By Mike Coleman
Ultra-luxurious Crystal Cruises has unveiled 12 sophisticated theme sailings in 2008 aboard its two globe-trotting vessels.
A new arts and antiquities program, a classical music voyage with distinguished performers and an expanded series of golf cruises with tee times at some of the world’s most exclusive courses highlight the line’s offerings. Look also for jazz, big band and ballroom dancing and film- and theatre-themed cruises, perennial favorites among Crystal guests.
Long renowned for its onboard enrichment, Crystal’s theme offerings seek to tap the interests of today’s savvy traveler with in-depth experiences and varied programming emphasizing destination, culture, history and contemporary trends.
“Whether the cruise theme is a lifelong passion or a budding interest, guests will enjoy access to industry experts, talented performers and culinary stars who bring an unparalleled depth of knowledge to today’s hot topics and interests,” said Kristin Turner, the line’s manager of entertainment.
The 12-day arts and antiquities cruise, beginning Oct. 6, will explore the Greco-Roman empire aboard a cruise from Athens to Rome featuring artists, architects, and experts from top museums and auction houses. The Mediterranean voyage includes an overnight in Cairo aboard Crystal Serenity.
Guest lectures and live performances will highlight the classical music cruise. The works of Beethoven, Bach and Mozart will fill the air aboard Crystal Symphony during an 11-day voyage to the Baltic’s imperial cities.
Famed mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade headlines the entertainment lineup. The trip also includes an option to attend a performance at Russia’s famed Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and a classical concert at the Hermitage.
Meanwhile, Crystal’s wine and food festival, now in its 12th year, will be held on six voyages and again feature world-renowned chefs and wine experts. Look for lectures, demonstrations, special menus and tastings aboard and ashore during five voyages to Asia, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and New England and Canada.
Also returning is the line’s golf cruise, expanded from one voyage in 2007 to three sailings in 2008. Itineraries in April, September and October feature instruction by top PGA pros. Shore excursions offer optional play at prestigious courses, including the Monte Carlo Golf Club, and other links throughout New England, Europe and the Canary Islands.
In January, guests will enjoy historical and cultural insights from lecturers of the Smithsonian Institute as they transit the Panama Canal. Later in the year, look for experts in Tai Chi, yoga and Pilates to focus on rejuvenation and wellness aboard voyages to South America and the Caribbean.