Saturday, August 6, 2011

Outdoor Adventure & Regional Culinary Choices Rank High On Crystal's Fall Pacific/Southwest Cruises

Who says you have to sail away to far-flung destinations to enjoy a cruise? Sometimes you have to look no further than your own country, or state, to discovery new adventures, as California-based Crystal Cruises will prove later this year.

The luxury cruise line has scheduled two unusual 7-day Crystal Symphony sailings round-trip from Los Angeles up the California and northern Baja coasts this fall and is introducing 18 brand-new shore-side excursions to up the exploration factor. Crystal Adventures will showcase the outdoor opportunities, culinary arts, and varied scenery local to the remarkable Golden State region during cruises departing Nov 20 (our United States Thanksgiving week) and Dec 4.

In Santa Barbara, adventurous passengers will have their choice of hiking, biking, horseback riding, paragliding, Segway-ing, or kayaking through the area, learning about everything from California's Chumash Indians to native sea life. Additional outdoor explorations range from kayaking past the Baja coast's 100 foot-high blowhole to a jeep safari through Mexican countryside with a winery as the final destination.

California's fine wines will be the highlight during tasting trips to Santa Ynez and Napa Valley, the latter including a gourmet lunch at the famed Culinary Institute of America. Foodies can expand their epicurean acumen with a tequila tasting/education or a Mexican cooking lesson outside Ensenada, or a custom wine-blending competition in Santa Barbara. Crystal Symphony passengers can also explore the quaint Danish town of Solvang and hidden alleys of San Francisco's Chinatown.

"These ultra-regional itineraries offer our first-ever overnight stays in San Francisco. More time in a more concentrated area allows us to delve deeper into what makes this captivating coast such an unparalleled world travel destination," says John Stoll, vice president land and port operations. "From helicoptering over Alcatraz to a private tour of San Diego with just your family, travelers have copious choices on these sailings."

The easy, LA-round-trip voyages visit Santa Barbara, San Francisco (overnight), Ensenada (for the required "distant foreign port"), and San Diego. Fares include $500 "All Inclusive—As You Wish" shipboard credit, free air from 24 North American cities (or air credits), and additional family/friends group savings. A special promotion enables kids to sail free over Thanksgiving. For more information, visit the Crystal Cruises website.

Image Courtesy of Crystal Cruises

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a great cruise to sample some of California's many great cities. My favorite town in California is definitely Santa Barbara. It has beautiful weather, great natural scenery, and of course the amazing white sand beaches. Unfortunately if you aren't coming in for the day on a cruise, it's extremely expensive. We normally stay at The Sandman Inn ( which is a budget-friendly property, but it's something of a local secret so if you ever stay there again don't fall for the overpriced downtown hotels. What hikes does the cruise offer when on land? My favorite Santa Barbara hike is Seven falls by the mission