From the City of Angels in California to the ancient temples of Thailand to the city that boasts the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, this 112-day World Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity promises exotic lands and magical memories plus a grand celebration for you and your fellow World Cruisers in Sydney, Australia.
Known quite simply as the very best cruise ship in the world, Crystal Serenity is consistently awarded the highest accolades by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, among others.
Los Angeles is not really a city but rather a sprawling metropolis constituting more than 80 smaller city areas woven together by a daunting network of traffic-congested freeways without a clearly defined centre. LA is just one of these cities with Downtown at its heart, and lying outside the city limits is the surrounding conglomeration of cities that comprises LA County.
Los Angeles offers a dazzling variety of attractions and world-famous amusements. Downtown is a mixture of cultures and local communities: the traditional herbalists of Chinatown’s Bamboo Lane; Little Tokyo with its sushi bars and Japanese gardens; and the narrow Latino-influenced Olvera Street. Los Angeles County is endowed with a rich diversity of backgrounds and is a mix-and-match of people from 140 countries speaking 96 different languages, of those who have left home to seek acceptance for ideas or unconventional lifestyles not tolerated in the more conservative parts of the country, and would-be stars with dreams of fame and fortune. West Hollywood is the focal point of gay and lesbian culture, and the posh beachside resort of Santa Monica and body-builders at Muscle Beach, as well as the childhood fantasy of Disneyland are all a part of the diversity, although not always a harmonious one. There are exciting museums, cinemas featuring every conceivable production, swanky boutiques with the latest fashions, comedy clubs, poetry readings and coffee house recitals, and music of every kind played in various venues throughout the city.
Underneath the huge ‘Hollywood’ sign on the crest of the Hollywood Hills, the high energy and pleasure-seeking atmosphere, bold billboards, sexy sun-bronzed people, bright lights and fancy cars are images of a city that everyone loves to hate; but whether one likes what one finds or not, Los Angeles must be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
Lahaina also hosts a roster of innovative restaurants specializing in Hawaii Regional Cuisine, a masterful blend of classic Asian and Continental techniques with the unique taste of paradise. More than 40 art galleries offer the works of both acclaimed local artists and masters such as Dali, Chagall and Miro. In fact, art shopping in Lahaina has become so popular that it is celebrated in a weekly event called “Friday Night is Art Night in Lahaina Town.” Art lovers stroll from gallery to gallery viewing finished works, meeting the artists and watching them work amidst an outdoor party atmosphere.
Lahaina is easily accessible from the Kaanapali Resort, just a short three-mile trip via car, or relax and take the complimentary shuttle bus that services Lahaina from several sites within the resort. Many adventurous “commuters” choose to board the Sugar Cane Train from Kaanapali and take the scenic route to Lahaina through the West Maui sugar cane fields.
The main city on the Island is Honolulu, with Waikiki being the primarybeach and resort hotel area. Among the many popular things to do on Oahu, the Polynesian Cultural Center and Sea Life Park, on the opposite side of the Island from Honolulu, are very popular.
Just like its characteristic white-sailed Opera House, Sydney seems to cruise effortlessly through nights and days filled with myriad entertainment opportunities, sophisticated shopping, memorable museums, and strings of beautiful beaches. Visitors find it exhausting to take it all in, even though the tourist precinct where most of the interesting attractions are to be found is concentrated in quite a small area around the downtown waterfront and harbour.
The fact that Sydney is a thriving seaport and industrial city has been cleverly concealed behind attractive pleasure and leisure grounds and residential suburbs, making full use of the scenic, watery geographical location. The harbour area is dominated by the span of one of the world’s largest arched bridges, backed by towering skyscrapers. It is all a far cry from the remote penal colony established by the British back in 1788.
Another plus for visitors is that compared to most big cities Sydney offers excellent, reasonably priced food, accommodation and public transport. The city also has an excellent suburban rail network, with its hub at Circular Quay in the city centre, and full use is made of the waterways with ferries and passenger jet boats plying to and from various points.
To the north of Sydney is the Pacific Coastal route, which passes beautiful coastal scenery, laid back seaside communities like Byron Bay, and excellent surf, with nearly 249 miles (400km) of beaches to explore. Whale watching is popular in season and the region is also dotted with numerous national parks and nature reserves that offer activities from hiking to kayaking in the Myall Lakes. The Waterfall Way, which winds up to the New England Tablelands, is one of the most scenic drives in the world, taking in the vineyards of the famed Hunter Valley. To the south of Sydney is Australia’s only alpine habitat in the Snowy Mountains, where winter skiing is the main attraction. In summer the mountains become a playground for whitewater rafters, fishermen, kayakers and hikers.
Cairns started life as a small fishing encampment, which received an injection of prosperity in the 19th century when gold was discovered to the north and tin and timber began to be exploited in the nearby Atherton Tablelands. The harbour and fishing operations increased in importance, and tourism arrived in the early 20th century when marlin fishing became popular, and the world discovered the delights of exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
Aided by its pleasant, warm climate, the relaxed tropical town has now become a frenzied international tourism centre, flooded with visitors most of the year, its streets lined with souvenir stores, eateries and some first class hotels. The harbour is clogged with streamlined pleasure boats, and the offshore islands bristle with resorts. To cater for tourists the city fathers have even created a man-made salt-water lagoon and sandy beach on the Esplanade to replace the original muddy swamp that crowned Trinity Bay.
To holiday in Cairns is to holiday in a city that has a mission to make tourists as happy as possible. Facilities and fun recreation opportunities are excellent, and the city is a relatively inexpensive destination. Anyone who enjoys a sunny beach holiday should travel to Cairns, where the magnificent man-made lagoon offers safe swimming all year round, the sunshine guarantees a suntan, and there are plenty of shops, restaurants and nightclubs to indulge in. A Cairns holiday is also popular among young adventure tourists, with pursuits like scuba diving, skydiving, and ballooning on offer. And, of course, the Great Barrier Reef is just a hop and a skip away.
Webber Esplanade is to the north of the town and starts at the tip of Grassy Peak, where you will find the Powder Magazine which is the oldest brick building in Far North Queensland. There is a great view from the headland as well as from the top of the hill and it makes a pleasant walk back towards town, along the Endeavour River. Once in town, the road turns into Charlotte Street and is where you will find a bank, some cafes and restaurants, many shops, a post office and several pubs. There are also some memorials and monuments along Charlotte Street, for Captain Cook and other explorers.
Bad press in recent years, after some high-profile terrorism and kidnapping incidents, has not helped matters. The country has also laboured under a turbulent political reputation and is still overcoming the effects of martial law. Its poor infrastructure, dilapidated roads and unsafe ferries, have also all played a role in deterring potential travellers and the country has been overlooked as an eco-tourist destination because of local disregard for its natural resources (such as fishermen dynamiting coral reefs). While resources are being channelled into education to prevent such practices a great deal of damage has already been done to the environment.
The good news is that Filipinos themselves are warm and welcoming, as underscored in the country’s tagline ‘where Asia wears a smile’. Apart from some beautiful, remote tropical islands and legendary scuba diving spots, the archipelago’s best resource is the friendliness and laid-back attitude of the Filipino people. Their hospitable and embracing attitude is enough to put a smile on any visitor’s face; and this is even more the case in the country’s rural areas. The Philippines has some superb all-inclusive luxury resorts spread around the islands which cushion visitors from the general degradation and safety risks of the cities and towns, and a major plus is that the country is amazingly cheap for foreign tourists who have dollars, pounds or euros to spend. Also, the food is delicious, and English is widely spoken.
Independent travellers who like to wander off the beaten track, and do not mind doing without the conveniences of running water and the like, will find plenty to fascinate them in the countryside and coastal parts of the Philippines; albeit without the assistance of guide books. The Philippines is one of the few places left in the world where adventurers can wander through tribal lands, unfettered by modern interferences. Travellers are, however, advised to follow the current safety advice on areas to avoid.
Hong Kong offers a dense concentration of shops and shopping malls with a cross-pollinated cosmopolitan culture that embraces Nepalese and British cuisines with equal enthusiasm. It is the perfect gateway for travellers to Southeast Asia and China, providing a smooth transition from west to east. As one of the key economies of the Pacific Rim, Hong Kong Island showcases a gleaming landscape of skyscrapers and boasts a highly developed transport infrastructure that makes commuting around it a dream.
Hong Kong consists of four sections: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, the New Territories and the Outlying Islands. Kowloon and the New Territories form part of the Chinese mainland to the north of Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong Island, containing the central business hub, lies on the southern side of the harbour facing Kowloon. The Outlying Islands area consists of 234 islands.
Today ancient crumbling buildings dating from the 11th century lie scattered among grand French colonial residences, while shrines and monuments to Vietnam’s first president, Ho Chi Minh, sit in the shadow of modern high-rise buildings. The streets of the Old Quarter preserve age-old customs, where trade takes one back half a century, and temples, pagodas and monuments reflect the historic character of Vietnam.
Although a city of historical importance, and the social and cultural centre of Vietnam, it is a surprisingly modest and charming place, far slower and less developed than Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Hanoi has retained its appealing sense of the old world, despite the onset of a brisk tourism trade in 1993, absorbing the boom of hotels, travellers’ hangouts and Internet cafes, and the gradual infiltration of western-style food and fashions into the once inaccessible city.
As the early morning mist rises from the serene Hoan Kiem Lake, tracksuit-clad elders perform the slow movements of tai chi, like park statues coming to life. Streets fill with activity, mopeds and bicycles weave among pedestrians, while cyclo drivers (three-wheeled bicycle taxis) clamour for attention, and postcard vendors cluster around tourists like bees sensing an open honey pot.
Hanoi is fast becoming one of the most enticing and interesting cities in Asia. As a cultural centre there are traditional water puppet shows, and music and dance performances. It is also a good base for excursions to the beautiful Halong Bay, or into the Hoang Lien Mountains inhabited by several hill tribes.
Located on the Saigon River on the edge of the Mekong Delta, Saigon became the capital of the Republic of South Vietnam and was the American headquarters during the Vietnam War. Two years later the Communist north took control of the country, the city’s name was changed to Ho Chi Minh City, and recession and poverty ensued.
Today Ho Chi Minh City has a cosmopolitan and energetic atmosphere, and having actively welcomed capitalism its citizens are clearly business-minded. Although relatively modern, it has still managed to hold onto its historical character, and fine restaurants, smart hotels and chic bars line the sidewalks crammed with noodle stands, markets and shoeshine boys. The buzzing of motorbikes and scooters merges with the cries of street vendors and the urgent business of stall owners, selling barbecued dog, writhing snakes and tropical fruits. The sight of a family of four balanced precariously on a scooter, a squealing pig strapped onto the back of a bicycle, bowed heads topped by pointed lampshade-style hats and orange-clothed monks are just some of the vibrant images the city has to offer.
Although overshadowed by modern and Asiatic influences, a little of Ho Chi Minh City’s French colonial charm still remains, evident in the graceful architecture, wide boulevards, and a sidewalk cafe society. It is not for the attractions that one visits Ho Chi Minh City however, but for the vibrancy of its street life, and its proximity to the Mekong Delta.
This city is a blend of old and new worlds, a melting pot of the diverse influences of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures, making exploring Kuala Lumpur a fascinating experience. An exploration of Kuala Lumpur is best begun from Merdeka Square, the heart of the city. To the southeast of the square is the modern business centre and the bustling, colourful streets of Chinatown. The picturesque National Mosque (Masjid Negara) and impressive Railway Station can be located to the south, and beyond them to the west is the city’s green belt. The tranquil and lush Perdana Botanical Gardens provide some respite from the frenetic activity of the city. The National Museum (Muzim Negara), the National Monument, and the Malaysian Parliament are also found on this stretch. Kuala Lumpur’s most famous landmark, however, is the stunning Petronas Towers, which afford visitors phenomenal views of the city.
Frenetic traffic fills the main Galle Road that runs through the city from the district of Fort, parallel with the coast, and connects all the suburban enclaves down to the town of Galle in the south. Fort is the historic centre of the city and has become the main business district, filled with shops, office blocks and government buildings. It is here that most of the gracious old buildings from the Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial eras can be seen. East of Fort is the exciting Pettah bazaar district, where the streets are crammed with shops and stalls selling all manner of goods from vegetables to gemstones.
Further south the city’s seafront is known as Galle Face Green, where locals enjoy games of cricket, fly kites or take evening strolls watching the sunset. Beyond this lies Colombo’s upmarket Cinammon Gardens neighbourhood, boasting elegant mansions, tree-lined streets and the lovely Viharamaha Devi Park. The closest beach resort to Colombo is Mount Lavinia, about six miles (10km) from the city.
The Portuguese established this old Hindu city as a colony in 1509. In 1661, it passed to England as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza when she married Charles II, and became a vital trading base for the East India Company and later the Crown. The centre of Imperial Bombay, the city contains a breathtaking array of High Victorian buildings and is reminiscent of a prosperous 19th-century English industrial city. The fascinating range of architectural styles reflects the British passion for the Gothic and demonstrates the wealth, panache and confidence of British Bombay. Prosperity has always been considered more important than religious homogeneity in Mumbai, and this is reflected in the range of places of worship throughout the city: churches and cathedrals sit alongside countless mosques, and Hindu and Buddhist temples.
Like many Indian cities, the streets of Mumbai are congested with cattle, carts and motor vehicles, and the air is thick with smog and the sound of horns. But despite this, the city has much to offer, and those en route to Goa should take time to discover Mumbai’s colourful and fascinating history, as well as its vibrant, energetic and friendly people.
Back in the mists of time Bahrain was attached to the Arabian Peninsula. Nature separated it from the mainland, but man has now rejoined it with a 16-mile (25km) long causeway linking it to Saudi Arabia. During construction of the causeway and a new road network, the islands’ archaeological significance came to light with the discovery of thousands of burial mounds dating from the third millennium BC, part of the well-ordered ancient city of Dilmun that existed where a forest of skyscrapers now reaches for the sky.
Throughout its history Bahrain has been prosperous, first on the strength of its good position for trade and fishing, and the abundance and quality of the pearls found in its waters, and more latterly because of its oil resources (Bahrain was the first country in the Gulf to exploit its ‘liquid gold’).
Though the government is less stable than in years past, Bahrain is still growing as a popular tourist destination in the Middle East. A visit to Bahrain, whether on business or pleasure, is an interesting, relaxing and rewarding experience.
The city is almost an island, jutting into the Persian Gulf, with land having been reclaimed from the sea to make way for a long seafront Corniche, lined with lush gardens and gushing fountains. It is a relatively young city, the area having been first settled by nomadic tribesmen in the mid-18th century; it remained little more than a fishing village until oil was discovered in the 1950s, and the financial and trading boom began.
Today the international airport and deep water port bring in visitors from around the world, most clutching credit cards and cash, set on spending as much as possible in the enticing shopping malls and buzzing souk (market). Limousines are a common sight in the congested streets, and restaurants offering the cuisine of many nations do a roaring trade, especially along the waterfront. Shopping fever is at its height during the annual Shopping Festival held in early March. Those taking a break from modern luxury can escape to the desert for a Bedouin feast under the stars, or a camel ride through the dunes.
Today Dubai ranks as the country’s foremost commercial centre, a city whose skyline is constantly being upgraded with new developments providing the infrastructure and facilities needed for a progressive society, including world-class hotels, shopping plazas and outstanding sports facilities. Dubai Creek divides the city centre into two parts: Deira on the northern side and Bur Dubai to the south and each has its fair share of souks, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and fine mosques.
From within these high standards of luxury and convenience, visitors can experience exotic Arabia in the bustling souks or a night in a Bedouin tent with belly-dancing under the starlit desert skies, as well as a way of life that is still embedded in the Islamic traditions of an ancient land. Dubai’s attraction lies in the contrast between the ultra modern and the enchantingly traditional, which gives the city a personality like no other and visitors a variety of experiences to choose from. From desert oases and unspoiled beaches, camel races and old wind towers, to top-class shopping opportunities, avant-garde architecture and the finest international cuisine, Dubai has more than enough depth to satisfy even the most seasoned of travellers.
One of the city’s top attractions is its excellent shopping. As an open port with low import duties, Dubai can offer an incredible range of top brand names at cheaper prices due to the tax-free environment, and ‘shopping tourists’ are drawn from around the world to this paradise of malls, souks, boutiques and modern department stores selling everything from Paris fashions to Japanese electronics. The annual Shopping Festival attracts millions of tourists to the city for a shop-till-you-drop holiday.
Besides underwater escapades, Aqaba is an ideal location for watersports and relaxation, whether it is swimming, waterskiing, parasailing, fishing or sunbathing. For the history enthusiast, Aqaba contains sites dating back to 4000 BC, including the recent discovery of what is believed to be the world’s oldest church from the 3rd century, the remains of the medieval walled city of Ayla and a Mamluke fort. These are proof of Aqaba’s strategic position as the main port on the trading route to the Far East from Africa in ancient times, which made it a thriving town, and it is this same location today that makes it an important tourist centre. It is also conveniently situated for excursions to the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum and the ancient rock city of Petra.
For a taste of the Baroque, visitors need only climb the famous Spanish Steps, walk through the Piazza Navona or toss a coin into the beautiful Trevi Fountain. Renaissance splendour is perhaps best revealed in the Pope’s residence, the Vatican Palace, or in Michelangelo’s efforts on the roof of the Sistine Chapel. From early Christian Basilicas to the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and the Pantheon, the sequence of history trails back to the height of the Roman Empire.
It may sound like a city of contrasts, but Rome’s timeless magic lies in its ability to blend the old with the new. Empires have risen and fallen, old gods have been replaced with new ones, but Rome remains.
Known quite simply as the very best cruise ship in the world, Crystal Serenity is consistently awarded the highest accolades by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, among others.
Days of Sunshine
Sparkling and inviting, the Seahorse Pool is ideal for swimming laps, enjoying a game of water volleyball or simply lounging poolside. A second indoor/outdoor pool is covered by a retractable roof.
Serenity’s New Look: Classic Modern
Following a $25 million redesign, Crystal Serenity emerges with a sophisticated look blending Hollywood glamour and Fifth Avenue elegance. All of the Penthouse Suites have been redecorated to reflect the contemporary new design.
As part of Crystal Serenity’s sleek redesign, the ship’s retail shops have also received a sophisticated new treatment. Apropos boutique is now three shops in one, with a flagship Christian Dior cosmetic/skincare area.
The Crystal difference
With its highest score in five years, Crystal Cruises has been voted the “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine for a 13th consecutive year. The ultra-luxury Crystal Cruises is the only cruise line, resort or hotel to have won the prestigious award each year since the awards’ inception. Crystal’s 2008 World’s Best score of 90.67 marks the highest score of any cruise line – large and small. This score ranks Crystal with the survey’s most highly noted hotel in the world. Luxury, as they say, is in the details. It is so often the little details that make all the difference. And on a Crystal cruise, the differences are many. Here are some of the things that set us apart and have resulted in us receiving “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” honors year after year.
Exclusive to the Crystal Experience
Full 360° open air teak Promenade Deck with exclusive WOW® – “Walk on Water” – fitness program
The Bistro, our popular European-style coffee and wine bar, which offers complimentary specialty coffee and tea drinks, along with light snacks served throughout the day
Up to seven evening dining options including a choice of classic main or late seating in our Crystal Dining Room, or open seating in our specialty restaurants, so guests can always choose where, when and with whom they would like to dine
European-trained wait staff in the Crystal Dining Room and in our specialty restaurants featuring the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Piero Selvaggio
Wine cellar with more than 200 vintages including Crystal’s exclusive “C” label
Crystal Casino: Crystal Cruises offers exciting games of chance in the new Crystal Casino featuring Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, 3 Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Mini-Baccarat (on request), as well as Slot and Video Poker machines.
Our innovative Creative Learning Institute®, offering complimentary Yamaha piano lessons and Berlitz language classes on every cruise; and on select sailings, special certification enrichment with Cleveland Clinic Wellness Seminars, Pepperdine University Business Seminars, the Smithsonian Associates, Society of Wine Educators and Sotheby’s
Computer University@Sea® facility with 24-hour e-mail and Internet access plus instruction in the latest software
The only Feng Shui-inspired spa at sea featuring exotic massages, facial therapies and energy boosting treatments
One of the highest space per guest ratios at sea, offering Crystal Cruises’ unparalleled service in luxurious comfortable surroundings
Pre-reservations available for all optional Crystal Adventures shore excursions
Crystal Society Rewards and Recognition Program for returning guests
Always included in the Crystal Experience
Frette bathrobes and Aveda bath products in every stateroom
Egyptian cotton linens and menu of pillow options for every bed
All meals served on elegant Villeroy & Boch china and all wine served in fine Riedel crystal in the Crystal Dining Room
Most staterooms feature spacious private verandahs with table and chairs for casual dining or relaxing
Stateroom Internet access, television and DVD player to keep in touch with the world if you so choose
Penthouse butler service with personal bar
Complimentary bottled water, soft drinks and specialty coffee drinks throughout the ship
Abundant space, exceptional quality, numerous choices and award-winning service
Take your next voyage with Crystal and discover for yourself why the difference is Crystal clear.
Prices are per person, double occupancy, and do not include government fees, taxes, or airfare unless otherwise noted. Information and pricing is subject to change without notice. While we do our very best to ensure that information and pricing appearing in this website is complete and accurate, we cannot be responsible for incomplete and inaccurate representations, which may or may not be under our control. In the event of a pricing error, misrepresentation or omission, we reserve the right to adjust the pricing or make any other corrections.
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Our corporate cruise events are an excellent way to provide you a cost effective and memorable brand awareness, marketing opportunity or incentive to make you money.