Crystal Cruises, whom I love for their sophistication and attention to service and detail, is also well-known for their comprehensive and unique shore excursion program. And those who adore their shore excursions have reason to celebrate; Crystal has added 100 new “Crystal Adventures” to their lineup. These bold new excursions (whose locations from western France, up to the Arctic Circle and over to Iceland in areas of stunning natural beauty) offer a wide variety of options for the active traveler.
The new “Crystal Adventures” excursions offer the opportunity to hike, drive, ride, fish, climb, sail, row, bob, fly or surf in Northern Europe from May to September. Here’s a listing from the line of some of the new inclusions:
- River Raft Iceland’s glacial Hvitá River (outside Reyjkavik).
- Rock Climb Ireland’s Mourne Mountains (CS Lewis’s Narnia-inspiration) outside Belfast, or rappel down a Dalkey quarry after taking in the view of Dublin.
- Surf in Biarritz, with Quicksilver’s world-class surf school instruction (from St.-Jean-de-Luz).
- Tank-Drive a vintage WWII battle tank for two miles near Portland.
- Helicopter over Paris and Versailles (from Honfleur), Bordeaux wine country, or Iceland’s recently-erupted Eyjafjallajökull volcano (from Reykjavik).
- Olympic Wheelbob down Lillehammer’s Olympic Bob & Luge Track outside Oslo.
- Horseback Ride through the “Garden of Ireland”/County Wicklow outside Dublin, Finnish countryside and forest near Helsinki, or mountains outside maiden call Akureyri, the latter on the back of Icelandic horses descended from the Viking Age.
- Kayak past colorful Copenhagen via its harbor and canals or the natural beauty of coastal northern Norway (from Tromso).
- Hike the chalky Dorset coastline in Portland, England or Norway’s highest mountain, Mt. Ulriken (in Bergen).
- Fish the Finnish Archipelago, Geirangerfjord or near Reykjavik (sea angling).
- ATV or 4×4 Drive through North Cape’s gateway, Magerøya Island (Honningsvåg) or past glacial Icelandic landscape to either a lobster lunch or snowmobile adventure (Reykjavik).
- Boat past Helsinki’s seaside villas and lighthouses by catamaran; discover caves and orkas in maiden call Heimaey, Iceland by RIB or motorboat; spot puffins on a RIB sea safari to Runde Island (near Ålesund, Norway); or scout for sea eagles by Zodiac in Lofoten, Norway (maiden call).
- Soak weary, post-activity bones in a natural geothermic/volcanic lagoon en route to stunning Godafoss, a.k.a. “Waterfall of the Gods” (from Akureyri).
And for those of you who are looking for a unique shore excursion without the adrenalin infusion, there are a large variety of one-of-a kind intellectual and cultural additions, as well:
- Blown Glassmaking near Saint-Malo: Fashion your own blown glasswork at a local studio.
- Venturing Off-the-Beaten-Path in Berlin: Explore living as the locals do, with shopping at the fruit and vegetable market, riding the Underground, and going inside a typical local apartment.
- Painting in St. Petersburg: Take a painting master class at Russia’s largest private modern art gallery.
- Evening Walking with a Night Watchman in Copenhagen: Take a different type of walking tour, at night, with a traditional uniformed, and informed, local “night watchman.”
- “Titanic Experience” in Belfast: Visit the new Titanic museum on the centennial anniversary of the ship’s sinking.
- Gourmet Dining and Wine Tasting in Bordeaux: From slow food to Médoc wine, join local experts in exploring the region’s legendary estates, including a gala dinner at Château Haut-Bailly.
Here’s a tip if you’re looking a booking a cruise with Crystal: Until April 30, “Book Now” fares for these Crystal’s Northern Europe cruises start at $2,965 per person/double occupancy for eleven days sailing from London to Hamburg. Additional savings are available for combining select voyages, groups of six or more, or sharing the experience with someone new-to-Crystal.
Find out more about booking with Crystal Cruises here, and be sure to ask your agent about these wonderful new excursions.