Crystal Debuts New Crystal Storytellers Podcast Series

Renowned Onboard Enrichment Speakers Featured On The Innovative And Compelling Storytelling Platform

Crystal Cruises has launched a new podcast series titled, Crystal Storytellers, becoming the first cruise line to offer an enrichment series to audiences beyond its ships. The weekly exploration with some of the world’s most intriguing individuals and experts in entertainment, travel, politics, adventure and more builds upon Crystal’s renowned Crystal Visions Lecture Series featured aboardCrystal SymphonyandCrystal Serenity, bringing these enriching presentations to listeners around the world. The first episode from the inaugural season featuring Kathy Reichs, novelist and television producer of the hit series Bones, is currently available on the Crystal Insider blog, Spotify, Stitcher and TuneIn (available through the Alexa app).

Crystal Storytellers Podcast

Each episode of Crystal Storytellers features an expert guest speaker from a 2019 Crystal voyage in conversation with the ship’s Cruise Director about their respective areas of expertise, as well as highlights of their Crystal voyage and anecdotes about their careers and personal interests. These exclusive interviews vary in topic and perspective depending on the guest and are designed to capture the uniquely informative and engaging style presented aboard Crystal ships and leave listeners educated and entertained.

Crystal’s comprehensive onboard enrichment program has long drawn praise from travelers around the world. The Storytellers podcast is a wonderful opportunity to bring the intriguing dialogue and perspectives presented on board to guests wherever they are in the world,” said Keith Cox, Crystal’s vice president of entertainment. “The podcast delivers innovative entertainment and education for listeners to further expand their interests, passions and general knowledge of the world.”

Every week listeners can expect to hear a new intimate conversational interview recorded aboard Crystal ships as they explore some of the world’s most remarkable destinations.

Featured in season one, guest speakers on Crystal Storytellers include:

  • Kathy Reichs: Novelist and television producer of the hit series, Bones;
  • Bruce McGill: American actor known for his memorable roles in both film and television including National Lampoon’s Animal House;
  • General Anthony Zinni: Retired United States Marine Corps Four Star General, former Commander in Chief for the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and former special envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority;
  • Melissa Manchester: Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and actress;
  • Michelle Lee: Performer, philanthropist, award winning actress, singer, director and producer;
  • Scott Kelly: Former military fighter and test pilot, engineer, retired astronaut, former commander of the International Space Station and retired U.S. Navy captain;
  • Ken Walsh: Notable journalist, author and historian;
  • Sir Michael Burton: Former member of the British Diplomatic Service;
  • Leslie Morgan Steiner: New York Times best-selling author, columnist for The Washington Post, and renowned speaker on work/family balance;
  • Kevin McCollum: Tony Award-winning theater producer and partner to Crystal Cruise’s Crystal on Broadway programming;
  • Rob Caskie: Legendary storyteller specializing in South African history and early Arctic and Antarctic exploration.

New episodes of the podcast are available every Tuesday starting now through January 28, 2020. Crystal Storytellers will expand to other major podcast platforms within the coming weeks including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, iHeartRadio, Castbox, Castro, Overcast, Pocket Cast and Podchaser. To learn more about upcoming speakers on Crystal, or to book a voyage, please visit https://www.crystalcruises.com/.

Only the world-renowned Crystal Experience offers an unwavering, unparalleled standard of excellence and luxury across four distinct cruising options: Crystal Cruises, the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line; Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line; Crystal Yacht Cruises, offering boutique luxury and bold adventure in the world’s most elite harbors; and Crystal Expedition Cruises, taking Crystal’s acclaimed elegance to the farthest reaches of the world. Crystal has been recognized with top honors in the Condé Nast TravelerReaders’ Choice Awards for a record 26 years including, in 2019, for Best Medium-Ship Cruise Line for Crystal Cruises, Best Small-Ship Cruise Line for Crystal Yacht Cruises and Best River Cruise Line for Crystal River Cruises. Crystal was also voted “World’s Best” by the readers ofTravel + Leisure for 20 years; and won “Cruise Line of the Year” and “Most Luxurious Guest Experience” by Virtuoso for 2018 & 2019. Crystal is proud to be a platinum partner of the advisors of ASTA.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel advisor, call 888.799.2437,or visit www.crystalcruises.com, Join the hundreds of thousands who subscribe to the Crystal Insider blog, follow Crystal Cruises’ Facebook page; @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram; @crystalrivercruises on Instagram; and engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises, #crystalrivercruises and #WhereLuxuryisPersonal.

Crystal Yacht Cruises Unveils 2022 and Q1 2023 Deployment for Award-Winning Crystal Esprit

With 55 sailings of enriching discovery, adventure and all-inclusive luxury, Crystal Yacht Cruises announced today the comprehensive roster of 2022 and early 2023 itineraries for Crystal Esprit. A number of new options punctuate the collection of regionally focused voyages, with dozens of seven- and eight-night options catering to busy travel schedules or easily combined into longer adventures. In addition to exploration of hubs of profound history, featured destinations also capitalize on the 62-guest Crystal Esprit’s adventurous spirit, with numerous locales that are ideal for active, outdoor pursuits. Featured are 11 new itineraries in the areas most popular among Crystal yachting guests, including five in the Greek Isles; four along the Amalfi Coast and French and Italian rivieras; the United Arab Emirates; and the Holy Land.

The scope of choices available to Crystal yacht guests in 2022 and into 2023 blends some of the world’s most famously captivating destinations with less visited spots, including harbors not accessible by larger vessels. We continue to listen to what our guests want most and are thrilled to add more voyages in those regions,” said Mark Spillane, Crystal Yacht Cruises’ director of sales and marketing. “Crystal Esprit was made for destinations like the Seychelles, the Italian Riviera, the islands of Greece and Cyprus and Capri – places ideal for exploring in the carefree atmosphere of a private yacht, with the exceptional onboard experience and service for which Crystal is celebrated.”

The Crystal Yacht Cruises experience is consistently lauded by travelers worldwide and was recently voted “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. Among the options for Crystal Yacht Cruises guests in 2022 and 2023’s first quarter are:

Exterior View of Crystal Esprit (Courtesy of Crystal Media Centre)

Intensive Greek Isles discoveries, with a dozen seven- and eight-night voyages to the ancient icons, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and white-washed seaside villages in Mykonos and Santorini in response to guest demand; a morning call to Delos, allowing guests to explore the UNESCO Site before most other visitors; Hydra and others, as well as Nydri/Lefkada and Parga on the western shores of the mainland. Select itineraries also feature calls to the Peloponnese region and Corinth Canal and Turkey’s Turquoise Coast in Kas, Kuşadasi, Bodrum and Kalkan;

Springtime Mediterranean riviera voyages for the first time in three years, with six-, seven- and eight-nights, highlighting the glamour and regal history with overnights in Nice, Monte Carlo, St-Tropez, Capri and Porto Venere, as well as calls to Cannes, Corsica, Marina di Carrara, Positano, Portofino and a maiden call to Otranto, the gateway to the baroque city of Lecce. At least one overnight on each itinerary allows deeper exploration beyond the ports and more time for guests to wander the famous coastlines at their leisure;

Crystal Esprit – Eden Island (Courtesy of Crystal Media Centre)
Continue reading

Travel News: Wind & Wine Croatia Launches A New Adventure Travel Company

The Company will Combine Luxury Yacht Travel with Custom Curated Winery Experiences in the Dalmatian Islands

7 days, 6 islands, 6 wineries, 6 historical towns

Croatia has been making wine for 2 millennia and is home to the oldest continuously-planted vineyard in the world — yet many people have never tasted Croatian wine. Wind & Wine Croatia is on a mission to change that. This adventure travel company takes small groups on week-long luxury sailing trips and organizes custom, curated winery experiences in the Dalmatian Islands. Travelers will experience the adventure of sailing and sleeping on a modern yacht while visiting six hand-selected wineries and exploring six historic islands and towns.

Wind-Wine Croatia Logo

Wind & Wine Croatia Logo

Wind & Wine Croatia is co-founded by seasoned wine professional Lizann Grupalo and life-long sailor and certified yacht master Ivan “Pale” Paškvan. Both have over 20 years of experience in their respective fields and formed this company to share their two passions – wine and sailing — with others.

Wine in Croatia has a celebrated history of more than 2,500 years and offers more than 130 indigenous grape varieties,” said Grupalo. “The vineyards are planted in some of the most stunning regions of the country. With each passing year, Croatian wines garner more accolades and awards, yet they remain relatively undiscovered globally. We hope to change that with our wind & wine tour!

What You Will Experience

Wind & Wine Croatia is currently booking trips for June – August 2018. The itinerary includes one-way navigation under sail from the city of Trogir/Split, ending in Dubrovnik, one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the Mediterranean known for its white limestone streets and ancient city walls.

One-way navigation under sail will begin in the city of Trogir/Split, the second largest city in Croatia. Renowned for its beaches and ambience, this exuberant city has just the right balance of tradition and modern innovation. At the end of the week, you will arrive in Dubrovnik, one of the most renowned tourist destinations in the Mediterranean. Known for its characteristic Old Town, Dubrovnik will be sure to charm as you stroll white limestone streets alongside ancient city walls surrounded by baroque buildings – all framed perfectly by the shimmer of the sea.

Wind-Wine Croatia Sailboats

Sailboats in Stari Grad at Hvar island in Croatia

In the comfort of state-of-the-art yachts outfitted with modern amenities, you will be transported back in time to the historical places and natural wonders that define the Adriatic. Combining nature and history, each day will welcome new discovery and exploration of native islands such as Brač, Hvar, Vis, Šćedro, Pelješac Peninsula and Korčula.

With options to hike, explore, swim and snorkel by day, the afternoons and evenings will provide ample opportunity to visit local wineries, enjoy olive oil tastings and sample the local cuisine, all while strolling the cobblestone streets of these quaint and charming towns.

You will surely find the Dalmatian islands to be your playground bringing peace, tranquility and a renewed sense of energy throughout your voyage.

Guests can choose between a modern, state-of-the-art sailing yacht or catamaran experience. Each yacht, with skipper and host, will accommodate six guests and be part of a small 4-boat flotilla, which provides travelers space to explore each island on their own or, if they wish, engage with other like-minded travelers as they discover the history and complexity of Croatia, its wines, and its people. Each yacht offers modern amenities including the tranquility and privacy of double bed cabins, each with their own bathroom. Priority is given to full boat bookings. Customized solutions are also available upon request.

Learn more and book your trip at www.windandwinecroatia.com. Follow @WindWineCroatia on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Crystal River Cruises Unveils Comprehensive New Collection Of Curated Destination Experiences

Line Debuts More Than 225 Excursions Designed To Cater To Travelers’ Personal Tastes In Europe’s Most Beautiful Locales

Crystal River Cruises today announced details of its new collection of destination experiences for voyages along Europe’s Danube, Rhine and Main rivers. By sea, river, land or air, Crystal has redefined the way the world views luxury travel. The world-renowned Crystal Experience – featuring global journeys with Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises, Crystal AirCruises and Crystal Air – continues to entice the world’s most discerning travelers with incomparable luxury and unparalleled personal service. Crystal will expand its fleet with the upcoming Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel river ships, the Crystal Endeavor expedition yacht and an entirely new class of ocean ships over the next five years.

Crystal River Cruises

Crystal River Cruises

Debuting in 2018, the newly added offerings focus on authenticity and are tailored to travelers’ individual interests, featuring smaller group sizes and unique details. Nearly 200 enriching excursions are included, with additional pursuits also available at a cost. The shore-side excursions highlight the multi-faceted character of each destination and comprise five types of experiences including:

  • Personal Connections – Those looking to explore the culture of a destination can enjoy a one-of-a-kind tour hosted by local residents, artisans and experts;
  • Tantalizing Gastronomy – Guests can relish in the signature culinary styles and specialties of the destination with a variety of dining and hands-on cooking opportunities;
  • Cultural Discoveries – Guests will enjoy comprehensive insight from expert guides into historical landmarks, museums, iconic sites and architectural marvels;
  • Exhilarating Adventures – Active cruise travelers can participate in a selection of invigorating pursuits that combine historical and cultural experiences;
  • Design Your Time – For a more tailored vacation, guests can choose this option, which features a concierge service that designs unique private tours as well as a menu of customized choices.

“Every detail of the Crystal River Cruises’ curated destination program has been revamped to focus on choices, and offer more intimate, immersive experiences that perfectly suit travelers’ preferences and properly showcase the charm and beauty of the destinations,” says Walter Littlejohn, managing director and vice president of Crystal River Cruises. “While each locale offers its own distinct ‘can’t-miss’ experiences, we recognize that every guest brings his or her own distinct style of exploration, and we strive to cater to that individuality.”Crystal River Cruises-Crystal-Bach-Danube-River

With many destinations offering more than a dozen choices for shore-side discovery, some of the new experiences featured on voyages in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia include:

Nearly 200 Inclusive Adventures including:

  • Immersive culinary experience in the foodie haven of Rotterdam;
  • String & opera performance in a historic Antwerp cathedral;
  • A full day exploring Salzburg from Linz;
  • Horse show & carriage ride at Lázár Equestrian Park;
  • An owner-hosted tasting at Schlagkamp Winery in Cochem;
  • Cycle to Veitshochheim Castle and its Rococo Garden in Wurzburg;
  • Behind-the-scenes tour of Amsterdam’s greenhouses, where the famous tulips are cultivated.

Dozens of Optional Experiences including:

  • Vintage photography adventure in Vukovar;
  • Hands-on instruction in Linzer torte baking;
  • Private home cooking lesson in Kehl;
  • Wine tasting in the renowned cellars of Vienna’s Palais Coburg;
  • Canoe through the romantic canals of Strasbourg;
  • Explore Budapest by Trabant Cars;
  • Hands-on creativity in one of Novi Sad’s last remaining tapestry workshops;
  • Horseback riding through the forests of Novi Sad’s Fruška Gora National Park.

Each river itinerary will also feature inclusive Signature Events – special events that offer rare access and musical performances in iconic landmarks including Vienna’s Belvedere Palace, Linz’s St. Florian Monastery, Rüdesheim’s Monastery Eberbach, and others.

To ensure that every detail of each experience is in line with Crystal’s exacting standards of service, excursion group sizes are limited to no more than 15 guests; for larger groups, guides are available to lead the tours in German, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages upon request. Crystal Collection shore excursions offer guest transport to iconic sites and regions via spacious motor coaches that include free WiFi.

Guests can fully embrace the culture, flavors, history and activities of each destination with the expansive selection offered aboard Crystal Mozart, Crystal Bach, Crystal Mahler, Crystal Debussy and Crystal Ravel. Fares for Crystal River Cruises start at $3,175 per person including Early Booking Savings of up to $1000 per suite.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888.799.2437, or visit www.crystalcruises.com. Join the hundreds of thousands who follow Crystal Cruises’ Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram, and engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

A World of Adventure Awaits: Royal Caribbean Brings Together Bold Itineraries and Unrivaled Innovations for 2019-2020 Season

Cruise Line Inspires Adventure with Industry-Changing Ships Sailing to More Destinations than Ever

Royal Caribbean International‘s expanding global footprint is evident in the 2019-2020 deployment plans, thanks to having unparalleled product offerings in the Caribbean, four new ports of call in Europe, and the first-ever Quantum Class ship to visit the Alaskan frontier. Combined with newly transformed ships designed to offer an unmatched short Caribbean vacation, Royal Caribbean is offering more adventures than ever for guests of all ages.Royal_Caribbean_International_logo

More Ways to See the Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is changing the game when it comes to short Caribbean cruise vacation offerings. Newly modernized and purposefully redesigned with families in mind, two of the cruise line’s Voyager Class shipsMariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas – will sail 3- and 4-night itineraries to The Bahamas. Touting favorites unique to Royal Caribbean, and new features catering to emerging trends and traveler preferences, both ships will represent the best product in the industry offering short, weekend vacations to the Caribbean. Mariner will sail from Port Canaveral, Florida, while Navigator will be based in Miami where guests will be welcomed through Royal Caribbean’s new, state-of-the-art Terminal A in PortMiami. Voyager Class changed the industry by introducing unexpected activities and adventures, including the rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink and Royal Promenade. Together with some exciting new features, they will be perfect introductions for first-time guests and families, who are short on time, to experience the best of the Caribbean in a weekend.

Travelers from the Southwest also seeking short Caribbean getaways can take advantage of 4- and 5-night sailings on Enchantment of the Seas from Galveston, Texas to various destinations in Mexico, year-round. Short Caribbean itineraries will be available to book the week of Nov. 20, 2017. All itineraries will be available to book by Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members one day prior to the general opening date.

All four of the world’s largest cruise ships – Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas – will set sail from Florida in 2019 through April 2020. Oasis of the Seas, the first ship in its class, will undergo a bow-to-stern transformation before homeporting at Royal Caribbean’s custom-built Terminal A at PortMiami for the fall and winter seasons, alongside her newest record-setting sister ship, Symphony of the Seas, which will be a year-round Miami resident. Continue reading

Crystal Cruises Announces Expanded Collection Of 2017 & 2018 ‘Crystal Getaways’

More Convenient Global Ocean Escapes Added To Suit Any Travel Schedule

In its continued commitment to offer luxury travelers more choices, Crystal Cruises has unveiled an expanded selection of Crystal Getaways – abbreviated voyages derived from longer existing itineraries – for both 2017 and 2018. New to the roster of Getaways are eight shortened segments of Crystal Serenity‘s 2018 World Cruise voyages, exploring Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, South America, the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, and the Caribbean. The global voyages range from four to 17 days in length, providing busy travelers options for luxury vacations with reduced investment of time and funds.

Crystal Cruises-Logo

Crystal Cruises Logo (PRNewsfoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Getaways are perfectly suited to modern luxury travelers, whose calendars are packed but who relish opportunities to discover new cultures and adventures,” says Carmen Roig, Crystal’s Senior Vice President Of Marketing And Sales. “These shortened itineraries help our guests make the most of their travel time, with the same standard of Crystal’s award-winning luxury and enriching experiences, at a fraction of the fare of the full voyage.”

Combined with existing 2017 Crystal Getaways exploring the Arabian Coast, South Africa and the Caribbean, the newly added 2018 itineraries round out a total of 15 abbreviated worldwide journeys. Guests can discover the glamour of the United Arab Emirates and the wilds of the African savannah; the bustling marketplaces and sacred temples of Vietnam and the famous giant pandas of Chengdu; the crystalline waters of Fiji and waterside jungles of Phuket; and the biological wonders of the Galapagos Islands and colorful culture of Chile. The new collection of Crystal Getaways includes:

2017

  • November 22, Dubai to Abu Dhabi, 4 days, Crystal Symphony
  • November 26, Abu Dhabi to Mahé/Victoria, 5 days, Crystal Symphony
  • December 1, Mahé/Victoria to Port Louis, 8 days, Crystal Symphony
  • December 6, Fort Lauderdale to Barbados/Bridgetown, 8 days, Crystal Serenity
  • December 9, Port Louis to Maputo, 7 days, Crystal Symphony
  • December 14, Barbados/Bridgetown to Charleston, 6 days, Crystal Serenity
  • December 16, Maputo to Cape Town, 6 days, Crystal Symphony

2018

  • January 30, Honolulu to Sydney, 17 days, Crystal Serenity
  • March 15, Hong Kong to Singapore, 14 days, Crystal Serenity
  • March 28, Singapore to Colombo, 12 days, Crystal Serenity
  • April 6, Valparaíso to Lima, 6 days, Crystal Symphony
  • April 9, Colombo to Mumbai, 6 days, Crystal Serenity
  • April 12, Lima to Colón, 7 days, Crystal Symphony
  • April 23, Aruba to Fort Lauderdale, 7 days, Crystal Symphony
  • May 26, Honolulu to Vancouver, 8 days, Crystal Symphony

All-inclusive cruise fares for Crystal’s 2017 and 2018 Crystal Getaways abbreviated voyages start at $940 per person. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888.799.2437, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Condé Nast Traveler Reveals the All-New 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards: The World’s Best Hotels, Resorts, Cities, Islands, Airlines, and Cruise Lines

Condé Nast Traveler today announced the results of its 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards, ranking the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines, airports, and cruise lines in the world. Over 300,000 readers submitted millions of ratings and tens of thousands of comments, voting on a record-breaking 7,320 hotels and resorts, 610 cities, 225 islands, 468 cruise ships, 158 airlines, and 195 airports–thereby creating our largest-ever list of Readers’ Choice Award winners. The Readers’ Choice Awards will be announced in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands nationwide on October 24, 2017. (The full list is published exclusively online, at www.CNTraveler.com/rca.)

Conde Nast Traveler Logo

Conde Nast Traveler (PRNewsFoto/Conde Nast Traveler)

THE 2017 READERS’ CHOICE AWARD WINNERS:

  • Top Large and Small U.S. Cities: Chicago for the first time ever and Charleston, S.C., for the seventh year in a row!
  • Top Hotel in the U.S.: Faena Hotel Miami Beach
  • Top Resort in the U.S.: The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyo.
  • Top Island in the U.S.: Hilton Head, S.C.
  • Top Island in the World: Boracay, Philippines
  • Top Hotel in Europe: La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa
  • Top Hotel in South America: Fasano, São Paulo
  • Top Airline in the World: Air New Zealand
  • Top U.S. Airline: Virgin America
  • Top U.S. Airport: Indianapolis (IND)
  • Top Airport in the World: Singapore (SIN)
  • Top Large Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line
  • Top Midsize Cruise Line: Crystal Cruises
  • Top Small Cruise Line: Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Top River Cruise Line: Viking River Cruises

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 83 million tourists went to France in 2016, making it the most popular country in the world to visit.
  • 12 new hotels that opened in 2017 have already made it into this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
  • Colorado is so popular that it now has its own hotel and resorts lists.

NEW TRAVEL TRENDS

  • The popularity of holistic spa resorts is on the up, especially those that tap into their local surroundings.
  • We’re aching for simplicity when we travel. Instead of multidestination, run-around-see-everything spots, we’re looking to kick back, relax, and enjoy the place.
  • Smaller airports and secondary cities are both more popular than ever.