LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2008 – As a result of guest demand, Crystal Cruises has crafted an unusual 10-day Portugal/Spain overland tour in connection with Crystal Serenity’s October Mediterranean/Canary Islands cruise and November Transatlantic crossing. The overland program is designed to sate its guests’ interests in longer Crystal cruise and land experiences – and appeal to those who want to reduce their air travel.
This year, Crystal Serenity’s annually scheduled dry dock left a 10-day gap between the last Mediterranean sailing of the season and the transatlantic itinerary to Miami. The innovative overland tour begins as soon as guests disembark from Crystal Symphony’s 12-day Barcelona-Lisbon itinerary on November 11 and concludes on November 21 when travelers re-embark the ship in Lisbon to sail the 10-day Big Band transatlantic cruise to Miami.
“Our guests have increasingly opted to create longer cruises by combining itineraries back-to-back and many were disappointed when that option was less viable with dry dock schedule,” said Thomas Mazloum, Crystal Cruises’ senior vice president, hotel operations. “The new land tour, which was actually suggested by a guest, most notably minimizes time in the air and at airports. For some of our guests, the longer vacation option is more desirable — particularly since they know we’ll pamper them throughout and have a wonderful music program planned for the crossing.”
The land program, which includes stays in five-star hotels and resorts, highlights:
- Lisbon’s Belem district, a World Heritage site founded in the 19th century
- The wild beauty of Portugal’s Arrabida Park and the surrounding fishing villages of Seimbra and Setubal
- Portugal’s walled town of Obidos; Batahla, with its famed World Heritage site monastery; and Fatima, renowned as Christian pilgrimage site
- Bilbao, the largest city in Spain’s Basque country
- Santander, with beautiful views of the sea; and Santillana del Mer, one of the best preserved towns in Spain, dating back to the 9th century
The combination of the two cruises with the Portugal/Spain land program enables travelers to enjoy three distinctive vacation segments that vary in pace and style. The port-intensive itinerary from Barcelona to Lisbon features ports in Spain, Morocco, the Canary Islands and Portugal, while the land tour allows guests to thoroughly investigate still more destinations in the two countries. Finally, the transatlantic Lisbon-Miami itinerary combines relaxing and stimulating days at sea mixed with calls in the Azores, Ponta Delgada and Turks & Caicos. In the evening, guests can dance the night away on this Big Band-themed itinerary. Crystal guests can also celebrate Thanksgiving with a lavish multi-course feast.
Travelers can also opt to begin their Crystal vacation with the 10-day Spain/Portugal land program, followed by the transatlantic cruise. Or begin with the Canary Islands cruise, followed by the 10-day land program.
The 10-day Spain/Portugal land program is priced at $10,999, per person, double occupancy. Crystal Serenity’s 12-day Canary Islands cruise starts at $4,445, while the 10-day transatlantic starts at $3,145.
The Crystal Difference
Aboard the ultra-luxurious ships of Crystal Cruises, 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 an unparalleled reputation for excellence, anchored in 11 consecutive years of “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” awards by the readers of Travel + Leisure and CondÃƒÂ© Nast Traveler magazines – the only cruise line, resort or hotel to have achieved such distinction.
For additional information or Crystal reservations, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line’s website at crystalcruises.com.