As excitement builds around the fifth season of hit drama Downton Abbey, Crystal Cruises is offering its luxury cruise travelers the rare opportunity to live the luxurious life depicted in the show, replete with early 20th-century period costumes and cars, and exclusive access to filming locations, including Downton itself—the real-life Highclere Castle. The two-night “English Countryside & Highclere Castle” Extended Land Program will be offered post-cruise with Crystal Symphony’s 18-day, July 8 North Cape/Arctic exploration from Reykjavík to London. The “White Sea Exploration” cruise commemorates Crystal’s 25th anniversary of sailing with special receptions and events hosted by Chairman Nobuyoshi “N?b” Kuzuya.
During the excursion, guests will visit Highclere Castle in Hampshire (e.g. “Downton Abbey”), arriving just like visitors on the show — in vintage 1920’s automobiles, driven by chauffeurs. There, Crystal travelers will be the guests of honor at a private champagne reception and tour of the estate, including numerous rooms made famous on the series, such as the library and drawing room. Leading up to the Castle, guests will also visit Berkshire’s Basildon Park, which is used as the Grantham family’s London house; Swan Inn, where Lady Sybil and Branson elope; Byfleet Manor, known as the Dowager Countess’ home, for lunch Downton-style, with period-costumed hosts; and Bampton, a village filled with locations that double as the Crawleys’ home, the hospital, and the church where Lady Edith was jilted at the altar. At night, tour participants will sleep in an authentic English manor house—now transformed into the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, boasting the most luxurious of modern amenities amid a centuries-old setting.
“The sumptuous world of gowns, gloves, and grand gentility is captivating not only to fans of Downton Abbey, but also history buffs, Anglophiles, and, especially, luxury-lovers, like our guests,” says Crystal President Edie Rodriguez. “Through our exclusive connections, only Crystal travelers will be able to participate in this ‘royal treatment,’ stepping back in time to get a taste of how life might have been had we all existed then. It’s an extraordinary experience that would surely make the show’s Grantham family proud.”
Sailing through the Arctic Circle and White Sea, the itinerary offers maiden calls in Solovetsky and Zayatsky Islands, Russian Federation, and Bodø, Narvik and Øye/Hørundfjord, Norway; overnights in Reykjavík, Iceland and Leknes, Norway; plus visits to Akureyri, Iceland; Murmansk, Russia; Honnigsvåg/the North Cape, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway before ending in London/Dover.
Until January 2, all-inclusive, value-priced “Book Now” fares start at just $1,730/person. Fares for the “English Countryside & Highclere Castle” Extended Land Program start at $4,600 per person/double occupancy, including meals, accommodations, and transportation to and from London/Dover.
Crystal Cruises is the world’s leading luxury cruise provider, having earned more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. Aboard the all-inclusive, ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, superior quality and extensive choices. Crystal sails to all seven continents, providing worldwide vacations of five to 100+ days that bridge the best of land and sea.