visit their flagship store in one of the oldest shopping districts in Kyoto. Be wowed by over 300 different types of unique yarns displayed beautifully from floor to ceiling, all from mostly natural fiber sources such as cotton, hemp, silk, and wool, bamboo, Japanese paper, and stainless steel with a selection of over 1200 colors.

  • Take in the fantastic views in Kochi. Here visitors enjoy lush subtropical flora, including hibiscus flowers blanketing the landscape, as well as some of the most unusual trees found in Japan.

  • In Fukuoka, visit the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum in a traditional house with exhibits on local history, handicrafts, and weaving. Here visitors learn more about Japanese culture and watch local artisans at work.

  • Step into an enchanted world in Kanazawa. Here you can see one of Japan's most famous gardens, Kenrokuen, as well as visit the large bustling Omicho Market that sells almost anything you can imagine, including fresh local delicacies in 'the outdoor Kitchen of Kanazawa.' Watch the city and market come to life through the informed narration of a local guide.

  • Take a walking tour of Vladivostok, a city often compared to San Francisco with its hills and streetcars, and possibly shop for handmade Russian folk art, local crafts, and maybe even some yarn and handmade knitwear.

  • In Otaru, you will appreciate the chance to visit Sapporo's Nijo Ichiba Market, famous for its freshly-caught seafood, as well as surrounding pastureland with grazing sheep and mountain hamlets. Take a tour, including time for folk art demonstrations, folkloric performances, and time to take in the many parks full of flowering beds and world-famous sculptures. Make sure, if time allows, to go up in the 482-foot-tall Sapporo TV Tower, which offers a dynamic view of the city and surrounding areas.

  • While in Hakodate, visit Fort Goryokaku, no longer an operational fort; this public park is considered a unique and breathtaking spot to view 1,600 cherry blossom trees along the star-shaped moats. For an aerial view of the park, ascend the observation tower, which, in addition to the blossoms, also provides a good view of Mt. Hakodate, the Tsugaru Strait, and the Yokotsu mountain range from afar.

  • Visit the Akan International Crane Center or head out to Kushiro Shitsugen National Park, the most extensive marshland in Japan. Conservation efforts have brought back Japan's iconic, Red-crested cranes from near extinction.