Crystal Cruises has created an exclusive collection of shoreside experiences that it says no other cruise line can offer.
‘Boutique Adventures’ debuts this spring with its Mediterranean cruises, offering trips such as visits to private estates, art studios, museums, castles and well-known businesses for exclusive, insider meals, lessons, workshops and behind-the-scenes tours with local experts.
The excursions accommodate between one and 15 guests.
Sales and marketing vice president Philip Ordever said: “Crystal’s luxury guests can savour the stylish all-inclusive amenities and exceptional space of Crystal ships, yet, ashore, share intimate, immersive experiences with just a handful of other like-minded companions - particularly good for more independent travellers.
“Crystal’s reputation for excellence has persuaded people and places that are nowhere to be seen on the tourist map to open their doors for us in unique ways. These adventures may be small in size, but they’re huge in rare experience and memory value.”
Example tours are:
• Florence: View the Uffizi Gallery’s private (normally closed to the public) Contini Bonacossi Collection, featuring Bernini sculpture, Bellini and Savoldo paintings, majolica, furniture and more.
• Funchal: Lunch with a local celebrity at the elegant Reid’s Palace or enjoy a private visit to a family-run Madeiran winery, followed by a leisurely, homemade lunch with the owners.
• Rome: Create unique souvenir jewellery under the tutelage of a Valentino model-turned-museum jewellery designer, opening her workshop for the first time ever only for Crystal guests.
• Corfu: Be one of just six guests per outing to receive a private painting lesson from the President of the Corfu Painters Society.
• Vetriano (near Florence): Appreciate opera up-close with a special operatic performance at the smallest historic public theatre in the world.
• Sorrento and Taormina: Improve your international kitchen skills via hands-on cooking lessons and meals with local, Michelin-star chefs.
• Taormina: Dine and listen to a private classical concert at an ancient Sicilian castle.
Prices for the Boutique Adventures range from $223 to more than $1000 per person, with exact excursion details and pre-booking available online at crystalcruises.co.uk six months before each cruise.
Participation is on a first-come first-served basis so early booking is recommended. Plans are already underway for Boutique Adventures in Northern Europe, North America and other destinations throughout the world.
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