LOS ANGELES, August 15, 2011 â€“ With 2011 marking the 20th anniversary of Sloveniaâ€™s foundation as an independent nation, itâ€™s only fitting that Crystal Cruises is making a maiden call there this fall. As part of its November 16 â€œItalian Splendorâ€ sailing, ultra-luxe Crystal Serenity will visit medieval Koper, Sloveniaâ€™s largest coastal town. Six new shore excursions, spread throughout the tiny Italo-Slavic nation, provide an in-depth exploration of the history and culture well beyond the Adriatic port. Fairytale castles, oenophile indulgences, coastal hamlets, and underground geological wonders are all part of the authentic local experiences planned.
â€œSlovenia is a largely-undiscovered European gem that has suddenly become trendy in the travelsphere,â€ says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president operations. â€œOffering travelers new, intimate global experiences, delivered in our signature luxury style, are at the heart of Crystalâ€™s six-star ethos.â€
Guests can explore Koper, full of historical charm from centuries of Venetian rule…or, join a Crystal Adventure to:
Ljubljana: The countryâ€™s picturesque capital, and a former center of Yugoslavian music and arts, full of cobblestone streets and architecture ranging from the Baroque, to the Neo-classical of famed local architect Joze Plecnik.
Bled & Miramare Castles: Two majestic, storybook castlesâ€”one, the oldest in Slovenia (dating to 1011); the other, a 19th century Austro-Hungarian relic of the Habsburg era.
Postojna Cave: Twelve miles of underground stalactite-filled passages, galleries, and cathedral-like chambers, with the worldâ€™s only operating cave train.
Wine Region: A wine-tasting visit to Sloveniaâ€™s most prominent winemaker (out of 40,000 in the country), where the vines pre-date those of Italy, France, and Spain.
Piran: A quaint, Mediterranean-style coastal town, full of Venetian Gothic buildings and narrow, atmospheric streets.
PortoroÅ¾: A modern, beachside resort hub for sunbathing, swimming, and thermal spas.
Trieste: A crossroads of Germanic, Latin, Austro-Hungarian, and Slavic trade and culture, situated just over Sloveniaâ€™s border in Italy.
Besides Koper, the 11-day Thanksgiving sailing visits: Venice (embarkation overnight), Dubrovnik, Sicily/Catania, Naples, and Civitavecchia/Rome, Livorno/Florence and Barcelona (debarkation overnight). Fall Sale fares start at $4,970/person, double occupancy, and include:
Free air from 24 North American gateways (or generous air credit),
$1,000/person â€œAll Inclusiveâ€”As You Wishâ€ shipboard spending credit,
Additional savings, credits, and perks for traveling with someone new-to-Crystal (â€œBonus Share the Experienceâ€ program)
Family or friend groups of ten or more can enjoy â€œCrystal Family Memoriesâ€ bonuses.
A seven-day option is also available from Venice to Rome. Special fares start at just $3,200/person, double occupancy, and include:
Free air from New York (JFK)
$500/person â€œAll Inclusiveâ€”As You Wishâ€ shipboard spending credit
Crystal Cruisesâ€™ passion for creating unique luxury experiences both on land and at sea have helped earn the company top ratings from international travelers for two decades, including Travel + Leisure magazineâ€™s recent â€œWorldâ€™s Bestâ€ award for the 16th year in a row.
For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.