Between May and September this year, Crystal Cruises’ guests in Northern Europe can hike, drive, ride, fish, climb, sail, row, bob, fly or surf in destinations from western France up to the Arctic Circle and over to Iceland. The ultra-luxury line has set more than 100 new boutique Crystal Adventures to take maximum advantage of the region’s abundant outdoor opportunities and stunning natural beauty.
On new outings, outdoor enthusiasts can:
· 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, 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 colourful Copenhagen via its harbour and canals or the natural beauty of coastal northern Norway (from Tromso).
· Hike the chalky Dorset coastline in Portland or Norway’s highest mountain, Mount Ulriken (in Bergen).
· Fish the Finnish Archipelago, Geirangerfjord or near Reykjavik (sea angling).
- ATV or 4x4 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, aka “Waterfall of the Gods” (from Akureyri).
Other new boutique excursions that focus on the arts and off-beat experiences (and require less adrenalin!) include:
· 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.
Many Crystal Adventures offer new Private Options for couples. For even more intimate time on shore, guests can also custom-craft a Crystal Private Adventure or take an Overland Adventure, such as a two-day trip to Moscow from St Petersburg.
Until 30th April, “Book Now” fares for Crystal’s Northern Europe cruises start at £2,166 per person/double occupancy for an 11-night sailing from Southampton to Hamburg departing 21st May. Price includes flight from Hamburg to the UK, overseas transfers and 11 nights in a deluxe stateroom with picture window on an all-inclusive basis.
Crystal’s passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences is the cornerstone of its Crystal Adventures programme, earning the line top ratings for two decades.
For further information and reservations please call Crystal Cruises on 020 7287 9040 or visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk