On the eve of New Year’s Eve, Crystal Cruises is reminding travelers it’s not too early to start planning next year’s holiday, with a private floating party in Sydney Harbour welcoming in New Year’s 2013.  

The over-the-top celebration offers exclusive front-row “seats” to the world’s biggest New Year’s fireworks, gratis for guests of all ages on Crystal Symphony’s lavish culinary-themed holiday cruise through New Zealand/Australia beginning December 20, 2012.

The très chic fête unfolds aboard two luxury catamarans, sailing past Sydney’s crowd-lined shores in the uber-exclusive, select-vessel Harbour of Light Parade flotilla.  Crystal has special-arranged final VIP stationing under Sydney Harbour Bridge, inside the off-limits Harbour Exclusion Zone, for the preeminent fireworks vantage point. 

The intimate post-dinner soiree includes hors d’oeuvres, desserts, premium open bar, music, dancing, midnight champagne countdown, Crystal’s renowned six-star service, and spectacular city views, with guests among the globe’s first ringing in 2013.

“This promises to be our most opulent New Year’s Eve in years,” says Crystal’s Senior Vice President Operations, Thomas Mazloum.  “The night is not only an incredible backdrop for once-in-a-lifetime memories, the entire cruise is a tremendous value, considering the party, other holiday festivities, and all Wine and Food Festival events are complimentary.”

The festive itinerary includes grand holiday décor, gourmet Christmas dinner, Chanukah traditions, and other seasonal delights during overnights in Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney (two nights), plus calls in Tauranga, Napier, Christchurch/Lyttleton, and Dunedin, NZ.  Numerous experts--including guest chefs, mixologist, oenologist, oceanographer, conservation biologist, CBS News correspondent, and South African Ambassador—are also scheduled to host enlightening destination-related presentations.

Until December 31, 2011, “Book Now” cruise-only fares for the 16-day voyage start at $8,205/person, including fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, plus pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff.  If flying from one of 24 North American cities, “Book Now” rates that include airfare and airport transfers start at $9,705/person.