Crystal Debuts Two ‘Ancient Civilizations’ Mediterranean Sailings

LOS ANGELES, CA, January 13, 2009 – In 2009, Crystal Cruises is introducing two Ancient Civilizations-themed Experiences of Discovery itineraries through the Middle East, Holy Land and Mediterranean. Guest historians, archeologists and a foreign correspondent will bring new and substantive perspective to Cairo, Jerusalem and Jordan’s archeological site of Petra. Referred to as the “Cradle of Civilization,” the destinations offer more than five millennia of history and cultural heritage. In addition to onboard presentations, guest experts will accompany Crystal Adventures ashore. The Ancient Civilizations voyages include Crystal Symphony’s May 17 sailing from Dubai to Athens and Crystal Serenity’s October 8, Athens to Venice cruise.

“The ‘Ancient Civilizations’ voyages are designed to add relevance and perspective to ports and countries that have shaped world history,” said John Stoll, director, land programs. “Visiting these destinations in the company of renowned experts will arguably deepen our guests’ understanding and appreciation of different cultures – and how those cultures have impacted the evolution of civilization.”

Guest experts will offer commentary and insight to select Crystal Adventures, including:

  • Exploration of Luxor & Valley of the Kings – A full-day Egyptian excursion visiting the Pharaoh’s tombs, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the Temple of Luxor, accompanied by archeologist and professor Bridget Buxton, an expert on the treasures of the Middle East and Greece;
  • Rose City of Petra – An excursion out of Aqaba, Jordan, exploring this 2,000-year-old city, also accompanied by Buxton.
  • Full Day in Cairo – An intimate look at the world’s most famous monuments of antiquity, the pyramids, the Sphinx and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, accompanied by Ken Rees, a veteran broadcast journalist and foreign correspondent for the Middle East and Mediterranean, on the May 17 cruise, and historian and author Diana Preston on the October 8 itinerary.
  • Full-Day Tour of Jerusalem – From Ashdod, Israel, guests can explore this sacred city with insight from Rees.

The cruises will also feature theme-related films in staterooms and the Hollywood Theaters.

The 14-day Dubai to Athens voyage transits the Suez Canal, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden and calls in Salalah, Oman; Luxor and Cairo, Egypt and Aqaba, Jordan. The 12-day Athens to Venice itinerary calls at Santorini, Rhodes and Corfu, Greece; Ashdod, Israel; Cairo, Egypt and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Cruise fares begin at $5,690 per person, double occupancy.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the line’s website,