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ANCIENT LANDS AND CULTURES

V2322

Athens to Venice on Crystal Serenity
DATES : October 12 - 24, 2012 (12 Days)  CRUISE-ONLY FARES FROM : $4,395 Per Person

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Ancient Lands and Cultures Ancient Lands and Cultures Map

From the Parthenon to the Wailing Wall and the Doges Palace, places of exceptional religious, cultural and historical importance have survived centuries, standing as testament to man’s great accomplishment.

Date Port Arrival Departure
Oct 12, Friday
Athens/Piraeus, Greece »   Embark pm
Piraeus is Greece's largest port and has been a gateway to the Mediterranean since 482 BC. It lies on the innermost point of the Saronic Gulf and is a short drive from Athens, the cradle of Western democracy and culture. Throughout the ages, Athens' lofty Acropolis has been a source of inspiration. The ancient ruins scattered throughout this legendary city are reminders of Greece's great cultural heritage.
Oct 13, Saturday
Santorini/Thíra, Greece » 8 am 5 pm
Of all the Cyclades Islands, Santorini is often considered the most dramatic. Once an active volcano, it was known as Stongyle, or the Round Island. In about 1500 BC, the volcano erupted with such force that the center of the island literally exploded, leaving the haunting submerged crater into which Crystal sails. The island's small villages were preserved in the ashes and recent excavations have uncovered a fascinating view of everyday life from 3,500 years ago.

Santorini's dark landscape offsets its simple, yet refined Cycladic buildings, which glimmer in the sunlight. The rich volcanic soil is ideal for grapes and the local vines produce a cherished crop known for its "special volcanic taste."

Thíra, or Fira Town, is laid out along the edge of a cliff that partially forms the rim of the now extinct caldera. A picturesque site, it exudes charm and an atmosphere of leisure that can be attributed to the easy-going Greek lifestyle.

Oct 14, Sunday
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written 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; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Oct 15, Monday
Ashdod, Israel (overnight) » 8 am  
A tidy planned community built on golden dunes, Ashdod is southern Israel's only Mediterranean harbor. Yet this new city has fabulously ancient roots: Ashdod is mentioned in the Old Testament, and archaeologists have found ruins almost 4,000 years old. This is the doorway to the historic treasures of Jerusalem, and the worldly pleasures of Tel Aviv.
Oct 16, Tuesday
Ashdod, Israel »   10 pm
A tidy planned community built on golden dunes, Ashdod is southern Israel's only Mediterranean harbor. Yet this new city has fabulously ancient roots: Ashdod is mentioned in the Old Testament, and archaeologists have found ruins almost 4,000 years old. This is the doorway to the historic treasures of Jerusalem, and the worldly pleasures of Tel Aviv.
Oct 17, Wednesday
Haifa, Israel » 7 am 10 pm
Haifa is Hebrew for "beautiful coast," and the shining coastline of Israel's largest Mediterranean port lives up to its name. But even more impressive are the slopes of Mt. Carmel, on which much of the city lies. Travel through the gorgeous villas and resort hotels to the summit for spectacular views of the city's many gardens, and striking Haifa Bay.
Oct 18, Thursday
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written 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; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Oct 19, Friday
Bodrum, Turkey » 8 am 6 pm

Bodrum is a popular destination for jet-setters, Turkish intellectuals and European vacationers who enjoy sandy beaches, sheltered coves, clear, warm waters and a touch of sophistication. Indeed, the city has long been a gathering place for artists and a magnet for yachtsmen.

While the bustling harbor welcomes visitors to Bodrum's shores, the city's interesting attractions invite them to explore. The Castle of St. Peter was built by the Knights of Rhodes in 1402 and boasts grand stone staircases, impressive towers and gardens populated by peacocks, statues, mosaics and sarcophagi. From the castle's courtyard, magnificent views of the town and bay are to be admired and captured with a few clicks of the camera. The Museum of Marine Antiquities showcases the world's largest collection of artifacts retrieved from ancient shipwrecks. And the waters surrounding the city offer scuba diving, with chances to see the coral beds and natural sea sponges for which the area is famous.

Oct 20, Saturday
Cruising the Mediterranean Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written 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; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Oct 21, Sunday
Corfu, Greece » 8 am 5 pm
Shaped like a scythe, the island of Corfu is considered one of the Mediterranean's best-kept secrets. Its lush interior is covered in cypress and olive trees while the main downtown area has elegant Venetian architecture and a serene atmosphere. Strategically important due to its location, this island has managed to maintain its uniqueness despite numerous invasions by outside forces. Today, the culture of Corfu reflects its turbulent past as well as its origins.
Oct 22, Monday
Dubrovnik, Croatia » 8 am 6 pm
Though it has only recently re-emerged as an independent nation, Croatia is by no means a new country. There were settlements along the Dalmatian Coast before recorded time. When Slavic people migrated here in the 6th century, they converted to Catholicism and adopted the local Latin alphabet. The region eventually became part of the powerful Kingdom of Croatia. Medieval Dubrovnik, formerly the Republic of Ragusa, was one of several walled cities established in the 7th century to guard the coastal approaches. Its fortification was completed in the 13th century and has remained relatively unchanged. The city walls are in excellent condition and today prevent invasion by automobiles. Within the walls, the lovely sleek lines of Venetian-style buildings complement a wealth of ancient stone architecture. Nearby islands feature beautiful beaches as well as intriguing ancient ruins.
Oct 23, Tuesday
Venice, Italy (overnight) » 3 pm  
Venice rests three miles off the coast of mainland Italy and is considered one of the world's most enchanting cities. Known as the "Queen of the Adriatic," it actually comprises more than 100 separate islands. Laced together by a string of 400 intricate bridges, Venice is legendary for its labyrinthine network of canals. A whimsical stroll through the city can lead one to a hidden world of ornately decorated piazzas and shops. As you explore colorful marketplaces and busy town squares, marvel at a priceless legacy of Baroque architecture. Admire the richness of St. Mark's Basilica and the lavishness of the Palazzo Ducale. Getting lost in Venice can be a truly delightful experience. The place of dreams, this romantic city will live long in your memory.
Oct 24, Wednesday
Venice, Italy » Disembark am  
Venice rests three miles off the coast of mainland Italy and is considered one of the world's most enchanting cities. Known as the "Queen of the Adriatic," it actually comprises more than 100 separate islands. Laced together by a string of 400 intricate bridges, Venice is legendary for its labyrinthine network of canals. A whimsical stroll through the city can lead one to a hidden world of ornately decorated piazzas and shops. As you explore colorful marketplaces and busy town squares, marvel at a priceless legacy of Baroque architecture. Admire the richness of St. Mark's Basilica and the lavishness of the Palazzo Ducale. Getting lost in Venice can be a truly delightful experience. The place of dreams, this romantic city will live long in your memory.
All itineraries and times are subject to change. Click on ports for detailed information.
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