Crystal Cruises' Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony doubled the number of voyages that begin with days (and nights) in port. This eases the worry of late flight arrivals, lost luggage, relocating to and from hotels, finding quality eateries and settling in prior to sight-seeing,
Crystal also added overnights to the middle and/or end of the majority of cruises this year. Overnights at the disembarkation ports of Venice, Barcelona or Istanbul further allow guests to see more of the final destination without having to move to a hotel or rush to the airport to fly home.
Twenty-six large cultural capitals and smaller locales renowned for their charm are featured in North America, the Pacific, and Europe from March through December, with 69 overnights planned in alluring Europe alone. A sampling includes:
· Mediterranean, including the Black Sea and Middle East (43 overnights/10 ports): Venice, Ashdod, Istanbul, Odessa, Barcelona, Lisbon, and Monte Carlo
· Baltic and Northern Europe: (21 overnights/four ports): Stockholm, Copenhagen, and St. Petersburg, with five cruises featuring two nights (“double overnight”) in the latter
· Western Europe and UK (five overnights/four ports): Edinburgh, Bordeaux, and Reykjavik
· North America: (nine overnights/four ports): NY, Quebec City, San Francisco, and Montreal
· South Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand: (six overnights/four ports): Papeete, Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney, with a huge complimentary VIP New Year’s Eve celebration during a double overnight in the latter.
Crystal’s new strategic planning evolution will extend through 2013 into 2014, with more than 85 percent of next year’s 64 itineraries offering two or more days in port, and a more than 50 percent increase in overnights on embarkation day.
Until Feb. 28, per-person “Book Now” fares for 2012 start at $1,360 for luxury Mediterranean cruises, $2,965 for the rest of Europe, $2,255 for a New England/Canada voyage, and $3,370 for Hawaii and the South Pacific region -- all per person/double occupancy. Air add-ons are available from more than 90 North American airports.