Experts enrich Crystal’s Mediterranean/Holy Land experience this fall

31st Aug 2011
Experts enrich Crystal’s Mediterranean/Holy Land experience this fall

The “Old City.”  Constantinople.  The modern Middle East conflict.  Olive Oil.  Throughout time, the eastern Mediterranean has been an epicenter of historic significance.  This fall, former Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, historian and National Geographic author Dr. Jean-Pierre Isbouts, and Persian winemaker Darioush Khaledi are among the distinguished experts to help illuminate that significance aboard Crystal Cruises’ October 24 ultra-luxe sailing through the region.

Cultural and interactive, the varied complimentary program will consist of educational presentations, ultra-exclusive tastings, and—in a Crystal first—a new panel discussion bringing together guest culinary experts to discuss future culinary trends and answer audience questions.

From Athens to Istanbul, the 12-day Crystal Serenity sailing visits Santorini and Mykonos, Greece; Ashdod, Israel (overnight); Limassol, Cyprus; Iraklion, Crete; and Kusadasi, Turkey.

Among those scheduled to enhance guests’ local experiences are:

*  Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, using his three-decade Middle East-focused career to provide expert analysis of current regional events.
*  Dr. Jean-Pierre Isbouts, author of the international bestseller, The Biblical World, sharing:
*  Whether Santorini was the location of the lost city of Atlantis
*  A recreation of the world of Jesus’ youth, via forensic research and archaeology
*  A virtual walking tour of Jerusalem’s greatest sights
*  A traveler’s guide to Greek culture and its influence
*  An overview of Istanbul’s rich history, from Byzantium to modern Islam
*  Oceanographer Christopher Croxson, presenting an underwater perspective on the regional marine life


As a Wine and Food Festival cruise, the sailing also boasts a large cadre of gastronomic pros sharing their trade secrets, such as:

*  Persian Chef Azmin Ghahreman, for hands-on cooking classes and a “Spice Bazaar” dinner using local, freshly blended spices.
*  Wine experts Rajat Parr (wine director for the Michael Mina restaurant group) and Darioush Khaledi (Persian-American winemaker of Napa’s Darioush winery), for tastings of fine wines and olive oils, using oil from Khaledi’s exclusive private garden.
*  Mediterranean food writer Michele Scicolone, for insights into the region’s culinary history and delicacies.
*  Tony Abou-Ganim, celebrated Lebanese-American mixologist, for cool cocktail-making and guest-bartending (a rarity!) several nights in on-board lounges.
*  Craig Min, gourmet java expert, for made-to-order Turkish and deluxe coffee-making all day during sea days.

Two-for-one fares for the “Epicurean Discoveries” voyage start at $6,695/person (double occupancy), including round-trip air from 24 North American hubs with airport/ship transfers (or substantial air credit), and $1,000/person “All Inclusive—As You Wish” spending credit.

Crystal’s award-winning, luxurious offerings always include a diverse selection of thought-provoking, scholarly, and sophisticated enrichment activities that provide extensive on-board choices for cultured world travelers.


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