Hypoallergenic Luxury Accommodations to Debut On Crystal Cruises — An Industry First

No Additional Cost for New Allergy-Friendly Staterooms

According to Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, approx. 1 in 5 Americans–an estimated 50 million–suffer from allergies. 235 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. (World Health Organization), 6 out of 10 allergy sufferers say allergies impact their sleep quality. (Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America), 48% of them say symptoms interrupt partner’s sleep (Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America), 62% of respondents say they would be willing to pay a premium for an allergy-friendly environment and 81% wanted to be informed by travel agents and reservation agents about the availability of these room at the time of booking (Cornell University Survey 2012)

Crystal Serenity's new Deluxe PURE Staterooms offer soft, allergy-friendly bedding.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Serenity’s new Deluxe PURE Staterooms offer soft, allergy-friendly bedding. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The word hypoallergenic literally means “less allergenic.”  Products labeled hypoallergenic are purportedly less likely to cause an allergic reaction in the person using them.  This is because they are believed to contain fewer allergens, the substances and particles that irritate allergy-sufferers and cause them to have a reaction. It is important to understand however that hypoallergenic is not a medical or scientific term.  The word was essentially invented in a 1953 cosmetics campaign to describe a new line of make-up.  Since that time, various agencies and organizations have tried to regulate the use of the hypoallergenic label, but these attempts have been ruled invalid by US courts.

This is why hypoallergenic does not mean “allergy-free” or “non-allergenic.”  There can be no guarantee that a product will never cause an allergic reaction in every individual.  Rather, hypoallergenic only means that the product is somewhat less likely to cause a reaction compared to other similar products, whether that means a lot or a little. But just because hypoallergenic is a marketing term that may be exploited in some cases doesn’t mean that it has no value.  And just because hypoallergenic products cannot prevent reactions for every person doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider using them.

Allergy sufferers can check their discomfort at the door – of 70 Crystal Serenity doors, that is – when ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises launches the cruise industry’s first hypoallergenic staterooms.  Already renowned for having the highest standards of sanitation and comfort, Crystal is introducing a whole new category of luxury accommodations for the most refreshing night’s sleep possible on the world’s #1 cruise line: Deluxe PURE Staterooms. Crystal’s Deluxe PURE rooms are immediately available for booking.

Imagine returning to your room after a full day ashore in a bustling city like Rome or Bangkok, and then slipping into your purified sanctuary of ultra-clean air and hypoallergenic bedding,” says Jack Anderson, Crystal’s senior vice president, marketing & sales.  “For guests who suffer from allergies, have mild respiratory issues such as asthma, or who simply desire a respite from the air quality in many cities, these staterooms will become a haven of fresh air – for no additional cost.” Continue reading

Hot Summer Savings Heat Up Crystal Voyages Through Early 2014

Up to $8,710/person in Savings Guaranteed Only Until August 30

This summer, savvy travelers can save big on Crystal Cruises’s fall, winter, and spring cruises.  Compelling Book Now promotions – available through August 30 — are promising fares as low as $1,520 per person for a “Crystal Getaway” to savings as high as $8,710 per person for a World Cruise.  Five- to 89-day applicable voyages offer intriguing choices throughout Crystal CRYSTAL-CRUISES-LOGO1Serenity and Crystal Symphony’s autumn Mediterranean, Caribbean/Panama Canal, New England/Canada, South America; winter Australia/New Zealand and Asia/Africa (including the 2014 World Cruise); and spring European seasons.

Crystal guests seek exceptional travel experiences at a great value,” says Jack Anderson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “As evidenced by recent bookings, the promotions we’ve set for 2013 and 2014 cruises are hard to resist.  Veteran Crystal cruisers know that our ‘Book Now’ savings are only guaranteed through August 30.”

Summer savings on select 2013 and 2014 sailings include:

2-for-1 Asia/Australia Air: Two can fly for the usual price of one between Asia/Australia and North America, with all the ease of flight handling and airport/ship transfers by Crystal’s expert staff. Example: To Singapore and back from Hong Kong (economy class) for just $2,100 per couple.

Crystal Symphony visits Sydney on two voyages in the winter of 2014.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Symphony visits Sydney on two voyages in the winter of 2014. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Book Now Fares: Save up to $3,800 off already attractive low fares.

Crystal Getaways: Starting from only $1,520/person, shorter Crystal luxury options for time-strapped travelers.

Explorer Combinations: Enhanced discounts — up to 25% off — for combining select back-to-back voyages.

Reduced Solo Fares: Ultra-low 10% single supplements on solo occupancy staterooms offer savings of up to $1,750 and fares starting from just $2,995.

Kids Sail Free: Kids sail free in a third berth with two full fare adult cruisers.

Crystal Family Memories: Shipboard credits and other perks for family/friends groups of 6 or more – plus a free berth when the group expands to 10.

—  World Cruise Savings: Everyone can now save $3,800 off the full 2014 World Cruise;  repeat Crystal guests can save an additional $4,910, while even new-to-Crystal cruisers can enjoy additional savings of $3,930.

BONUS Share the Experience: Guests referring and sailing with someone new-to-Crystal can earn $400 shipboard credit per referred guest (up to  $1600 total).

Early Payment Savings: Save an additional 2.5% by paying in full 180 days prior to sailing.

Double Crystal Society Savings: Returning Crystal guests can enjoy double Crystal Society savings of up to $1,380 per person.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Crystal Cruises to Return to Antarctica for Ultimate 2013 White Christmas — and New Year’s 2014– Cruise

Crystal Cruises is planning a magical winter wonderland holiday for 2013 with a new Antarctica 2013 Christmas/2014 New Year’s cruise.  In addition to three days sailing Antarctic waters, the December 21, 2013 Buenos Aires-Valparaíso voyage aboard the award-winning Crystal Symphony sails through Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Falkland Islands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn, and the Chilean Fjords, with multiple excursions to the Antarctic continent. Generous booking savings are available until August 30 for the unique voyage — the only one of its kind for 2013 and 2014.

Crystal Symphony in Antarctica.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Symphony in Antarctica. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal is one of the few cruise lines permitted to sail to Antarctica, due to the strict environmental regulations, for which Crystal has incurred extra cost and planning efforts.

We are always very environmentally conscious of the destinations we visit,” says Anita Hodson, Crystal’s director of nautical and port operations.  “We’re thrilled to be able to meet the new standards required to bring guests to this spectacular region this year.

Holiday Decorations aboard Crystal Crusises' Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony

Holiday Decorations aboard Crystal Crusises’ Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony

Guests can fly, hike, and zodiac over and on the icy continent, viewing Air Force homes, penguin breeding grounds, and the gorgeous glacial scenery of King George and Ardley Islands.  Extremely-limited Crystal Adventures also explore more of Antarctica, taste local specialties, and overnight at the Chilean Eduardo Frei Antarctic Base (INACH).

The 18-day cruise is filled with opportunities to explore nature in all ports, from seeing volcanoes, waterfalls, humpback whales, and marine elephants to kayaking the Strait of Magellan and visiting working farms in the Falklands and Patagonia – as well as to explore wine, cuisine, and culture in major South American cities.  Onboard speakers include an Antarctic expedition book author, climate change researcher, shark conservationist, and CBS News correspondent.

The itinerary visits Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, Port Stanley, Ushuaia (overnight), Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, and Valparaíso.  As guests’ warm and cozy home for the holidays, Crystal Symphony will be luxuriously decorated throughout, offering abundant space to celebrate with gourmet Christmas feasts, a champagne New Year’s gala, religious services, junior cruiser events (including Santa), and more.

Similarly decked-out and celebratory Crystal Serenity will spend the 2013 holidays cruising the tropics, with a round-trip Miami voyage also departing December 21, and calling in Turks & Caicos; Curaçao; Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; Roatan Island, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Key West, Florida.

All-inclusive cruise fares begin at $9,740/person for South America and $7,430/person for the Caribbean and include $600 and $800 per person in savings, respectively, if booked by August 30.

The renowned Crystal Experience has been voted “World’s Best” by readers of Condé Nast Traveler for 19 years and Travel + Leisure for 17 years, more than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.

Crystal Unveils Entire 2015 Through Early 2016 Itineraries

From Ambodifotatra to Aomori and Belawan to Burgas, Crystal Sets New Sights

Sailing to all seven continents, ultra-luxe global cruise specialist Crystal Cruises (http://www.crystalcruises.com) has revealed its complete and comprehensive collection of cruises for 2015 through Winter/Spring 2016.  In 2015, Crystal will celebrate its 25th anniversary with 64 voyages calling in 248 ports in 79 countries — with its most ever maiden calls. Crystal Symphony begins 2016 immersed in South America and Antarctica, while Crystal Serenity kicks off the year with a grand Panama Canal cruise that precedes a new World Cruise. Crystal’s 2015/early 2016 Cruise Schedule is available for savoring – and planning – at www.crystalcruises.com.  Pricing details, with compelling, limited-time Book Now fares, will be released on August 31, 2013, when the 2015/16 cruises will be available for booking.

Amsterdam at night, where Crystal has new cruises to and from in 2015.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Amsterdam at night, where Crystal has new cruises to and from in 2015. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Until now Crystal had only released itineraries through spring 2015, which include a dazzling Asia series and a 108-day “Silver Celebration” World Cruise circumnavigating the globe round-trip from Miami. Continue reading

Crystal Cruises Wins an Unprecedented 18th World’s Best Award from Travel + Leisure Magazine

For a record 18th consecutive year, Crystal Cruises was voted the “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” in the Travel2940010820657_p0_v2_s260x420 + Leisure 2013 World’s Best Awards Readers’ Survey.  Recognized as a T+L Hall of Fame winner, Crystal is the only vacation experience – cruise line, hotel or resort – to have been voted #1 every year since the awards’ inception. Crystal Cruises’ 2013 World’s Best Score of 90.10 is one of the line’s highest ever scores.

Thousands of jet-setting readers rated cruise lines on service, itineraries/destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and value, culminating in the overall score, which is published at www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest and in the magazine’s August issue.

To win this prestigious award once is a tremendous honor.  To win this award for 18 years is humbling — a testament to the passionate dedication, professionalism, and creativity of our extraordinary staff,” says Crystal Cruises President Gregg Michel. “Never resting on our laurels, each year we thoughtfully refine our Crystal experience with new entertainment choices, design enhancements, culinary attractions and shore-side options.  Consistent throughout is authentically warm service, exceptional quality, superior choices and unwavering attention to detail.  We are inspired to continuously improve our service to each discriminating guest.

Innovative features like restaurants with cuisine by Nobu Matsuhisa, ultimate wine experiences, tech concierges, and over-the-top Crystal Adventures in all seven continents distinguish the Crystal experience.  In recent years, Crystal has invested more than $100 million in the Extreme Ship Makeovers of its luxurious and spacious ships, added a broad menu of all-inclusive fine wines and premium spirits, introduced one-of-a-kind boutique excursions, debuted several dazzling new shows and launched an intimate professional Magic Castle at Sea performance series on every cruise.

Crystal Cruises(TM) European-trained waiters stand at the ready to serve.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Cruises(TM) European-trained waiters stand at the ready to serve. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sail on worldwide itineraries of seven to 100+ days. Shorter new “Getaways” enable time-strapped travelers to enjoy Crystal Cruises for as little as five days.

Further attesting to the consistency of its ratings, Crystal Cruises was voted top in its category by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine for a record 19 years, as well as numerous distinguished consumer, travel agent and media polls and environmental awards worldwide.

Crystal’s Expanded 2014 Asia Season: Two Ships, 34 Voyages, Four Maiden Calls And Countless New Highlights

New 2-for-1 Air Promotion and Big Savings with Limited-Time Book Now Fares

Crystal Cruises (www.crystalcruises.com) is vastly expanding its presence in the exotic ports of China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei next year.  With a choice of 34 voyages (vs. just four in 2012), the five- to 29-day luxury Asia cruises offer a host of itinerary firsts and varied options, as well as tremendous added value, including a brand new 2-for-1 airfare bonus for select Crystal Symphony Asia cruises and Book Now bonus savings of up to $2,500 per person for bookings made by August 30, 2013.

CRYSTAL CRUISES HONG KONG: Both ships overnight in Hong Kong on several cruises in 2014, including an exotic holiday voyage round-trip from Bangkok (and in Hong Kong on New Year's Eve!).  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

CRYSTAL CRUISES HONG KONG: Both ships overnight in Hong Kong on several cruises in 2014, including an exotic holiday voyage round-trip from Bangkok (and in Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve!). (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The 2014 Asia collection offers a feast of new choices for guests returning to the region and extraordinary experiences for those visiting for the first time,” says Jack Anderson, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales. “Bonus air, land and Book Now fare promotions offer savings that are astounding.  Some cruises are priced less than those in 2013, but Book Now prices are only guaranteed through August 30.” Continue reading

Culinary Superstars To Host Crystal’s Extravagant Ultimate Wine Dinners In Europe

Celebrity Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Winemaking Royalty Bo & Heidi Barrett to Host Once-in-a-Lifetime Vintage Room Menus

In the “ultimate” dinner parties at sea, award-winning Napa Valley vintners Bo and Heidi Barrett and multiple Michelin star-winning Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa are each hosting one of Crystal Cruises2013 Ultimate Vintage Room Dinners, all for the first time ever.  Just 12 to 14 guests (per event) have the opportunity to attend one of the exclusive seven-course, ultra-rare wine-pairing feasts, either while sailing a Mediterranean cruise aboard Crystal Serenity (starting May 18) or the Black Sea aboard Crystal Symphony (departing July 13), respectively.  Held in the ships’ private Vintage Rooms just once or twice a year, the “dinner tab” to attend is $1,000 per guest.

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Hosts will be on-hand to oversee preparations and enlighten guests on their menu choices–

Bo and Heidi Barrett (May 18, Istanbul to Barcelona): Between Bo’s Chateau Montelena–the winery whose 1976 Judgment of Paris Chardonnay win was depicted in the recent film, Bottle Shock–and Heidi’s award-winning “cult” 1992 Screaming Eagle, this Napa couple is largely credited for putting California wines on the map. They will be personally selecting each vintage served for the evening.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (July 13, Rome to Istanbul): The mastermind behind a culinary empire, including Crystal’s Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, will be creating his first-ever “ultimate” meal for Crystal, accompanied by extraordinary rare wine and champagne pairings. Nobu will also hold autograph sessions, cooking classes, and larger omakase dinners throughout the sailing.

“The Ultimate Vintage Room dinners allow us to push the culinary envelope over the top, with each event truly a once-in-a-lifetime affair created just for Crystal guests,” says Toni Neumeister, Vice President, Food and Beverage Operations.  “This year’s dinners may be our most exciting ever, with culinary superstars who tend to be as impossible to get as the wines themselves.”

Both 12-day voyages boast equally exceptional itineraries, with the May 18 sailing overnighting in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix, in addition to overnights in Istanbul and Barcelona and visits to Mykonos, Santorini/Thíra, Sorrento, Bonifacio/Corsica and Florence/Livorno.  The July 13 Black Sea voyage explores Rome/Civitavecchia, Sorrento, Sicily/Taormina, Contanza, Yalta and Sochi, with overnights in Odessa and Istanbul.  When booked by April 30, all-inclusive cruise fares start at $4,790 and $5,510, respectively.  Cruising guests may book the Ultimate Vintage Room by calling the On Board Guest Services department in Crystal’s Los Angeles office.

NFL LEGENDS KICK OFF CRYSTAL’S BALTIC SEASON

Travelers experiencing football withdrawal during the long months between the Super Bowl and pre-season match-ups can get their fix with some of the game’s greatest minds aboard CRYSTAL CRUISES summer Baltic cruise. Legendary coach and record holder for most NFL wins ever, DON SHULA, MIAMI DOLPHINS HALL OF FAME FULLBACK LARRY CSONKA and 31-year NFL veteran referee JIM TUNNEY will bring their collective expertise and tales from their storied careers aboard CRYSTAL SERENITY during a June 15, 10-day SCANDINAVIA/RUSSIA cruise from COPENHAGEN TO STOCKHOLM.

Coach Don Shula -- pictured here coaching the Miami Dolphins -- was highly profiled in the 2013 Super Bowl's pre-game show.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Coach Don Shula — pictured here coaching the Miami Dolphins — was highly profiled in the 2013 Super Bowl’s pre-game show. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Guests will have the rare opportunity to interact with the Gridiron greats throughout the voyage, as they impart their experiences in leadership, on and off the field, and share inspiring anecdotes of success and teamwork.

Whether or not one is a football fan, all guests can learn from these experts’ wisdom about success and victory through great team management–disciplines that are applicable to virtually any aspect of life,” says BRET BULLOCK, VICE PRESIDENT, ENTERTAINMENT.  “We’re thrilled to welcome these legendary athletes on board for what is certain to be an enlightening and motivating experience for everyone.”

With overnights in Copenhagen, St. Petersburg (two nights) and Stockholm, the 10-day sailing also visits BERLIN, HELSINKI and TALLINN.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

EXPLORE SEVEN OF EUROPE’S MOST ROMANTIC SUMMER MEDITERRANEAN DESTINATIONS WITH CRYSTAL CRUISES

SOUTHERN EUROPE VOYAGES FILLED WITH CHARMING, DREAMY, PICTURESQUE TOWNS AND VILLAGES

The summer is filled with romance on CRYSTAL CRUISES, with seven ultra-luxurious, all-inclusive Mediterranean cruises that will visit some of the most romantic places in the world. From June 27 to September 2, via the award-winning CRYSTAL SYMPHONY, Crystal’s seven most romantic destinations for couples and singles seeking amour (with someone or someplace!) include:

Seaside dinner tables at Mykonos sunset.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Seaside dinner tables at Mykonos sunset. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

MYKONOS: Feed the flames of love while watching a classic Greek Island sunset over a seaside dinner with flaming saganaki.  (June 27, 9-day cruise from Rome to Istanbul)
TAORMINA: Chic meets antique in this perfectly preserved medieval town, where breathtaking views and romantic alleyways help travelers understand why Sicilians are among the world’s most passionate people. (July 6, 7-day cruise from Istanbul to Rome)
THE TURKISH STRAITS: From the Dardanelles through the Bosporus, view exotic minarets and mansions float by from Crystal’s wide Promenade or from the comfort of your own verandah, with Europe on one side, Asia on the other. (July 13, 12-day cruise from Rome to Istanbul) Continue reading

MASTER CHEF NOBU MATSUHISA TO HOST DINNERS, CLASSES & SAKE TASTINGS ABOARD CRYSTAL SYMPHONY’S 2013 BLACK SEA CRUISE

One of the world’s greatest culinary artists, MASTER CHEF NOBU MATSUHISA, will be visiting his luxury vacation partner, Crystal Cruises, this summer to teach, mingle, dine, and cook for Crystal guests. The famed sushi maestro, and mastermind behind the line’s exclusive SILK ROAD and THE SUSHI BAR restaurants, will join CRYSTAL SYMPHONY‘s 12-day “BOUNTIES OF THE BLACK SEA” ROME-ISTANBUL BLACK SEA voyage beginning July 13. Accompanied by FUMIO HAZU, the Sake Master behind Nobu’s exclusive, 140+-year-old sake brand, the two will showcase their expertise during several ultra-intimate gourmet experiences, including:

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa in his Silk Road and the Sushi Bar on board Crystal Cruises.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa in his Silk Road and the Sushi Bar on board Crystal Cruises. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises) 

Continue reading

CRYSTAL CRUISES’ SHIPS VOTED #1 AND #2 MEDIUM-SIZE SHIPS IN THE WORLD BY CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER READERS AS BEING AMONG THE TOP “100 BEST CRUISE SHIPS IN THE WORLD” FOR 2013 (Revised)

CRYSTAL CRUISES’ ultra-luxe CRYSTAL SYMPHONY and CRYSTAL SERENITY have been voted the #1 and 2 cruise ships, respectively, in the world (medium size category) by the refined readership of Condé Nast Traveler magazine (http://www.cntraveler.com/cruises/polls/2013/top-100-cruise-ships-in-the-world). With overall scores of 94.5 and 94 for CRYSTAL SYMPHONY and CRYSTAL SERENITY, respectively, the 2013 ratings mark the ships’  highest scores in five years, and are several points ahead of most every ship in the world.

Crystal Serenity at Sea (Courtesy: Crystal Cruises Media)

Crystal Serenity at Sea (Courtesy: Crystal Cruises Media)

Crystal Symphony in New York City

Crystal Symphony in New York City

Continue reading

CRYSTAL’S LUXURY TRAVEL PLANNING FORECAST FOR 2013 & 2014: A YOUNGER CLIENTELE. SHORTER VOGAGES. STRONGER BOOKINGS. BROADER SELECTION OF DESTINATIONS.

Luxury travelers take note: CRYSTAL CRUISES is kicking off 2013 with an emphasis on a younger clientele, shorter cruises, stronger 2013 bookings, a broader collection of ultra-luxe cruise destinations and savings. In 2013, CRYSTAL SYMPHONY and CRYSTAL SERENITY will visit 226 ports of call in 62 countries, while 2014 brings 194 ports in 68 countries.

Crystal Cruises' 2013 savings offers include multiple deals for Mediterranean sailings.  Pictured here, Crystal Serenity in Portofino.  (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Cruises’ 2013 savings offers include multiple deals for Mediterranean sailings. Pictured here, Crystal Serenity in Portofino. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

With new Book Now fares available now and guaranteed only through February 28, 2013, the company is offering up to $1500 off Asia, $1500 off Europe, $1600 off New England/Canada, $1700 off South America, $1000 off Holiday sailings, and more.

Other new promotions include:
REDUCED SOLO TRAVEL FARES on 12 voyages in Asia, Mediterranean, Baltic and South America – as low as 110% for sole occupancy staterooms.
KIDS SAIL FREE on select July and August Western and Northern European cruises, in a third berth when sharing a stateroom with two adults.

Booking early reaps great benefits – in savings, third berth capacity, airfares, etc.,” says JACK ANDERSON, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & SALES.  “When our last round of Book Now fares expired on December 28, we raised rates on 25 cruises in 2013 and seven in 2014.  By the end of December, we had over 70% of our targeted revenue on the books for 2013.  The word is out that these extraordinary fares for our ultra-luxury cruises are not guaranteed forever.”

Also significant, many more 2013 cruises are 10 days or less (almost half!), including a 250+% increase in shorter European cruises. Additionally, Crystal’s wildly successful Fall 2012 series of short Getaways are returning for 2013 with more options to more destinations.

CRYSTAL GETAWAYS:  As little as 5 days, 9 voyages in Asia, Australia/New Zealand, New England/Canada and Alaska start as low as $1,470 per person.

More than 70% of our Getaways guests are new to Crystal and, on average, almost 10 years younger,” says Anderson.  “Some are time-crunched professionals.  Some are combining with land stays.  All in all, they’ve been blending in well with guests on more extended cruise vacations and are raving about their Crystal experience.”

Also worth noting for 2013:
— More than 50% increase in shipboard overnight stays in port on embarkation days – to better enjoy the destination and ease the travel experience.
— 25% more port days than 2012.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Culinary Masters Warm Up Arctic Cruise on Crystal In 2013

A NORWEGIAN CULINARY OLYMPICS TEAM member, CORDON BLEU MASTER CHEF, and DOMAINE LAROCHE BRAND AMBASSADOR will bring spice to the ice during CRYSTAL CRUISES‘ luxury voyage through the ARCTIC CIRCLE in 2013.  The special guests will be aboard as part of a “WINE AND FOOD” THEME enhancing the ultra-luxe line’s annual NORTH CAPE CRUISE next July. The CRYSTAL SERENITY voyage begins July 5, sailing from COPENHAGEN to STOCKHOLM, visiting 10 ports over 15 days filled with sipping Europe’s finest local beverages, learning about local dishes from gourmands, and seeing the breathtaking scenery of Lapland.

Crystal Cruises' 2013 North Cape "Wine and Food"-themed voyage includes passing through the stunning Norwegian fjords, with a stop in Geiranger, Norway. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Cruises’ 2013 North Cape “Wine and Food”-themed voyage includes passing through the stunning Norwegian fjords, with a stop in Geiranger, Norway. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

The culinary experts currently scheduled are:
— SVEN ERIK RENAA: Proprietor of Norway’s renowned RENAA RESTAURANTS, winner of numerous Chef of the Year awards, and manager of the champion NORWEGIAN NATIONAL CULINARY TEAM.
— GWENAEL LAROCHE: Brand Ambasadress for (and family member of) Burgundy’s DOMAINE LAROCHE WINERY, a name that is virtually synonymous with Chablis and has won “THE BEST WHITE WINE IN THE WORLD” award from Wine Spectator.
— MARK CUMMINGS: A certified CORDON BLEU MASTER CHEF, restaurateur, and star of TV’s The Very Best of Everything.

They will offer hands-on instruction in preparing chef specialties, live cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and specially-designed menus for select Crystal Dining Room dinners.

The voyage includes overnights in Copenhagen and Stockholm at the cruise’s beginning and end; calls in GEIRANGER, HONNINGSVAG, TROMSO, LOFOTEN, ALESUND, LOEN, and BERGEN, NORWAY; Crystal’s first return to MURMANSK, RUSSIA in 18 years; and cruising the NORWEGIAN FJORDS, NORTH CAPE/ARCTIC CIRCLE, and NORTH, BARENTS, and BALTIC SEAS.  All-inclusive “Book Now” fares offer special savings.

Foodie fun also segues to shore, with CRYSTAL ADVENTURES that take travelers on a “Quest for King Crab” in the waters of SARNESFJORDEN (followed by eating the day’s catch); to TROMSO‘s oldest pub and MACK’S BREWERY to learn (and taste!) the art of crafting arctic beer; and to three different ice bars (in LEKNES, STOCKHOLM, HONNINGSVAG) for perfectly-chilled vodka sipping.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Hobbit Home Dinner Party Offers “Precious” Movie Experience For Crystal Holiday-ers

Known for its ingenuity in global adventure, CRYSTAL CRUISES is offering an exclusive new dinner experience this December, on the “Hobbiton” set used for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and new prequel film. The unique shoreside opportunity will debut just days after The Hobbit opens worldwide, when CRYSTAL SYMPHONY calls in TAURANGA during a NEW ZEALAND/AUSTRALIA HOLIDAY CRUISE beginning December 20.  The CRYSTAL adventure will also be offered on a January 29 voyage through the region.

Crystal's exclusive dinner at the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand includes visiting 'Hobbit Holes' -- i.e., Hobbit homes build into hills

Crystal’s exclusive dinner at the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand includes visiting ‘Hobbit Holes’ — i.e., Hobbit homes build into hills

The two local cultures of NEW ZEALAND and “Middle Earth” will come alive, starting with a private, after-hours, guided tour of the village movie set. From Frodo and Bilbo Baggins‘ Hobbit holes to the Brandywine Bridge, guests will enter buildings and stroll rolling hills, while learning about the massive efforts undertaken to build the site. On the grounds of the hobbit-frequented Green Dragon Inn, with a beautiful sunset view overlooking the lake and Mill, guests will enjoy a bevy of extraordinary local wine and beer, a traditional Kiwi barbeque, and other fresh fare served by wait staff in LORD OF THE RINGS garb. Continue reading

SPOTLIGHT ON: CRYSTAL SUMMER SAILINGS DEBUTING TOMORROW’S BRIGHTEST MUSICAL STARS

EUROPEAN ITINERARIES FEATURE MARQUIS PERFORMANCES FROM THE MUSIC CENTER OF LOS ANGELES

Aboard two Northern Europe cruises next summer, CRYSTAL CRUISES‘ guests will have the rare opportunity to enjoy live CRYSTAL-CRUISES-LOGO1performances from some of tomorrow’s brightest stars at the beginning of their professional careers. Continuing its exclusive partnership with the MUSIC CENTER OF LOS ANGELES‘ distinguished SPOTLIGHT PROGRAM, the ultra-luxury line will showcase the talents of the program’s most acclaimed young artists on its 2013 “EMERGING ARTISTS” EXPERIENCES OF DISCOVERY VOYAGES:

CRYSTAL SYMPHONY ICELAND/NORWAY VOYAGE (Reykjavic to London, June 4): Flamenco guitarist TIM CALLOBRE, vocalist GEOFFREY HAHN, and flautist SARAH JOHNSON will perform jazz, blues, and international classics, with Broadway personality KAREN MORROW leading a master class in vocal performance.

— CRYSTAL SERENITY SCANDINAVIA/GERMANY/RUSSIA CRUISE (Copenhagen to Stockholm, June 15): Opera singer SEAN PLUMB, classical pianist TIANPENG YU, and ballet dancers CHARLIE ANDERSON and SHELBY ELSBREE will perform classical and operatic pieces, with ballet mistress FRANCINE KESSLER-LAVAC leading a master class in ballet.

Ballet dancer Charlie Anderson 'warms up' during one of Crystal's Master Classes at Sea, offered during their 'Emerging Artists' theme cruises

Ballet dancer Charlie Anderson ‘warms up’ during one of Crystal’s Master Classes at Sea, offered during their ‘Emerging Artists’ theme cruises

The 11-day, June 4 “Emerging Artists” voyage overnights in REYKJAVIC, then visits HEIMAEY, ICELAND; TORSHAVN, DENMARK; ALESUND, HELLESYLT, BERGEN, EIDFJORD and STAVANGER, NORWAY; and LONDON.  The 10-day, June 15 sailing overnights in Copenhagen on June 15 before calling in BERLIN, GERMANY; HELSINKI, FINLAND; ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (two overnights); TALLINN, ESTONIA; and STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (overnight).  Through December 28, all-inclusive “Book Now” cruise fares start at $4,565 for 11 days and $4,580 for 10 days, respectively.

In addition to solo and ensemble performances on/in the ships’ stylish stages and expansive atriums, MASTER CLASSES AT SEA will offer behind-the-scenes insight into the discipline required to perform at/with such esteemed institutions as CARNEGIE HALL, JULLIARD, NEW YORK CITY BALLET, and KENNEDY CENTER at such young ages. A new, dedicated, in-stateroom Music Center television channel will also showcase the Music Center’s Spotlight program and the performers’ intensive training.

Crystal Serenity

Crystal Serenity

Like Crystal, the Music Center has been a preeminent leader in its field for decades, with the highest standard for talent and a reputation for excellence,” says CHRISTOPHER ESCAMILLA, CRYSTAL’S MANAGER, PRODUCTION OPERATIONS AND ENTERTAINMENT INTEGRATION. “When you consider the extraordinary stages these young artists have performed upon already, and the growing success sure to come in their futures, we’re thrilled to have them playing exclusively for Crystal guests during even a few short weeks en route to the top.”

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.