By Michael ColemanÂ
It will be a summer to remember for guests embarking on either a Crystal or Princess cruise.
The ultra-luxurious setting aboard Crystal Symphony will be matched by a series of utra-exclusive shore excursions in St. Petersburg, Russia. Princess, meanwhile, will be expanding The Sanctuary its popular, adults-only onboard retreat fleet-wide.
From Russia with Love
The 940-guest Crystal Symphony will be making six Baltic cruises departing from London, Stockholm and Copenhagen, June through August, ranging in length from seven to 11 days. Each features at least two days in St. Petersburg. Five of the six cruises boast three-day stays providing guests with the opportunity to dig deeper into one of the worlds most celebrated destinations.
Look for some 30 shore excursions dubbed Crystal Adventures to include an actual flight on a MiG Fighter (zooming over Russia’s landscape at over twice the speed of sound) to a more serene, bicycle trip through Krestovsky Island.
Look also for a visit to the modest memorial apartment of author Fyodor Dostoevsky and an overnight stay in Moscow where guests will explore the Kremlin and its Armory Chamber, complete with its royal crowns, jewelry and priceless Faberge eggs. The visit also includes a trip to the Cathedral of the Assumption and Grand Kremlin Palace – typically off-limits to visitors. The famed State Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts are among the other wonders of the Russian capital guests will enjoy.
Crystal Adventures range from less than $50 to as much as $38,695 for the MIG flight.Â
The Sanctuary, which debuted in 2006 aboard Crown Princess, was an instant success. It gave passengers an ideal onboard oasis, complete with a plush, outdoor spa-inspired setting, massage cabanas, signature beverages, light meals, attentive service and relaxing personal entertainment.Â It enjoyed continued popularity on sister ship Emerald Princess, and will also be available on Ruby Princess, debuting in November.
Beginning this summer, the line’s trademark retreat will be added to Island Princess, followed by Grand Princess and Star Princess by the end of the year.Â Additional ships will have The Sanctuary added through 2010.Â
In addition, The Sanctuary features two outdoor private cabanas where guests can also take advantage of exclusive Lotus Spa Services including sybaritic favorites such as a Deep Tissue Muscle Massage, a relaxing Swedish Massage or a Full Body Lotus Massage especially for couples.
Half-day passes are available for $10 per person, for 8 am to 12:30 pm or 1 pm to 5 pm.Â Passengers choosing to indulge with an outdoor massage may also enjoy an hour’s use of The Sanctuary area after their treatment.