LOS ANGELES, September 17, 2007 – In spring 2008, Crystal Cruises will take guests into the high Himalayas to explore the remote, land-locked Kingdom of Bhutan. Following is another unprecedented journey into the heart of India to showcase Delhi, the fabled pink city of Jaipur, and Agra and the Taj Mahal. Both exotic overland adventures are all new experiences created as optional pre- and post-cruise land tours for Crystal Serenity’s 2008 World Cruise, and in conjunction with the ship’s celebrated return to Mumbai, India, which the line has not featured as a turnaround port since 1999.
The Kingdom of Bhutan and Journey to Jaipur, Agra and Delhi packages are available as optional pre- and post-cruise programs departing from Mumbai during Crystal Serenity’s Indian Ocean Exploration, a 14-day voyage from Singapore to Mumbai, March 27 – April 10, 2008, and Exquisite Empires, a 16-day journey from Mumbai to Rome, April 10 – 26, 2008.
The six-night Kingdom of Bhutan adventure departs Mumbai and explores Delhi, the cultural and historical capital of India, before journeying to the ancient temples, peaceful monasteries, and bustling marketplaces of Bhutan and its imperial city of Thimphu – the only world capital with no traffic lights. Nestled high in the eastern Himalayas between India and Tibet, Bhutan is the last Buddhist Himalayan state and was not opened to tourism until 1974. As recently as the 1960’s telecommunication was non-existent and travel within the kingdom could only be done by horseback or on foot.
“It is difficult to travel to Bhutan both due to its location and the government’s cautious approach to tourism which makes it tough for travelers to gain access on their own,” says John Stoll, Crystal’s director of land programs. “This unique Crystal adventure offers unmatched access to a special place far removed from the rest of the world, along with the assurance that although travelers are exploring a remote country, they will receive the same level of service and attention they have come to expect aboard our ships.”
The four-night Journey to Jaipur, Agra and Delhi takes guests into the heart of India to explore the country’s most fabled cities and sites. Guests will discover the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Delhi, the striking architecture of Jaipur, and the beauty of experiencing the Taj Mahal at both sunrise and sunset. Throughout the journey guests will enjoy luxury accommodations at Oberoi Hotels including the Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel, a royal fortress set amid 32 acres of lush gardens.
With Crystal AdventuresÃ‚Â® Extended Land Programs, all guides, accommodations, transfers, meals and itineraries are planned and included in the package, allowing guests to relax, enjoy their travels, and benefit from the inside knowledge of experienced guides and local travel experts.
Crystal Serenity’s 14-day Indian Ocean Exploration, March 27 – April 10, 2008, begins in Singapore and calls upon the exotic port cities of Kuala Lampur/Port Kelang, Malaysia; Phuket, Thailand; Yangon, Myanmar; and Cochin and Mumbai, India. The voyage features two overnights in Yangon and an overnight in Mumbai at the end of the cruise.
Exquisite Empires, Crystal Serenity’s 16-day journey, April 10 – April 26, 2008, will take guests from Mumbai, India to the timeless cities of Salalah, Oman; Luxor & Karnak/Safaga and Alexandria/Cairo, Egypt; Crete/Aghios Nikolaos, Greece; Sicily/Catania and Naples, Italy; concluding in Rome.
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 12 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, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line’s website at crystalcruises.com.