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ECHOES OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS

V4314

Istanbul to Rome on Crystal Serenity
DATES : June 22 - July 4, 2014 (12 Days)  CRUISE-ONLY FARES FROM : $5,680 Per Person

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Echoes of Ancient Civilizations Echoes of Ancient Civilizations Map

A voyage of awe-inspiring wonder and beauty, from the ruins of Ephesus through the crystalline waters of the Cyclades and on to Rome, where ancient treasures await.

Date Port Arrival Departure
Jun 22, Sunday
Istanbul, Turkey (overnight) »   Embark pm
For poets, Istanbul, next to Venice and Rome is the loveliest city in Europe and one of the most splendid in Asia. It is the only city in the world spread over two continents, separated by the Bosphorus. Istanbul was founded by Greek scouts in 660 BC and later became capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. With its 3,000 years of history behind, it has always been the meeting point of East and West. It is a city filled with wonders of architecture and monuments to the faiths that inspired them. Formerly known as Byzantium, then Constantinople, its mosques, minarets and museums span two continents where the Bosphorus divides Asia from Europe. This strategic position has assured Istanbul's status as a crossroads for trade and cultural exchange during the centuries. Must-see attractions include the dazzling treasury in Topkapi Palace and exquisite buildings of timeless beauty such as the Blue Mosque and Basilica of St. Sophia. Even those who are not avid shoppers will be enticed by the colorful sights and sounds of the world's largest bazaar.
Jun 23, Monday
Istanbul, Turkey »   11 pm
For poets, Istanbul, next to Venice and Rome is the loveliest city in Europe and one of the most splendid in Asia. It is the only city in the world spread over two continents, separated by the Bosphorus. Istanbul was founded by Greek scouts in 660 BC and later became capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. With its 3,000 years of history behind, it has always been the meeting point of East and West. It is a city filled with wonders of architecture and monuments to the faiths that inspired them. Formerly known as Byzantium, then Constantinople, its mosques, minarets and museums span two continents where the Bosphorus divides Asia from Europe. This strategic position has assured Istanbul's status as a crossroads for trade and cultural exchange during the centuries. Must-see attractions include the dazzling treasury in Topkapi Palace and exquisite buildings of timeless beauty such as the Blue Mosque and Basilica of St. Sophia. Even those who are not avid shoppers will be enticed by the colorful sights and sounds of the world's largest bazaar.
Jun 24, Tuesday
Cruising the Dardanelles  »

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?

Jun 25, Wednesday
Kuşadasi, Turkey » 7 am 10 pm
A lovely seaside resort on Turkey's Aegean coast, Kusadasi [koo-SHAH-duh-see] is renowned for its inviting sparkling waters, broad sandy beaches and large marina. The shops in town are filled with designer clothing, carpets, jewelry and leather goods. South, along the Aegean coast, the ancient Greco-Roman cities of Priene, Miletus and Didyma furnish impressions of the sophisticated civilizations that once thrived here.

Kusadasi is perhaps best known as the gateway to the archaeological site of Ephesus, one of the world's greatest archaic finds. Excavations continue in the 4,000-year-old city and it is believed that more than half of it still remains buried in the hillside. Its marble streets are lined with architectural masterpieces. The city played a significant role in the life of the Apostle Paul, who wrote an epistle to its people.
Jun 26, Thursday
Mykonos, Greece » 8 am 10 pm
Mykonos, a former 18th-century pirates' bastion, is now a sophisticated and cosmopolitan island resort. This quintessential Greek island offers a maze of winding streets, graceful windmills, inviting beaches, domed churches and whitewashed houses accented in blue. Dotting the waterfront are cafés, taverns and tempting shops. Guests may spend the day exploring the island independently. Feel free to investigate its fine boutiques and pleasant, labyrinthine streets. For helpful hints or suggestions on things to do while you are ashore, please contact the onboard Shore Excursions staff.
Jun 27, Friday
Santorini/Thíra, Greece » 8 am 6 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.

Jun 28, Saturday
Monemvasia, Greece » 8 am 6 pm
If you wished to paint the perfect picture of a Greek island, it would probably look like Monemvasia. Start with a rocky promontory on the eastern edge of the Peloponnese. Then sketch in restored stone houses, beautiful churches and a winding two-donkey wide road. Add a medieval citadel. Remove all automobiles. Then make the island accessible from the mainland via a strollable causeway spanned by a grand Venetian gate. The finishing touch: the backdrop of an exquisite Aegean sunset.
Jun 29, Sunday
Cruising the Ionian 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?

Jun 30, Monday
Valletta, Malta » 9 am 6 pm
The island nation of Malta is a treasure trove of cultures. Valletta, its fortified main city, rises dramatically from the water. This "City of Knights," a monument to the past, was founded in 1566 by the Grand Master of the Knights of St. John. Sights not to be missed include the Magisterial Palace and St. John's Cathedral, which is lavishly decorated with the coats of arms and banners of the crusading knights. Beyond Valletta, the countryside, although austere and rocky, has a special charm. Malta provides an enduring fascination for all visitors.
Jul 1, Tuesday
Taormina/Giardini Naxos, Italy » 8 am 6 pm
Nature and history have made Sicily a land of striking contrasts. The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily was for centuries the center of the known world. Its unique geographic position made the island vulnerable to attacks by foreigners, while also making it a meeting place of Mediterranean civilizations, a bridge between the East and West. The picturesque little town of Taormina enjoys a beauty comprised of light, color and sea. Taormina has no middle tones, no grays and no muted shades. Lying on a short terrace of the coast and dripping off the shoulders of the enormous Mount Etna, Taormina embodies the essence of Sicily.
Jul 2, Wednesday
Sorrento, Italy (overnight) » 8 am  
As your ship approaches the Sorrento Peninsula, delight in craggy cliffs draped with flowing pink blossoms.

Renowned for its serene way of life, this romantic port exudes a special magic. Its dramatic bluffs and surrounding flowered hills bid travelers welcome to a town overflowing with charm and character. It is easy to relax in this languid southern Italian atmosphere.

The sensational Amalfi Coast and the haunting ruins at Pompeii are among the region's highlights.

Jul 3, Thursday
Sorrento, Italy »   5 pm
As your ship approaches the Sorrento Peninsula, delight in craggy cliffs draped with flowing pink blossoms.

Renowned for its serene way of life, this romantic port exudes a special magic. Its dramatic bluffs and surrounding flowered hills bid travelers welcome to a town overflowing with charm and character. It is easy to relax in this languid southern Italian atmosphere.

The sensational Amalfi Coast and the haunting ruins at Pompeii are among the region's highlights.

Jul 4, Friday
Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy » 8 am  
Civitavecchia was founded by Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century. Today this port is noted for its fine seafood and attractive monuments. Located 90 minutes away is the Eternal City of Rome. Steeped in 2,500 years of history, Rome was for many centuries the center of Western civilization. It was both the focal point of the Roman Empire and of Christendom. Landmarks such as the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Spanish Steps are reminders of the legacy of its rich past.
All itineraries and times are subject to change. Click on ports for detailed information.
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