Remarkable experiences. extraordinary value.

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

22 Nights featuring Ulaanbaatar, the Gobi Desert, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Mt. Fuji

Includes: International Airfare, Hotel, Tours, Transfers and More!

Land Program: Includes Full-day Guided Tours on Most Days

Start Date: Aug 9, 2024
(Sailing Aug 19, 2024)

About This Journey

Mongolia, known for its vast landscapes and nomadic lifestyle, is often regarded as the last frontier for travel – an untouched destination few can claim to know. This remote region of the world is an explorer’s dream, as the lack of mass tourism provides a truly authentic and intimate experience for the few travelers who visit these nomadic homelands. Hospitality bears strong roots in Mongolia’s culture, and it is one of the only places left on earth where nomadic life is still a living tradition. On this incredible 22-night Enrichment Journey you will experience the local hospitality firsthand, becoming fully immersed in the culture as you chat with locals over a traditional dinner in their ger (home). You will learn about the history of the Mongols and enjoy traditional dance, music and singing. You will marvel at the natural landscapes as you explore the dunes of the Gobi Desert, sleep under the stars in traditional ger accommodations and watch wild horses gallop along the vast plains. Then, travel to Japan to start the second half of your cultural Journey. In Tokyo you will visit temples and shrines, relax on a river cruise and experience traditional Japanese customs. Then, embark the Celebrity Millennium for your cruise to six different ports in Japan and one in South Korea, each providing a unique opportunity to discover the deeply rooted culture of the region. For those who are intrigued and inspired by immersive cultural experiences, this is truly the Journey of a lifetime.

Small Group Departure—due to the numerous cultural activities and interactions with local families, this Enrichment Journey will have a maximum of 20 guests.

Visits: Celebrity Millennium, 36997, Ulaanbaatar, Gobi Desert, Terelj National Park, Tokyo, Kobe, Kyoto (Osaka), Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Jeju Island, Kagoshima, Mt. Fuji (Shimizu).

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan


Start Date: August 9, 2024
(Sailing August 19, 2024)

Day Port Arrival Departure
1 Arrive Ulaanbaatar – Transfer to Hotel and Welcome Dinner
2 Ulaanbaatar – City Tour
3 Ulaanbaatar – Tour of Hustai National Park
4 Ulaanbaatar to Gobi Desert – Tour of Gorge
5 Gobi Desert – Tour of Dunes and Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs
6 Gobi Desert to Terelj National Park – Naadam Show
7 Terelj National Park to Ulaanbaatar – Tour of Chinggis Statue and Farewell Lunch
8 Mongolia to Tokyo – Flight and Tokyo and Welcome Dinner
9 Tokyo –Cultural and city tour
10 Tokyo –Cultural and city tour
11 Tokyo – Transfer to the Yokohama Port for Embarkation 8:00 PM
12 At Sea
13 Kobe, Japan 8:00 AM 11:59 PM
14 Kyoto (Osaka), Japan 8:00 AM
15 Kyoto (Osaka), Japan 5:00 PM
16 Hiroshima, Japan 10:00 AM 7:00 PM
17 At Sea
18 Nagasaki, Japan 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
19 Jeju Island, South Korea 7:00 AM 4:00 PM
20 Kagoshima, Japan 10:00 AM 7:00 PM
21 At Sea
22 Mt. Fuji (Shimizu), Japan 7:00 AM 7:00 PM
23 Tokyo, Japan – Disembarkation and Transfer to Airport 6:30 AM

Interested in the land program without the cruise? Call us for a quote.

Land Program

Day 1 – Arrive Ulaanbaatar


Upon arrival at the airport, meet your Enrichment Journey guide, who will assist with transferring you to the hotel. After checking in, you will have some time to get settled in. This afternoon, meet your guide in the lobby and head south towards the city’s main park and enter a small theater, where we will enjoy an intimate performance of music and dance by the Tumen Ekh Ensemble. After the show, sit down to dinner at one of the city’s best traditional Mongolian restaurants. (Please note: flights to Ulaanbaatar from the U. S. will require a connection. In the event a connecting flight to Ulaanbaatar is not available on the Journey start date you will be provided with an airport hotel overnight a day early). (D)

Note: if you wish to spend more time in Ulaanbaatar, ask your Personal Vacation Manager about the optional hotel extension – which will add one night to your Ulaanbaatar hotel stay.

Day 2 – Ulaanbaatar

Gandan Monastery

After a leisurely breakfast, meet your guide in the hotel lobby and drive a short distance to Gandan Monastery. This Tibetan-style monastery is situated on the edge of the city’s ger district and was constructed by the order of Emperor Yongzheng in 1727. It was one of the few monasteries to escape the Soviet purges of the 1930s, being spared as an example of Mongolia’s feudal past. Since the fall of communism in 1990 it has been renovated and restored into a working monastery and currently has over 150 monks in residence. We will enter the temples, including that of the Mijig Janraisig with its enormous golden Buddha statue, then proceed to the old temple complex to listen to the chanting ceremonies. Afterwards, walk a short distance to visit a Mongolian Shaman and experience a traditional shamanic ritual performance.

Mongolian Shaman

The ancient practice of shamanism has been protected by Mongolia’s constitution since 1992. Many modern Mongols consider shamanism not as a religion, but rather as a way to communicate with people who lived long ago. We will then drive a short distance to the architectural masterpiece of the Choijin Lama Temple and enjoy lunch on the terrace of a secluded café overlooking the temple museum.



Bogd Khan Winter Palace

In the afternoon we will visit the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, built by the spiritual leader and theocratic ruler of Mongolia, Bogd Khan, between 1893 and 1903. The palace complex consists of seven temples, grouped symmetrically around two courtyards, with the exterior finishes painted in bright red, green, blue, white, and gold. After the death of the Khan in 1924, the Winter Palace was turned into a museum, and today the collection includes over 8,000 pieces. Afterwards, we will continue to the impressive National History Museum, which showcases the country’s fascinating past. Return to the hotel where the rest of the evening will be at your leisure. (B, L)


Day 3 – Ulaanbaatar and Hustai National Park

Hustai National Park horses

Hustai National Park horses

This morning we will journey outside of the city, where a local community of nomadic herders will spend several hours with our group to demonstrate their traditional way of life. Observe them tending to their animals, watch them produce curds and dairy products, discover the manufacturing processes of felts, wool and cashmere, see a ger (traditional nomadic house) being dismantled and see how the herders move their encampment using yak and camel carts to another location. You will also experience other traditional activities such as music and throat singing, bow and arrow shooting practice and a horse show. We will enjoy lunch at the camp, then continue on to Hustai National Park. The park’s area was used in the early 20th Century as a hunting ground for Bogd Khaan, the last king of Mongolia, and afterwards by Mongolian political officials. The park has never had a permanent settlement or been used for agriculture, and in 1993 it was designated as a Specially Protected Area, one year after the project initiation for the reintroduction of the Takhi horses. The population of horses has thrived ever since, and there are now over 220 of them roaming free in the park. In addition to the abundant plant and bird life, the park is also home to red deer, gazelle, roe deer, wild boar, argali, ibex, marmots, grey wolves, lynx, pallas cats, corsac foxes and Eurasian badgers. We will drive into the park and spend some time enjoying the outdoors and spotting wildlife. We will then drive back to Ulaanbaatar, where you will have the rest of the evening at your leisure. (B, L)

Day 4 – Ulaanbaatar to Gobi Desert

Today we will fly to the Gobi Desert. The Gobi Desert covers much of southern Mongolia, and about 40% of the country as a whole. It is characterized by barren expanses of gravel plains and rocky outcrops – with only a few areas of sand dunes.

Yolyn Am gorge

Yolyn Am gorge

After landing, we will drive to Yol Am, a deep and narrow gorge in the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains, and park up at the head of the valley. Keep a look out for birds of prey and ibex on top of the rocky outcrops above you as you wander down into the gorge. You will have some free time for a leisurely walk around the area. As you walk down the valley the steep rock faces close in and the stream that crisscrosses the path disappears under sheets of ice (there may not be much ice in the summer months but there should be some). After you have explored the area, we will continue driving through the rocky tracks – looking out for herds of white-tailed gazelles and white-naped cranes. Afterwards, continue to an eco-lodge located near the Gurvansaikhan Gobi National Park, our home in the desert for the next two nights. We will be “glamping” in an upgraded version of the nomadic traditional houses. After a relaxing dinner at the lodge, enjoy an evening of stargazing before cozying into your private ger for the night. (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Gobi Desert

Flaming Cliffs

Flaming Cliffs

After a leisurely breakfast we will drive a short distance to the Moltsog Els sand dunes, which offer magnificent desert scenery. You will then visit a local camel-herding family living nearby for an authentic cooking class. We will enter their ger, experience nomadic hospitality and sample delicious Mongolian specialties such as milk tea and homemade produce like yogurt and dried curds. Then roll up your sleeves and try your hand at Mongolian cooking! With the family’s guidance and your guide’s help, you will make one of the traditional nomadic dishes – perhaps buuz (steamed dumplings), huushur (fried dumplings) or khorkhog (steamed mutton with hot stones). Then, we will all enjoy the fruits of our efforts for lunch! In the afternoon we will head out to the Flaming Cliffs to admire the orange glow at dusk. It was here in 1923 that Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews and his exploration team from the American Museum of Natural History found the first nest of fossilized dinosaur eggs, and it remains one of the most famous paleontological sites in the world. Afterwards, you will board a camel or a motorized vehicle (at your choice) for a dune ride and some gathering time with your fellow travelers while enjoying hot beverages and snacks. In the end of the day, we return to the lodge for dinner and enjoy your last night in the Gobi Desert. (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Gobi Desert to Terelj National Park

Ger (traditional nomadic house)

Terelj National Park with a ger (traditional nomadic house) in view

Return to the capital by air and then journey east to the Terelj National Park. The National Park yields some great scenery which makes it a very popular weekend getaway for the locals. We will pass through the main valley and then head outside of the main tourist area toward the Terelj Hotel, the most luxurious hotel in Mongolia. After settling in to the hotel, you are in for a special treat! Performers and athletes from the area will give our group a private show—a “Mini-Naadam”—where you will experience the true essence of Mongolia’s rich culture and sporting prowess. The full festival, held in mid-July, is the nation’s largest holiday and includes many interesting traditions such as wrestling, horse racing, archery and horse herder competitions. All those contests plus a traditional Mongolian dance show will be performed privately for our group within the Terelj National Park. After the fun and festivities, return to your hotel where you can unwind at the pool, spa or jacuzzi, or perhaps have a drink in one of the distinctive lounges. (B, L, D)

Please note that Enrichment Journeys must have a minimum of ten guests on this tour to host a private show. If the group size is less than ten, we will replace the show with alternate cultural experiences.

Naadam Festival

Naadam Festival

The Naadam Festival is the ultimate celebration of nomadic and Mongolian culture. Naadam, which means “games”, is traditionally celebrated in every town and rural district across the country in July. This festival has been held for centuries as a form of memorial celebration, as an annual sacrificial ritual honoring various mountain gods. It features the three manly sports: wrestling, archery and horse racing. The strongest wrestlers, fastest horses and expert marksmen come together to compete for national and regional titles. Local festivities and merry-making are also key features – something that everyone is encouraged to participate in!

Day 7 – Terelj National Park to Ulaanbaatar

Chingis Khaan Statue

Chingis Khaan Statue

On the way back to Ulaanbaatar, we will stop at the remarkable Chinggis (Genghis) Khan Statue complex near Erdene.Built in 2008, the statue is 130 feet tall and depicts the renowned Mongolian leader on horseback, at the place where, according to legend, he found a golden whip. The statue is symbolically pointed east towards his birthplace. Once you arrive, you will have the option to climb up inside until you reach the exterior staircase, which runs up the mane of the horse to a viewpoint overlooking the Tuul River, the Terelj National Park and the hills of Khan Khentii, Chinggis’ homeland. Then it’s back to Ulaanbaatar to enjoy a farewell lunch in one of our favorite city restaurants. The rest of the day will be at your leisure. (B, L)

Day 8 – Ulaanbaatar to Tokyo

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. You will be greeted by your guide at the airport and transferred to your hotel for check-in. This evening, rejoin the group for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. (B, D)

Day 9 – Tokyo

Japanese Taiko Drum

Japanese Taiko Drum

Begin the day with a visit to Asakusa Sensoji Temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Travel back in time as you enter through the iconic gate at the entrance, stroll through the sacred grounds, explore the enormous temple and marvel at the intricately carved five-story pagoda. Then, head to a special venue to learn about Taiko, a traditional Japanese drum which has been used in festivals for over 2,000 years. You will learn how to play Taiko from a professional performer while learning about its origin and influence on Japanese culture.


Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills

After lunch at a local restaurant, board a river boat and enjoy an afternoon cruise along the Sumida river, providing you with a new perspective from which to appreciate the ancient and modern aspects of the city. We will then visit Ginza, Tokyo’s upscale shopping and entertainment district. In the evening, visit the Roppongi Hills Observatory to take in a breathtaking view of the city skyline. Then, finish the night with a special dinner with savory Japanese food. (B, L, D)


Day 10 – Tokyo

Sushi Meal

Sushi Meal

This morning we will start our tour at the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Japan’s most famous Shinto shrine. Nestled within a lush forest in the middle of the city, this peaceful oasis will make you forget that you’re in bustling Tokyo. Back in the city, we will witness Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing, and explore the upscale Aoyama district. Our next stop is a renowned culinary studio, where you’ll try your hand at making traditional Japanese sushi. After this fun, interactive experience, sit down to a delicious lunch of your own creations. We will then take an after-lunch stroll in the peaceful setting of a traditional Japanese garden. Return to the hotel where you’ll enjoy the evening at your leisure. (B, L)

Day 11 – Tokyo Embarkation

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the port in Yokohama, where you will board the Celebrity Millennium for a 12-night cruise around Japan. (B)

Day 12–22: Cruising onboard the Celebrity Millennium (see below for cruise highlights)

Day 23 – Tokyo Disembarkation
Enjoy breakfast onboard, then disembark the Celebrity Millennium and transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

For meals not included in your land programs, all hotels chosen include a restaurant on property where you may relax and enjoy a meal. In addition, your guide is available to make suggestions on nearby dining, shopping or sightseeing.

Port Highlights

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan: Amid the endless buzzing neon signs and the overhead cable webs, Tokyo is home to some of the world’s most impressive architecture, stylish shops and 4-star restaurants. Sushi lovers will revel in Tokyo’s offering of the famous dish. And the city’s “Ramen Zones” serve up unique noodle dishes where slurping is encouraged.




Kobe, Japan

Kobe, Japan

Kobe, Japan: is a must-explore destination for anyone visiting Japan. While Kobe has always been an important port in Japan’s history, it also has a reputation for being one of the best-kept cities in the country. From classic Japanese gardens to the longest suspension bridge in the world, Kobe is a dazzling mix of tradition and modern influence.




Kyoto (Osaka), Japan

Kyoto (Osaka), Japan

Kyoto (Osaka), Japan: Discover the fascinating cultural capital of Japan, where countless temples, traditional geishas, Zen gardens, and majestic castles await. Explore Kyoto’s ancient architecture, including the stunning Golden Pavilion and the mystical red torii gates of the Fushimi Inari shrine. Savor the city’s culinary scene, from hole-in-the-wall ramen joints to Michelin-starred restaurants.



Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima, Japan: You’ll find top-notch historic and cultural institutions right at your fingertips. Hiroshima quickly rebuilt after an atomic bombing in 1945 during World War II, and history buffs will be fascinated by Hiroshima’s enduring resilience in the face of tragedy. Monuments like Peace Park and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial are a testament to the region’s history and remind us to never forget the loss of life that happened as a result of the bombing.



Nagasaki, Japan

Nagasaki, Japan

Nagasaki, Japan: It is known for its nature and closeness to the sea, making it both an important harbor city for trade and a seaside destination. Filled with history and a commitment to world peace following the atomic bombing, Nagasaki is a city of charm and character with a rich history and a must-see stop.




Jeju Island, South Korea

Jeju Island, South Korea

Jeju Island, South Korea: The mystique and folklore of Jeju Island follows you no matter where you go on the largest island in South Korea. Once a honeymooner’s island ideal for rest and relaxation, Jeju Island now offers a mix of seaside lounging and active adventuring for visitors. Whether you’re exploring its majestic caves and waterfalls or its quirky attractions like the Teddy Bear Museum.



Kagoshima, Japan

Kagoshima, Japan

Kagoshima, Japan: Sunny Kagoshima lives in the shadow of Sakurajima, an active volcano that last erupted in 2016. Kagoshima balances an air of mystery with a seaside approachability thanks to its location in Southern Japan along the coast and proximity to Sakurajima. In addition to being the capital of the Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan, the city is home to ancient castles and traditional Japanese Gardens that delight locals and visitors alike.



Mt. Fuji (Shimizu), Japan

Mt. Fuji (Shimizu), Japan

Mt. Fuji (Shimizu), Japan: It is one of Japan’s most enduring and famous sights. Not only is it Japan’s highest mountain, but it’s also an active volcano and considered sacred to the area’s residents. The surrounding areas like Tokyo and Yokohama will give you a faraway glimpse of Mount Fuji, but you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with the mountain.

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

Included Features

  • International airfare, transfers and baggage handling
  • Roundtrip airfare between Ulaanbaatar and Gobi Desert, transfers and baggage handling
  • Airfare from Ulaanbaatar to Tokyo, transfers and baggage handling
  • 7-night pre-cruise land program in Mongolia
    • Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – 4-night hotel stay
      • Welcome Dinner and Show
      • Full-day city tour
      • Full-day tour to Hustai National Park
      • Half-day tour to Chinggis (Genghis Khan) Statue
    • Gobi Desert, Mongolia – 2-night hotel stay
      • Full-day tour of Yol Am Gorge
      • Full-day tour of Moltsog Els Dunes and Bayanzag Flaming Cliffs
    • Terelj National Park, Mongolia – 1-night hotel stay
      • Full-day private cultural show and experience
  • 3-night pre-cruise land program in Japan
    • Tokyo, Japan: 3-night hotel stay
      • Welcome Dinner and Show
      • Full-day city and cultural tour
      • Full-day city and cultural tour
  • Tour Leader throughout Mongolia and Tokyo land programs and Local Tour Hosts during included tours
  • Most meals while on tour (see itinerary highlights) and all meals while onboard
  • 12-night sailing aboard the Celebrity Millennium
    • 10% off shore excursions (see “special offers”)
    • Drinks, Wi-Fi and Tips are All Included on Celebrity Cruises
  • Special Offer for Journeys on Celebrity Cruises—Ends 6/30!
    • Sail with up to $1,200 Onboard Credit and a $200 Visa Gift Card with Exclusive Tips on 2024 Sailings + Drinks and Wi-Fi—All Included. Learn More ➤

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

What to Expect on Your Trip


Most days during the land portion will include full-day tours. The overall pace is rather quick, as there is much to see in these regions, however there is a healthy mix of both visits to historical sites and time to enjoy the landscape and scenery. Most days include two meals, allowing the third meal to be at your leisure. All hotels will have a restaurant on property where you may dine, then have the rest of the evening to relax. If you wish to go out, your guide is available to make suggestions for nearby dining.

During the cruise you will have a mix of relaxing days at sea and exciting days on land to explore the port cities. You may choose from optional shore excursions, which will allow for cultural immersion, exotic meals and numerous activities.

Physical Activity

While the national parks and Gobi Desert present ample opportunity for hiking and walking, most of our tour will be enjoyed by van/coach with free time for optional walking or just sitting nearby to enjoy the views. Enrichment Journeys will do everything in our power to ensure comfort through our third-party providers, including air-conditioned buses and comfortable accommodations where applicable. However, some areas cannot be accessed by coach, so our drivers will get you as close to sites as is legally allowed. Sensible, rubber-soled walking shoes are strongly recommended. Historical sites often do not have elevators, escalators, or ramps due to the age of the building/structure. Steps can be steep and uneven. Wheelchair access at many sites is limited to extremely limited. Based on crowds and traffic, order of visits may be changed. A fold-up wheelchair may be able to be stored on the bus but requires prior arrangements. Guests must be able to transfer from their chair to the transportation. Guides/drivers are not allowed to lift or push wheelchairs, so guests requiring physical assistance must travel with a companion who can assist. Motorized wheelchairs and scooters cannot be accommodated on this group program. For the cruise portion of the trip, passengers will board and leave the ship up stairways and gangways, and you may have to walk a moderate distance to transfer to train, bus and car stations. Time spent on the road and traveling can be long, so you will need to be prepared for stretches of down time in between destinations.

Cultural Focus

This tour through Mongolia and Japan places a heavy emphasis on cultural experiences. You will encounter dishes and ingredients typical to the region that you may not have encountered before, and you will be introduced to local artistry of the region. Enrichment Journeys encourages an open mind when in unique situations and meeting people abroad. Sometimes the attractions, beaches, and cities themselves can be crowded, especially while on the cruise.

Unique Factors

This is a unique Enrichment Journey, which travels through remote locations and includes overnight stays in traditional housing units. Although we guarantee an authentic experience at a high level of comfort, guests on this Journey must be comfortable with staying in remote locations with limited facilities. If you have special needs or physical limitations, you will need to check in with your personal vacation manager before booking the trip. The temperature can vary between day and night, so pack accordingly with items that can be layered. Some guests may wish to have a light sweater or windbreaker with them.


While on tour:

Coach: Ulaanbaatar – Hustai National Park: 2 hours

Flight: Ulaanbaatar – Gobi Desert: 1.5 hours

Coach: Ulaanbaatar – Terelj National Park: 1.5 hours

Flight: Ulaanbaatar – Tokyo: 8 hours (including layover)

Please note that these times are approximate and only reflect the transportation time. Our trip may be longer due to stops for sightseeing along the way.

International Airfare:

Included international airfare is from select airports only. To inquire about a different airport, please contact your Personal Vacation Manager.

Enrichment Journeys is committed to providing remarkable experiences at extraordinary value. As a result, airlines and routes are selected to maximize that value and may involve multiple stops and extended layovers versus non-stop or direct flights. Passengers wishing to utilize specific carriers, direct/non-stop flights, Business Class upgrades, or to extend their time in any of our beginning or ending destination cities may do so by contacting Enrichment Journeys and inquiring about the Custom Airfare Program.

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

Ask about receiving 10% off all shore excursions from Shore Excursions Group!

Special Offer for Journeys on Celebrity Cruises—Ends 6/30!

Sail with up to $1,200 Onboard Credit and a $200 Visa Gift Card Exclusively from Us.

Drinks & Wi-Fi are All Included on Celebrity Cruises. 2024 departures also receive Exclusive Tips from Enrichment Journeys!


All guests must choose the same package type. View Celebrity Terms and Conditions. Offer expires June 30, 2024 or when sold out.

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

1-night Ulaanbaatar Extension (pre)

Want an extra day to adjust to the new time zone? With this optional extension you will arrive to Ulaanbaatar a day early and have one extra day to relax at the hotel before the tour starts. Note: tours are not included. Price of $140 per person (based on double occupancy) includes:

  • 1-night hotel accommodations in Ulaanbaatar with daily breakfast
  • Private transfer from airport to hotel

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

Dates & Prices

8/9/2024 Retail Value EJ Price Savings Per Person Single Rates

Prices are in USD and are based on double occupancy.

Interested in the land program without the cruise? Call us for a quote.

Airfare from LAX is included in this package. To receive a quote for another air gateway, please note that the Custom Air Fee of $50 per person is waived for all clients booked on this Enrichment Journey, and we encourage you to speak with our Air Department to discuss your options.

All prices on our website and e-Journey Travel Guide are subject to change without notice. While we make every effort to provide you the most accurate and up-to-date information, occasionally, a trip or pricing category may be misprinted or unavailable at the time of booking. In the event of an incorrect price due to typographical, photographic, or technical error, or error in pricing information received from our suppliers, we retain the right to correct the price and to refuse or cancel any bookings placed at the incorrect price. In addition, all offers, prices, and conditions of sale may be subject to change without notice including tours, included features, highlights, minimum or maximum stays, itinerary, times in port, and/or other conditions/restrictions.

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

The following hotel list is preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract for hotels a year or more in advance, unforeseen circumstances do occasionally require a change of hotel. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality or value will be substituted and you will receive confirmed hotel information with your final itinerary.


Novotel Ulaanbaatar

+976 7010 1188
Baga toiruu 6th khoroo, Sukhbaatar District, 14201 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Novotel Ulaanbaatar is a modern hotel located at the heart of the city centre, within walking distance from the famous Government House, Great Chinggis Khaan Square, offices and embassies. It is 30 minutes from Chinggis Khaan International Airport and 15m inutes from UB Railway.

2 nights at a traditional ger at Gobi Oasis Ger Camp in the Gobi Desert (or similar) including breakfast.

This is a unique and traditional housing accommodation, which does not have a website. Although the gers have an ensuite bathroom, electricity, and other comforts, please note that these accommodations will not offer the same facilities and amenities as our usual 4- and 5-star properties. Please see photos below. Please speak to your Personal Vacation Manager should you have any questions or concerns about this accommodation.

Terelj Hotel and Spa

Tel:+976 9999-2233
Terelj Rd, Gorkhi Terelj National Park 211213, Mongolia

This is the most luxurious hotel in Mongolia. Discover serenity and renewal in the Tereljmaa Spa, with its array of massages and treatments. Share time with friends and loved ones in the heated pool and Jacuzzi. Or make lifelong memories over fine cuisine and a fine Cuban cigar. Then, relax in luxurious rooms and suites designed for comfort, and accented by Mongolian antiques and contemporary art.

Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba Hotel

Tel:+81 3-5500-6711
2-6-1 Daiba, Minato 135-8701, Tokyo, Japan

Located not far from both the Haneda Airport and the heart of Tokyo, the Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba Hotel is conveniently located and has all the amenities a traveler could want. Lounge by the pool, make an appointment at the spa, or take a run at the gym during your down time. The Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba also has a beautiful view of the Tokyo Bay and Rainbow Bridge. It’s only a few miles from the center of Tokyo and the Imperial Palace.

Celebrity Millennium

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Since its inception in 1989, Celebrity has held true to its original commitment of taking the very best aspects of classic, elegant cruising and updating them to reflect current lifestyles. In 1997, they merged with Royal Caribbean International to form Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. What sets Celebrity apart from other vacation choices today is the cruise line’s passionate dedication to providing guests with a cruise experience that embodies modern luxury. This has become the definition of Celebrity Cruises and has set the worldwide standard for today’s expression of what first made cruising famous—high quality, superior design, spacious accommodations, grand style, attentive service and exceptional cuisine. Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of contemporary spaces that are at once coolly sophisticated and warmly inviting. Where the culinary experience is influenced by global cuisines and designed by their Michelin-starred chef. Where their staff provides seamless and intuitive service that’s both personal and unobtrusive. Where everything is designed to provide an unparalleled Relaxed Luxurysm resort at sea experience. Celebrity’s 15 award-winning ships offer unique experiences in more than 300 destinations on all seven continents.

Ship: Celebrity Millennium®

Celebrity Millennium® is making even more waves in the cruise world with its breathtaking upgrades, and now as one of the first cruise ships in the world to receive a Four-Star Rating by Forbes Travel Guide. From adding brand new staterooms and elevating design concepts and technology across the ship to adding The Retreat®, an exclusive experience including The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge, the change is phenomenal. These new venues combined with our award-winning Luminae are sure to please. Slip into new eXhale® bedding featuring Cashmere™ Mattresses that will surround you in luxury—literally. Marvel at completely new bathroom modernizations. Wine and dine in reimagined restaurants and lounges, including the main dining room, Oceanview Café, Sunset Bar, and Rendezvous Lounge. Surrender your senses in the newly redesigned spa. Shop in new retail boutiques. Change the way you experience the world aboard Celebrity Millennium.

Celebrity Millennium is sailing with Starlinkthe world’s most advanced broadband satellite internetto bring you high-speed connectivity for a better onboard experience.

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

Before You Go

Money Matters

How you handle your currency and financials while on the trip is up to you. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to make them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money.

ATM Machines

These are often readily available, especially in major cities. Some will charge fees on top of what your hometown bank may charge for using ATMs abroad. Look for well-marked machines that have the Visa or MasterCard symbols.

Foreign Banks

Currency can be exchanged at most banks, if needed. Ask a local host or tour manager if there is a nearby bank that is open.

Credit Cards

During your trip, you’ll find that most major credit cards are accepted. Call your specific card issuer ahead of time to find out its limitations and benefits overseas.


Do be aware that some additional charges for mini-bars, laundry and room service will not be included in the tour package. Plan accordingly for these extra charges.

Packing Guidelines

Pack as simply as possible for easy transfers and customs screenings. Check with your domestic and international carriers regarding baggage guidelines, allowances, and check for additional fees. All bags will be screened before boarding flights and the cruise ship.

What to pack

Basics and layers are key to a comfortable Journey. Be sure to check the weather in the destinations you will visit, and pack accordingly. There are always unpredictable variables as well, so make sure you have one sturdy jacket and an outfit for a formal occasion too, just in case.

Here are a few key items to take on your trip:

  • Raincoat/poncho
  • Hooded jacket/fleece pullover
  • Pants with pockets
  • Skirt with pockets
  • Hat with visor & sunscreen/bug spray
  • Warm socks
  • Sturdy sandals
  • Practical shoes for walking/easy hiking
  • Extra pair of prescription sunglasses and/or glasses (if needed)
  • Camera(s)

Have back-ups for everything to avoid disappointment. Charge batteries in advance and bring extra film or digital memory cards. If bringing a high-end camera, consider investing in insurance to protect your asset.

Luggage Screening Process

To pass through screening, have liquids either in small containers and bagged, or in checked luggage. All valuables necessary for the trip should be on your person at all times, if possible. This includes medications and documentation. We recommend one main bag and a carry-on, per airline guidelines for weight and size.


Have all your bags labeled with your name and address clearly marked. Add something to you luggage that is recognizable in the event your bags are misplaced. You may also consider marking your bags with “Enrichment Journeys” for efficiency.

Carry-on items

In many countries, including the US, large liquid containers are not allowed in carry-ons. On the way back into The States, food or agriculture items are prohibited. If you have questions about a certain item, visit for a list of items that cannot be packed.

Airport transfers

Airport transfers are included as part of your Enrichment Journey. Local representatives will advise you of the departure time from your hotel the night before departure. Generally speaking, arrangements have been made to have you at the airport approximately three hours in advance of departure, though this may vary depending on local circumstances. At the end of the cruise, an airport transfer will also be provided. Please advise your Personal Vacation Manager if you do not require transfer arrangements at the time of booking your Journey.

Cell phones

Some cell phones will work overseas, but incur additional charges for the use. Choose whether you would like to add an international plan by calling your carrier, or consider purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone overseas. However, in some destinations, many smartphones and tablets can pick up wireless Internet for free.

Protecting the Value of Your Travel Investment

Enrichment Journeys offers a comprehensive travel insurance package you can purchase alongside your trip. It eases the mind and lets you cancel your trip for a covered reason up until the departure date with a full refund of the Journey.

The insurance covers a wide variety of incidents, including travel delay, emergency medical services, and even baggage delay. You will also receive a pre-existing medical conditions waiver if travel insurance is purchased within 14 days of your initial deposit. For a full list of coverage provided, visit the FAQ section of the website.

Medical Issues and Handicaps

As with any extensive trip abroad, our excursions with Enrichment Journeys will require some physical capabilities, including transfers from cruise ships, walking on cobblestone streets and navigating through some busy cities with guides. Although we encourage all types of travelers to join us, we do ask you are aware of your own physical limitations. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual care to those who may have walkers, wheelchairs or other aids. Enrichment Journeys also cannot accommodate pregnant women past their six month gestation period. Please speak with one of our Personal Vacation Managers to see if certain itineraries are suitable for you and your needs. We are happy to suggest other viable options for you that are more accessible.

Per the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, travelers have the right to be reasonably accommodated in terms of tours in public situations. However, the laws do not apply for trips and outside the United States. So you must let Enrichment Journeys know ahead of time of any physical limitations, including information added to our questionnaire that needs to be filled out by all passengers. Failure to inform Enrichment Journeys of these limitations could result in refusal to participate, whether it be at the airport through the airline, on board the ship or at the accommodations booked.

If you have any sort of prescription medication, this should be a number one priority in packing. Bring extra, just in case. A small medical kit is also advisable for quick access to remedy minor aches and pains.

Briefing sessions

A local host or tour manager will be happy to guide you through the trip and answer all of your questions. Upon arrival to your destination, an Enrichment Journeys representative will meet with the group and go over items such as the daily schedule, weather and local customs.


All hotels booked by Enrichment Journeys are held to a high standard of comfort and quality, in accordance to international accommodation standards and rating systems. However, each accommodation varies so you may experience various types of properties throughout your excursions.

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

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Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

Regional Information

Travel documentation

Have your passport and visas ready and available at all checkpoints. Scan and copy these documents to print out. It is recommended that you e-mail a copy to yourself and someone back home in the event these documents are misplaced. Also, it may be worth bringing an international ID or license.

Passport and Visa

To travel internationally, you must have a passport in good condition, and it must be valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your trip. Visa requirements change frequently and for various reasons. As a result, our Personal Vacation Managers are not always able to provide visa information. The best way to obtain up-to-date information regarding visa requirements is to visit the official US government website for Americans traveling abroad, Travel.State.Gov (Canadian citizens should visit, for all other countries please visit your government website or local embassy), which details specific information on the countries you would like to visit, including visa requirements.

You may also use a third-party visa service. These services require an additional service fee but make the process of applying for a visa much simpler.


Vaccinations are recommended to protect one’s health from preventable diseases abroad. It is always good to have routine vaccinations up to date when traveling for ailments such as chickenpox, measles, and the flu shot. Use your own discretion when deciding on what vaccinations to have based on your preferences and personal medical history. During your Enrichment Journeys tour, the utmost care will be taken with prepared food, atmosphere and other elements, so the likelihood of contracting diseases is scarce.

For a list of recommended vaccinations based on destination, visit or feel free to contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention directly at 1-800-232-4636.

Electric Current

Electric Current
You will need an adaptor for some parts of your trip. To see what the plugs will look like at your destination, visit and click on each country from the right menu.

You may also need to use a converter. Most countries outside of North and Central America use 220-240 V, whereas the U.S. and Canada use 110 V. However, most chargers these days have a box which will act as a converter so that it can be used in all countries around the world. If your charger box says “Input: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz” then you do NOT need to use a converter (but you may still need an adaptor so that the plugs fit in the socket).

Some hotels may have two and three pronged outlets to use for various appliances. Ship cabins also have outlets for you to use with their converter. However, we recommend having at least one or two adaptors with you, as we cannot guarantee that all hotels will be able to accommodate this.

Local Currency

Mongolia uses the Mongolian tögrög, also known as the Mongolian Tughrik (₮), currency code MNT

South Korea uses the Korean Republic Won (₩), currency code KRW

Japan uses the Japanese Yen (¥), currency code JPY

Please visit for the current exchange rate.

How you handle your currency and financials while on the trip is up to you. Some people prefer to exchange all their money in advance, while others will rely solely on credit cards. We suggest having at least some local currency with you during the trip, at least enough to take a taxi if needed. Consider calling your bank ahead of time to make them aware of your international travel, especially when using cards or withdrawing money.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is not common in Mongolia, though it is of course appreciated. Expect several instances throughout the hospitality industry that allow for tipping. Have small bills ready for hotel staff, boat crew, restaurant servers, drivers, guides, and baggage handlers. If you have a meal outside the itinerary or hire a resident driver, a few dollars in the local currency is customary.

It is not customary to tip in East Asia (including Japan) and may even be considered an insult. Your tip may be politely refused, or end with a staff member chasing you down the street because they thought you forgot your change. In the hospitality industry (hotels, etc) it is sometimes acceptable, however if you would like to tip a bellman or other hotel staff member it is best to do it discreetly (preferably in an envelope). Tipping a tour guide is more accepted and probably the only occasion where you will provide a tip.

Gratuities are included for group meals, at hotels, and at airports. The host, guide, or tour manager can be tipped roughly $8.00-$12.00 USD per person, per day. Drivers can be tipped $5 USD per person, per day. Onboard the ship, gratuities are already included when sailing with Celebrity Cruises.

For more information about when and how much to tip in each country, feel free to speak with your tour guide at the start of your Journey. A good reference for international tipping is

Time Differences

Please be aware that you may be crossing through several time zones throughout your Journey. To view a time zone map, visit


With the tour covering various regions, you will most likely come in contact with warm and/or cool weather, occasional rain, wind and/or damp environments. Check the weather online before departing for an up-to-date look at the conditions in major destinations.

Many countries outside of North America use Celsius. Here is a °C to °F quick reference guide:

-5° C = 23° F 5° C = 41° F 15° C = 59° F 25° C = 77° F 35° C = 95° F
0° C = 32° F 10° C = 50° F 20° C = 68° F 30° C = 86° F 40° C = 104° F

High/Low Temperatures in Fahrenheit:

Ulaanbaatar 3/-27 12/-22 32/1 52/21 63/32 73/46 79/52 73/46 63/32 46/19 23/-6 7/-20
Gobi Desert 28/-9 33/-6 55/0 70/28 79/43 86/54 93/63 86/54 79/39 66/25 50/12 28/61
Tokyo 50/36 51/37 57/42 66/51 73/59 78/66 85/73 88/76 82/70 72/59 63/50 55/41
Jeju Island 47/38 50/39 56/43 64/50 72/58 76/66 85/74 86/76 79/69 71/60 61/50 51/41

Practice the Local Language

Knowing a few phrases in the local vernacular can be a wonderful way to connect with people and feel immersed in the culture. Here are some keywords and phrases:

Mongolia: Mongolian

  • Сайнуу (Sain by noo): Hello
  • Баяртай (Ba-yar-tye): Goodbye
  • Тийм (tiim): Yes
  • Yгүй (Ugui): No
  • Баярлалаа (Ba-yar-la-laa): Thank you
  • Зүгээр (Zügeer): You’re Welcome

Visit for more phrases with sound.

Japan: Japanese

  • Yaa (Yah): Hi
  • Sayōnara (Cy-o-na-ra): Good Bye
  • Hai (Hi): Yes
  • Īe (E-yah): No
  • Onegaishimasu (O-neg-I-she-mas): Please
  • Arigatou (Ah-re-ga-to): Thank you

Visit for more phrases with sound.

South Korea: Korean

  • Yeoboseyo (Yo-bo-sa-yo): Hello
  • Annyeong (ann-yong): Goodbye
  • Ye (Yay): Yes
  • Ani (Ah- Nee): No
  • Budi (Boo-Dee): Please
  • Gomabseubnida (Kam-sa-ham-ni-da): Thank you
  • Ban-gap-sum-ni-da: Nice to meet you
  • Jam-shi-man-yo: Excuse me/just a moment
  • Chway-seong-ham-ni-da: I’m sorry
  • Hwa-jang-shil o-di-ye-yo: Where is the bathroom?
  • Ol-ma-ye-yo: How much is it?

Visit for more phrases with sound.

Fun Facts

Check out these interesting facts about the destinations you will visit on your Journey.


  • The two-humped Bactrian camel is native to Mongolia.
  • Approximately 30% of Mongolia’s population live as nomads.
  • Mongolia is one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world.
  • With over 250 sunny days a year, Mongolia is known as the “Land of the Blue Sky.”
  • It is rumored that ice cream was invented in Mongolia. Horsemen would often take cream as provisions on long journeys, and the galloping would shake up the cream while the cold winter temperatures would freeze it. Even today, ice cream is a favorite Mongolian snack in the winter, when freezers are not necessary. Eventually this Mongolian invention spread to China, where Marco Polo supposedly learned of it and brought back the idea to Italy in 1295.

South Korea

  • Koreans take their kimchi very seriously: it is a staple in the Korean diet, and a side of kimchi is always expected when having a meal. There are 250 kinds of kimchi, the most popular of which are cabbage, diced radish, cucumber, and water kimchi.
  • South Koreans are automatically classified at birth according to their blood type, which is a custom that originated in Japan but has become very important in South Korean culture
  • Taxis in South Korea are color-coded according to the level of service offered. A gray or white taxi is a basic car with a qualified but potentially inexperienced driver, while the black cabs are luxury cars with experienced drivers.
  • In South Korea, babies are considered one year old at birth. Koreans celebrate a person’s very first birthday in the most festive manner. On ‘Doljanchi’, the birthday baby wears a hanbok, Korea’s traditional garment and a traditional hat. No birthday cake involved, but expect a full table of traditional food for the occasion, including seaweed soup, fruits (an expensive delicacy in Korea), panjeon (Korean pancakes), and rice cakes. The food serves a higher purpose than just feeding the guests – that of helping determine the birthday baby’s fortune. Parents place several objects on the table and let the child pick his/her favorite. For example, if the child picks up a brush or book, he/she is destined to be smart. If he/she picks up money he/she will be wealthy; if he/she picks up food that means he/she will not be hungry. If the child picks up the thread, it is believed he/she will live a long life.
  • In South Korea, it is perfectly legal to drink alcohol in public. People can carry open containers of their favorite alcoholic beverage and even take a drink or two.
  • On Jeju, South Korea’s largest island, giant stone statues known as dol hareubang (old grandfather) can be found along the beaches. Newlywed women believe that if they touch the statues’ long, broad, phallic-looking noses, they will be blessed with fertility.


  • Sometimes the trains are so crowded railway staff are employed to cram passengers inside.
  • Many couples in Japan celebrate Christmas like Valentine’s Day. It is definitely more of a “lovers” holiday in Japan.
  • More than 70% of Japan consists of mountains, including more than 200 volcanoes.
  • Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan, is an active volcano (although scientists have not reached a consensus on what defines “active”).
  • A nice musk melon, similar to a cantaloupe, may sell for over $300 USD. A nice specimen of Yubari melon are often physically perfect, not like their American counterparts with dark smudges and scars.
  • There are four different writing systems in Japan: Romaji, Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji.
  • Coffee is very popular and Japan imports approximately 85% of Jamaica’s annual coffee production.

Recommended Reading List

Vacation should be easy, peaceful and, most of all, completely stress-free. Let us handle the details, so you can sit back, relax and curl up with a good book as you count down the days to your next Journey! We’ve compiled the following list of books and movies to introduce you to the destinations you are about to visit.


  • Mongolia: Mongolia by Frédéric Lagrange (Large format, limited-edition photo book)
  • Mongolia: Mongolia: Nomad Empire of the Eternal Blue Sky by Carl Robinson
  • Japan: Everyday Life in Traditional Japan by Charles J. Dunn
  • Japan: A Geek In Japan by Hector Garcia
  • Japan: Travelers of a Hundred Ages: The Japanese as Revealed Through 1,000 Years of Diaries by Donald Keene
  • Japan: Ransom by Jay McInerney
  • Japan: Pictures from the Water Trade by John D. Morley
  • South Korea: The Rain Spell by Yun Heung-gil
  • South Korea: House of Idols by Cho In-hoon

Travel Guides


  • Japan: The Seven Samurai (1954)
  • Japan: Lost in Translation (2003)
  • Japan: The Harimaya Bridge (2009)
  • South Korea: Winter Sonata TV series (2002)
  • South Korea: Secret Sunshine (2007)

Journey to Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Japan

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