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Temporary Fuel Surcharge
As of July 15, 2005, Crystal Cruises will institute a fuel surcharge of $4.00 per person, per day. Please remember this is not a permanent change. The fuel surcharge will be for cruises departing after July 15, 2005, and will be in addition to the cruise fares plus port, security and handling charges. We will protect any bookings that are made and paid in full prior to July 15, 2005, at the current fare, without the fuel surcharge.
Crystal Cruises will continue to monitor world oil prices closely and keep you advised of any changes as they develop.
Paul Theroux + Linda Ellerbee + 40 New Crystal Adventures
This fall, Crystal Cruises' Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program lectures, classes and shoreside Crystal Adventures are as rich as its Mediterranean port content. Travel/fiction writer Paul Theroux and broadcast journalist/author Linda Ellerbee are among the notable speakers joining Crystal Serenity's fall Mediterranean cruises. Ashore, luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is introducing 40 new Crystal Adventures to its roster of almost 200 varied tours in the Mediterranean from September through November.
Five diverse 11- and 12-day itineraries offer the luxury of exploring as many as six different countries on a single voyage. Each features at least one overnight and evening stays in port. Cruises depart from Venice, Athens, Rome or Barcelona and visit such romantic destinations as the south of France, Greek islands, and seaside towns in Turkey, Croatia and the Amalfi Coast.
"With fewer crowds and slightly cooler weather, the fall is an ideal time to visit the Mediterranean," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president, sales and marketing. "Additionally, savvy travelers will appreciate the exceptional value of a 2005 European cruise on Crystal Cruises, given the dollar's weak standing against the Euro and the resulting high prices of Europe's top luxury hotels. Crystal Serenity's unique combination of choices, quality, service, space and value is particularly compelling this year."
Crystal Serenity's fall Mediterranean season is abundant in stimulating lectures, classes and evening entertainment on board, as well as special interest, limited availability experiences ashore. New authentic culinary experiences, exclusive enrichment and even adrenaline-filled adventures include:
And golf at some of the world's most renowned courses:
Depending on itinerary, ports of call include: Nice/Villefranche, France (overnight); Monte Carlo, Monaco (overnight); Florence/Livorno, Portofino, Sardinia/Porto Cervo, Sorrento, Naples and Sicily/Taormina, Italy; Corfu and Mykonos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia; Valletta, Malta; Málaga/Granada, Palma de Mallorca, Cádiz/Seville and Canary Islands, Spain; Gibraltar, UK; Casablanca, Morocco; and Madeira/Funchal and Portimao, Portugal. Eleven- and 12-day cruise fares begin at just $3,695 and $3,995, respectively, and are based on per person, double occupancy accommodations.
Earlier-Than-Ever Online Service for Shore Tours
In an industry first, travelers can savor and pre-reserve Crystal Adventures shore excursions on Crystal Cruises' website almost a year in advance of the sailing date. The new service not only whets one's appetite for the wealth of stimulating cultural, adventurous, and historic experiences ashore, but offers the convenience -- and peace of mind -- of pre-reserving shore excursions far in advance of the cruise departure. This is the earliest any cruise line has made its excursions available to travelers or their travel agents with full descriptions and pricing. Anyone can peruse the tour descriptions, while guests, or their travel agents, with just a booking number can pre-reserve.
Effective April 23, the luxury line is posting its expansive collection of excursions for its 2006 World Cruise that begins on January 18 and concludes on May 5, 2006. Travelers can choose from 250 Crystal Adventures, including 23 compelling overland excursions with a choice of eleven safaris in South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Botswana. Crystal has also posted all of its Crystal Adventures for Alaska, Baltic, Eastern and Western Mediterranean cruises through October. By May 1, fall New England/Canada Crystal Adventures will be available for perusal and pre-reservations. Excursions for the remaining 2005 cruises, including its holiday cruises, will be posted by mid-May -- all of which are months earlier than ever before.
"Travelers value the opportunity to get a sense of the experiences one can enjoy in a destination. Being able to plan those experiences far in advance is a convenient tool for travelers and their travel agents," says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president, hotel operations. "Whether one is considering a Crystal cruise or has already booked, these vivid descriptions of actual tours make them come alive."
Crystal Cruises raised the bar in 2003 when it enabled guests to pre-reserve shore tours 90 days in advance of sailing. In 2004, the line enabled guests who paid in full six months in advance to pre-reserve spa appointments, specialty restaurants, Creative Learning Institute classes, as well as Crystal Adventures shore excursions. Now, with just a booking number, travelers can pre-reserve shore excursions as soon as they are posted online -- as much as a year in advance of sailing.
"We are offering as many as two dozen Crystal Adventures in a single port, which provides numerous choices for travelers who have visited a destination previously or who are traveling with family members who have varied interests," adds John Stoll, Crystal Cruises' director, land programs. "Our aim is to provide people with multiple colors and flavors of a destination -- as seamlessly as possible." Whether guests are considering a hugely popular overview of St. Petersburg or an intimate, limited availability hot air balloon adventure over Bordeaux, luxury travelers with a Crystal Cruises booking number can complete the Crystal Adventures shore excursion pre-reservation process by visiting Crystal Cruises' website at www.crystalcruises.com. Guests who pre-reserve online will receive a confirmation via email.
A More Port-Intensive 2006
Crystal Cruises' new collection of luxury cruises includes more ports per cruise, more overnight stays and a greater variety of shorter cruises than in previous years. Ranging in length from seven to 106 days, a choice of 63 cruises is available in 2006 aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. The award-winning, ultra-luxurious line will visit 168 ports in 79 countries -- 15 more countries than the line has scheduled for 2005.
Complementing the majority of 10- to 14-day cruises in Europe, South America and North America are new seven-day cruises in the Baltic, Mediterranean, New England/Canada, Caribbean, and Mexican Riviera and a 106-day World Cruise that can be taken as a whole or in rich segments from Los Angeles, Lima, Papeete, Melbourne, Cape Town, Dubai or Rome. Fourteen maiden calls are scheduled throughout the year, including Ayr & Troon, Scotland; Pisco, Peru; Tripoli, Libya; Gijon, Spain and Les Baie des Ha! Ha!, Canada.
"Like the Crystal Cruises' product, our 2006 cruise collection is about fascinating choices," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales & marketing. "Even never-before cruisers will savor the variety of port-intensive itineraries with many ports per cruise and longer stays in those destinations. Veteran Crystal cruisers will also relish the cruises with several days at sea to further enjoy our ships' service excellence and stimulating onboard programs. Itineraries can also be combined to enjoy both."
Crystal Harmony To Move Within The NYK Cruise Division
Crystal Cruises announces that in December 2005, following its scheduled dry-dock, Crystal Harmony will join its parent company's Japanese cruise division. Crystal Cruises, which also operates the ultra-luxury ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, announces it is developing plans to replace Crystal Harmony with a new ship. The luxury line has established a shipbuilding team and is already involved in developing new designs for the future.
"With this transfer, we have an opportunity to provide an excellent and larger ship to our sister company, meet the growing demand, and keep her in the family," says Gregg Michel, Crystal's president. "At the same time, this paves the way for new tonnage for Crystal. We will return to a three-ship operation."
Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Crystal Cruises' parent company, will replace its cruise ship, Asuka, with Crystal Harmony, in April 2006. The luxury vessel will be renamed Asuka II, operated by its Japanese cruise division, NYK Cruises. The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Harmony is the award-winning line's first ship and has been in service since 1990.
"By contemporary standards, Crystal Harmony is better suited for the Japanese market and Crystal Cruises' product will be more consistent," adds Michel. "Crystal Harmony represents a significant asset for NYK Cruises and, at the same time, Crystal can move forward with a new generation of luxury ships."
Since Crystal Harmony's launch, the ship has garnered Six-Star ratings, awards for "World's Best Mid-Sized Cruise Ship" and numerous accolades from industry critics. As recently as fall 2002, Crystal Cruises spent millions on major design upgrades including a lavish spa and fitness facilities, to maintain the highest luxury standards. The ship's hardware has been supported by exquisite service and impeccable attention to detail, which include its rich appointments and soft goods of superior quality. Nevertheless, the line's newer ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity boast, among other features, larger bathrooms and more penthouse accommodations.
With 2,020 berths in 2006, Crystal Cruises will remain the industry's largest luxury operator. For 2006, Crystal Serenity will maintain her schedule as released, while Crystal Symphony's January-May schedule has been revised to include an additional winter Panama Canal transit, new Amazon cruises, Cape Horn and East Coast South America cruises, an Atlantic crossing and an additional 10-day May Mediterranean cruise before resuming her previously announced pattern beginning on May 18. In all, in 2006, the Crystal fleet will cruise the Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Amazon, South America, Baltic, British Isles, North Cape, Western Europe, Mediterranean, Canary Islands, New England/Canada and Caribbean, as well as an 11th annual World Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity that will call in Western South America, the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
NYK, the largest shipping company in the world, operates more than 800 ships, including the cruise division, one of its core businesses. NYK Cruises is currently operating one ship, the 592-passenger Asuka for the Japanese market, a market that has greatly expanded with demand far exceeding supply. By shifting Crystal Harmony and refitting the ship for Japanese guests, NYK can increase capacity to meet the needs of this growing market.
"NYK's investment in the Crystal Cruises' fleet through such recent extensive refurbishment of Crystal Symphony and our plans for new tonnage demonstrates our commitment to our cruise divisions," says Koji Miyahara, president of NYK. "Cruising remains a core business for NYK."
"Crystal Harmony was our first jewel and she made such a strong impact on the luxury travel market when she was launched," comments Michel. "We will always have fond memories of her, as will the travel community and her huge base of Crystal Society fans. I have no doubt that 2005 will be marked by a series of meaningful reunions for the repeat guests who want to enjoy Crystal Harmony's warm ambiance one more time."
Jewish Points of Interest Showcased on New Shore
A two-day overland excursion to Krakow and Auschwitz is the newest and most extensive of the Crystal Adventures shore tours focusing on Jewish points of interest during Crystal Cruises' 2005 summer European season. From May through October, the luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will cruise Northern Europe and the Mediterranean on itineraries ranging from 7 to 12 days. Port calls in St. Petersburg, Russia; Gdansk, Poland; Warnemunde, Germany; Dublin, Ireland; and, Venice, Italy, offer travelers an opportunity to explore several sites important to Jewish history in Europe, many of which have a fraction of the Jewish population of years past.
Seven different Crystal Adventures with a focus on Jewish points of interest are available on more than half of the line's 28 European itineraries, including:
"This collection of excursions allows travelers to connect with places important to their ancestry and knowledge of world history," says John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs. "Hosted by experts on Jewish heritage and European history, these tours provide our guests with a compelling personal shoreside experience."
With a strong focus on destination enrichment, Crystal's shore excursion experts have created hundreds of Crystal Adventures ashore -- the most extensive collection ever offered in Europe. Stoll adds, "Our tours to Jewish sites are just one example of the breadth and diversity of the Crystal Adventures, not just in Europe, but throughout the world."
Crystal's Mediterranean and Baltic cruises start at $2,695 and $3,995, respectively.
Discover Your 'Inner Adventurer' in Alaska This Summer
A rock climbing and rappelling adventure in Skagway; an extreme rainforest hike in Wrangell; a birding expedition in Sitka; and a wilderness kayaking excursion in Vancouver are but a few of the 38 new "Crystal Adventures" debuting this summer during Crystal Harmony's 2005 Alaska season. With an emphasis on active adventure -- kayaking, dog sledding, glacier trekking, mountain biking, flightseeing and more -- Crystal Cruises continues to provide new opportunities for personal discovery with its most comprehensive collection of Alaska shore excursions ever offered, 125 in all.
From May through September, Crystal is offering 12 departures -- the most extensive Alaska season ever offered by the luxury cruise line. The season begins May 9 with a just-added 9-day itinerary featuring three glacier visits starting at $2,195, followed by a new 7-day journey round-trip from Vancouver on May 21 with fares from $1,495. Ten 12-day cruises operate conveniently round-trip from San Francisco departing May 30, with fares from $2,395; June 11, 23; July 5, 17, 29; August 10, 22, starting at $2,795; and September 3, 15, with fares beginning at $2,595 and $2,395, respectively. All itineraries feature at least one glacier experience; three include two glacier experiences.
"From ecological discoveries to more active pursuits, the tour options on every Alaska itinerary are staggering," says John Stoll, Crystal Cruises' director, land programs. "When creating our 'Crystal Adventures,' our team is guided by the increasing interest of our sophisticated guests to collect experiences that are unique, exclusive and personally enriching."
The diverse landscapes, seascapes and ecosystems of Alaska make it an ideal repeat destination for adventurers of all kinds -- nature buffs, culinary aficionados, fitness enthusiasts, and families. For example, kayaking adventures offered in nearly every port of call provide a new perspective of the Last Frontier.
Highlights of the new "Crystal Adventures" appealing to the "inner adventurer" in all guests include:
As part of the Crystal Visions Enrichment Program, special-interest lecturers including noted geologists, historians and naturalists will be aboard all sailings to share their insight on the natural beauty, history and culture of Alaska.
From the regal beauty of Victoria to the Tlingit history of Ketchikan, ports of call reveal the beauty of a land embraced by nature. Depending on the itinerary, guests will travel to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Whittier, Seward and Haines, Alaska, cruising the Inside Passage, Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier and/or Tracy Arm.
TaylorMade® Golf Takes to Sea
The No. 1 driver on the PGA Tour -- TaylorMade's r7 quad -- finds a new home this month aboard the No. 1 large-ship cruise line as TaylorMade takes to sea as the official golf club of luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises.
In addition to the prestigious r7 quad driver, the new alliance showcases TaylorMade's acclaimed 2005 rac OS IRONS, the Mezza Monza putter, and the r5 dual Type N -- the most forgiving driver TaylorMade has ever engineered. Crystal's comprehensive golf program features right and left handed clubs available for both men and women, as well as golf clinics, instruction by PGA golf pros, a putting green, practice cage, and golf driving ranges aboard each ship -- Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.
One of the most respected names in golf, TaylorMade drivers ranked No. 1 at every PGA Tour event in 2004 -- the third year in a row -- extending TaylorMade's streak to 156 consecutive events (dating back to 2001) at No. 1. Since its inception in 1979, TaylorMade has led the golf industry's technological evolution.
"Like Crystal, TaylorMade shares a passion for perfection, providing golf enthusiasts the world over with innovative products and services that continuously exceed the expectations of a discerning clientele," says Nitsa Lewis, Crystal's vice president, marketing. "All of our partnerships have reflected a match of quality companies who excel in their respective fields."
New Golf Theme Cruises Feature World-Famous Courses
The true traveling golf enthusiast will take special interest in one of Crystal's two dedicated golf cruises spotlighting some of the world's finest golf courses and well-known PGA pros:
Attesting to its popularity, on non-golf themed cruises, as many as 10% of Crystal's guests attend the golf classes offered year-round with pros providing complimentary instruction at morning sessions ranging from 45 minutes to an hour, and 30 minute afternoon golf clinics during days at sea. Lessons cover a wide range of topics including basic mechanics, full swing, irons (hands-on), woods, putting, chipping and pitching, sand play, equipment and specialty shots.
Depending on the itinerary, the line's concierges will also make golf arrangements ashore for guests on an individual basis at acclaimed worldwide courses such as Mahogany Run in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, or at London's Orsett Golf Club.
Crystal Cruises Announces 2006 Itineraries
Renowned for its service excellence and stimulating onboard programs, Crystal Cruises is placing even more emphasis on destinations in 2006. Crystal's award-winning luxury fleet -- Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity -- will visit a record 214 ports in 82 countries, representing more than 20% more ports and almost 50% more countries than the line visited in 2004. More overnight stays in port have been scheduled than for any previous year. In all, a choice of 97 cruises are available ranging from a new three-day sampler to new seven-day itineraries on each of the ships to rich 10-, 11- and 12-day cruises, as well as the ultimate voyage: a 106-day World Cruise. (see below)
Also new for 2006 are new itineraries in almost every destination that Crystal regularly visits, including Alaska, Canada/New England, South America and the Baltic; Crystal Serenity will make her first-ever Baltic cruises, including a new cruise to the Arctic Circle; and an exotic Christmas/New Year cruise for Crystal Harmony in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. Seventeen maiden calls are scheduled throughout the year, including Ayr, Scotland; Pisco, Peru; Tripoli, Libya; and Gijon, Spain.
"Our 2006 schedule offers a variety of port-intensive itineraries to appeal to those who want to immerse themselves in a destination, as well as cruises with more days at sea for multi-repeaters who relish Crystal's distinctive onboard experience," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales & marketing. "Like the Crystal Cruises' product, our 2006 cruise collection is about choices."
Crystal Harmony will kick off the year with a couple of Panama Canal cruises followed by a winter dedicated to South America's summer, including a new cruise to the Amazon. In the spring, the 940-guest, 50,000-ton luxury ship will offer a single Caribbean, Panama Canal and two Mexican Riviera cruises and then will head north on a three-day sampler cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver to reposition for her summer Alaska series. In addition to the line's successful 12-day cruises round-trip from San Francisco, Crystal Harmony's Alaska season will feature seven-day and new 10-day cruises round-trip from Vancouver, with new calls in Whittier and stunning glacier cruising in College Fjord, Columbia Glacier and Prince William Sound. In the fall, Crystal Harmony innovates a series of South Pacific and Australia/New Zealand cruises and concludes the year with a new 14-day holiday itinerary Down Under.
Crystal Symphony begins the year with a series of Panama Canal cruises followed by exotic cruises to the South Pacific, China and Japan, Southeast Asia, India and Egypt. She returns to the Mediterranean in the spring and, instead of her previous patterns of heading north to the Baltic, Crystal Symphony will remain in the Mediterranean through the summer with seven- and 12-day itineraries, all of which feature one to three overnight stays -- more than ever previously offered. Fall foliage cruises in New England and Eastern Canada include more departures round-trip from New York and new overnight stays in Montreal. Crystal Symphony's Christmas/New Year cruise will be 14 days round-trip from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera.
Following a couple of seven-day Mexican Rivera cruises in January, Crystal Serenity will make her third World Cruise on an innovative itinerary featuring overnight calls in Gauyaquíl, Ecuador; Callao (for Lima), Peru; Sydney, Australia; Cape Town, South Africa; Victoria, Seychelles; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Safaga (for Luxor), Egypt and Bordeaux, France, as well as several maiden calls. Crystal Serenity will spend the spring through summer cruising the Baltic, North Cape, Western and Northern Europe before heading south for fall Mediterranean cruising. A Canary Islands cruise and Trans-Atlantic reposition Crystal Serenity to the Caribbean in late November, where she makes warm weather cruises through December. Crystal Serenity spends Christmas and New Year on a new tropical 14-day pattern through the Caribbean.
For 2006, Crystal is offering a combination of exotic and close-to-home cruises of varying lengths. Of the 97 cruises, 50% sail either round-trip from a domestic port or embark or disembark from a domestic port:
Crystal Cruises Unveils 2006 World Cruise
Spanning 41 ports in 25 countries, Crystal Cruises' 2006 World Cruise will circumnavigate the globe on a new route with new twists. The annual World Cruise, considered the grandest of voyages, is the first of the luxury line's 2006 itineraries to be announced and marks Crystal's 11th World Cruise in as many years.
Beginning on January 18 in Los Angeles and concluding in Southampton, England on May 5, the 106-day World Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity will be comprised of seven segments. For the first time, segments will begin or end in Lima, Peru and Melbourne, Australia, as well as segments that begin or end in Dubai, UAE (which Crystal will not have visited for five years); Cape Town, South Africa; Civitavecchia (for Rome), Italy and Los Angeles. Libya, Reunion Island and Mauritius are maiden destinations featured on the rich itinerary.
From Los Angeles, Crystal Serenity will head to Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and across to the islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia. From Western Australia, Crystal Serenity will cross the Indian Ocean to Mauritius and Cape Town, up the east coast of Africa to Tanzania and Kenya, to the Seychelles and on to Dubai. From Dubai, Crystal Serenity will spend time in Egypt, make an inaugural call in Tripoli, Libya and cruise the Mediterranean to Rome. The journey concludes with a rich European cruise from Rome to England.
The 2006 route is sprinkled with more overnight stays and maiden calls than in 2005 and will offer optional overland excursions to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos and safari packages from Cape Town and Durban. The itinerary was crafted based on the responses of hundreds of surveyed past guests.
"Each year our goal is to create the luxury cruise of a lifetime," says Gregg Michel, president, Crystal Cruises. "The 2006 World Cruise is the ideal blend of unusual ports of call, overnight stays, coveted destinations, and the unparalleled space, quality, choices and service that are unique to Crystal Cruises' ships."
Crystal Cruises has consistently earned the highest accolades from discerning travelers and critics, including the 2004 World's Best Large-Ship Award for an unprecedented nine consecutive times from the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines. The 2006 World Cruise will be on the line's newest luxury ship, the 1,080-guest, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity, a ship that is touted not only for its superior service and exquisitely-appointed accommodations, but for its lavish spa, Caesars Palace at Sea® casino, Creative Learning Institute programs and facilities, the coveted cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio in its acclaimed Silk Road and Prego restaurants, and an endless list of distinctive details.
This year's World Cruise, which operated from January to May 2004, received the line's best ever ratings from its guests, according to the Quality Assurance Program comment forms distributed at the conclusion of each cruise. The 2005 World Cruise, departing on January 15, is the line's highest ever booked World Cruise. Within a few weeks, Crystal Cruises expects to announce pricing and the exclusive amenities and inclusive land events for 2006 that add special luster to the World Cruise.
Adds Michel, "When you make a commitment to, or even begin to dream about, cruising the world for three-and-half months, you want to buy a travel and service product that performs precisely as promised. The Crystal Cruises team has the World Cruise experience, creativity, warmth and commitment to deliver the most treasured travel memories."
2005 Wine & Food Festival
Rising stars of the culinary world - Aquavit's and Riingo's Marcus Samuelsson, Table 8's Govind Armstrong, Alma de Cuba's Jose Garces, and established names in cuisine - Bradley Ogden, André Soltner, and Alan Wong, among others - share top billing with noted wine experts including Union Square Café's Karen King, Michael Mina's Master Sommelier Rajat Parr, and Master Sommelier Elizabeth Schweitzer, during Crystal Cruises' 2005 Wine & Food Festival.
An award-winning cast of the hottest, most progressive and most celebrated names in cuisine and wine take to sea to host special dinners, demonstrations and wine tastings on 15 luxury cruises to all corners of the globe aboard the elegant Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. In most cases, the visiting chefs are paired with itineraries that reflect either the style of their cuisine or the location of their restaurant.
The collective awards and recognitions of the 2005 Wine & Food Festival participants is a testament to the increasing stature of Crystal Cruises' annual festival, now in its ninth year.
"It is both an honor and a privilege to have the most innovative and applauded names in cuisine and wine aboard the ships of Crystal Cruises to work alongside our own award-winning chefs and sommeliers," says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food and beverage operations. "The caliber of talent we continue to draw year after year speaks to Crystal's commitment to advancing the culinary arts with the added benefit of providing our guests with enriching and exclusive experiences."
Italian culinary master Roberto Donna of Galileo, renowned celebrity chef André Rochat of André's French Restaurants, and Canada's barbeque-grilling expert Ted Reader, host of the hit television show "King of the Q," lend an international flair to the festival, while MidCity Cuisine's Shaun Doty prepares contemporary American brasserie fare and Sam Choy specializes in the unique tastes of Hawaiian regional cuisine.
Some of the most prominent names in wine - Leslie Sbrocco, wine journalist for the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle; Jeff Morgenthal, wine director for both Santa Monica's Drago and Beverly Hill's Enoteca Drago restaurants; and Christian Moueix, president-director general of Jean Pierre Moueix and owner of California's Dominus Winery - will also share their knowledge and passion for wine, offering professional insights into the world's best vintages.
During each cruise, guests will be treated to a specially prepared four-course dinner featuring each chef's signature dishes utilizing the sailing region's freshest ingredients, matched with wine pairings by the guest wine expert. The menu, showcasing an appetizer; soup, salad or pasta; seafood/fish and meat entrées; and dessert, is offered to all guests in the Crystal Dining Room. By day, the visiting chef will also demonstrate cooking techniques, share recipes and tips, and participate in question and answer sessions.
Crystal Cruises' Master Sommeliers and other guest wine experts will lead guests through wine tastings to enjoy and compare appellations, vintages and varietals; learn the history of wine in the regions sailed; receive valuable hints on choosing and pairing wines, and become more familiar with Crystal's cellar of more than 200 selections, one of the most extensive at sea. These tastings feature the renowned Riedel Tasting Glass, which allows guests to evaluate different wines in a short period of time, while improving several aspects of judging wine.
Floating on a Sea of Dreams:
With choice and quality at the heart of Crystal Cruises' legendary service, the award-winning cruise line has introduced a Pillow Menu offering the ultimate in comfort and luxury. From soft, fluffy down to therapeutic and hypo-allergenic, guests now have a choice of four different pillow types, each designed to cater to the particular wishes of a discerning clientele.
The pillow collection is the newest addition to a roster of bedding opulence that was introduced fleetwide earlier this year. With Egyptian cotton sheets, king-size goose down pillows and feather bed toppers now offered as standard bedding in all staterooms and suites fleetwide, the innovative Pillow Menu adds a dreamy elegance to the most luxurious beds found at sea. The Pillow Menu and luxurious bedding is available in every stateroom in every category aboard Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.
"Often times, travelers may find it difficult to sleep away from home, yet our guests have told us that sleeping aboard Crystal ships is even better than home," says Thomas Mazloum, Crystal's senior vice president of hotel operations. "We genuinely look forward to making them feel relaxed and comforted at all times, day and night, by giving them choice and creating the voyage of their dreams."
Every bed -- king, queen or single -- features king and standard-size pillows, with the Pillow Menu providing additional options to fit the individual needs of each guest, including:
'Kids Sail Free' Aboard Crystal Harmony
As the demand for multi-generational family travel continues to grow, Crystal Cruises invites children under 12 to cruise for free to cruise for free aboard seven Crystal Harmony 2005 Alaska cruises when sharing the same stateroom with two adults. Available during the peak family travel months of June, July and August, families and children of all ages will delight in the awe-inspiring majesty of the Last Frontier with specially designed shore adventures, onboard enrichment, and a comprehensive Junior Activities program.
With eleven departures from May through September, Crystal's 2005 Alaska season is the most extensive ever offered by the luxury cruise line. A new 7-day itinerary round-trip from Vancouver takes to sea on May 21, and ten 12-day cruises operate conveniently round-trip from San Francisco departing May 30; June 11, 23; July 5, 17, 29; August 10, 22; and September 3, 15. All itineraries feature at least one glacier experience; three of which include two glacier experiences.
"Alaska is an educational wonderland of discovery, offering travelers of all ages an open classroom in adventure, nature and the environment," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "For families, a Crystal cruise represents tremendous comfort and value -- no other luxury line offers such an extensive program dedicated to children of all ages, while the journey through Alaska itself affords priceless experiences."
From the regal beauty of Victoria's Butchart Gardens to the Tlingit totem poles of Ketchikan, ports of call reveal the beauty of a land embraced by nature. Depending on the itinerary, guests will travel to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Wrangell and Haines, Alaska, cruising the Inside Passage, Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier and/or Tracy Arm. Along each itinerary, children will be amazed at the sight of breaching whales, calving glaciers and soaring eagles. An extensive collection of shore excursions in each port provides ideal options for family adventures such as the legendary White Pass Scenic Railway in Skagway, a Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest in Sitka, or the Misty Fjords Seaplane Flightseeing Exploration in Ketchikan.
With its acclaimed children's programs and activities, Crystal is the luxury operator best suited for the family market. Crystal Harmony has a fully supervised Junior Activities program for kids ages 17 and under, and Fantasia -- the ship's dedicated children's playroom -- is outfitted with games, craft materials, Sony PlayStation® video games, and personal computers with entertainment and education software.
The line's highly qualified staff of Junior Activities Directors includes grade school, high school, and physical education teachers on summer holiday, as well as seasoned camp counselors. There is at least one counselor for each 12 participants, a ratio that supports a variety of age-appropriate activities tiered for toddlers through teens. Crystal also caters to children with a special Alaska program featuring a guest naturalist when Crystal Harmony cruises Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm. For example, younger kids display their handcrafted creations, such as frosted sugar cube igloos, in an Alaska Art Expo open for viewing by all guests. For their older brothers and sisters, one high point is a 'teens only' disco night for which they get their own personal invitations.
Depending on itinerary, cruise fares start at $1,825 per person/double occupancy. The "kids sail free" promotion is limited to triple stateroom accommodations and is capacity controlled.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please