Imagine the perfect cruise: the service is impeccable, your cabin is so comfortable, the kitchen is delicious; And whether you take in the views and enjoy a variety of excursions or just stay on board sipping a cocktail watching the world go by, you feel completely relaxed.
This cruise passes overland; and what a beautiful land that is! I recently rode the Seven Stars Cruise Train in Kyushu and while it’s hard to narrow it down, here are my top four highlights from this fantastic trip.
1. The atmosphere
From the moment I was picked up from my hotel and taken to the welcome lounge, I was treated to a warm welcome and attentive service, and the train itself was a combination of carefully selected design and craftsmanship.
2. Kyushu Landscape
Kyushu is a beautiful and generous land: mountains and sea, forests and volcanoes, ancient towns and rich farmland. There are beautiful views from the bedrooms, or the large windows in the living rooms where the music from cocktails and piano kept me entertained as I watched.
There are two itineraries to choose from in the Seven Stars: a shorter two-day trip for a weekend treat or a four-day trip to explore Kyushu in its entirety; from Fukuoka all the way south to Kagoshima and Kumamoto. On these longer trips, you also have the opportunity to spend the night in some of the most refined thermal resorts.
3. The views and the people
Hachiyoza Theater in Yamaga
Traditional bamboo fan
There are excursions planned during the trip, so I had the opportunity to visit local artisans and places of interest. We visited a fan maker and porcelain master Arita in his centuries-old workshops, as well as the illustrious Yachiyoza in Yamaga, an ornate kabuki theater founded in 1910 by local merchants.
4. The kitchen
Breakfast on Seven Stars train in Kyushu – Breakfast on board
Lunch on Seven Stars train in Kyushu
Time to eat!
Kyushu is famous for excellent products, fish and meat; At each meal, selected chefs turn this reward into a feast for the eyes, with exquisite flavor and wine pairings. Dietary requirements are also met with courteous staff discussing preferences with you in advance.
There was only one thing that I did not enjoy about my journey in the Seven Stars … that it had to come to an end!