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The Ultimate Crystal Cruise

256-day cruise from £449,000 pp incl. flights

Exclusive offer: Exclusive voyage sailing on five luxury vessels

Summary

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Los Angeles
  • 1 Night Maui/Lahaina
  • 1 Night Oahu/Honolulu
  • 1 Night Pago Pago
  • 1 Night Apia
  • 1 Night Suva
  • 1 Night Mystery Island
  • 1 Night Nouméa
  • 1 Night Australasia
  • 3 Nights Sydney
  • 1 Night Hamilton Island
  • 2 Nights Cairns
  • 1 Night Cooktown
  • 1 Night Alotau
  • 1 Night Kitava
  • 1 Night Guadalcanal
  • 1 Night Gizo
  • 2 Nights Rabaul
  • 1 Night Boracay Island
  • 1 Night Romblon Island
  • 2 Nights Manila
  • 3 Nights Hong Kong
  • 1 Night Hanoi / Haiphong
  • 1 Night Chan May
  • 2 Nights Ho Chi Minh City
  • 1 Night Sihanoukville
  • 3 Nights Singapore
  • 1 Night Kuala Lumpur/Port Kelang
  • 2 Nights Phuket
  • 3 Nights Yangon/Rangoon
  • 2 Nights Colombo
  • 2 Nights Cochin
  • 1 Night Mangalore
  • 3 Nights Mumbai (Bombay)
  • 2 Nights Muscat
  • 1 Night Manama
  • 1 Night Doha
  • 2 Nights Abu Dhabi
  • 3 Nights Dubai
  • 1 Night Al Fujairah
  • 1 Night Salalah
  • 1 Night Aqaba
  • 2 Nights Safaga
  • 1 Night Alexandria/Cairo
  • 1 Night Ashdod
  • 1 Night Sorrento
  • 2 Nights Rome/Civitavecchia
  • 1 Night Livorno
  • 1 Night Villefranche
  • 1 Night Saint-Tropez
  • 1 Night Ajaccio
  • 1 Night Cruising the Mediterranean Sea
  • 1 Night Ibiza
  • 1 Night Barcelona
  • 1 Night Cruising the Mediterranean Sea
  • 2 Nights Monte Carlo
  • 1 Night Marseille
  • 1 Night Barcelona
  • 1 Night Cruising the Mediterranean Sea
  • 1 Night Gibraltar
  • 1 Night Lisbon
  • 1 Night Oporto
  • 1 Night Cruising the Bay of Biscay
  • 1 Night Honfleur
  • 1 Night Cherbourg
  • 1 Night Guernsey
  • 1 Night Tilbury
  • 2 Nights Amsterdam
  • 1 Night Cruising the North Sea
  • 1 Night Copenhagen
  • 1 Night Cruising the Baltic Sea
  • 1 Night Helsinki
  • 2 Nights St Petersburg
  • 1 Night Old City Harbor (Port of Tallinn)
  • 3 Nights Stockholm
  • 2 Nights Vienna
  • 1 Night Dürnstein
  • 1 Night Linz
  • 2 Nights Passau
  • 1 Night Bratislava
  • 1 Night Budapest
  • 1 Night Scenic Cruising
  • 1 Night Vienna
  • 1 Night London
  • 1 Night Tilbury Docks
  • 1 Night Cruising the North Sea
  • 1 Night Bergen
  • 1 Night Flåm
  • 1 Night Geiranger
  • 1 Night Cruising the Norwegian Sea
  • 1 Night Lofoten
  • 1 Night Tromsø
  • 1 Night Honningsvåg
  • 2 Nights Cruising the Norwegian Sea
  • 1 Night Olden
  • 1 Night Stavanger
  • 1 Night Cruising the North Sea
  • 1 Night Tilbury Docks
  • 1 Night Guernsey
  • 2 Nights Dublin
  • 1 Night Belfast
  • 1 Night Greenock
  • 1 Night Cruising the Irish Sea & North Atlantic Ocean
  • 1 Night Dundee
  • 2 Nights Edinburgh
  • 1 Night Cruising the North Sea
  • 2 Nights Amsterdam
  • 1 Night Zeebrugge
  • 3 Nights San Francisco
  • 1 Night Monterey
  • 1 Night Santa Catalina Island
  • 1 Night Cruising the West Coast of USA
  • 2 Nights Cabo San Lucas
  • 1 Night Cruising the West Coast of USA
  • 1 Night San Diego
  • 1 Night Cruising the West Coast of USA
  • 1 Night San Francisco
  • 1 Night Cruising the West Coast of USA
  • 1 Night Cruising the Coast of Mexico
  • 1 Night Cabo San Lucas
  • 2 Nights Cruising the Coast of Mexico
  • 1 Night Puerto Chiapas
  • 1 Night Puerto Quetzal
  • 1 Night San Juan del Sur
  • 1 Night Caldera
  • 1 Night Cruising the Coast of Central America
  • 1 Night Cruising the Panama Canal and Gatun Lake
  • 1 Night Cartagena - Bolivar
  • 2 Nights Cruising the Caribbean Sea
  • 1 Night Bimini
  • 1 Night Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
  • 1 Night Charleston
  • 1 Night Cruising the East Coast of USA
  • 1 Night New York City
  • 2 Nights New York
  • 2 Nights Marigot Bay
  • 1 Night Anguilla
  • 1 Night Saba
  • 1 Night Falmouth
  • 1 Night Nevis
  • 1 Night Gustavia
  • 1 Night Orient Bay
  • 1 Night Marigot Bay
  • 1 Night Gustavia
  • 1 Night Anegada
  • 1 Night Scrub Island
  • 1 Night Jost Van Dyke
  • 1 Night Salt Island
  • 1 Night The Indians
  • 1 Night Saint Martin
  • 2 Nights Budapest
  • 1 Night Bratislava
  • 2 Nights Vienna
  • 1 Night Melk
  • 1 Night Passau
  • 1 Night Deggendorf
  • 1 Night Regensburg
  • 1 Night Nuremberg
  • 1 Night Bamberg
  • 1 Night Würzburg
  • 1 Night Miltenberg
  • 1 Night Koblenz
  • 1 Night Cologne
  • 1 Night Amsterdam

About

Recommended for:
Ocean cruise

Spanning an incredible 256 days, The Ultimate Crystal Cruise sets sail from Los Angeles in January 2018. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure combines the very best of what Crystal Cruises has to offer with guests staying in the top suites on board Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises. We have combined the individual voyages with first class flights, private chauffeurs and stays in the world’s best hotels to complement the incredible levels of service and luxury our guests will find on board the ships of Crystal.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Fly UK to Los Angeles

Our chauffeur will collect you from your home and transfer you to the airport for your First Class flight to Los Angeles, arriving the same day.

Upon arrival you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to the Beverly Hills Hilton for an overnight stay.

Day 2
Los Angeles, California, USA

Spectacular natural surroundings combined with the vitality of a creative and artistic community make Los Angeles one-of-a-kind. Sunshine, majestic palm trees and the sandy beaches of the Pacific share the spotlight with L.A.'s glamorous movie industry and its world-famous celebrities. Formally founded in 1781, it is now one of the world's largest metropolitan centers.

Check out of your hotel and transfer to San Pedro Harbour to embark Crystal Serenity. Sail at 5pm


Days 3-7
Cruising the Pacific Ocean

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at the state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along the 360 degree Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at the Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with Crystal's engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with the Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop at luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while the attentive crew caters to your every whim.

From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or the action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Day 8
Maui/Lahaina, Hawaii, USA

In addition to possessing marvelous beaches, this second-largest island of the Hawaiian archipelago boasts one of the great natural wonders of the world - Haleakala, the largest dormant volcano on the planet. Nicknamed the "Valley Isle," the island of Maui boasts a string of jungle valleys and is flanked on two sides by volcanoes, Puu Kukui to the west and the great Haleakala to the east. According to legend, the Hawaiian demigod Maui pulled up both ends of the island from the sea bottom with his fishhook to create this Pacific paradise. Resting between these two towering craters is central Maui, named after the island's legendary creator. Cradled on its western shore at the foot of Puu Kukui is picturesque Lahaina, now designated a national historic landmark. In days gone by, it was one of the principal whaling centers of the Pacific. Now it brims with reminders of its legendary seafaring past. Beyond Lahaina lie tranquil valleys of serene majesty, the golden sands of Kaanapali Beach and Haleakala's immense crater.

Day 9
Oahu/Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Aloha" and welcome to Oahu, Hawaii's great "gathering place." Asian- and American-influenced cultures combine to create a lifestyle where the tropical tempos of Polynesia prevail and the aloha spirit pervades every aspect of the culture. Honolulu and Oahu are the center of island life and boast sandy beaches, endearing smiles and exotic tropical flowers. Nearby, elegant resorts and towering high-rises line the gentle curve of Waikiki Beach. In the distance, majestic Diamond Head Crater lies on the horizon beyond your Crystal ship.

Days 10-14
Cruising the Pacific Ocean

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea.

Day 15
Pago Pago

Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa, a verdant chain of seven South Pacific isles covered with ferns, breadfruit and pananus trees. Populated by Polynesians for over 2,500 years, many experts believe this is the birthplace of Polynesian culture. As you tour the picturesque harbor, shopping for native handcrafts, listen for the local greeting, "talofa lava": "you are welcome here."

Day 16
Apia, Western Samoa

Tropic-green Upolu is unmistakably a South Seas Island. Cradled along its northern shore lies the peaceful township of Apia. Picturesque thatched-roof fales blend into the emerald-hued countryside. Jagged mountains rise above deserted beaches where trade winds sigh on coconut palms. Banana groves and breadfruit trees gently ripen in the moist, tropical climate. Western Samoa's friendly, carefree islanders will welcome you to their bountiful homeland and proudly show you the former home of their adopted son, Robert Louis Stevenson. This is a contented island where traditional ways hold sway despite the passage of time.

Day 17
At Sea

Enjoy your day at sea.

Day 18
Crossing the International Dateline

Enjoy a day at sea.

Day 19
Suva, Fiji

Suva sits on the southeast shores of mountainous Viti Levu ("Great Fiji"), largest of the over 800 islands which comprise the Republic of Fiji. Local folk traditions remain strong, like fire-walks and welcoming ceremonies, wood-carving and the fabrication of tree-bark cloth. The island's proud history is showcased in the Fiji Museum, with its impressive collection of war canoes.

Day 20
Cruising the Pacific Ocean

Enjoy a day at sea.

Day 21
Mystery Island, Vanuatu

Welcome to Mystery Island, one of the world’s last remaining deserted islands. While this tiny isle has no permanent residents, there still is much to welcome you, including warm waters teeming with fish, ideal for snorkeling, and inviting expanses of golden beaches. Also greeting you will be the locals—or as close to “local— as it gets here on Mystery Island. Friendly people from neighboring Tanna Island will be on hand to offer warm smiles and an array of handcrafted items, tokens of your call and their culture.

Day 22
Nouméa, New Caledonia

Having served as the South Pacific headquarters for the U.S. military during World War II, the main island of New Caledonia, called Grande Terre, has played a prominent role on the world stage. These days, the island's sunny weather and natural beauty have taken the spotlight, bringing people to its shores for relaxation and outdoor pursuits. The island's French-influenced capital, Nouméa, dubbed the Paris of the Pacific, has a distinctly French flair with fine restaurants and designer boutiques. Off shore are the vast barrier reefs, home to 350 species of coral and 1,500 species of fish. New Caledonia's protected lagoon covers almost nine thousand square miles, making it the largest lagoon complex in the world. At nearly one thousand miles long, the barrier reef is the world's second largest, behind Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Day 23
Cruising the Pacific Ocean

Enjoy a day at sea.

Day 24
Norfolk Island

Rugged, green and small at only five by eight miles, Norfolk Island is a gem in the South Pacific, at least for today’s travelers. Arrivals in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were likely to be convicts, shipped off to these otherwise idyllic shores to serve time. Reminders of the island’s penal-colony history are some of its most popular attractions, including the seaside ruins of an early prison, the convict cemetery, and the town of Kingston, built largely by convicts. Many of the structures have been restored, some housing small museums. Kingston and its penal-colony past are of such interest that the city was inscribed on the World Heritage List as part of eleven Australian Convict Sites. Sure to capture your heart are some the island’s other renowned features. Norfolk National Park provides hiking and nice views from its mountain peaks, while sheltered beaches offer chances to soak in the sun and discover the wildlife with snorkeling and diving excursions.

Day 25
Cruising the Pacific Ocean

Enjoy a day at sea.

Days 26-28
Sydney, Australia

The billowing profile of the Opera House greets us on her return to Sydney's glorious, world-class harbor. Ahead lies the arch of the Harbour Bridge. These twin symbols, more than any other, identify one of the Southern Hemisphere's premier cities. Sydney is an energetic and exciting metropolis whose nightlife, shopping and fine restaurants compare favorably with the finest the world has to offer. Despite its modern advances, Sydney has lovingly cherished its heritage, for this was the birthplace of the Australian nation. Combine Sydney's boundless attractions with its superb harborside location, and you have that certain magic that few other cities can rival.

Days 29-30
Cruising the East Coast of Australia

Enjoy a day at sea.

Day 31
Hamilton Island, Australia

Their location is perfect: the Whitsunday Islands, among them Hamilton Island, sit right off the white sandy coast of Queensland, just 90 minutes from the Outer Great Barrier Reef and amid some dazzling dive sites of their own. Of these 74 islands, most are uninhabited. The islands that do welcome guests offer countless opportunities for snorkeling, diving, sailing, hiking and fishing.

Perhaps the island with the most to see and do is Hamilton Island. The vacation village has been polished to a high sheen and equipped with top-notch amenities. Wander the marina where you can stop for a bite to eat at one of the cafés or do some shopping. For a quintessentially Aussie experience, hike the trails that wind through the island's 1,853-acre virgin bush land. Also visit the wildlife sanctuary for a chance to pet a baby crocodile or hold a cuddly Koala.

Days 32-33
Cairns, Australia

Welcome to Cairns [cans], where the weather and hospitality are warm. Tropical Cairns is Queenland's most northerly city, and is framed by two features of such pristine beauty and incomparable value that they have been listed by the World Heritage Society. Located at the point where the Great Dividing Range and Great Barrier Reef curve gently to the shoreline, Cairns is graced with inspiring natural attractions in all directions. Beyond the coast are mountains, rainforests, eucalyptus, waterfalls, lakes, rugged ravines and grazing farmlands fed by freshwater streams. Above all, two of the most wonderful assets are the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforests. Cairns, the colorful, sophisticated capital of the tropical north, is alive with life and charm. At hand and beckoning for your discovery are elegant boutiques, markets, art galleries and museums.

Day 34
Cooktown

As you might expect, Cooktown is named after Captain James Cook, who beached his ship, the Endeavour, on these shores in 1770. He spent nearly seven weeks repairing the vessel, replenishing supplies and nursing the sick, writing, “It was happy for us that a place of refuge was at hand.— Travelers who come ashore today also will find this slice of Queensland to be a refuge, a place to relish with a relaxed and enlightening visit. In addition to its connection to James Cook, memorialized with monuments and a museum, Cooktown boasts a Gold Rush history, pristine beaches, hidden gardens, majestic mountain views and an interesting indigenous culture.

Day 35
Cruising the South Pacific Ocean

Enjoy your day at sea.

Day 36
Alotau, Papua New Guinea

Tucked just below the equator and occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (with the other half belonging to Indonesia), the island nation of Papua New Guinea has all the features of the South Pacific, including beautiful tropical landscapes and clear waters. Below the ocean’s surface are intricate coral reefs, exotic sealife and the wrecks of ships and aircraft that plunged into these watery depths during World War II. Several land-based memorials commemorate the pivotal wartime events that played out here. In fact, these shores are the site of Japan’s first land defeat in the Pacific War. Peace now reigning, visitors are free to enjoy the balmy climate, azure sea and a culture that is tribal and laid back. Alotau’s location at the southern tip of the main island is perfectly suited to launching expeditions to the nearby isles of Samarai, Fergusson and Goodenough, offering chances to delve further into the region’s history and spot wildlife amid unspoiled terrain.

Day 37
Kitava, Papua New Guinea

North of Australia and just east of Indonesia, the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea are ideally positioned for a picture-perfect getaway. White-sand beaches and warm, clear waters are only the beginning of what make these islands, including Kitava, such a treasure. An interesting local culture revealed in ceremonial dances, yam houses, burial caves and the warm smiles of the people is immediately accessible, both geographically and intellectually. Nicknamed the “Island of Love,— Kitava is indeed a wonderful spot for honeymooners and anyone who adores the tropical outdoors. Swim and snorkel among colorful fish, hike to freshwater pools or simply relax on an idyllic beach and you can’t help but fall in love with this beautiful island destination.

Day 38
Cruising the Solomon Sea

Enjoy your day at Sea

Day 39
Guadalcanal, Honiara, Solomon Islands

Lush, mountainous landscapes, white sandy beaches and clear waters teeming with fish are certainly the main attractions of Guadalcanal, the largest of the Solomon Islands. Coming in a close second, or for World War II buffs perhaps ranking first, are the history and relics associated with the war, especially the Battle of Guadalcanal that turned the tide in favor of the Allies. Both the wonders of nature and the reminders of battle are covered with diving excursions to see sunken battleships and aircraft, including B17 bombers, at the aptly named Iron Bottom Sound. Naturally, you will spot fish and other undersea creatures as well. Traipsing about on land, you can visit stunning waterfalls, spy wildlife such as birds, turtles and flying foxes, and go bicycling, golfing and spelunking.

Day 40
Gizo, Solomon Islands

Many destinations are famed for what they possess: prized architectural landmarks, sweeping city skylines and museums filled with precious cultural relics. For the Solomon Islands, however, it is different. You already have traced the archipelago of 992 isles to their location east of Papua New Guinea, so you likely have an idea of what this remote tropical retreat does not possess: crowds, high rises, glitzy resorts, gnarled city streets, and even cities, at least in the conventional sense. What is left is an untouched paradise (except in 1942 when the Solomon Islands were a theater of war), filled with lush forests, azure waters, exotic wildlife, volcanic landscapes and dense mangroves to be experienced by surfing, diving, snorkeling, hiking and kayaking, or simply pursuing the highly prized activity of relaxing.

Days 41-42
RabaulRabaul, Papua New Guinea (overnight)

Rabaul is an ideal destination for those interested in delving into wartime history and big-time nature. For the latter, Rabaul offers truly spectacular diving and snorkeling in waters that are warm and clear. Rabaul has another nature-related claim to fame: the eruption of Mt. Tavurvur in 1994, which left most of the town destroyed by ash. What remains is a reminder of the power and unpredictability of the earth’s forces and the resilience of the island’s intrepid locals and visitors who avail themselves of great diving and hiking. As for wartime history, the island was captured by the Japanese during WWII and became a major base for the Japanese campaign in the South Pacific. Sites related to the conflict include the Japanese Tunnels, Admiral Yamamoto’s Bunker and the Kokopo War & Cultural Museum.

Days 43-47
Cruising the Pacific Ocean

Enjoy the time at sea.

Day 48
Boracay Island, Philippines

From the air, Boracay appears as dog-bone-shaped isle, green, lush and small, surrounded by impossibly blue waters that are a bright turquoise around shore and turn a deep azure in the vast expanse. From the beach, docks reach out over the sea and are capped by palapas that invite lingering, chatting and simply gazing out over the horizon. From moment to moment, Boracay gives you an array of options, perhaps a wade in a glass-smooth, coral protected lagoon, a try at windsurfing or kiteboarding, shopping at bustling White Beach or snorkeling at the quiet cove of Baling Hai Beach. No matter the perspective, Boracay is a fantastic composition of sun, sand and sea—the epitome of a tropical getaway. No wonder the island is consistently rated by travel magazines as one of the most beautiful in the world, easily competing with the Caribbean and South Pacific.

Day 49
Romblon Island, Philippines

Snorkeling in clear blue waters or lazing on a white-sand beach, you might think you are in the South Pacific or Caribbean. But a walk in town confirms you are in the Philippines, with its own distinct culture. A piece of this culture is the marble trade. Romblon is renowned for its marble, considered equal to that found in Italy. While you will discover everything from curios to buildings showcasing the magnificent natural material, little else is carved in stone. Time is yours to plan or not plan as you please, with chances to explore the “Romblon on Romblon in Romblon——meaning Romblon town on Romblon Island in Romblon Province—the way you wish. The layers of beauty will reveal themselves, whether it’s in the mountainous interior, on the palm-fringed shore or in the smiles of the people.

Days 50-51
Manila, Philippines (overnight)

Bustling Manila is the second largest city in Southeast Asia, with its towering skyscrapers and remarkable joie de vivre. Yet amid the big-city turmoil are oases of calm: lush tropical parks, magnificent cathedrals, dramatic Spanish forts. Choose from the cultural riches of the Metropolitan Museum and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, or spend the day shopping for fine antiques.

Day 52
Cruising the South China sea

Enjoy the time at sea.

Days 53-55
Hong Kong, China

Although Hong Kong has returned to its original Chinese roots, it still remains a cosmopolitan city with influences, languages and accents from around the world. Here East meets West and the result is electric. Soaring skyscrapers rise from the hills and harbor, blending geography and nature with commercial concrete, steel and pulsating neon in a way that brings traditional Chinese culture and Western-style commerce into perfect harmony. The bustling city streets are lined with teeming markets and sophisticated boutiques tucked tightly into any available crevice. Some of the world's best shopping is found in Central, located on Hong Kong Island and only a short ferry ride away.

Day 56
Cruising the Halong Bay

Day 57
Hanoi / Haiphong, Vietnam

"In Singapore, at Saigon, one exists; at Hanoi, one lives." – Joleaud-Barral, French geographer.

One of the great natural wonders of Asia, the natural beauty of Halong Bay, or the "Bay of the Descending Dragon," is outstanding. Speckled with over 3,000 karst mountains bursting from the calm water, is Ha Long Bay. Local myths hold that when the forefathers of the land were fighting foreign invaders from the north, the gods from heaven sent a family of dragons to help defend their land. The dragons descended upon what is now Halong Bay and began spitting out jewels and jade, which turned into islands and islets upon hitting the sea. The islands functioned as natural barriers against the invaders and the local people survived and vowed eternal honor to the dragon's mercy.

Not only is Halong Bay's landscape spectacular, but Vietnam's capital city, Hanoi, is easily within reach. Hanoi lies in sometimes stark contrast with its southern sister city. While in Saigon, one sees Vietnam's future; in Hanoi, one sees its past. In a city with a population of 2.6 million people and approximately 2 million motorbikes, the downtown intersections represent a free-for-all between pedestrians and cyclists. Surprisingly, Hanoians aren't rushed and scrambling as are the Saigonese. Instead, they stroll and linger, converse and reflect. Old-fashioned in style, Hanoi is a city of lakes and parks, tree-lined, bicycle-filled boulevards, elegant colonial mansions and villas, all of which testify of its French legacy. Venturing into the city is a must and will provide you with a microcosm of Vietnamese culture and a truly memorable experience. Enjoy your adventures ashore!

Day 58
Chan May, Vietnam

With this maiden call for Crystal Cruises, you will dock closer to Hue, allowing you to see this important imperial city at a more relaxed pace. Indeed, Hue (pronounced "hway") merits a full-day excursion. Having served as the Vietnamese capital from 1802 to 1945, the city was home to thirteen emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Its three walled enclosures, built concentrically around one another, are collectively called the Citadel-an appropriate name, given that the emperor and his family lived within the Forbidden Purple City, located at the Citadel's center. The term "Forbidden" is appropriate too, as the Royal Palace resembles Beijing's Forbidden City. Fascinating as it is, Hue is not the only sight to be explored during your call in Chan May. You will also have a chance to visit the historic commercial seaport of Hoi An, see the city of Da Nang, or head to China Beach, the stretch of sand that offered some R & R to U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War.

Day 59
Cruising the East China Sea

Enjoy your time at sea.

Days 60-61
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Crystal Serenity's visit to Ho Chi Minh City, known universally and affectionately by residents as Saigon, will offer a stimulating insight into Vietnam's eventful past and a glimpse into its hopeful future. Over two decades have passed since American forces left these shores. Since then, Ho Chi Minh City has regained a prosperous air of thriving activity. Rice boats float down the waterways, streets bustle with commerce, scooters speed by and a sense of history fills the air. There are quiet temples to discover, French colonial public buildings to admire and numerous street markets to stroll. Visitors to Ho Chi Minh City can be assured of a friendly and hospitable welcome. Ho Chi Minh City serves as our main gateway to the alluring wonders of Cambodia (Kampuchea).

Day 62
Cruising the South China sea

Enjoy the time at sea.

Day 63
Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Founded in 1964 to be Cambodia's primary deepwater port, Sihanoukville has since become a popular tourist destination. It is no wonder, as this spot on the Gulf of Thailand features tropical breezes and beautiful beaches, while nearby islands promise fantastic diving, snorkeling and game fishing. Just inland is the wonder of Angkor Wat, offering an intriguing glimpse into the spectacular achievements of Southeast Asia's greatest civilization. The ruins of this 800-year-old city were rediscovered in the late 19th century and bears testament to the influence this once-powerful city has on Cambodia's modern culture.

Day 64
Cruising the South China sea

Enjoy the day at sea.

Days 65-67
Singapore

Singapore blends the contemporary splendor of a sparkling modern city with influences from throughout the Orient. Its history is one of riches and romance, spice trading and piracy, colonialism and growth. This island state has grown from a small fishing village to one of Asia's greatest success stories. Temples, mosques and churches stand as serene reminders of the varied collection of migrations that have graced its history. Discover the mansions and polo greens of colonial Singapore, the mystique of Chinatown and the heady aroma of spices and curry along Arab Street. You will quickly come to understand why Singapore is acclaimed as the "Crossroads of the East."

Day 68
Kuala Lumpur/Port Kelang, Malaysia

Bustling port Kelang is the principal port of entry for Malaysia. The country's capital, Kuala Lumpur, is a suprisingly modern city of domes, minarets and spacious, tree-lined avenues. Her symbols of faith are visible at the Jamek Mosque, the city's birthplace.

Days 69-70
Phuket, Thailand

Residents call Phuket "The Pearl of the South," and one visit to this green, sun-soaked island in the Andaman Sea will show you why. The coast is a succession of magnificent beaches, the forested interior boasts virgin rain forests and numerous plantations-cacao, pineapple, rubber. The culture is a distinctive blend of Portuguese, Chinese and indigenous Chao Naam, a proud seafaring people.

Day 71
Cruising the Andaman Sea

Enjoy your time at sea.

Days 72-74
Yangon/Rangoon, Myanmar

Through its decades of self-isolation, the unspoiled country of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) has retained its charm, fascinating traditions and the irresistible politeness of its people. The colonial capital of this timeless land is Rangoon, "Yangon" to the Burmese. Although the initial settlement dates back over 2,500 years, the city itself is not particularly old. It features few high rises, little traffic and vehicles dating from the '50s and '60s, all giving the visitor an impression of a town from the past.

Days 75-76
Cruising the Indian Ocean

Enjoy your time at sea.

Days 77-78
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s capital until recent times, this fascinating city is filled with an intriguing blend of cosmopolitan buildings and ancient temples. Enjoy the effects of Colombo’s melting pot of cultures, as Portuguese, Dutch, and British trading companies from earlier times have left behind churches, monuments, religions, and costumes, as well as smatterings of their languages, that have been incorporated into the speech and daily routine of the local Sri Lankans.

Days 79-80
Cochin, India

Cochin, the commercial hub of the Indian state of Kerala, has a magnificent natural harbor which has attracted overseas traders for hundreds of years. Ancient mariners from Arabia, Holland, Britain and Portugal have all left their mark on this cosmopolitan city, which is often called the "Queen of the Arabian Sea." This diverse influence has generated Cochin's uniquely cosmopolitan atmosphere and interesting architectural styles. Crystal Serenity's premier call at this city of peninsulas and islands will introduce you to a region rarely visited by cruise ships.

Day 81
Mangalore, India

An important trading hub since the sixth century, Mangalore maintains its feel as a city at the intersection of cultures, melding old with new, growth with history, Indian tradition with European influences. The city’s colonial past, particularly Portuguese rule in the mid-16th century, stirs in additional flavors of distant lands. A number of churches, including the Roman-style Milagres Church and St. Aloysius Church with a chapel based on the Sistine Chapel, stand testament to the legacy of the colonial age. Naturally, temples are to be found here as well. The Kadri Manjunatha Temple boasts a one-thousand-year-old bronze statue of Lokeshwara, while the 10th-century Mangala Devi is dedicated to the town’s namesake, the goddess Mangale.

Day 82
Cruising the Indian Ocean

Enjoy your time at sea.

Days 83-85
Mumbai (Bombay), India

India contains a bewildering variety of tribes, religions, cultures and languages-and most are present in Mumbai, one of the world's most densely populated cities. Remnants of British rule along oceanfront Marine Drive stand alongside the thought-provoking former home of Mahatma Gandhi, and the cave temple at Elephanta with its second-century Hindu gods.

Day 86
Cruising the Arabian sea

Enjoy your time at sea.

Days 87-88
Muscat, Oman

Situated on a striking cove on the Gulf of Oman, ringed by striking volcanic mountains and guarded by two ancient Portuguese forts, diminutive Muscat is the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. Its architecture is a picturesque blend of Arab, Indian, African and European styles. Look for the sultan's palace at the water's edge, or visit the important national museum.

Day 89
Cruising the Gulf of Oman

Enjoy your time at sea.

Day 90
Manama, Bahrain

The capital of Bahrain, Manama offers a compelling mix of local culture and world influences. Just under one-third of the Persian-Gulf city's residents hail from other countries, giving it an infusion of international sensibilities. The result: An abundance of chic clubs and luxury accommodations, making Manama the place to shop and dine. Chances to become immersed in the Manama of the past are readily available too, as Arab boats called dhows populate the waters, and camel rides and pearl diving excursions remain popular ways to experience traditional pursuits. As for the future, it is bright and grand, as represented by plans for the Murjan Tower, envisioned to be the world's tallest structure.

Day 91
Doha, Qatar

As home to over eighty percent of the emirate's population, headquarters for Al Jazeera Arabic television and capital of Qatar, Doha is a cultural and political hub of the Persian Gulf. It is also a growing metropolis, with the number of residents increasing by more than 60,000 between 2004 and 2006. This expansion is attributed at least in part to changes in property laws. Expatriates, of whom there are many in Qatar, were once not permitted to own land. Now non-citizens can purchase land, which entitles them to become a part of Qatar's thriving economy. So the rush is on, with acreage being scooped up and developed at a rate that compares to Dubai. Sheikh Hama bin Khalifa's modernization program further fuels the building boom. One of Doha's more impressive construction projects is the Pearl, an artificial island that covers 985 acres and house up to 30,000 residents.

Days 92-93
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, saw its first paved road in 1961, a few years after oil was discovered in the area. Since then, development has been at times cautious and later vigorous, resulting in today's wide modern boulevards lined with glistening towers. The city's banks, boutiques and highrises stand testament to a vital economy. Indeed, Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE, is not only the most prosperous Emirate, but is also considered the wealthiest city in the world. With its ongoing commitment to science, education and the arts, Abu Dhabi is also seeking to be ranked as one of the world's top cultural destinations. The groundwork has recently been laid for a 200-million-dollar Guggenheim Museum, designed by none other than Frank Gehry. Scheduled for completion in 2011, the museum will showcase a prestigious collection of modernist and contemporary art. The structure promises to be a masterpiece in and of itself, as it promises to be the largest of the Guggenheim museums.

Days 94-96
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tiny Dubai is a member of the United Arab Emirates, the cluster of prosperous sheikdoms along the Arabian Sea. Dubai grew rich on pearls and gold, but today its bread and butter is petroleum, a source of fabulous wealth. In the offshore oil fields of Dubai are three submerged oil tanks, each twenty stories tall, which locals call “The Three Pyramids of Dubai.

Day 97
Al Fujairah, UAE

Unlike the other six mostly desert emirates of the UAE, Fujairah is mountainous and enjoys a fair amount of annual rainfall. Indeed, the country's relatively mild weather and unique topography are part of what make Al Fujairah, a city separated by the rest of the emirate by the Hajar Mountains, so appealing. The mountains not only create magnificent scenery, but also afford chances to get off the beaten track for off-road adventures. In the foothills are the Ain Al Madhab Gardens, where naturally warm and sulfuric waters fill therapeutic swimming pools. The gardens also are home to Heritage Village and the ruins of Fujairah Fort, both of which provide a look into the emirate's interesting past.

Day 98
Cruising the Arabian sea

Enjoy your time at sea.

Day 99
Salalah, Oman

Like a magic carpet spread before the sea, Oman's coastal plain is one of the most fertile areas of Arabia. Famous since antiquity as the source of frankincense, Salalah was already a prosperous town when Marco Polo visited it in the 13th century! Inland rise the forbidding Al-Quarà Mountains, and the desolate "Empty Quarter" of central Saudi Arabia.

Day 100
Cruising the Gulf of Aden

Enjoy your time at sea.

Days 101-103
Cruising the Red sea

Enjoy your time at sea.

Day 104
Aqaba, Jordan

The waterway to the Red Sea - the commercial sea port of Aqaba (Al 'Aqabah) is the only outlet to the Hashimate Kingdom of Jordan, and is situated at the top of the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba brings a refreshing release from the rose-coloured desert to the North. Its sandy beaches and coral reefs are the most pristine on the Red Sea, and Jordanians hope to preserve them through careful planning. With several first-rate hotels, restaurants and shops, Aqaba caters to a tourist crowd that is tranquil and relaxed, seeking its pleasures more by day than by night.

Days 105-106
Luxor and Karnak/Safaga, Egypt

This small city on the coast of the Red Sea offers beautiful beaches and temperate weather, combined with scuba diving, surfing, and snorkeling. The resorts of this area provide perfect opportunities for visitors to enjoy all the amenities of comfort, while simultaneously basking in the relaxing sun of such a unique and tantalizing area.

Day 107
Transit the Suez Canal

Enjoy your time transitting the Suez Canal

Day 108
Alexandria/Cairo, Egypt

With its wide stretch of beach and modern hotels located on the shores of the Mediterranean, Alexandria seems more like an ancient Egyptian city. Once the intellectual and cultural center of Greco-Roman civilization, it is the country's main port and was named after Alexander the Great. This bustling port serves as the gateway to Cairo.

Day 109
Cruising the Mediterranean sea

Enjoy your time at sea.

Day 110
Ashdod, Israel

A tidy planned community built on golden dunes, Ashdod is southern Israel's only Mediterranean harbor. Yet this new city has fabulously ancient roots: Ashdod is mentioned in the Old Testament, and archaeologists have found ruins almost 4,000 years old. This is the doorway to the historic treasures of Jerusalem, and the worldly pleasures of Tel Aviv.

Days 111-112
Cruising the Mediterranean sea

Enjoy your time at sea.

Day 113
Sorrento, Italy

As your ship approaches the Sorrento Peninsula, delight in craggy cliffs draped with flowing pink blossoms.Renowned for its serene way of life, this romantic port exudes a special magic. Its dramatic bluffs and surrounding flowered hills bid travelers welcome to a town overflowing with charm and character. It is easy to relax in this languid southern Italian atmosphere.The sensational Amalfi Coast and the haunting ruins at Pompeii are among the region's highlights.

Days 114-115
Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy

Civitavecchia was founded by Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century. Today this port is noted for its fine seafood and attractive monuments. Located 90 minutes away is the Eternal City of Rome. Steeped in 2,500 years of history, Rome was for many centuries the center of Western civilization. It was both the focal point of the Roman Empire and of Christendom. Landmarks such as the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Spanish Steps are reminders of the legacy of its rich past.

Days 116-117
Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy (overnight)

Civitavecchia was founded by Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century. Today this port is noted for its fine seafood and attractive monuments. Located 90 minutes away is the Eternal City of Rome. Steeped in 2,500 years of history, Rome was for many centuries the center of Western civilization. It was both the focal point of the Roman Empire and of Christendom. Landmarks such as the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Spanish Steps are reminders of the legacy of its rich past.

Day 118
Florence/Livorno, Italy

Goethe once observed that Tuscany "looks like Italy should [look]." Fortunately, little has changed in the two centuries since the German poet was himself a tourist in Tuscany. The Tyrrhenian port of Livorno was founded in the 15th century. It is the gateway to Italy's Tuscan region and to many spectacular sights; including the extraordinary Leaning Tower of Pisa, the charming medieval village of Lucca, the lovely hill town of San Gimignano and the timeless city of Florence. No place is as imbued with such grace, dignity, serenity and history as is Florence. This city's wealth of architectural and artistic treasures includes works by Raphael, da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo. Truly Florence, cradle of the Italian Renaissance, is one of the world's most enticing cities.

Day 119
Villefranche, France

In a miracle of nature, the Cote d'Azur was blessed with superb natural beauty, as it lies sandwiched between the coastal mountains and the sea. The Maritime Alps tumble down to the ocean, preventing cold northern winds from reaching the sun-drenched slope that stretches some 60 miles westward from the border with the fairy-tale Kingdom of Monaco. As Crystal Symphony approaches the shore, you'll be treated to a spectacular panorama of irregular peaks and scenic villages clustered on narrow ledges. Majestic cities like Nice, Monte Carlo and St. Tropez host pleasure boats, yachts and all the other trappings of glamorous lifestyles.

Day 120
St-Tropez, France

St-Tropez has earned its glamorous reputation as a summer playground for celebrities, artists and writers. At the height of its popularity during the 1950s and 60s, one could easily find Pablo Picasso, Francoise Sagan, Jacques Prévet and the classic movie actress Brigitte Bardot vacationing here. Its famous beaches are still frequented by affluent guests who seek a lively night life and a piece of the "St-Trop" allure. Magnificent yachts line the port, as their owners rival to achieve titles for who has the biggest, the most luxurious or the best-kept vessel, or for which vessel has the most enthusiastic crew. You will certainly be enticed by the colorful sights and sounds of this "Gem of the Provençal Culture."

Day 121
Corsica/Ajaccio, France

Founded in 1492 by the Genoese, the small town of Ajaccio was once completely fortified. Today, however, only the dominant citadel in the old section of town still exists.

The Emperor Napoleon was born in Ajaccio in 1769 and reminders of this famous European leader are found everywhere. By the 18th century, Ajaccio had become one of the most resplendent villages in the Mediterranean. It is now the main town of southern Corsica with a population of approximately 60,000 inhabitants.

Nestled between the sea and the mountains, Golfe de Porto is located in the heart of the maritime side of the Corsican Regional Natural Park and is considered a World Heritage.

Day 122
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea

Day 123
Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza’s reputation as the birthplace of the rave and Christopher Columbus reveals its split personality. On the one hand, the island—located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Valencia—is the “Undisputed Party Capital of the World,— where DJs spin their newest mixes and young clubbers revel at parties that rock until the wee hours. But this island and its city Ibiza Town also have deep roots in Mediterranean history, as acknowledged by UNESCO with its designation of large portions of the island and various cultural icons as World Heritage Sites. The local government has demonstrated an interest in making this idyllic destination (indeed, the island is movie-quality photogenic) quieter and more family friendly by passing laws to raise hotel standards and require night clubs to close earlier—by a still eye-reddening 6 am.

Day 124
Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, is a celebration of history and heir to Greek, Phoenician, Roman, Carthaginian, Gothic and Arab cultural legacies. Since it is nearly as close to Rome, Geneva and Munich as it is to Madrid, Barcelona has long been the Spanish link to Western Europe. It was the home of Picasso, Miró, Dali, Casals and Gaudí and has been described as a Mediterranean Manhattan, a cosmopolitan experimental center for political ideas and artistic movements. In addition to its abundance of artistic and architectural treasures, Barcelona serves as the gateway to one of the world's most impressive mountainside enclaves at Montserrat. Discover the secret legends of the Black Virgin and the alluring chants of monastic life high atop the Catalonian plains. Barcelona's ancient city walls and the narrow crooked streets of the town's old section are laid out for your discovery. You will find that Barcelona has something for everybody.

Day 125
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea

Days 126-127
Monte Carlo, Monaco (overnight)

Monaco is an ancient principality steeped in rich and colorful history. Its proud monarchy is presided over by Prince Albert, who assumed the throne after his famed father Prince Rainier died in 2005.

Today when gazing on its modern skyline, it is hard to imagine that Monaco endured a turbulent past. Once a Greek settlement conquered by the Romans, it was bought from the Genoese in 1309 by the Grimaldis, who still rule as the world's oldest monarchy.

Monaco covers less than one square mile and is known primarily for its Grand Casino.

Day 128
Marseille, France

The queen of the Côte d'Azur, Marseille is France's oldest city and one of the Mediterranean's premier ports. Amid the big-city bustle, the old port is a quaint landscape of historic charm: colorful fishing boats sail past the imposing Fort Saint-Jean, narrow streets wander among ancient churches and cobbled squares, while the venerable Basilica overlooks the scene from the hilltop above.

Day 129
Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, is a celebration of history and heir to Greek, Phoenician, Roman, Carthaginian, Gothic and Arab cultural legacies. Since it is nearly as close to Rome, Geneva and Munich as it is to Madrid, Barcelona has long been the Spanish link to Western Europe. It was the home of Picasso, Miró, Dali, Casals and Gaudí and has been described as a Mediterranean Manhattan, a cosmopolitan experimental center for political ideas and artistic movements. In addition to its abundance of artistic and architectural treasures, Barcelona serves as the gateway to one of the world's most impressive mountainside enclaves at Montserrat. Discover the secret legends of the Black Virgin and the alluring chants of monastic life high atop the Catalonian plains. Barcelona's ancient city walls and the narrow crooked streets of the town's old section are laid out for your discovery. You will find that Barcelona has something for everybody.

Day 130
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea

Day 131
Gibraltar, United Kingdom

Like a crouching lion, the Rock of Gibraltar's imposing presence supports the legend that it is one of the two Pillars of Hercules. Dramatically soaring to almost 1,400 feet, it boasts one of the world's most recognizable silhouettes. Over 140 caves have been discovered within its limestone mass. Although linked by land to Spain, the self-governing British colony of Gibraltar maintains a strong allegiance to Britain. Shop the compact commercial center for tax-free treats, or perch atop the summit for thrilling views encompassing Europe and Africa.

Day 132
Lisbon, Portugal

Cosmopolitan Lisbon was the center of the world's last great colonial empire. Today the city nostalgically reveres its imperial past while adapting to Portugal's role as a member of the European Economic Community. Although located on the Atlantic coast, Lisbon has the soul of a Mediterranean city with Moorish castles, pastel and white buildings, orange-tiled roofs and luminous blue skies. Set amid the hills and valleys of the northern shore of the River Tagus, it is one of the loveliest capitals in the world.

Day 133
Oporto/Leixoes, Portugal

Ideally placed where the Douro River meets the Atlantic, Oporto brings together the best of Portugal: warm sunshine, a relaxed riverside setting, grand churches, winding medieval streets, houses garnished with wrought iron, courtyards filled with geraniums. Perhaps what Oporto is most famous for, however, is its port wine. Crafted in the neighboring Vila Nova da Gaia district, ports from all over the region can be sampled in the lodges just across the river or at Solar Vinho do Porto, an Oporto tasting room housed in a gracious, rose-clad villa. After your wine tasting, wander through historic Ribeira, the recently restored riverside district and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 134
Cruising the Bay of Biscay

Day 135
Honfleur, France

Honfleur's unique character and atmosphere has inspired painters, writers and musicians over the ages. Nestled at the mouth of the Seine River, this small fishing port is renowned for the glorious voyages of discovery by its 17th century mariners, and has blossomed into one of Normandy's most appealing harbors.

Honfleur became a center of artistic activity in the 19th century. Eugène Boudin, the painter of stirring seascapes, was born here in 1824 and artists such as Courbet, Sisley, Pissarro, Renoir and Cèzanne have visited Honfleur.

Preserved from World War II's destruction, this quaint old Norman town has managed to retain its charm of yesteryear. The "Old Dock," narrow jetty houses, the museums and monuments are witness to a rich heritage of art and history.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.


Day 136
Cherbourg, France

Occupying a strategic position between La Hague and Vale de Saire, Cherbourg has long been a territory disputed between the English and the French. As history reveals, the English and French have tussled over a great number of things, ranging from tracts of land to sporting events. History also tells of the two countries coming together, along with the rest of the free world, to defend the Continent against the Nazis. For all the defensive efforts by the Allies, German forces overtook Cherbourg in June, 1940, laying waste to much of the city’s harbor. After the war, the port was rebuilt to become one of the busiest in the world. Today, Cherbourg is a cultural and aesthetic treasure, retaining its appeal not only for its prime location but also for its open-air markets, sparkling waterfront, fine museums and interesting boutiques.

Day 137
Guernsey/St. Peter Port, Channel Islands

Charming Guernsey, a mere 25 square miles in size, offers a host of enticing visitor attractions. Although geographically closer to France, it has remained staunchly British through the ages. Today, its diverse culture reflects the best of both worlds. Pastel-colored houses rise layer upon layer behind St. Peter Port, the island's picturesque main town. Beyond, you discover a wealth of activities centering around goldsmiths, silversmiths, wood carvers and clockmakers. Important: Please Read before Booking the Following Tours: Although the best available equipment has been requested, guests should be aware that transport may not be of international standard. Motor coaches are not air-conditioned. Your understanding is appreciated. Guernsey Island Introduction and Goldsmith's Workshop

Day 138
London/Tilbury, England

With a history thought to date to Roman times, Tilbury has long been a center of politics, travel and trade. In 1588, Queen Elizabeth I came ashore on official army-related business, and in 1852, an Act of Parliament initiated the construction of the Tilbury Docks. Four years later, the docks welcomed their first vessel, making Tilbury the main port for London. Indeed, Tilbury is part of the wider Port of London, with the great city itself just 25 miles away. You might take in Tilbury sights such as the Tilbury Fort, originally built by Henry VIII, and the Tilbury Docks, used as a location for the films Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Batman Begins, before heading off to explore London. Legendary landmarks, including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament Square, Whitehall, the Tower of London and the fashionable West End will prove exceedingly fascinating, whether this is your first trip or a long-anticipated reprise.

Days 139-140
Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight)

Amsterdam derives its name from a 13th-century protective dam. Itis a beautifully preserved city with quaint architectural styles, priceless art treasures and welcoming people. Many of its wondrous highlights are located within the five concentric canals that gird the city's older neighborhoods and business districts. Whether cruising its waterways or visiting its exquisite galleries and museums, you will discover a wealth of fascinating sightseeing opportunities. A short drive away, characteristic towns preserve their traditional Dutch ways with intricate national costumes, sturdy wooden shoes and purposeful windmills.

Day 141
Cruising the North Sea

Day 142
Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark, the world's oldest kingdom, awaits your discovery on this visit to its lively capital, Copenhagen. Immerse yourself in the vitality of this delightful city as you explore its expansive parks and plazas, as well as its treasure trove of historic galleries and buildings. Discover its exquisite combination of Scandinavian elegance and European joie de vivre. Visitors traveling outside the city enter an altogether different world; one where stately castles are found nestled in the gentle, emerald-green Danish countryside.

Day 143
Cruising the Baltic Sea

Day 144
Helsinki, Finland

A heritage spanning over 450 years awaits you as you step ashore in Helsinki, "City of the Sea." Spurred on by the inspiration of Carl Ludvig Engel, a native of Berlin who had worked earlier in Tallinn and St. Petersburg, Helsinki has produced some of the world's finest architects. Today, the legacy of their splendid work is seen everywhere. Nonetheless, nature has not been subdued, as leafy parks and picturesque bays continue to exert their timeless influence. A political and economic hub, this city is also a cultural center boasting 20 theatres, the National Opera, numerous museums and art galleries.

Days 145-146
St. Petersburg, Russia (overnight)

Formerly known as Leningrad, St. Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city. It lies on a series of islands on the broad reaches of the mighty Neva River. The network of decorated bridges arching above the numerous waterways and canals are a visual delight.

Over 300 years ago, this area was merely marsh and forest land. Peter the Great's vision was to build a window to the west, a city that would be a reflection of the great capitals of Europe. With the energy and drive so characteristic of this great man, he began the task. Magnificent Russian Versailles and Fontainbleau, with names like Pavlovsk and Peterhof, now encircle St. Petersburg; hence this comparatively young city has become ageless.

Day 147
Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, capital of the independent republic of Estonia, was a key trading city of the Hanseatic League and one of the largest cities in Europe in the Middle Ages. The exceptionally well-preserved Old Town has earned Tallinn a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Today, Tallinn is home to almost a third of Estonia's population. Ancient town walls, old churches, graceful steeples, twisty cobblestone streets, red-tiled roofs and imposing towers reveal German, Swedish and Russian architectural influences. The fortress on Castle Hill and many ancient protective bastions stand as a historical tribute to a time, in the 15th century, when Tallinn was heavily fortified.

Days 148-149
Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden's capital, Stockholm, which sprawls over 14 islands, is often called the "Beauty on Water." Resting amid wooded hills, it is a city surrounded by water, firmly linked by over 50 bridges. Originally founded as a fortress in the 12th century, the earliest mention of Stockholm as a city was in the year 1252. By 1850, the city had less than 100,000 inhabitants. Today it is one of Europe's most prosperous cities with a population of over a million.

Day 150
Stockholm, Sweden

Debark the ship and take your private transfer to the 5-star Sheraton hotel for an overnight stay in the Master Suite.

Day 151
Stockholm to Vienna

Check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Vienna.

On arrival you will be met and transferred to the river to embark Crystal Mozart for a 10-day river cruise staying in the River Crystal Suite.

Day 152
Vienna

Layered and elegant, with elements of cozy and grand, musical and visual might be the best way to characterize Vienna—or one of many ways, as this imperial city surely can inspire endless lines of poetic descriptions. Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and forever known for its distinguished roster of composers who either were born or lived and worked here—including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, both Strausses, Liszt and Brahms—Vienna finds itself at the very center of European culture, even as it sits near the border of the Czech republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Turn to a blank page to memorialize your own impressions of this grand city, remarking on its manicured gardens, ornate architecture—especially that of the famed Ringstrasse—intimate bistro pubs called beisln and a certain flourish that can only be called Vienna.

Day 153
Dürnstein and Melk, Austria

Considered as one of the most visited tourist spots in Wachau Valley, Durnstein is a robust wine-growing region that sits perfectly alongside the Danube river. Durnstein Castle, the region's famous architectural highlight derives its name from duerr meaning "dry" and stein meaning "stone". This landmark sits atop a rocky mountain, high above the damp conditions of the Danube at its base as it overlooks the town. With its picture-perfect scenery, Durnstein's beauty is enhanced by verdant forests, rolling hills, and thriving vineyards that ensconce the town. Take in the sights, sip some of the region's local wines and simply enjoy a leisurely day in this classic, postcard-worthy European town.

Best known for its fortified baroque Benedictine monastery, Melk Abbey, the town of Melk boasts an assortment of smaller gems. Among them, the city’s riverside location, serene and regal with a ribbon of wooded groves giving way to the lovely village. Cobbled lanes and a petite size make for a pleasant stroll with a chance to discover its 16th-century Town Hall, or Rathaus, in the center of town, and Haus am Stein, or House at the Rock. Built in the 15th century, the vine-covered abode is Melk’s oldest building.


Day 154
Linz, Austria

Named the European Capital of Culture in 2009 and added to the roster of UNESCO Creative Cities as a City of Media Arts in 2014, Linz embraces the present and future, even as it remains reverential to its past. There is much to be proud of: Here on the gentle curve of the Danube, Linz rose to power as a political and economic hub for the Holy Roman Empire. Trade and influence extended in all four directions, from Hungary and Germany to the east and west and Poland and Italy to the north and south. Later, Linz sparkled as a city of the Habsburgs, the last home to German Emperor, Friedrich III. The city’s layout reflects its history, with an ancient medieval center encircled by neoclassical, neo-baroque and neo-Renaissance neighborhoods, a kind of tree-rings of age and architectural styles. Highpoints of old traditions and impressive landmarks include the Linzer torte, dating to 1653 and thought to be the oldest cake in the world, and St. Martin’s church, the oldest church in Austria.

Days 155-156
Passau, Germany (overnight)

At the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers, Passau is also situated at a meeting of cultures. The town began as a Roman settlement, enjoying the rising tide of influence as the largest bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire and enduringly vibrant as a hub for various trade and manufacturing pursuits, including salt, swords and ideas. Experience Passau’s charm as you the wander the cobbled streets of Old Town, gaze upon arched bridges and Italianate manses and encounter magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the New Bishop’s Residence.

Day 157
Bratislava, Slovakia

Slovakia’s capital city may be the country’s buzzing political and economic center, but it is also a historic gem that stirs the imagination. A maze of narrow, cobblestone streets wind around colorful 18th-century buildings, and shade-covered sidewalk cafes beckon weary—or simply hungry—travelers to linger over a meal and enjoy people watching. Museums, cathedrals and palaces are edifying locales to spend some time, while photography buffs will want to snap images of the medieval castle that looms over the city with a majestic grace. For those looking for more contemporary sights, Bratislava boasts a pulsating modern art scene, as well as some outstanding examples of Communist-era architecture.

Day 158
Budapest, Hungary

Cast your eye over the Budapest skyline, and you’ll see all the makings of a world-class city and striking photograph: domes and spires, bridges and lampposts, splendid architecture in the foreground, rolling hills in the back, and the Danube River placidly curving through it, providing a reflective surface for sunsets and city lights. Look closer, and the treasures of Budapest—Hungary’s capital and the largest metropolis—really come to light. Castle Hill is at the top of most visitors’ lists, a UNESCO-listed district hosting Buda Castle, Trinity Square, Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion. The area is also residential, with 18th-century houses, cobblestone streets and few cars, thanks to a strict vehicular ordinance, giving you a real sense of what the city must have been like ages ago. Budapest is full of history, originally a Roman settlement, formed as a unified city when Buda and Pest joined in 1873, overtaken by various invading forces over the centuries, and today an interesting goulash of local culture and foreign influences. Take a seat in a Turkish-era bath or savor rich Esterházy torte in a gentile coffee house to experience the many sides of a city that charms from both sides of the Danube.

Day 159
Scenic Cruising

Day 160
Vienna, Austria

Layered and elegant, with elements of cozy and grand, musical and visual might be the best way to characterize Vienna—or one of many ways, as this imperial city surely can inspire endless lines of poetic descriptions. Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and forever known for its distinguished roster of composers who either were born or lived and worked here—including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, both Strausses, Liszt and Brahms—Vienna finds itself at the very center of European culture, even as it sits near the border of the Czech republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Turn to a blank page to memorialize your own impressions of this grand city, remarking on its manicured gardens, ornate architecture—especially that of the famed Ringstrasse—intimate bistro pubs called beisln and a certain flourish that can only be called Vienna.

Day 161
Vienna to London

Debark and transfer to the airport for your flight to London. Upon arrival, transfer to the Baglioni for a one-night stay in a deluxe suite.

Day 162
London

Check out and transfer to Tilbury Docks to embark Crystal Serenity.

With a history thought to date to Roman times, Tilbury has long been a center of politics, travel and trade. In 1588, Queen Elizabeth I came ashore on official army-related business, and in 1852, an Act of Parliament initiated the construction of the Tilbury Docks. Four years later, the docks welcomed their first vessel, making Tilbury the main port for London. Indeed, Tilbury is part of the wider Port of London, with the great city itself just 25 miles away. You might take in Tilbury sights such as the Tilbury Fort, originally built by Henry VIII, and the Tilbury Docks, used as a location for the films Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Batman Begins, before heading off to explore London. Legendary landmarks, including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament Square, Whitehall, the Tower of London and the fashionable West End will prove exceedingly fascinating, whether this is your first trip or a long-anticipated reprise.

Day 163
Cruising the North Sea

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Day 164
Bergen, Norway

Bergen, "Capital of the Fjordland" and Norway's second-largest city, was founded in 1070 AD. In its heyday, Norwegian Kings resided here. It was the largest city in Norway and there were no less than 27 churches and abbeys.

Bergen is an immaculate city, set between the mountains and the sea, where traditional values hold firm over transitory ways. The local people take great pride in the rich heritage of this, one of Norway's premier cities.

Day 165
Flåm, Norway

After gliding serenely into majestic Aurlandsfjord, the ship will berth in the tiny village of Flåm. Boasting dramatic nature and a serene atmosphere, Flåm is situated in the innermost part of the Sognefjord and surrounded by breathtaking mountains.

From this tranquil area, dwarfed by towering mountain peaks, one of the world's most remarkably engineered railway lines originates and winds its way far above the sea. The 13-mile train journey provides views of some of Norway's wildest and most magnificent scenery.

The twisting tunnels that spiral in and out of the mountain are manifestations of the most daring and skillful engineering in Norwegian railway history. Rivers cut through deep ravines, waterfalls cascade down the side of steep, snow-capped mountains and farms cling dizzily to the sheer slopes of cliffs.

At the foot of the mountains, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Flåm Valley and admire the majestic Aurlandfjord, a branch of the world's longest fjord, the Sognefjord.

Day 166
Geiranger, Norway

Geiranger village is located along the picturesque snow-covered Geirangerfjord in central Norway. One of the most dazzling of all Norwegian fjords, the Geiranger has been visited by touring ships for more than 100 years. Impressive mountains, numerous waterfalls and farms clinging precipitously to steep hillsides combine to give this area its unique character.

Day 167
Cruising the Norwegian Sea

Day 168
Lofoten and Gravdal, Norway

Pronounced “aw,— Å means “small stream— in Old Norse, a single-letter title that suggests a long maritime history. The name also prompts some confusion: At least seven villages in Norway are called Å, which is why “i Lofoten,— or “in Lofoten,— is added for clarity. To visit “aw— is to inspire the other kind of “awe,— with chances to head out to sea to watch for whales, venture to nearby reefs to observe the largest number of nesting birds in Norway, or gaze at majestic peaks and quaint villages with a bike ride or hike. To honor the islands’ traditions in fishing, you might bait and cast a line or, if you prefer, savor Lofoten’s famous stockfish at a local eatery. You might also learn about the seafaring way of life at the Lofoten Stockfish Museum and Norwegian Fishing Village Museum.

Situated above the Arctic Circle in the central part of the Lofoten archipelago, Gravdal boasts breathtaking scenery, highlighted by glacier-carved mountains and indigo waters embracing colorful wooden buildings typical of Norway. Especially dramatic against the hard, blue sky is the red wooden tower of the Buksnes Church. Built in 1905 in a Dragestil design, the church showcases an architectural style popular in Scandinavia in the early 20th century characterized by steep roofs, large eaves and Norse motifs such as serpents and dragons. While mystical creatures like these appear only in inanimate, decorative form, real-life animals such as whales, sea ea

Day 169
Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø, the capital of Troms province is known as "the capital of the Arctic." It lies on a forest-covered island in a narrow waterway, hemmed in by steep mountains and connected to the mainland by a bridge. This city has long been renowned as an important center of science and exploration. The imaginative Arctic Cathedral, the Polaria Centre and a scenic cable car ride are among the varied attractions Tromsø offers to its visitors.

Day 170
Honningsvåg, North Cape, Norway

In the early afternoon your Crystal ship docks at the peaceful town of Honningsvåg set on Mageroy or "Meager" Island. Fishing is the dominant industry for the island's 3,500 inhabitants.

Honningsvåg is your gateway to the North Cape plateau, Europe's northernmost promontory, with its infinite views over the vast expanse of the Arctic Ocean.

Days 171-172
Cruising the Norwegian Sea

Day 173
Olden, Norway

Olden and the surrounding area is an artful juxtaposition of charm and natural majesty. From a historic 18th-century church and a variety of small shops and cafes in Olden, to the south lies Briksdalsbreen, an amazingly blue glacier whose impressive beauty is fair reward for a hike along a picturesque winding path affording glimpses of picture-postcard vignettes of waterfalls, rivers and mountains.

Day 174
Stavanger, Norway

For centuries, Stavanger and its surrounding areas have played a leading part in Norway's maritime history - from the time when Viking kings battled in Hafrsfjord, through the period of the "White Sails," steamships and modern super tankers. As a result of its prime geographical location, Stavanger is considered the most important oil city in Norway.

Day 175
Cruising the North Sea

Day 176
London/Tilbury, England

Day 177
Guernsey/St. Peter Port, Channel Islands

Charming Guernsey, a mere 25 square miles in size, offers a host of enticing visitor attractions. Although geographically closer to France, it has remained staunchly British through the ages. Today, its diverse culture reflects the best of both worlds. Pastel-colored houses rise layer upon layer behind St. Peter Port, the island's picturesque main town. Beyond, you discover a wealth of activities centering around goldsmiths, silversmiths, wood carvers and clockmakers. Important: Please Read before Booking the Following Tours: Although the best available equipment has been requested, guests should be aware that transport may not be of international standard. Motor coaches are not air-conditioned. Your understanding is appreciated. Guernsey Island Introduction and Goldsmith's Workshop

Days 178-179
Dublin, Ireland (overnight)

The Irish capital, Dublin, enjoys one of the loveliest settings in Europe. Craggy Howth Head shelters the natural harbor at Dublin Bay and the gurgling River Liffey flows through the center of town. The ancient Egyptians, as well as Norman and Viking warriors, visited Dublin. However, the city's most pervasive surviving influences come from the 18th and 19th centuries when elegant Georgian mansions were first built along the river and then outward from its shores. The arts also flourished during this period and Dublin served as the birthplace of some of our greatest literary figures such as Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and James Joyce to name only a few.

Day 180
Belfast, United Kingdom

Having the gift of understatement and optimism, the Irish call their decades-long civil strife "the Troubles." Happily, the Troubles have settled down, making enjoyable visits to Northern Ireland, most notably Belfast, no trouble at all. Merely a village in the 17th century, Belfast grew by leaps and bounds during the Industrial Revolution. The manufacture of linen and ships (Belfast has the world's largest dry dock) brought not only prosperity to the city, but beauty. Ornate Victorian homes and grand Edwardian civic buildings line the streets. The city also has many quaint lanes populated by pubs and boutiques dressed with overflowing window boxes and brightly painted doors. While there is much to detain you in lovely Belfast, you might want to take the quick trip over the lough, or small bay, to Carrickfergus Castle, the best-preserved Norman castle in Ireland.

Day 181
Greenock, Scotland

Greenock, a former shipbuilding town on the River Clyde, is noted as the birthplace of James Watt, the engineer who perfected the steam engine. Nearby is the region of Ayrshire, birthplace of Robert Burns, Scotland's most famous poet. Marvel at the dramatic landscape surrounding Greenock, your gateway to fairy-tale castles, glistening lochs, verdant countryside and the compelling city of Glasgow. Whether your interests include art, history, literature or architecture, this port of call offers insight and inspiration to all who visit.

Day 182
Cruising the Irish Sea & North Atlantic Ocean

Day 183
Dundee, United Kingdom

The fourth largest city in Scotland, Dundee lies 40 miles north of Edinburgh and overlooks the Tay Estuary, a seaside location that has greatly influenced the town’s history. Dundee’s shipbuilding industry reached an apex during the golden age of sail, with the three-masted sailing ship RRS Discovery of the famed Robert Falcon Scott expedition being constructed here in 1901. One of the last of its type to be built in Britain, the ship is now on display at Discovery Point. Another vessel, the 46-gun frigate Unicorn, built in 1824, is one of the six oldest warships in the world and only a short walk along the riverfront from Discovery. You may also want to navigate your way to other city highlights, some quirky like the bronze statue of cartoon character Desperate Dan in the city square, and others historic, such as St. Mary’s Tower, the tallest existing medieval tower in the UK.

Days 184-185
Edinburgh/Queensferry Landing, Scotland

Dominated by a medieval castle on a towering crag, Edinburgh is the celebrated capital of Scotland and boasts more than a thousand years of vibrant historical heritage.

The Exchange building, the famous Royal Mile featuring St. Giles Cathedral and John Knox House, as well as Palace of holyroodhouse, the Queens official, are only a few of the architectural masterpieces found in this delightful Scottish city.

Note: Arrival and departure times for this port will depend on tidal restrictions.

Day 186
Cruising the North Sea

Days 187-188
Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight)

Amsterdam derives its name from a 13th-century protective dam. Itis a beautifully preserved city with quaint architectural styles, priceless art treasures and welcoming people. Many of its wondrous highlights are located within the five concentric canals that gird the city's older neighborhoods and business districts. Whether cruising its waterways or visiting its exquisite galleries and museums, you will discover a wealth of fascinating sightseeing opportunities. A short drive away, characteristic towns preserve their traditional Dutch ways with intricate national costumes, sturdy wooden shoes and purposeful windmills.

Day 189
Zeebrugge, Belgium

Belgium is a patchwork of small farms, picturesque rivers and natural lakes. It is dotted with ancient cathedrals and wonderful museums with awe-inspiring art.

Zeebrugge, a small town located on the western side of Belgium, dates back to the beginning of the Christian calendar. A crossroad in the English Channel for centuries, Zeebrugges is the gateway to Flanders, whose Golden Age heritage resides in three historic cities: Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges. In this region, museums proudly display the glories of the old Flemish masters, from Van Dyck to Rubens. The summertime is a delight showcasing colorful flower-filled window boxes and the graceful arcs of windmills.

Day 190
London to San Francisco

Debark and transfer to the airport for your First Class overnight flight to San Francisco

Day 191
San Francisco

Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to the Fairmont Heritage Place Hotel for a 2-night stay in a One Bedded Residence.


Sailing under the famed Golden Gate Bridge is an unforgettable experience and is naturally a highlight of your visit to San Francisco. Upon arrival you will discover why this metropolis is one of the most diverse, dynamic and beautiful cities in the world. San Francisco is a melting pot of cultures and an important financial center of the world. Hellenic in its setting and climate, European in its intellectual and cultural scope, American in its vigor and informality and Asian in its tranquility, San Francisco is indeed one of the most exciting cities of the world. Opportunities for discovery abound. Stroll through Chinatown, shop at Union Square or browse through Fisherman's Wharf. Or perhaps, the attractions of North Beach will beckon. Sip cappuccino at a sidewalk café, feast on Italian food or browse through tempting specialty stores. Across the Golden Gate Bridge hide giant redwoods and artistic Sausalito which provide the perfect getaway from the city. Whatever your choice, San Francisco's distinctive charm engenders a special affection in the hearts of all who visit.

Days 192-193
San Francisco

Check out and transfer to the port to embark Crystal Symphony for your cruise in a Crystal Penthouse with Verandah. Stay overnight on board.

Day 194
Monterey, California, USA

The original capital of California, Monterey is steeped in Spanish and Mexican history, but it is primarily known today as one of the most popular waterfront communities on the West Coast. The city is home base to the world renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, a leading advocate in ocean conservation. Steps from the Aquarium sits Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel about life in Monterey’s seafood canning plants, and further on, Fisherman’s Wharf. Along the way, guests can catch sight of harbor seals, sea otters and pelicans in their natural habitats at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Day 195
Catalina Island, California, USA

Los Angeles famously loves its cars, but on Catalina Island, located just 22 miles off the Southern California coast, automobiles are a rare sight. Golf carts and the old-fashioned and leisurely way of travel—walking—are the preferred and officially encouraged modes of transportation. Spy the beautiful Casino on your approach to the pretty little town of Avalon, and you will begin to experience a place that takes you back in time. William Wrigley, Jr. of Wrigley chewing gum fame bought the island in 1919, providing a place for his Chicago Cubs to train and developing a small resort for generations of day-trippers and honeymooners to enjoy. About 88% of the island’s acreage is protected by the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy, making Catalina’s rugged landscape a haven for wildlife. Hike the trails, go ziplining, visit the botanic gardens, try for a hole-in-one at the charming garden-style miniature golf course or simply find a spot on a bay-facing patio for a drink and you will be in a haven of your own.

Day 196
Cruising the West Coast of USA

Days 197-198
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (overnight)

Cabo San Lucas is nestled on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, where the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean meet the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. Commanding rock formations, timeless desert and a translucent sea provide a compelling introduction to this tranquil resort town. Here, mile upon mile of golden sandy coves dot the shoreline while marlin and sailfish frolic in the waters offshore. Laze on a deserted beach, explore the undersea world or discover bustling shops and markets for tempting treasures such as silver, jewelry and wooden sculptures.

Day 199
Cruising the West Coast of USA

Day 200
San Diego, California, USA

From the old Gas Lamp Quarter to the Horton Plaza, named after the former owner of the present city area, San Diego combines history with progress. Bordered on one side by the graceful Pacific Ocean lapping its shores and the hot desert plains on the other, this magical city is a festive and colorful attraction for tourists and locals. Close by lies graceful La Jolla, Spanish for the jewel, and Solana Beach, a beach community located near charming Del Mar. Whether you venture into Old Town, the original site of this city, or one of its gorgeous parks, you'll come to understand why San Diego has established itself as one of the most popular destinations in the United States.

Day 201
Cruising the West Coast of USA

Day 202
San Francisco, California, USA

Day 203
Cruising the West Coast of USA

Day 204
Cruising the Coast of Mexico

Day 205
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas is nestled on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, where the cool currents of the Pacific Ocean meet the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. Commanding rock formations, timeless desert and a translucent sea provide a compelling introduction to this tranquil resort town. Here, mile upon mile of golden sandy coves dot the shoreline while marlin and sailfish frolic in the waters offshore. Laze on a deserted beach, explore the undersea world or discover bustling shops and markets for tempting treasures such as silver, jewelry and wooden sculptures.

Days 206-207
Cruising the Coast of Mexico

Day 208
Puerto Chiapas, Mexico

Mexico has long been known for its charming cobblestone villages, colorful marketplaces and wide stretches of beach. More recently, Mexico also has become a popular eco-adventure destination. Millions of dollars are being invested in beachside and jungle resorts, where guests are invited to not only admire nature, but become a part of it. Puerto Chiapas is one such place where the natural landscape takes center stage. White-water rafting, horseback riding and jungle trekking are just a few of the area's popular activities. Those who hope to delve into the Mayan culture won't be disappointed either, as the Mayan archeological site of Palenque is nearby.

Day 209
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

Pronounced "ket-ZAL" by the local people, Puerto Quetzal is named for a rare and magnificent bird of the same name who sports iridescent tail features three feet long. So revered by Guatamalans, this bird's graceful image has appeard on the national coins, the country's flag,stately coats of arms and prized stamps. Sightings today are rare, for man has encroached on the bird's natural environment.

Day 210
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Once a sleepy fishing village, San Juan de Sur has been energized by the discovery of its charming, crescent-shaped bay, excellent surfing and fishing, and authentic, laid-back culture. Vacationers certainly appreciate this slice of Pacific Coast paradise, strolling along golden-sand beaches and streets lined with wooden buildings painted in vibrant colors. What continues to make San Juan del Sur special is that it still retains its quiet side, with the town belonging mostly to the locals during the week and morning wake-up calls still being provided by the neighborhood rooster. Hammocks and sunsets are the way of life in San Juan del Sur, where the hilltop statue of Christ of the Mercy gazes upon the bay, like Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, but on a much smaller scale.

Day 211
Caldera, Costa Rica

Superlatives abound when describing Costa Rica, one of Latin America's most peaceful countries. Often called the "Switzerland of Central America," it does not possess an army and boasts a stable democratic government as well as a high literacy rate. Strategically located between two great continents, it has been the benefactor of great cultural contributions from each. In addition to discovering its fascinating traditions, visitors to Costa Rica will be welcomed by friendly people and will enjoy superb scenery and an ideal climate.

Day 212
Cruising the Coast of Central America

Day 213
Cruising the Panama Canal and Gatun Lake

Day 214
Cartagena, Colombia

Charming Cartagena is one of the most fascinating towns in South America. The old city, almost completely surrounded by lagoons, bays and the Caribbean Sea, is still girded by its 17th-century fortifications. Once these guarded the gold and treasures of the New World, bound for Spain; now they shelter ornate churches and convents, the dramatic Palace of the Inquisition, and other historic gems.

Days 215-216
Cruising the Caribbean Sea

Day 217
Bimini, Bahamas

Appearing as emerald streaks in a sapphire sea, the two islands of Bimini—North Bimini and South Bimini—are just 50 miles from Miami, but just far enough to have garnered some lore and legend: The isles were used as a secret storehouse for rum-runners during prohibition and Ernest Hemingway made no secret of spending time here knocking back libations and trolling for the Bahamas’ world-famous game fish. Today, this tropical locale is a favorite escape for vacationers seeking a laid-back pace, astounding natural scenery, a drink or two of rum and a dip in gin-clear waters.

Day 218
Cruising the Atlantic Ocean

Day 219
Charleston, South Carolina, USA

As America's most beautifully preserved architectural and historic treasure, Charleston is steeped in a 300-year past. Hundreds of significant and lovingly preserved structures from the colonial and antebellum periods grace the Historic District's narrow streets and is best appreciated in the company of a knowledgeable local guide. Discover some of the old-time bustling plantations from the period of the Revolution and absorb the haunting character which still lingers in this southern city.

Day 220
Cruising the East Coast of USA

Day 221
New York City, New York, USA

Welcome to one of the world's most famous and exciting cities. Broadway, Times Square, the Empire State Building and Central Park are just some of the celebrated spectacles this bustling city has to offer. Giovanni da Verrazano was the first European to glimpse Manhattan Island in 1524, but the area was not explored until Henry Hudson arrived in 1609. It is said that Peter Minuit bought the entire island from Native Americans for $24 worth of beads and trinkets in 1629 - the biggest real estate bargain in history. In 1664 the Dutch surrendered to a British Fleet, and the town was renamed New York in honor of the Duke of York. George Washington was inaugurated here in 1789, and for a time, New York served as the country's capital. Since then, the city has grown spectacularly and has become one of the most exciting and electrifying cities in the country - not to mention one of the most rewarding to visit and explore.

Days 222-223
New York

Debark and transfer to the St Regis Hotel for a two night stay in the Grand Suite.

Day 224
New York to St Martin

Check out and transfer to the airport for your flight to St Martin. Transfer and embark the Crystal Esprity Yacht for a Caribbean voyage in the Owners Suite.

Marigot, the capital of the French side of St. Martin, is a classic Caribbean destination, with buildings adorned by ornate gingerbread and an engaging personality that combines bustling neighborhood with laid-back groove. Twice-weekly outdoor markets offer everything from homegrown produce to freshly caught fish, not to mention a chance to mingle and people watch. Pastry shops tempt passersby with alluring aromas, while luxury boutiques invite inquiries thanks to both their assortment of intriguing items and the duty-free status of the island. This being a Caribbean isle, naturally there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep sports enthusiasts happy, including diving, snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, kayaking and hiking.

Day 225
Marigot Bay, St. Martin, French West Indies

Marigot, the capital of the French side of St. Martin, is a classic Caribbean destination, with buildings adorned by ornate gingerbread and an engaging personality that combines bustling neighborhood with laid-back groove. Twice-weekly outdoor markets offer everything from homegrown produce to freshly caught fish, not to mention a chance to mingle and people watch. Pastry shops tempt passersby with alluring aromas, while luxury boutiques invite inquiries thanks to both their assortment of intriguing items and the duty-free status of the island. This being a Caribbean isle, naturally there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep sports enthusiasts happy, including diving, snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, kayaking and hiking.

Day 226
Anguilla/Sandy Ground, British West Indies

There are many serene and virtually deserted beaches in the West Indies. Appealingly, Sandy Ground isn’t one of them. As Anguilla’s main harbor, situated on Road Bay with the ocean lapping along the front and the waters of the salt pond puddled behind, Sandy Ground is jovial and lively, hosting colorful watering holes with names like Elvis’, Dad’s, Johnno’s and Roy’s. Belly up to an on-sand picnic table with a cold brew (or famous rum punch) to watch the sunset and the comings and goings of local boats, private charters, world-bound container ships and gleaming yachts. This spot on the northern coast of Anguilla is popular not so much for the beach as for the businesses; not so much for beachcombing as for boat watching.

Of course, some of Anguilla’s other thirty-three some-odd beaches offer a quieter vibe. But here at Sandy Ground, calm waters are all the placidity a visitor could want. Live jazz drifts from the beach bars. Boat racing brings cheering fans. Beach barbecues get people hungry for food and festivity. Spend some time floating shoulder-deep in the water, eating burgers and ribs, and maybe spotting a celebrity or two (Paris Hilton once stopped at Elvis’ Beach Bar for a bite).

Day 227
Saba, Netherlands

Not a reef island but rather the tip of a mountain, with the rest of its bulk submerged under sea, Saba (pronounced say-ba) is steep, rugged and green, with only one road (called, naturally, The Road) and virtually no crime. Perhaps the one crime perpetuated in this idyllic island’s history is that of Christopher Columbus, who is reputed to have spotted the island in 1493 but did not make time to stop. Today a “special municipality” of the Netherlands, Saba has all the charms of its Dutch protector, including an affinity for gingerbread cottages and tidy gardens, dialed up to a Caribbean level of sublime with an effusion of exotic plants, including wild orchids, and a playground of transparent blue waters. Take in the stunning setting with a climb up the 1,064 hand-hewn steps to aptly named Mount Scenery; sip the famous 151-proof Saba Spice rum; admire the island’s renowned stitchery called Saba lace; and explore some of the world’s most pristine dive sites, teeming with fish and coral, all to discover why Saba is known as “The Unspoiled Queen.”

Day 228
Falmouth, Antigua & Barbuda

A slice of jolly old England in the Caribbean, the former British colony of Antigua (An-tee-gah) is steeped in English tradition, stirred in with local color. Hues range from sugar-white sands and startling blue waters to red-roofed buildings and sweet-pink blooms. More than a pretty picture, Antigua served as an important British naval port, the vestiges of which remain at Nelson’s Dockyard, a cultural heritage site located here on the south side of the island near English Harbor. The only strategic maneuver you might want to make during your island visit is staking out a prime spot on one of Antigua and Barbuda’s 365 beaches – one for every day of the year.

Day 229
Coconut Grove, Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis

A singularly divine destination in the two-island nation of Sant Kitts and Nevis is Coconut Grove Restaurant & Wine Lounge, aptly named on all counts. “Coconut Grove” for the coconut trees that surround it; “Restaurant” for the delectable dishes created by Culinary Institute of America graduate and dietician, Chef Stephen Smith; and “Wine Lounge” for the stupendous variety and quality of wines offered from its wine cellar, the only awarded wine cache on the island. The official count ranges from 4,000 to 8,000 bottles, but no matter: fine vintages pair brilliantly with Franco-Caribbean fusion cuisine. On par with the menu is the setting, elegant South Seas with rustic timbers, thatched roof and colorful textiles. Outside are an infinity pool and views across the two-mile “The Narrows” channel to sister island, Saint Kitts. Elsewhere on the island, luxuriant rainforest, old sugar plantations, volcanic hot springs and the nine-mile Upper Round Road, perfect for mountain biking, encourage both active and relaxing pursuits.

Day 230
St. Barts/Gustavia, French West Indies (overnight)

St. Barts forms part of the French Overseas Region of Guadeloupe. Descendants of settlers from Brittany and Normandy operate its tiny inns, shops and restaurants. This charming, slow-paced island attracts tourists year-round to its shores. The graceful meadows surrounded by low stone fences, spectacular beaches, the small volcanic mountains and the quaint Creole-style villages are just several of the alluring aspects of this tranquil island.

Day 231
Orient Bay and Marigot Bay, St. Martin

The busiest and most developed of Saint Martin’s beaches, this French-side stretch of white sand is an island paradise, boasting an underwater marine reserve and plenty of bars and restaurants. The bay is known not only for its natural beauty but also its beauty au naturel: Club Orient and its public beach at the bay’s south end is a popular spot for clothing-optional naturists. Whether donning a swimsuit, snorkel gear or shorts and a T-shirt, you will marvel at the clear azure waters and enjoy watching the parasailers, perhaps giving the sport a try yourself.

Marigot, the capital of the French side of St. Martin, is a classic Caribbean destination, with buildings adorned by ornate gingerbread and an engaging personality that combines bustling neighborhood with laid-back groove. Twice-weekly outdoor markets offer everything from homegrown produce to freshly caught fish, not to mention a chance to mingle and people watch. Pastry shops tempt passersby with alluring aromas, while luxury boutiques invite inquiries thanks to both their assortment of intriguing items and the duty-free status of the island. This being a Caribbean isle, naturally there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep sports enthusiasts happy, including diving, snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, kayaking and hiking.

Day 232
Marigot Bay, St. Martin, French West Indies

Marigot, the capital of the French side of St. Martin, is a classic Caribbean destination, with buildings adorned by ornate gingerbread and an engaging personality that combines bustling neighborhood with laid-back groove. Twice-weekly outdoor markets offer everything from homegrown produce to freshly caught fish, not to mention a chance to mingle and people watch. Pastry shops tempt passersby with alluring aromas, while luxury boutiques invite inquiries thanks to both their assortment of intriguing items and the duty-free status of the island. This being a Caribbean isle, naturally there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep sports enthusiasts happy, including diving, snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, kayaking and hiking.

Day 233
St. Barts/Gustavia, French West Indies

St. Barts forms part of the French Overseas Region of Guadeloupe. Descendants of settlers from Brittany and Normandy operate its tiny inns, shops and restaurants. This charming, slow-paced island attracts tourists year-round to its shores. The graceful meadows surrounded by low stone fences, spectacular beaches, the small volcanic mountains and the quaint Creole-style villages are just several of the alluring aspects of this tranquil island.

Day 234
Anegada, British Virgin Islands

The facts of Anegada are fascinating: It is the most remote, second largest, most sparsely populated of the main British Virgin Islands, with a population of only 285, one settlement, called directly enough, The Settlement, and 300 wrecks off legendarily treacherous Horseshoe Reef, itself a holder of some impressive statistics. At 18 miles long, the reef is the largest barrier coral reef in the Caribbean and the fourth largest in the world. Anegada is the only all coral-and-limestone island in the Virgin Islands’ volcanic chain and is amazingly flat; the highest point reaches an elevation of only 28 feet. Sitting low on the horizon, the island seems to come out of nowhere on the approach, surely part of the reason the island has been so historically dangerous for sailors. Its name, appropriately, is Spanish for “drowned island.”

Of course, anyone who has actually visited Anegada will say the facts only tell part of the story. Nothing in black and white can prepare you for experiencing the island in its full, glorious color. The reefs, a nightmare for sailors, are a dream for snorkelers, offering one of the most beguiling undersea realms anywhere. For a bright and truly unique dash of color, try hundreds of pink flamingos. Once numbering in the thousands on the island’s salt ponds, the birds have been reintroduced, and are today a flock of several hundred. Other wildlife includes feral donkeys, goats, cows and sheep, not to mention the island’s famous lobster. Anegada is considered the lobster capital of the British Virgin Islands and hosts an annual lobster festival.

Day 235
Scrub Island

Located east of Tortola and snugged up next to the island of Great Camanoe, Scrub Island offers incredible snorkeling and other water activities, as you would expect from any destination in the BVI. A petite place, Scrub Island measures a little more than one mile long, with its total of 230 acres spread across two areas of land: 60-acre Little Scrub on one end, and 170-acre Big Scrub on the other, joined by a short, narrow isthmus. From the air, Scrub Island resembles a whale, with a large body (Big Scrub) and a tail (Little Scrub). From the water, the island is pure Caribbean bliss, hosting gorgeous beaches and softly undulating hills covered in shrubby vegetation – “scrub,” if you will. On the tail/west end of the island sits the private luxury Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, built in 2010 and the first resort to be developed in the British Virgin Islands in more than 15 years.

Day 236
Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Pronounced like “toast” with a “y” (yoast), Jost Van Dyke is named after a 17th-century, Dutch privateer who, according to legend, used the island’s secluded harbors as a hideout. This story isn’t difficult to believe, especially as you explore the British Virgin Islands for yourself and discover its host of coves, bays and long stretches of beach, often deserted even in the height of the tourist season. Four miles long with just 300 full-time residents, Jost Van Dyke makes it a breeze to escape from it all, taking only your camera and perhaps some cash (there are no banks or ATMs on the island) to drink in the seclusion – and perhaps a rum libation or two. If the idea of eventually leaving all this paradise behind is too much to bear, try the island specialty called the Painkiller, made of Pussers dark rum, cream of coconut and a splash of orange or pineapple juice, finished off by a little nutmeg. One sip, and you can engage in the prime activity of Jost Van Dyke: forgetting your troubles, and doing very little at all.

Day 237
Salt Island, British Virgin Islands

Salt Island, the small, uninhabited island situated south of Tortola, is named for its salt ponds and renowned for the wreck of the RMS Rhone, considered one of the best dive sites in the British Virgin Islands. The 310-foot, iron sailing ship met her watery end on October 29, 1867, when a hurricane slammed her onto the island’s shores. The ship ruptured in half and sank, taking all but 23 passengers with her. Today, the remains of the vessel can be explored as she rests on the ocean’s sandy floor, teeming with fish and encrusted with sponges and corals. Eerily magical and ready for her close-up, the RMS Rhone was featured in the 1977 film The Deep, starring Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset. Visitors who wish to ponder the wreck’s human toll can visit the island’s commemorative gravesite, where eight of the one hundred or so souls lost on that fateful day are buried.

Day 238
The Indians, British Virgin Islands

Located near Norman Island, south of Tortola and east of Saint John, are The Indians, a group of four rocky pinnacles that rise about sixty feet above the water. Ruggedly beautiful in their own right (they get their name for how they resemble a Native American headdress), The Indians are even more appealing for their underwater treasures. Shallow areas and deep spots offer wonderful reef snorkeling and diving, perfect for novices and seasoned enthusiasts alike. Several mooring balls are situated near The Indians for day use, and indeed, they are in use most days. The Indians, along with the wreck of the RMS Rhone, is one of the most popular snorkeling and diving sites in the British Virgin Islands.

Day 239
Marigot Bay, St. Martin, French West Indies

Marigot, the capital of the French side of St. Martin, is a classic Caribbean destination, with buildings adorned by ornate gingerbread and an engaging personality that combines bustling neighborhood with laid-back groove. Twice-weekly outdoor markets offer everything from homegrown produce to freshly caught fish, not to mention a chance to mingle and people watch. Pastry shops tempt passersby with alluring aromas, while luxury boutiques invite inquiries thanks to both their assortment of intriguing items and the duty-free status of the island. This being a Caribbean isle, naturally there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep sports enthusiasts happy, including diving, snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, kayaking and hiking.

Debark and transfer to the airport for your first class flight to Budapest via Amsterdam

Day 240
Budapest, Hungary (overnight)

Arrive in Budapest and transfer to the river port to embark Crystal Mahler for your river cruise in a 2-bedroomed Crystal Suite.

Cast your eye over the Budapest skyline, and you’ll see all the makings of a world-class city and striking photograph: domes and spires, bridges and lampposts, splendid architecture in the foreground, rolling hills in the back, and the Danube River placidly curving through it, providing a reflective surface for sunsets and city lights. Look closer, and the treasures of Budapest—Hungary’s capital and the largest metropolis—really come to light. Castle Hill is at the top of most visitors’ lists, a UNESCO-listed district hosting Buda Castle, Trinity Square, Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion. The area is also residential, with 18th-century houses, cobblestone streets and few cars, thanks to a strict vehicular ordinance, giving you a real sense of what the city must have been like ages ago. Budapest is full of history, originally a Roman settlement, formed as a unified city when Buda and Pest joined in 1873, overtaken by various invading forces over the centuries, and today an interesting goulash of local culture and foreign influences. Take a seat in a Turkish-era bath or savor rich Esterházy torte in a gentile coffee house to experience the many sides of a city that charms from both sides of the Danube.

Day 241
Budapest, Hungary

Day 242
Bratislava, Slovakia

Slovakia’s capital city may be the country’s buzzing political and economic center, but it is also a historic gem that stirs the imagination. A maze of narrow, cobblestone streets wind around colorful 18th-century buildings, and shade-covered sidewalk cafes beckon weary—or simply hungry—travelers to linger over a meal and enjoy people watching. Museums, cathedrals and palaces are edifying locales to spend some time, while photography buffs will want to snap images of the medieval castle that looms over the city with a majestic grace. For those looking for more contemporary sights, Bratislava boasts a pulsating modern art scene, as well as some outstanding examples of Communist-era architecture.

Days 243-244
Vienna, Austria

Layered and elegant, with elements of cozy and grand, musical and visual might be the best way to characterize Vienna—or one of many ways, as this imperial city surely can inspire endless lines of poetic descriptions. Once the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and forever known for its distinguished roster of composers who either were born or lived and worked here—including Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, both Strausses, Liszt and Brahms—Vienna finds itself at the very center of European culture, even as it sits near the border of the Czech republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Turn to a blank page to memorialize your own impressions of this grand city, remarking on its manicured gardens, ornate architecture—especially that of the famed Ringstrasse—intimate bistro pubs called beisln and a certain flourish that can only be called Vienna.

Day 245
Dürnstein and Melk Austria

Considered as one of the most visited tourist spots in Wachau Valley, D—rnstein is a robust wine-growing region that sits perfectly alongside the Danube river. Durnstein Castle, the region's famous architectural highlight derives its name from duerr meaning "dry" and stein meaning "stone". This landmark sits atop a rocky mountain, high above the damp conditions of the Danube at its base as it overlooks the town. With its picture-perfect scenery, Durnstein's beauty is enhanced by verdant forests, rolling hills, and thriving vineyards that ensconce the town. Take in the sights, sip some of the region's local wines and simply enjoy a leisurely day in this classic, postcard-worthy European town.

Best known for its fortified baroque Benedictine monastery, Melk Abbey, the town of Melk boasts an assortment of smaller gems. Among them, the city’s riverside location, serene and regal with a ribbon of wooded groves giving way to the lovely village. Cobbled lanes and a petite size make for a pleasant stroll with a chance to discover its 16th-century Town Hall, or Rathaus, in the center of town, and Haus am Stein, or House at the Rock. Built in the 15th century, the vine-covered abode is Melk’s oldest building.

Day 246
Passau, Germany

At the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers, Passau is also situated at a meeting of cultures. The town began as a Roman settlement, enjoying the rising tide of influence as the largest bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire and enduringly vibrant as a hub for various trade and manufacturing pursuits, including salt, swords and ideas. Experience Passau’s charm as you the wander the cobbled streets of Old Town, gaze upon arched bridges and Italianate manses and encounter magnificent St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the New Bishop’s Residence.

Day 247
Deggendorf, Germany

The city of Deggendorf, located on the Danube about halfway between Regensburg and Passau, is also situated about an hour and a half from Munich, making it an ideal launching point for visits to Bavaria’s capital and largest city. Yet travelers are invited to linger a spell here at the gateway of the Bavarian Forest, enjoying a chance to experience Deggendorf’s cultural, architectural and culinary treasures. Of the first, there are spring festivals and regular presentations of classical, operatic, folk, cabaret and pop music performances. Of the second, there is the city’s classic medieval layout, highlighted by the 14th-century Town Hall and baroque parish church. Of the last, there are the traditional Bavarian foodie favorites of pretzels and sweet mustard served with—of course—Bavarian brew. Beer is so a part of the local gastronomic scene that it is considered a staple. On average, Bavarians consume 40 gallons of beer per year. With some 40 types and 4,000 brands to choose from, there is slim, if any, chance of getting your fill of Bavaria’s “liquid gold.—

Day 248
Regensburg, Germany

Situated at the northernmost bend of the Danube and boasting a well-preserved medieval center, Regensburg finds itself not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site but also a traveler’s favorite destination. This charming town came through World War II unscathed, with its 1,400 or so ancient buildings standing as regal testament to days gone by. In fact, Regensburg can trace its history to the Celtic age. Other pages of its interesting story include chapters as a major trading hub in Roman times and, in the centuries following, a flourishing city that displayed its prosperity and confidence with embellished churches, stately homes and sturdy towers to protect it all. Today, nothing can shield Regensburg from the admiration of visitors who develop an enduring fondness for this riverside treasure, complete with elaborate cathedral, quintessential clock tower, multi-arched bridge and multi-faceted personality.

Day 249
Nuremberg, Germany

Although this Bavarian city dates to the 11th century, Nuremberg is probably best known for a more recent history centered on the Nuremburg Trials, the military tribunals that took place after World War II. Much of the city was destroyed by Allied bombs, but many of the buildings, including the medieval Nuremberg Castle, have been painstakingly restored—using the original stones, no less. Nuremberg today is a joyous city, famous for its bratwurst, dark beer and spectacular Christmas Market. In fact, it’s Christmas all year long at the popular Handwerkerhof, or “crafts yard.— Here in the shadow of the city’s half-timbered buildings and old walls and towers, artisans craft toys, glassware and holiday trinkets to the delight of visitors naughty and nice.

Day 250
Bamberg, Germany

Unfolding over seven hills, each crowned by a church, Bamberg is often called “Franconian Rome.— Locals often reverse the phrase, playfully claiming that Rome is the “Italian Bamberg.— However you look at it, Bamberg’s medieval beauty is unrivalled, with the entire Old Town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wandering the impossibly cute cobbled lanes, aim your camera at half-timbered buildings topped by steep roofs and bordered by the waters of the river, in places whooshing around buildings’ very foundations. Arched bridges and summer-blooming flowers add to the storybook charm, while the town’s famed Rauchbier, a smoked beer first brewed in 1536, lends a celebratory air. If you prefer sampling Bavarian suds to snapping pictures, you’re in for a treat: Bamberg has more breweries than Munich.

Day 251
Würzburg, Germany

In a mere 20 minutes, nearly 80 percent of Wurzburg was destroyed by a World War II bombing raid, rendering to rubble much of this old and lovely city, for centuries a showcase for the wealth and influence of the resident prince-bishops. While thought was given to leaving the ruins where they lay as a tribute to the once-flourishing city and painful reminder of war, a fortuitous second thought prompted rebuilding. Now restored, Wurzburg tells the interesting tale of its founding in the 10th century, subsequent rise in prominence, enduring connection to the Main River and long-held traditions in winemaking. Impressive architectural wonders include the Residenz, one of the most splendid palaces in Europe, and the town church, one of the oldest in Germany. But many will tell you that the true highlight is time spent rubbing elbows with the locals, who are likely to be part of the large student population making worthwhile study of keeping Wurzburg lively and looking to a bright future.

Investigate some of the 300 rooms spread over three wings of the UNESCO-listed Residenz, an 18th-century, Versailles-like palace built for Wurzburg’s prince-bishops. Marvel at another Wurzburg treasure, the Julius Spital (meaning Julius Hospital, and often combined for Juliusspital), a vast hospital built by its namesake prince-bishop Julius Echter. Within the palatial baroque property is a medieval wine cellar, which depending on your day’s timing you will visit.

Day 252
Miltenburg, Germany

Most medieval towns are well preserved not because they’ve enjoyed centuries of uninterrupted peace and prosperity, but because they’ve been reconstructed after a fire or similar devastation—here in Germany, devastation most likely a result of World War II bombing raids. Miltenberg has escaped the damage of both roaring flame and raging war, remaining authentically historic in its full, fairytale bloom. This rose of the Romantic Road is also blessed to be off the beaten track, a curious position given the town’s charming and truly ancient timber-framed buildings, fortified walls, forested glades, cobbled streets and hilltop castle built by the archbishops of Mainz.

Day 253
Koblenz, Germany

Located where the Rhine and Moselle rivers and three low mountain ranges meet, Koblenz has a leg up in the scenery department. Add to that the city’s 2,000-year-old history, hilltop fortress and squares lined by classic Germanic architecture and you have a place ready made for photographs. You might start by aiming your lens at the Deutsches Eck, or German Corner, where the rivers merge around a corner of land marked by a monument to Emperor William I. Ambling along the river promenade and exploring the town’s narrow lanes, you might encounter medieval churches, flower-filled parks, sidewalk cafes and perhaps a weinstube, or wine tavern, an ideal venue for sipping dry Riesling and drinking in the atmosphere.

Day 254
Cologne, Germany

A scan of Cologne’s skyline offers a short-hand of a long essay of architecture, varying from the space-needle-type Rhine Tower to the avant-garde buildings along the river to the spectacular spires of the cathedral. One look at the magnificent church and you can’t help but draw a breath of amazement—the structure is enormous and intricately glorious, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Germany’s most visited landmark. Peel your eyes away from the famed Kölner Dom, as it is locally called, to discover other architectural notables, including remains of the Roman wall, a modern museum complex, the contemporary philharmonic hall, cozy beerhalls and the span of the Hohenzollern Bridge, reconstructed after the war.

Day 255
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Everyone has an image of Amsterdam. For some, it’s small boats gliding on the canals and locals two-wheeling on bikes to and from work and, as frequently, to meet friends for drinks. For others, it’s gabled buildings leaning, seemingly precariously, over cobbled streets and cozy taverns illuminated by candles. Still others imagine tulips in bloom and the colors, both muted and vibrant, of the paintings Vermeer, Van Gogh and Rembrandt. All images are true and even more beguiling when experienced in person. Sit a spell in a convivial cafe, explore world-class museums and feel the significance of a unique history—one of a city reclaimed from the sea, rising in prestige and influence as merchants built trade and wealth, and forever known for its attics and attitudes that offered refuge from war. Narrow streets and great manses tell the story not only in images but with the aroma of appeltaart, a taste of the avant garde in newly constructed buildings and a feeling of warmth from the amiable locals.

Day 256
Amsterdam

Debark and transfer to the airport for a Business Class flight to London, where our chauffeur will meet you and take you home.


Map

Pricing

Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

256-day cruise on board Crystal Serenity (Crystal Cruises) from £449,000 incl. flights

Departure: 23 January 2018

Crystal Penthouse with Verandah and Third Berth (CP): £449,000

Exclusive voyage sailing on five luxury vessels

Includes first class air (where available), private chauffeur transfers, and accommodation in the following grades:

  • Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony - Crystal Penthouse with Veranda
  • Crystal Mozart - River Crystal Suite
  • Crystal Esprit - Owners Suite
  • Crystal Mahler - 2-bedroomed Crystal Suite
  • Beverly Hills Hilton - Deluxe Room with Balcony
  • Sheraton Stockholm - Master Suite
  • Baglioni London - Deluxe Suite
  • St Regis New York - Grand Suite

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