Crystal Cruises Offers Regional Expertise Aboard Eastern Mediterranean Sailing


The Crystal Serenity will be host to this Oct. 4 Eastern Mediterranean sailing. // (c) 2011 Crystal Cruises.

This fall, Crystal Cruises is offering a historic Wine and Food Festival sailing through the Eastern Mediterranean on Oct. 24, 2011. Joining in the voyage are former ambassador Marc Ginsberg, historian and National Geographic author Dr. Jean-Pierre Isbouts and Persian winemaker Darioush Khaledi to discuss the historical significance of the Eastern Mediterranian region.

The program will consist of educational presentations, 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, who will use 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 re-creation of the world of Jesus’s 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, who will use an underwater perspective on the regional marine life.

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

Persian chef Azmin Ghahreman, who wil provide 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), who will host tastings of fine wines and olive oils, using oil from Khaledi’s exclusive private garden.

Mediterranean food writer Michele Scicolone, who will provide insights into the region’s culinary history and delicacies.

Tony Abou-Ganim, celebrated Lebanese-American mixologist, who will showcase cool cocktail-making and guest-bartending several nights in on-board  lounges.

Craig Min, gourmet java expert, who will provide 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 per person (double occupancy), including round-trip air from 24 North American hubs with airport or ship transfers (or substantial air credit), and $1,000 per person “All Inclusive—As You Wish” spending credit.


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