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Asuka II, a cruise ship owned and operated by NYK Cruises Co. Ltd. (head office: Yokohama; president: Hiroshi Hattori), has been recognized as the 2016 Cruise Ship of the Year, marking the 25th straight year that Asuka II or its predecessor Asuka has been selected for this honor.

The readers of the Japanese magazine Cruise vote annually for their favorite ship and share their reasons, and this year Asuka II was selected as both the best Japanese-flagged ship and best overall ship. In fact, the Asuka cruise brand has been honored as Cruise Ship of the Year every year since the recognition was first presented in 1992.

One voter commented, “Even though I had plenty of time on the ship, there is still more I want to see.” Another said, “The interior was gorgeous, and the services provided by the crew were excellent.” Many others emphasized the luxurious ship’s superb hospitality and reliability.

Last year, NYK marked the 25th year of service by the Asuka cruise brand. The NYK Group remains committed to offering creative cruise experiences that best meet the passions of its customers.

NYK Cruises Co. Ltd. website:

By the end of 2016, nearly 580 NYK Group volunteers comprising employees, board members, and former employees had volunteered to assist recovery activities in the area devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and Typhoon Lionrock in August 2016.

Every year since 2014, new employees at NYK have engaged in these activities. The activities and the communication with the people of the area allow new employees to consider the need for the company to play a part in society. The engagement also helps the new employees gain experience in other fields and broaden their perspectives as business persons.

Our 2016 volunteer activities to assist the recovery are highlighted below.

Period: July 7–11 2016, July 24–28 2016; two groups; four nights, five days

Participants: 43 new employees

Area: Otsuchi town and Kamaishi city in Iwate prefecture

Activity: cutting rapeseed, threshing, cleaning farms, thinning brush, etc.


Period: August 26–28 2016; two nights, three days

Participants: 17 staff members

Area: Kamaishi city in Iwate prefecture Activity: cutting rapeseed, seeding, etc.


Period: October 7–9 2016; two nights, three days

Participants: 6 staff members

Area: Rikuzentakata city in Iwate prefecture

Activity: recreation at a nursery school, making wind-breaking nets for pine seedlings, mowing grass around the temporary dwelling


Period: October 21–23 2016; two nights, three days

Participants: 6 staff members

Area: Iwaizumi town in Iwate prefecture

Activity: removing mud and sand left by Typhoon Lionrock

Comments from participants in 2016 included, “I want to do what I can and inform others about the conditions of the area,” and “The people living in the area have their own approaches to doing things, and I learned a lot from them as a member of society.”

Twelve years have passed since NYK established a specialized section to promote social contribution activities. As a good corporate citizen living in global society, the NYK Group promotes employee involvement in volunteer activities and promises to work positively in activities that contribute to society.

Hercules Leader, a pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) operated by NYK, rescued six yachtsmen in distress off the coast of Bermuda on January 19.

While Hercules Leader was sailing from the U.S. port of Jacksonville to Gibraltar, a British colony south of Spain, the vessel received a request from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to assist a yacht that had become stranded off the coast of Bermuda. The ship immediately set a course for the yacht and rescued the six sailors around noon. The following day, on January 20, the yachtsmen disembarked from Hercules Leader into a rescue boat off Bermuda, as directed by the USCG.

Afterward, NYK was offered appreciation by the USCG in writing.


About Hercules Leader

Captain: Eugen State

Flag: Japan

Crew: 25 seafarers (Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Romanian)

Gross Tonnage: 63,083 tons

Type of Vessel: Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC)

Ship Management: NYK Shipmanagement Pte. Ltd.