As a result of record participation in 2007, Crystal Cruises announces its largest-ever collection of luxury Overland Adventures available with its 2008 World Cruise.
Crystal has assembled 34 multiple-day excursions - 10 of them brand new - for a savvy clientele eager to venture more than 1,000 miles from World Cruise ports to trek Borneo's rainforest, train an elephant in northern Thailand, drink in Australia's Barossa Valley wine region and other coveted destination experiences in India and Egypt, among others.
Departing January 19, Crystal's 2008 108-day World Cruise travels from Los Angeles to London and calls at 45 ports in 22 countries. With the ultra-luxurious Crystal Serenity serving as home base, world cruisers can enjoy fully-escorted, two- to six-night adventures that depart from one port of call and re-join the ship in another.
"Crystal's World Cruise guests are sophisticated travelers with an insatiable appetite for culturally authentic and stimulating adventure," says John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs. "Our Overland Adventures expand the way our guests plan their travels. While the cruise itinerary may list Cairns, Phuket or Cochin, a Crystal travel adventure can take you thousands of miles away to Ayers Rock or Mandalay or Jaipur."
From natural wonders - like New Zealand's fjords and Australia's wetlands - to ancient wonders - like Angor Wat, The Great Wall and the Taj Mahal - Crystal's 2008 overland collection includes such highlights as:
* *New* Borneo's Kota Kinabalu rainforest and orangutan experience in Sandakan (three nights from Singapore) - distance traveled: over 2,000 miles
* *New* Elephant training and a Thai massage in northern Thailand's ancient Chiang Mai (two nights from Ho Chi Minh) - distance traveled: over 3,000 miles
* *New* Ayers Rock, the world's largest monolith, in the Australian outback (three nights from Cairns) - distance traveled: over 6,000 miles
* *New* India's wonders discovered on three new adventures - five in all - showcasing the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, the Pink City of Jaipur and Udaipur, known as the Venice of the East (two to three nights; all from Cochin) - distance traveled: over 10,000 miles
* Six different excursions explore the Myanmar treasures of Mandalay, Lake Inle and Bagan, the largest archeological site in southeast Asia (one to four nights; all from Yangon) - distance traveled: over 8,000 miles
* Three excursions journey through Egypt and Jordan's Luxor, The Valley of the Kings and along the Nile (three nights from Safaga) - distance traveled: over 1,000 miles
Besides record demand, Crystal Cruises' Overland Adventures have enjoyed record ratings from its discriminating World Cruisers. Where possible, accommodations are planned at hotels that share Crystal's service philosophy, such as The Oberoi, The Peninsula and Mandarin Oriental. Crystal is also using several Four Seasons Hotels - including a Four Seasons Tented Camp in Thailand's Golden Triangle, the region where Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. Programs feature rare antiquities as well as visits to local shops and markets. Many UNESCO World Heritage Sites are showcased in the programs.
Fares for Crystal's Overland Adventures begin at $1,205 per person and include all air/ground transportation, accommodations, meals and Crystal escort. Overland Adventures may be pre-reserved online at crystalcruises.com where guests may also view day-by-day itinerary details.
Adds Stoll, "A World Cruise in and of itself takes one on an incredible personal and shared journey. Additionally, there is a wonderful camaraderie that develops amongst those who experience an overland adventure together."