LOS ANGELES, February 19, 2008 – In keeping with increasing demand for extraordinary experiences, Crystal Cruises is introducing VIP access to the British Open and excursions to four of the world’s finest and most prestigious British Isles courses. Available during Crystal Symphony’s 12-day sailing roundtrip from London on July 13, the golf excursions offer play at Gleneagles King’s Course, The Royal Belfast Golf Club, and other coveted courses.
Complementing these tours are two opportunities for golf enthusiasts to attend the British Open at the Royal Birkhead Golf Club in Liverpool, which will feature top players Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and defending champion Padraig Harrington. One option provides admittance, while the other extends VIP access to the final round and a hosted event.
“The ports of Scotland and Ireland are a natural for a luxury golf experience, and we’ve made these exclusive courses very accessible for avid golfers,” said John Stoll, Crystal Cruises’ director, land programs. “Even if couples or families have only one golfing member, Crystal is providing a perfect European vacation. One can golf for five of the 11 days, while the others can enjoy Crystal’s luxury resort and a wealth of sightseeing opportunities in the British Isles.”
Guests can take advantage of standard Crystal amenities that are par for the course, including the instruction of an onboard PGA golf pro, Taylormade equipment for onboard clinics, a putting green and a driving range.
* Ã‚Â· Gleneagles King’s Course
Since its opening in 1919, the challenging Edinburgh course tests the skills of golf’s aristocracy – both veteran and professional;
* Ã‚Â· K-Club
Designed with major tournament play in mind, the Arnold Palmer Course at the Kildare Hotel & Country Club in Dublin hosted the 2006 Ryder Cup;
* Ã‚Â· O’Meara Course at Carton House
The parkland course in Dublin, designed by U.S. Open and Masters Champion Mark O’Meara, presents a challenge to even the most focused golfers; and
* Ã‚Â· The Royal Belfast Golf Club
Founded in 1918, the golf club is the oldest in Ireland, providing golfers with a true test of their skills.
The flexible program allows travelers to spend two full days at the Gleneagles club. In Dublin, guests can split their time between K-Club and O’Meara, and devote another full day at the Royal Belfast Golf Club.
The British Isles itinerary also offer a host of experiential tours for non-golfers, with more than a dozen excursion opportunities in virtually every port visited. Options range from Guinness and Scotch tastings to a Falconry lesson at a private estate to a hot air balloon ride over Belfast.
The itinerary calls in Edinburgh, Dublin, Liverpool and Belfast, with fares starting at $4,980 per person. Golf tours range from $446 to $995 per person. The general admittance and VIP British Open tours are $292 and $991, per person, respectively.
In 2008, Crystal also has three comprehensive golf-themed cruises with play at the Monte Carlo Golf Club and courses throughout, New England, Europe and the Canary Islands. Crystal recommends that golfers bring their own clubs, as rental at the courses is based on availability. For added convenience, guests can ship their golf clubs from the U.S. through Crystal’s partnership with Luggage Concierge by calling 877-231-6408.
The Crystal Difference
Aboard Crystal Serenity, refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, extensive choices and quality, providing worldwide vacations that bridge the best of land and sea.
Crystal Cruises enjoys a reputation for excellence, grounded in over a decade of prestigious accolades. The line was voted “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” by the readers of CondÃƒÂ© Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines, respectively, for 11 and 12 consecutive years – the only cruise line, resort or hotel to have achieved such distinction. The luxury line’s spa was voted #1 in CondÃƒÂ© Nast Traveler’s recent poll, outscoring most resort spas.