In honor of Downton Abbey's fifth season, Crystal Cruises has added the two-night "English Countryside & Highclere Castle" Extended Land Program post-cruise with Crystal Symphony’s 18-day, July 8 North Cape/Arctic itinerary from Reykjavík to London.
The “White Sea Exploration” cruise commemorates Crystal’s 25th anniversary of sailing with special receptions and events hosted by Chairman Nobuyoshi “Nōb” Kuzuya.
During the excursion, guests will visit Highclere Castle in Hampshire (e.g. “Downton Abbey”), arriving just like visitors on the show -- in vintage 1920’s automobiles, driven by chauffeurs. There, Crystal travelers will be the guests of honor at a private champagne reception and tour of the estate, including numerous rooms made famous on the series, such as the library and drawing room. Leading up to the Castle, guests will also visit Berkshire’s Basildon Park, which is used as the Grantham family’s London house; Swan Inn, where Lady Sybil and Branson elope; Byfleet Manor, known as the Dowager Countess’ home, for lunch Downton-style, with period-costumed hosts; and Bampton, a village filled with locations that double as the Crawleys’ home, the hospital, and the church where Lady Edith was jilted at the altar. At night, tour participants will sleep in an authentic English manor house—now transformed into the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire.
Sailing through the Arctic Circle and White Sea, the itinerary offers maiden calls in Solovetsky and Zayatsky Islands, Russian Federation, and Bodø, Narvik and Øye/Hørundfjord, Norway; overnights in Reykjavík, Iceland and Leknes, Norway; plus visits to Akureyri, Iceland; Murmansk, Russia; Honnigsvåg/the North Cape, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway before ending in London/Dover.
Until January 2, all-inclusive, value-priced “Book Now” fares start at $1,730/person. Fares for the “English Countryside & Highclere Castle” Extended Land Program start at $4,600 per person/double occupancy, including meals, accommodations, and transportation to and from London/Dover.