New in 2012, carefully-selected curators, officials, and doyens are bringing an ultra-insider’s perspective to Crystal Cruises’ European port calls. The exclusive program, called “Local Insights,” brings aboard native experts to share their unique, niche knowledge about the destination’s art, politics, archaeology or history. Guests of all nationalities and interests can enjoy live, intimate talk show-style interviews (all complimentary) when Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity call in more than two dozen towns along the Mediterranean and Northern European coasts this year. Programs will be rebroadcast on in-stateroom televisions during each luxury cruise.
* Barcelona: Gaudi Centre architect Toshiaki Tange
* St. Petersburg: Ex-Mayor of St. Petersburg, Vladimir Khodyrev, or Managing Director of the Hermitage, Olga Arkhipova
* Belfast: Titanic expert Joe O’Neill
* Copenhagen: Managing Director of Tivoli Gardens, Lars Liebst or the Mayor of Culture and Leisure Activities, Pia Allerslev
* Bodrum: Archaeological diver and Director of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, Yasar Yildiz
* Venice: Chairman of the 16-church-wide Chorus Association, Father Don Aldo Marangoni or Venetian Port Manager Roberto Perocchio
Additional ports where the program will be offered include Dublin, Piraeus/Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Reykjavik, Odessa, Kotor, Ashdod, Livorno, Malaga, Cadiz, Valencia, Sorrento, Dubrovnik, and Bilbao, with some itineraries offering experts at up to three different calls during the cruise.
“Our guests seek – and expect – profound travel experiences that allow them to explore the heart of destinations and see them in new ways,” says Bret Bullock, Crystal’s vice president of entertainment. “This Crystal Visions Enrichment Program addition offers easy access to first-hand knowledge of cultures and regions using those who know these nuances best: the locals…and the most distinguished locals at that.”
With more overnights and time in port in 2012, Crystal is visiting dozens of culturally and historically significant destinations throughout Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Turkey, Russia, France, Israel, the Ukraine, the UK and more. Until August 31, all-inclusive Book Now fares for 5- to 15-day European voyages sailing until December start at $1,310/person, with optional air add-ons and savings for groups of six or more, combining cruises, and Crystal Society member-sponsored, new-to-Crystal guests.
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.