|Crystal Symphony in Sydney|
Blast Off: Crystal Cruises’ Space Excursion
Crystal Cruises is giving its guests an industry first: one-night excursions to Russia’s former Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City. Guests train like the modern Russian cosmonauts, experiencing everything from g-forces and weightlessness to the Final Challenge, where participants install a space antenna on a replica of the International Space Station, while submerged in 54,000 square feet of water. Sounds like a far-out time to us. The excursion is available from St. Petersburg with five Crystal Symphony summer Baltic voyages.
Oceania and Seabourn Sail into 2011
We hear that Oceania Cruises and Seabourn Cruises have unveiled some of their 2011 itineraries. Oceania has announced its new European Collection, which opened for reservations March 11. Cruisers can look forward to over 125 ports, 21 new itineraries and the debut of Oceania’s newest ship, Marina, whose inaugural season will include voyages to Egypt, Israel, as well as Iceland and the Polar Ice Barrier. New western European itineraries have been designed to focus on wine-producing regions and local cuisines of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. There will also be calls in off-the-beaten-path ports, such as Zakynthos, Greece; Ronne, Denmark; and Murmansk, Russia.
Seabourn’s fleet embarks on its worldwide itineraries in January 2011 and will sail through April 2012. The line will be calling at 266 ports in 78 countries. Reservations are now open. Note: Seabourn Quest, the newest Seabourn ship, will be launched on June 20, 2011, with a 14-day maiden voyage from Barcelona to Athens. Continuing its maiden season, the vessel will offer seven-day Eastern Mediterranean cruises between Athens and Istanbul, and Venice and Athens. The Highlight: Quest’s 109-day World Cruise, which departs from Fort Lauderdale on January 5 and ends in Venice, calling at ports in South America, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
What’s New with Lindblad
The Scoop: Lindblad Expeditions is offering three new programs in 2011. First up is the 17-day/15-night New Zealand cruise, which departs in February. The trip explores both the North and South Islands aboard the 68-guest Oceanic Discoverer.
In April 2011, guests can visit Senegal, Gambia, Western Sahara, the island nations of Cape Verde and the Canary Islands on a 13-day/11-night West Africa cruise. Cruisers will sail the National Geographic Explorer, learning about culture, scenery and wildlife. We like the excursions to the desert dunes, bird islands and vibrant markets.
Silversea: Around Australia in 30 Days
In 2011 Silversea unveils a new bespoke itinerary that sails around Australia. The roundtrip voyage aboard Silver Shadow departs Sydney January 19 and sails for 30 days. Ports include Brisbane, Whitsunday Islands, Willis Island (Great Barrier Reef), Port Douglas, Cooktown, Darwin, Broome, Exmouth, Perth, Albany, Port Lincoln, Adelaide, Geelong, Melbourne and Hobart.
Gourmet Touch: Cruisers will visit artisan wine and cheese makers in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.