Every once in a while a voyage is announced that makes it to the top of my Dream Cruise list. Yes, there are places that even Cruise Diva hasn't been to... yet. Crystal Cruises has recently announced just such a voyage, a dream around-the-world cruise that has me yearning for exotic ports of call and unique experiences.
For its 15th annual World Cruise set for 2010, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has set a new course with a Middle Eastern twist. The detailed 108-day itinerary, features maiden visits to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and a host of other fascinating destinations. Although the departure is more than a year and half away and reservations don't open until October, Crystal Cruises has more than 100 guests on its waitlist.
On Jan 10, 2010, the award-winning Crystal Serenity will depart Miami on an unprecedented voyage exploring South America, Africa, and India, with a greatly expanded focus on the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Black Sea, and several European ports in the Mediterranean Sea en route to London. The epic journey will visit 41 ports in 37 countries.
"Based on extensive research, site inspections and discussions with contemporary world affairs experts, we feel we have created an unparalleled voyage for the most discriminating travelers," says Gregg Michel, president of Crystal Cruises. "On one itinerary, our 2010 World Cruise guests can visit an incredible combination of destinations renowned for being profoundly rich in antiquities and cultural history."
Significant for 2010:
* Seven maiden calls: Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Bandar Abbas, Iran; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Manama, Bahrain; Khasab, Oman; Alfujairah, United Arab Emirates (UAE); and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.* First time Crystal has included the Black Sea ports in a World Cruise.
* Overnight stays in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Safaga, Egypt (for Luxor/Karnak); Athens, Greece; Odessa, Ukraine; Istanbul, Turkey; and Barcelona, Spain.
* Two-night shipboard stays in Cape Town, South Africa and Dubai, UAE.
* Late night calls in, among others, Ashdod, Israel; Cochin and Mumbai, India; Bandar Abbas, Iran; Manama, Bahrain; Aqaba, Jordan; Alexandria, Egypt; Kusadasi, Turkey; Livorno, Italy.
* Complimentary shore-side events, Crystal Adventures shore excursions, onboard parties, gifts, enhanced onboard entertainment, and expanded Creative Learning Institute and Crystal Visions lecture program.
* Available in seven individual segments ranging from 13 to 21 days, or back-to-back segment combinations.
World Cruise fares will be available in October, when Crystal Cruises will begin accepting reservations. Full World Cruisers booked for 2009 will have the opportunity to book 2010 before it is open to the public. For additional information, visit the line's website at http://www.crystalcruises.com/.