LOS ANGELES, September 4, 2007 - As savvy consumers continue to customize their lifestyles and personal experiences, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises reports a 55% increase in its Crystal Private Adventures. From a birthday picnic atop the rock of Gibraltar to an ancestral tour of Jewish points of interest in Shanghai, highly customized shore experiences are providing intimate and enriching perspectives of the world on a very personalized level.
To date, from January through August 2007, Crystal's land programs team arranged 55% more private arrangements than for the entire year of 2006. Approximately 70% of the customized arrangements are requested in conjunction with Crystal's European cruises.
In the nearly two years since the line debuted its Crystal Private Adventures, the biggest surge in participation has been among multi-generational families who recognize the tremendous choice, value and luxury of a Crystal cruise vacation and appreciate the opportunity to tailor their time ashore and travel as a group. Others taking advantage of the customized service are couples seeking privacy and exclusivity, and guests celebrating special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays and honeymoons.
"A cruise vacation is so much more than the ports of call on an itinerary - it's a great vehicle to explore places long dreamed of, and our Crystal Private Adventures allow us to fulfill guests' wishes in a very personalized manner," says John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs. "The opportunities are limitless. Usually the only limitations are those imposed by the guest."
The Crystal Private Adventures team of travel experts handles each request with precision and detail. Guests or their travel agents can confirm an exact itinerary they have in mind, or work with a specialist to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Some of the custom adventures arranged in 2007 include:
* For true wine connoisseurs: a tour of Italy's Bolgheri wine region in a private Mercedes Benz with exclusive visits to two renowned wineries - one responsible for creating Sassicaia, the other renowned for its Ornellaia cabernet sauvignon.
* For six friends celebrating a special occasion: an Amalfi Coast cruise in a private yacht with lunch reservations at an exclusive restaurant in Capri.
* For golf enthusiasts: private tee times on world-renowned courses in Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.
* For sheer indulgence: a private luxury car and conversational English-speaking driver in nearly every port of call on a Baltic Cruise; and on the same itinerary, lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens, and seating in the private Benois Box for a performance at St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater.
Crystal Private Adventures are available to guests already booked on a Crystal cruise for a nominal $100 non-refundable charge, due upon receipt of request. If the guest accepts the personalized shore program, the service fee is applied to the booking. The cost of the private arrangements varies widely depending on its complexity and exclusivity.
There are three convenient ways to pre-reserve a Crystal Private Adventure:
1. Website. Visit crystalcruises.com and click on "Crystal Private Adventures" under the Crystal Adventures (shore excursion) tab. Guests complete the online form and e-mail it directly to PrivateAdventures@crystalcruises.com
2. Fax. A Crystal Private Adventures form is included in the 90-day preliminary documents sent to all guests, with a direct return fax number to the Crystal Private Adventures desk.
3. Telephone. The Crystal Private Adventures desk may be reached at 1-866-446-6625 for guests wishing to discuss details of their dream adventure. All verbal requests must then be confirmed in writing via email or fax.
Choices ashore are greater than ever. In addition to the highly customized Crystal Private Adventures, Crystal offers more than 1,400 comprehensive destination tours and limited participation boutique excursions for today's most discriminating travelers.
The Crystal Difference
Aboard the ultra-luxurious ships of Crystal Cruises, refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, extensive choices and quality, providing worldwide vacations that bridge the best of land and sea.
Crystal Cruises enjoys an unparalleled reputation for excellence, anchored in 12 consecutive years of "World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" awards by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines - the only cruise line, resort or hotel to have achieved such distinction.
For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at crystalcruises.com.