LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 — From the ancient cities along the Aegean and Adriatic seas to the polar ice caps of the North Cape, Crystal Cruises will offer 29 destination-rich itineraries throughout Europe in 2007. Voted the world’s best large cruise ships by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will unlock the antiquities of Europe on cruises departing April 7 through November 9.
Crystal’s 2007 Europe Collection features a vast selection of seven- to 14-day cruises with more overnight stays in the world’s grandest destinations; maiden calls to Sochi, Russia and Eidfjord, Norway’s second largest fjord; the line’s first cruises to and from Toulon, France; and, itineraries crafted around the Tall Ships regatta in Stockholm and the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh. Complementing the majority of itineraries are once-in-a-lifetime exclusive experiences such as the chance to fly a MiG fighter jet over Moscow, private cooking lessons at Le Moulin de Mougins, hot air ballooning over Bordeaux or an Iceland adventure by horseback. In southern Europe from spring through fall, 22 itineraries explore the romance and history of the Mediterranean from the west — Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands, France, Monaco; to the east — Italy, Greece, Croatia, Turkey and Egypt; and on up into the Black Sea. In summer months, travelers will discover the majesty of Northern Europe on seven enriching itineraries through the British Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, the Baltic and even the Arctic Circle.
“Crystal Cruises has individually crafted each European cruise itinerary to provide a rich combination of destinations with more overnight stays and more time in ports,” says Bill Smith, Crystal’s senior vice president, sales and marketing. “Whether taking a shorter seven-day jaunt or combining several unique cruises to create the ultimate European exploration, luxury travelers will enjoy the grandeur of Europe and the award-winning Crystal experience.”
Highlights of Crystal Serenity’s Mediterranean season include:
- Three seven-day cruise options in May and June are offered in addition to 12-day itineraries.
- For the first time, some of Crystal’s Mediterranean cruises will begin or end in Toulon, France; cruises also depart from Venice, Lisbon, Athens, Monte Carlo, Rome, Istanbul and London.
- All itineraries offer at least one overnight port call or late night stay in cities such as Istanbul, Monte Carlo, Venice, Sorrento, Cannes, Odessa, Alexandria, Athens and Lisbon.
Highlights of Crystal Symphony’s Northern Europe and Baltic season include:
- Two nights, three days in St. Petersburg on several Baltic itineraries.
- Overnights in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bordeaux and Edinburgh.
- A Tall Ships theme cruise adds insights on the world’s largest sailing event, hosted by Stockholm in 2007.
- A 14-day North Cape itinerary from Copenhagen to Stockholm crosses the Arctic Circle en route to Spitsbergen.
- Lesser known yet fascinating ports of Tallinn, Estonia and Arhus, Denmark.
Crystal Adventures Ashore
For those seeking to venture farther inland, Crystal’s European season features three diverse Extended Land Programs, offered pre- or post-cruise on selected itineraries:
- A journey into the world of ancient castles, palaces and monuments in Prague & Budapest for five-nights on Mediterranean voyages from Rome.
- Five nights in Vienna & Salzburg showcase Austria’s musical history on Mediterranean cruises from Venice.
- Guests also have the opportunity to experience the spectacular scenery of Europe aboard the Orient-Express pre- and post-cruise depending on itinerary.
The onboard travel experience is enhanced with the line’s renowned Crystal VisionsÂ® Enrichment Program including destination-specific lectures by the Smithsonian Institution, a PGA-hosted Golf Cruise, guest speakers from the Sotheby’s Institute, and Crystal’s acclaimed Wine & Food Festival offered on several European itineraries. Guests will also enjoy the progressive programming offered in conjunction with the line’s Creative Learning Institute, providing Berlitz language lessons and Yamaha keyboard classes. For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line’s website at www.crystalcruises.com.