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ASIAN ODYSSEY

V3208

Beijing to Kōbe on Crystal Symphony
DATES : March 30 - April 12, 2013 (13 Days)  CRUISE-ONLY FARES FROM : $5,900 Per Person

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Enjoy a 3-nights pre-cruise Beijing inclusive program March 30-April 2 before embarking on a journey of wonder exploring temples, pagodas and treasures of the East.

Date Port Arrival Departure
Mar 30, Saturday
Beijing, China: Welcome to Beijing (overnight land program) » Arrive pm  

Welcome to Beijing, China. Uniformed staff will greet you at Beijing’s international airport and escort you to your hotel. On arrival, take time to freshen up before enjoying a delicious buffet dinner and an evening spent at your leisure.

Mar 31, Sunday
Beijing: Forbidden City/Tiananmen Square (overnight land program) »    

Following a buffet breakfast at your hotel, board your air-conditioned motor coach and journey to the Forbidden City, the world of The Last Emperor. Between the 15th and early 20th centuries, this magnificent complex, containing 210 acres of pavilions, gardens and courtyards, was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Considered one of the greatest feats in human history, the city’s construction is presently one of the largest and best-preserved palace complexes in the world. There are more than one million rare and valuable objects in the museum, many of which are on display for you to view.

Next, proceed to Tiananmen Square. Originally designed and built in 1651, it was enlarged to approximately 100 acres and cemented over in 1958. The square derives its name from the imposing stone Gate of Heavenly Peace, which once served as the main gate of the former Imperial Palace. Designed for massive gatherings, the plaza can accommodate more than one million people. Aside from military parades, Tiananmen Square has become a rallying point for student demonstrations, most notably a pro-democracy rally in 1989. It was in this square that Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Mao’s body is entombed in the nearby Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.

Enjoy lunch before commencing a fascinating rickshaw tour of Beijing’s hutongs, or narrow streets and alleys. First appearing in Beijing during the Yuan Dynasty of 1271 to 1368, hutongs are created by courtyard houses, which form a Siheyuan, or quadrangle. Most quadrangles are surrounded by high walls; the passages that join one quadrangle to another are the narrow hutongs you will investigate today aboard your rickshaw. A highlight of this unique experience is your visit with a local family, offering an intimate glimpse into Chinese life.

Tonight you are invited to a spectacular dinner and performance at the Great Hall of the People. This impressive structure is where China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, assembles for deliberations on state affairs. The building houses lavish facilities for official entertaining, including the enormous banquet hall where Richard Nixon dined during his historic visit to China in 1972.

Apr 1, Monday
Beijing: Great Wall (overnight land program) »    

After an early breakfast at your hotel, board your motor coach for the scenic, 47-mile journey through the countryside to one of mankind’s most impressive creations, the Great Wall. En route, stop at the Olympic Park for a view of the ‘Bird’s Nest’ and ‘Water Cube’, Beijing’s intriguing landmark structures erected for the 2008 Olympics.

Built in the 3rd century BC to protect China’s northern border from marauding nomads and “barbarians,” the Great Wall stretches about 4,500 miles east to west. Today, it remains a monument to the painstaking endeavors of nearly one million workers. Please wear comfortable shoes with soft rubber soles, as the walkway’s worn stones are frequently slippery.

Stop briefly at a local restaurant for a lunch of Chinese cuisine before returning to your hotel in the early afternoon.

Have dinner at your hotel, using the voucher you received during check-in at the restaurant of your choice or, if you prefer, enjoy room service.

Apr 2, Tuesday
Beijing: Temple of Heaven (land program) »   6 pm
Welcome to Tianjin, China! After disembarking your Crystal ship, you will travel to Beijing. Following lunch, your Beijing experience begins with a visit to the Temple of Heaven. Built between 1406 and 1420, the complex of buildings that make up the Temple of Heaven cover 273 hectares and represent the pinnacle of Ming and Qing architecture. This was the place where the Ming & Qing emperors went to worship Heaven and pray for better Harvest. In early morning when the air is filled with the fragrance of old cypresses, the temple grounds are full of people practicing a dozen or more forms of exercise, from qigong of martial arts, from opera singing to disco. It is one of the best places in Beijing to observe ordinary Chinese at play.  In the later afternoon, check into your hotel and enjoy a buffet dinner and evening at your leisure.

Apr 3, Wednesday
Dalian, China » 8 am 5 pm

The world's powers have been wrestling over the city of Dalian for over a century. In 1895, Japan laid claim to Dalian. A few years later the Russians took over. In 1905, Japan gained it back. After World War II, the Soviet Union occupied the city for ten years before leaving on friendly terms.

Once you visit Dalian, you will understand what all the fuss is about. It is a large, clean, modern city with a perfect location on the Yellow Sea. Scenic beaches beckon from just outside of town, annual festivals celebrate high fashion and the lotus flower, seafood is plentiful and delicious, and the national pastime, soccer, is followed with a passion.

Apr 4, Thursday
Cruising the Yellow Sea  »

Your Day at Sea
Enrich. Entertain. Escape.

Adjust the compass of your mood and design your day exactly as you wish:  pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; teach yourself something new with complimentary language lessons by Berlitz or piano instruction with Yamaha; enhance your computer skills at our Computer University@Sea or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theater, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply relax by one of our tranquil pools. From Tai Chi and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the inspired cuisines of Nobu MatsuhisaPiero Selvaggio and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, lavish Broadway-style productions, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices are yours.

Apr 5, Friday
Shanghai, China (overnight) » 11:30 am  
Shanghai, located just inside the mouth of the great Yangtze River, marks the point where Asia's longest and most important river completes its 3,400-mile journey to the Pacific. The city's unique location is the source of its existence and has determined what it is today. Until 1842, Shanghai was merely a tiny fishing village. Following the first Opium War, Shanghai became a treaty port, which opened the city to foreign influence and resulted in the development of numerous British, French and American colonial settlements within the city and along the Yangtze River. Today, Shanghai is the center of China's economic resurgence and its skyline attests to this development in the form of towering skyscrapers, brightly lit commercial high-rises and the unsettling Oriental Pearl Tower. A testimony to Shanghai's colonial era, stately European buildings in art deco style line the Bund, the city's spacious waterfront promenade. An endless flotilla of sampans edge the Huangpu River, dividing old and new Shanghai. Beyond the rush of the city, serene ponds and gardens offer a gentle respite. Must-see sights include the Jade Buddha Temple and tranquil Yu Garden, impressive monuments to China's history and style. Inland lies Suzhou, with its majestic Grand Canal and classical gardens, as well as equally significant Hangzhou, terminus of the Grand Canal and the center of China's legendary tea industry.
Apr 6, Saturday
Shanghai, China »   12 m
Shanghai, located just inside the mouth of the great Yangtze River, marks the point where Asia's longest and most important river completes its 3,400-mile journey to the Pacific. The city's unique location is the source of its existence and has determined what it is today. Until 1842, Shanghai was merely a tiny fishing village. Following the first Opium War, Shanghai became a treaty port, which opened the city to foreign influence and resulted in the development of numerous British, French and American colonial settlements within the city and along the Yangtze River. Today, Shanghai is the center of China's economic resurgence and its skyline attests to this development in the form of towering skyscrapers, brightly lit commercial high-rises and the unsettling Oriental Pearl Tower. A testimony to Shanghai's colonial era, stately European buildings in art deco style line the Bund, the city's spacious waterfront promenade. An endless flotilla of sampans edge the Huangpu River, dividing old and new Shanghai. Beyond the rush of the city, serene ponds and gardens offer a gentle respite. Must-see sights include the Jade Buddha Temple and tranquil Yu Garden, impressive monuments to China's history and style. Inland lies Suzhou, with its majestic Grand Canal and classical gardens, as well as equally significant Hangzhou, terminus of the Grand Canal and the center of China's legendary tea industry.
Apr 7, Sunday
Cruising the Yellow Sea  »

Your Day at Sea
Enrich. Entertain. Escape.

Adjust the compass of your mood and design your day exactly as you wish:  pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; teach yourself something new with complimentary language lessons by Berlitz or piano instruction with Yamaha; enhance your computer skills at our Computer University@Sea or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theater, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply relax by one of our tranquil pools. From Tai Chi and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the inspired cuisines of Nobu MatsuhisaPiero Selvaggio and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, lavish Broadway-style productions, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices are yours.

Apr 8, Monday
Pusan, South Korea » 8 am 10 pm
Pusan, South Korea’s largest port city, is the country’s second largest city after Seoul and the world’s fifth largest port. Even shopping is a huge draw thanks to the world’s largest department store, Shinsegae Centrum City, located in Busan.

But this thriving metropolis is a place of smaller pleasures too. Six inviting beaches are ready to accommodate vacationers and day trippers; a trendy university area is alive with cafes, bars and restaurants; and an old central business district features eateries made famous by recipes handed down through the generations.

 

Apr 9, Tuesday
Nagasaki, Japan » 8 am 5 pm
Nagasaki is a thriving city on Kyushu Island's northwestern shores. As Japan's only access to the West, it flourished during a period of national isolation in the 16th century and continues to be influenced by the ideas and technology of other cultures. Must-see attractions include Japan's oldest gothic-style wooden church and the inspirational Peace Park. Also of particular note is the stately Glover Mansion, an impressive hideaway which was the legendary setting of Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly. A harmonious blend of ancient and modern influences will be yours to enjoy during your sojourn in Nagasaki.
Apr 10, Wednesday
Cruising the Coast of Japan  »

Your Day at Sea
Enrich. Entertain. Escape.

Adjust the compass of your mood and design your day exactly as you wish:  pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; teach yourself something new with complimentary language lessons by Berlitz or piano instruction with Yamaha; enhance your computer skills at our Computer University@Sea or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theater, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply relax by one of our tranquil pools. From Tai Chi and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the inspired cuisines of Nobu MatsuhisaPiero Selvaggio and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, lavish Broadway-style productions, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices are yours.

 
Kōbe, Japan (overnight) » 9 pm  
Cosmopolitan Kōbe is a modern, bustling city of more than one and a half million people. Throughout its long history, it has functioned as a hub of international trade and exchange.

It contains a remarkable mix of architectural styles, including Moslem mosques and Russian Orthodox churches tucked between traditional Japanese buildings. To the north stands majestic Mount Rokko, the highest peak in the Rokko Range. A cable car ride to its summit reveals unsurpassed views of Kōbe Harbor and Awaji.

Kōbe is also our gateway to the ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara, the cultural fountainheads of Classical Japan.

Apr 11, Thursday
Kōbe, Japan (overnight) »    
Cosmopolitan Kōbe is a modern, bustling city of more than one and a half million people. Throughout its long history, it has functioned as a hub of international trade and exchange.

It contains a remarkable mix of architectural styles, including Moslem mosques and Russian Orthodox churches tucked between traditional Japanese buildings. To the north stands majestic Mount Rokko, the highest peak in the Rokko Range. A cable car ride to its summit reveals unsurpassed views of Kōbe Harbor and Awaji.

Kōbe is also our gateway to the ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara, the cultural fountainheads of Classical Japan.

Apr 12, Friday
Kōbe, Japan » Disembark am  
Cosmopolitan Kōbe is a modern, bustling city of more than one and a half million people. Throughout its long history, it has functioned as a hub of international trade and exchange.

It contains a remarkable mix of architectural styles, including Moslem mosques and Russian Orthodox churches tucked between traditional Japanese buildings. To the north stands majestic Mount Rokko, the highest peak in the Rokko Range. A cable car ride to its summit reveals unsurpassed views of Kōbe Harbor and Awaji.

Kōbe is also our gateway to the ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara, the cultural fountainheads of Classical Japan.

All itineraries and times are subject to change. Click on ports for detailed information.
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