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MEDITERRANEAN MAJESTY

V5322

Istanbul to Rome on Crystal Serenity
DATES : September 20 - October 2, 2015 (12 Days)  CRUISE-ONLY FARES FROM : $4,560 Per Person

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Travel through the cradles of civilization, from the seat of the Byzantium and Ottoman Empires, and the seas of the Colossus of Rhodes, to the lands of the Gods in Greece and the architectural wonders of Rome.

Date Port Arrival Departure
Sep 20, 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.
Sep 21, Monday
Istanbul, Turkey »   12 n
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.
 
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?

Sep 22, Tuesday
Kuşadasi, Turkey » 12 n 12 m
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.
Sep 23, Wednesday
Rhodes/Lindos, Greece » 10 am 6 pm
Best known of the Dodecanese islands, Rhodes is rich with natural beauty, architectural variety and colorful history. The city of Rhodes is architecturally one of the most varied in Europe. Hellenistic, Byzantine, Medieval and Turkish architectural styles freely intermingle. Sunshine and dry air combine to cast such a magnificent light over the island that the ancients dedicated Rhodes to Apollo, the God of Light.
Sep 24, Thursday
Santorini/Thíra, Greece » 8 am 7 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.

Sep 25, Friday
Crete/Chania, Greece » 7 am 5 pm
Grecian? Venetian? Turkish? The answer is all three, as the Cretan city of Chania has been ruled and influenced by both the Venetians and the Turks. Current-day Chania (pronounced Hahn-yah and sometimes spelled without the “C”) is home to the Municipal Agora, a marketplace built in 1913 on the site of the old southern Venetian walls, and features a waterfront that would look right at home on the Venetian Lagoon. A maze of narrow alleyways opening onto squares edged by Byzantine and neo-classical buildings are quintessential Greece: quaint, friendly and gracefully aged. In classic Greek style, the Venetian structures that lack rooftops due to the bombings of World War II have beautifully evolved into open-air shops and restaurants, inviting locals to stop to appreciate the mild Mediterranean weather and warm companionship of friends.
Sep 26, 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?

Sep 27, Sunday
  Gozo, Malta » 8 am 5 pm

View a picture of Gozo, one of the three islands of the Maltese archipelago, and you may be reminded of Cabo San Lucas. Indeed, Gozo’s west coast features the Azure Window, a rock formation not unlike the iconic arches of Mexico’s El Arco. The Maltese version, reaching a height of 328 feet, along with the adjacent underwater limestone cave called the Blue Hole, is a popular place for diving and picture taking. A human construction of megalithic proportion, literally, is the island’s Ġgantija temple complex. Dating back some 5,500 years, the Neolithic temples are older than the pyramids of Egypt, the second oldest religious buildings in the world, and together with similar structures in the area are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Grand monuments aside (though you won’t want to miss them), the pleasures of Gozo also lie in its simple, rural beauty, ecclesiastical history, and mythical legends: Gozo is thought to be the island home of Calypso, the nymph of Homer’s Odyssey.  

Sep 27, Sunday
Valletta, Malta (overnight) » 7 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.
Sep 28, Monday
Valletta, Malta »   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.
Sep 29, Tuesday
Taormina/Giardini Naxos, Italy » 8 am 5 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.
Sep 30, Wednesday
Palermo/Sicily, Italy » 8 am 5 pm
Rocky, sun-browned Sicily has bred a race of funny and passionate people, and the Palermitani are as Sicilian as they come. Nestled in the palms and orange groves of the Conca d'Oro area,Palermo has a tropical atmosphere. Wander through the enchanting squares of the Quattro Canti, and admire the mixture of European and Arab influences in the Palazzo dei Normanni.
Oct 1, Thursday
Naples, Italy » 7 am 5 pm
Naples, the center of southern Italian commerce, is located on the scenic Bay of Naples. View a moment frozen in time at the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum, ancient cities buried by an eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius.
Oct 2, Friday
Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy » 6 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.
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