Crystal Cruises is offering almost 30% more Crystal Adventures exploring Europe’s extensive Jewish heritage in 2012. A predecessor to the ultra-luxe line’s new Christian heritage tours, the popular program gives Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony travelers the opportunity to intimately experience Jewish culture and history. The boutique outings visit neighborhoods, museums, monuments, synagogues, and more somber sites in/near Palamos, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, Rome, Odessa, St. Petersburg, and Israel.
* Haifa: A kibbutz, the ancient holy city of Safed, Golan Heights, and a second-century Jewish burial ground.
* Girona: El Call, one of Europe’s best-preserved Jewish Quarters, by Segway or foot.
* Dublin: The homes of Dublin’s Jewish Lord Mayors and ex-Israeli President Herzog, the first dedicated day school, and Jewish cemetery.
* Stockholm: The Jewish Museum and three local synagogues, from Stockholm’s first (1790) to one whose interior is originally from another synagogue in Hamburg.
* Berlin: Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, the Grosse Hamburger Strasse deportation area, Otto Weidt’s broom-making factory, and the 205,000-square-foot Holocaust Memorial (two different excursions).
* Athens: Athens’ Jewish Museum, containing 8,000+ domestic and religious artifacts from 2,300 years of Greek Judaism.
* Odessa: Kosher refreshments, Ukraine’s only Jewish history museum, Shomrei Shabbos synagogue, and Beit Grand Jewish Cultural Center.
* Hamburg: Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, home of 100,000+ WWII prisoners.
* Ashdod: Jerusalem’s Western Wall, Old City, and Holocaust artifact-filled Yad Vashem memorial.
“Due to their enormous popularity, we’re continuing to develop niche excursions that connect travelers to their special interests,” says Vice President, Land and Port Operations John Stoll. “Our Jewish guests welcome the opportunity to experience their heritage around the world. However, even non-practitioners of the faith relish gaining first-hand insight into different cultures, and Jewish culture is particularly fascinating for its long and storied impact upon so many areas of the world.”
Half-day and full-day adventures start at $75 per person, with two-person Private Options also available in Rome, Haifa, Berlin, and Odessa. Crystal Serenity’s October visit to Israel further offers trips to Galilee, Tel Aviv, and other Jewish-related areas, by coach or helicopter.
Thirty-five, 7- to 14-day all-inclusive, luxury European cruises offer limited-time Book Now, Cruise-Only fares if booked by April 30. Optional air add-ons are available, with additional savings for groups of six or more, combining cruises, and Crystal Society member-sponsored, new-to-Crystal guests. Kosher options and Jewish services are also available on select Crystal cruises.