Written by 5:47 pm Crystal, Ports

Cruise Guide: Crystal Cruises unveils 2007 world cruise itinerary

By Mike Coleman

The cruise industry, like all of us, will soon be ringing in the new year but a world cruise aboard Crystal Serenity scheduled for 2007 is creating a buzz this holiday season.

Just over a year from now Crystal Cruises, the Los Angeles-based luxury operator, will offer its 12th annual world cruise.

The 1,080-guest ship will embark on a 109-day journey that includes a return to Israel, Carnaval in Rio, three days cruising Antarctica, three days in Dubai and Cape Town, and multiple African safari options.

Departing from Miami to Southampton, England, the ship will explore 44 ports of call in 27 countries on five continents the most extensive global crossing ever offered by the line. The voyage features transits of Chilean fjords, the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, Cape Horn and the Bosporus, as well as opportunities to visit the Galapagos, Machu Picchu, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, Luxor, Petra, the Pyramids of Giza, Jerusalem, Ephesus, the Acropolis, Marrakech and safaris to Kenya, Botswana and other exotic locations.

Available in seven segments, Crystal is offering departures from Miami; Valparaíso, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Istanbul, Turkey; and Civitavecchia (for Rome), Italy. The line will be making maiden calls in Coquimbo, Chile; Maputo, Mozambique; and Gabes, Tunisia.

“We crafted an itinerary that blends the wonders of the world, sophisticated cities, romantic and unexpected ports, breathtaking scenery and a fascinating mix of cultures, both modern and ancient,” said Crystal’s president Gregg Michel.

When the ship departs South Florida it is scheduled to transit the Panama Canal before circumnavigating South America from Ecuador (for the Galapagos) to Peru, Chile (for Machu Picchu), Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Other highlights include a cruise through the Chilean fjords, the rounding of Cape Horn, cruising through Antarctica, an overnight in Buenos Aires and a stay in Rio de Janeiro during 2007’s Carnaval.

The ship then crosses the Atlantic to Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, where she will visit Cape Town for three days. The luxury vessel will head up Africa’s east coast to the Seychelles and on to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for a three-day stay.

Continuing from Dubai are ancient cities in Oman, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel (the line’s first visit since 1999), a transit of the Suez Canal, followed by the architectural wonders of Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Italy. From Rome, the world cruise concludes on a gastronomical note, blending the food, wine and spices of Italy, Spain, Morocco, Portugal and overnights in Bordeaux before arriving in Southampton.

Guests who book the entire 109-day journey will enjoy two exclusive, shoreside events; a complimentary Crystal Adventure ashore on each of the seven segments; a gala event on the eve of departure from Miami; pre-paid shipboard gratuities; private car transfers, a $1,000 shipboard credit (per person) and an array of onboard events and gifts.

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