By Michael Coleman
Golf may not be at the top of ones agenda when traveling in Asia but Crystal Cruises is providing guests with a rare opportunity to tee it up at renowned links in Thailand and Vietnam.
Its the first time that Crystal has expanded its golf theme cruises to the continent.Â
The lines 940-guest Crystal Symphony will depart on an 11-day itinerary from Hong Kong to Singapore beginning April 20. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy a host of onboard lectures, clinics, contests and events including the chance to win a free cruise.
Meanwhile, Crystal will also be expanding its 2009 Wine & Food sailings to include cocktail and mixology curriculum in addition to its wine and food focus.
The line has made arrangements for guests to play at four Asian clubs, including: Â
Vietnam Golf & Country Club, Ho Chi Minh City The countrys first 36-hole golf club, widely regarded as the premier club in Vietnam.
Burapha Golf, Bangkok A 36-hole championship course set amid lakes, hills and tropical vegetation.Â
Laem Chabang International Country Club, Bangkok Three distinct nines: The Lakes, Mountain and Valley courses, each offering respective challenges.
Montgomerie Links, Da Nang, Vietnam Asia’s first “Montgomerie” branded golf links set against the Marble Mountains and China Beach coast.
Look also for guests to be able to sharpen their skills on board and ashore with instruction from a guest celebrity golfer and PGA golf pro.
Every detail of the program will be arranged in typical Crystal six-star fashion, from onboard practice with TaylorMade equipment to caddy, cart service and cocktails at each club. Complimentary cleaning and storage of golf clubs and golf shoes will be offered after each round.
Whether one is an avid golfer looking to conquer some of the worlds finest golf courses, or simply sharpen ones short game with tips from our onboard PGA golf instructors, there is great attention to detail at every levelÂ said John Stoll, Crystals director of land programs.Â
Even non-golfing guests traveling with golfers will have a wide selection of onboard and shoreside activities that suit most interests.Â
Crystal even offers a Luggage Concierge service where guests can ship their clubs in advance of the sailing.
The line will be offering golf-themed itineraries in the British Isles and Northern Europe, plus Canada/New England in 2009.
Food & Wine
On the food and wine front, look for two dozen of the worlds most intriguing and topical names on the culinary, wine and cocktail scenes to offer insights and instruction during voyages through the Panama Canal, Asia, Northern and Western Europe and the Caribbean aboard Crystal Symphony and the 1,080-guest Crystal Serenity.
One of the hallmarks of a Crystal vacation is the extraordinary onboard culinary experience,Â said Toni Neumeister, Crystals vice president, food and beverage operations. Were excited to pair our chefs with the highest caliber of experts to offer guests an unparalleled wine and food vacation.Â