Crystal Cruises is expanding its luxury golfing opportunities around the world with a 25% increase in international course offerings in 2013, many of them new-to-Crystal.
With three golf-themed cruises boasting new itineraries in the British Isles, New England/Canada, and the Canary Islands/Iberia, the Experience of Discovery voyages offer both exotic and close-to-home immersion in the regions’ best and most breathtaking courses (more than a dozen total), as well as onboard clinics, classes, and mingling to improve one’s game.
April 10’s 11-day cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona presents a preeminent example of the Six-Star caliber of related outings and programming. Britain’s best golfer in history, Tony Jacklin, will be aboard to share tips and tales from his esteemed career, as well as play with guests at renowned championship courses, including:
* Valderrama (Cadiz) – Considered by many to be the #1 course in Europe, with a design that utilizes natural hazards to challenge golfers.
* Oitavos Dunes (Lisbon) – Called “one of the finest pieces of golfing heaven anywhere in continental Europe,” thanks to a game-enhancing design that complements a natural setting, including 50-year-old umbrella pines lining the outward nine.
* El Saler Golf Course (Valencia) – Named one of Golf Magazine’s 100 Greatest Courses in the World and designed by the “architect of Spanish golf,” Javier Arana, with a notoriously deceptive 6th hole to challenge even the most seasoned competitors.
* Golf Club del Sur (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) – Home to several PGA European tour competitions, with water hazards, volcanic sand bunkers, and 8,000 palm trees surrounding its 27 holes. (Crystal guests will play 18.)
* Palheiro Golf Club (Funchal) – Designed to test players’ strategic game, with tight fairways, fast greens and stunning bay views from 200 year-old estate grounds.
“We’re thrilled to offer our discerning guests the opportunity to meet other greens fans and share such premier golf experiences with them,” says John Stoll, vice president of land and port operations. “Whether one is gleaning beginner’s tips from the on-board workshops with our pros, or already starting off with a low handicap, a Crystal golf itinerary is a dream vacation for exploring the nuances of this universally-loved game.”
Crystal’s golf program includes a VIP welcome reception; pre-/post-round refreshments in legendary clubhouses; welcome kits with course info and gifts; team-pairing; transportation to/from courses; game carts or caddies (where available); 45-minute warm-ups; awards; storage and cleaning of clubs and shoes; and more – all included. TaylorMade clubs, putting greens, driving ranges, and golf pros (who offer private lessons or complimentary group coaching sessions) are also available on board for extra practice, as they are on every Crystal cruise.
With calls in Lisbon (overnight) and Madeira/Funchal, Portugal; Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Arrecife, Canary Islands; Agadir and Casablanca, Morocco; and Cadiz/Seville, Valencia, and Barcelona, Spain, all-inclusive fares for April’s “Canary Islands Classic” cruise start at $3,995/person. Starting fares for August 26’s 7-day Dublin to London voyage start at $4,145/person, and September 16’s 10-day Boston to Montreal sailing begins at $3,790/person. “Book Now” savings of up to $2,000/couple are available if cruises are booked by October 31. Guests can ship their own clubs to and from the ship with Luggage Concierge.